Voice of Reason wrote:
It also means that it is HIGHLY unlikely that anyone gets an at-large invite if they haven't won or gotten to finals before, which means there is more emphasis on consistently good placing and actually winning a tournament.
That is true enough, though I am concerned about the difference between first and second place. Under the system M.E. year and prior, first place received 1 more point than second, and under the system last year, first place received 50% more points than second. With the current system, the first place team will receive the double the at-large points received by the second place team. To be honest, there isn't that much difference between first and second--last year, my partner and I won finals on a 4-3 decision. So, realistically, I don't see how one can win an at-large slot under the new system without, not just consistent placing, but winning a tournament (or placing third at a National Open, which has the same difference between third and fourth). Consistent second-place teams may receive less or equal at-large to a one-off first place team. I don't know that it will make much difference since the winning teams tend to be the ones who get the at-large slots anyway, but I do prefer the balance of last year's system to this one.