Metallic Madness 2023: official casebook, framework, and policy

Metallic Madness is a single elimination knockout bracket that will feature 64 unique entrants from the world of Sonic the Hedgehog official and fan media. Fans from around the world determine the outcome of each match by voting in a series of polls on Twitter until one is crowned the Tournament Champion.


The tournament is modelled after the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, colloquially coined March Madness. Many major aspects of March Madness, namely the single-elimination knockout bracket, divisional match-ups, and matchdays, were emulated in the community tournament.

Metallic Madness is an inconsequential showcase. Tournament organizers subjectively or randomly generate portions the bracket to create an optimal experience for the online Sonic the Hedgehog community, and to maximize a high-octane, fun, dramatic similar to the NCAA.

As there is no statistical history or structured pre-tournaments to create an objective value, and that the seeding in the tournament bracket features a suite of fictional and real-life entrants, it is practically impossible to determine a value of strength between the involved parties within the specified March-April window. Therefore, the results incurred herein not be wholly construed as objective.

The bracket


There are 64 entrants in the Metallic Madness tournament. These entrants are divided into four divisions respective to their subject matter. These divisions, which will contain a total of 16 entrants, are Games, Universe, Comics, and Community.

The Games division will feature characters from the mainline Sonic the Hedgehog video games series. Secondly, the Comics division will have characters primarily from IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series. The Universe division (formerly the Media division) will feature characters from Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog cinematic universe, the Sonic Prime animation, and non-playable characters from the Sonic Frontiers video game. Lastly, the Community division will include a number of well known fan communities, events and outlets.

All of the entrants in the tournament are selected by the Selection Committee, which comprises of team members from Tails’ Channel and IDWSonicNews. The Committee is responsible for selecting the entrants and to draft them into four divisional pools. These pools of 16 organize the entrants in alphabetical order; or if there is one, a subcategory to categorize the entrants, followed by alphabetical order.

The 64 entrants are then seeded in a single-elimination knockout bracket of 63 total games. Each entrant is randomly drawn from their pool, and seeded sequentially from 1 to 16 into the four divisional brackets. The matchups for each division are determined in the arrangement established by the NCAA.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee is a small team of volunteers from Tails’ Channel and IDWSonicNews. The Committee is comprised of Scarlett, editor-in-chief; SynMania, IDWSonicNews co-leader; and Dakiii, Tails’ Channel Noticias director. Assistants include Mardiculous, Tails’ Channel broadcast host; and Azul, Tails’ Channel web team editor.

The objective of the Selection Committee is to ensure a good balance of entrants within each pool, and that each pool address the requirements from the community and the Tournament itself.

Seeding arrangement

The seeding arrangement for each bracket follows the established convention from the NCAA. Since the Metallic Madness committee seeds each entrant in sequential order, it means that the First Round matchups will be determined based on the pre-decided placement of each seed.

The 1st seed will face against the 16th seed, 8th seed will face against the 9th, 5th will face against the 12th, 4th will face against the 13th, 6th will face against the 11th, 3rd will face against the 14th, 7th will face against the 10th, and the 2nd will face against the 15th.

Because of the seeding arrangement, it is advised that the seeding numbers are meant for placement purposes. Unlike the NCAA, it is not a measurement of the entrant’s strength.

New to 2023

Automatic first seed

The 2023 tournament will see slight adjustments in the seeding procedure. The divisional winners from last year’s tournament will return as an automatic first seed. This will mean that each divisional pool will technically draft 15 entrants starting at seed 2, with the 16th seed facing against the automatic first seed in their division.

Community division representatives

Furthermore, four entrants from the Community division will be selected by random draw from a special nomination pool called the Community Draft. The entrants will then be seeded sequentially in their division, based on the last remaining seeds from the Tournament Draw. Added with the auto-first seed from last year’s division winner, this will mean that the Community pool will technically draft 11 entrants starting at seed 2.


There are six rounds in the Metallic Madness community tournament. Four of these tournament rounds are hosted in each divisional side of the bracket, followed by a tournament-centric semifinal and championship round. The first four rounds are officially called the First Round, the Second Round, the Divisional Semifinals (the Sweet Sixteen), and the Divisional Finals (the Elite Eight, or Tournament Quarterfinals), while the latter two are called the Tournament Semifinals (the Final Four) and the Tournament Final (the Tournament Championship game).

16 teams from each side of the bracket will play a First Round of eight games (32 games total), followed by a Second Round of four games (16 games total, 32 entrants remaining), a Divisional Semifinal round of two games (eight games total, 16 entrants remaining), and a Divisional Final round of one game (four games total, eight entrants remaining).

The final four entrants of the tournament, who are the winners of their division, will automatically qualify to the Tournament Semifinal round of two intra-divisional games. The two winners from the Semifinal round will qualify to the Tournament Final, with one championship game to determine the winner of Metallic Madness.

Divisional separation

Because Metallic Madness, just like the NCAA, is organized into divisions, the community tournament bracket can be considered as four separate mini-brackets, or quadrants.

On the left side of the bracket, the Games division will take the top-half quadrant, and the Universe division will take the bottom-half quadrant. Conversely at the right side of the bracket, the Comics division will take the top-half of the quadrant, and the Community division will take the bottom-half of the quadrant.

This will mean that no entrant will cross another entrant from another division until the Tournament Semifinals. Eventually, the winner of the Games division will face against the Universe division winner, and the Comics division winner will face against the winner of the Community division.

The matches

All official Metallic Madness matches will be conducted via the poll feature on Twitter, using the MetalMadTour acccount. Select matches of interest will be retweeted by the Twitter accounts of Tails’ Channel, IDWSonicNews, or both.


The Metallic Madness community tournament is scheduled in accordance to the NCAA tournament. There will be a total of 10 matchdays, scheduled approximately to the tip-off times of the real-life basketball tournament in UTC-5, or Eastern Time. All regular matches are two hours in length.

Matchdays 1 and 2 will host the two halves of the First Round, which will be scheduled the tournament’s first Thursday and Friday between 12:00 pm ET to 10:00 pm ET. Matchdays 3 and 4 will host the Second Round games, scheduled on that week’s first Saturday and Sunday between 12:00 pm ET to 9:30 pm ET.

The Divisional Semifinals will be hosted on Matchdays 5 and 6, scheduled for the second Thursday and Friday between 7:00 pm ET to 9:45 pm ET. Matchdays 7 and 8 will host the Divisional Finals, scheduled between 6:00 pm ET to 8:30 pm ET on the second Saturday, and between 2:30 pm ET to 5:00 pm ET on the second Sunday.

The week’s third Saturday will host the Matchday 9, the Tournament Semifinals, scheduled between 6:00 pm ET to 8:30 pm ET. Finally, the 10th and final matchday, the Tournament Final, will be scheduled to begin at 9:00 pm ET on the following week’s Monday.


The conduct and publication of each and every match is subject to the Tournament Organizers. The Organizers are responsible for ensuring the matches run on time, and that there are no irregularities in the actual polling of the match. It is the responsibility of the Tournament Organizers to communicate any changes to the tournament schedule or ruleset.

Since the publication of the matches are a manual effort, all scheduled times in the Matchdays are approximate. Tournament Organizers will try their best to ensure that the polls are posted on the scheduled times, but there is no guarantee that the publication will be exact to the tee.

In addition, those who are a part of the organizing team or sponsors the tournament (Tails’ Channel and IDWSonicNews) are prohibited from participating in the bracket.

Polling feature


Twitter’s poll feature will be used to conduct the official matches for Metallic Madness. The vote total and percentage is read out to the public, either in real time or within 2 to 5 minute intervals. Following the match, the Tournament Organizer will announce the final result based on their interpretation of the poll.

Due to rate limitations, the display of votes from highly popular matchups can exhibit a number of front-end glitches from time to time. In particular, the vote total can exhibit brief delays that, when fixed, may be perceived as a sudden flood of votes.

The Tournament Organizers are aware of the reoccurring glitch, and are aware of any unforeseen glitches that may happen due to recent and upcoming changes to Twitter’s API. The Organizers takes vote manipulation seriously, and can communicate steps to ensure an optimal experience.

Other sites (Tumblr, YouTube, Reddit, Discord, etc)

The Tournament Organizers may opt to recreate matches on other platforms that support a poll feature. However, due to the limited feature set of the poll feature from the other platforms, and the inability to scheduled a match duration less than 24 hours, the Organizers consider these polls for exhibition purposes. The results incurred do not count towards the official result of the tournament bracket.


For an entrant to win their match, they must record the majority of the vote from the community. The Tournament Organizers determines the “majority” to be 51% or more of the vote. A percent below 51%, or a 50% tie, will invoke the Overtime policy. The enforcement will vary depending on the type of round and overall subjective importance according to the Organizers.

Overtime policy

An overtime match is a special, unplanned match conducted by Tournament Organizers to determine the outcome of a scheduled two-hour match that failed to meet the Determination criteria of 51% or more of the vote.

If the result of a regular match required the overtime invocation, then the Tournament Organizer will officially announce that the regular match has met the requirement, and will announce further steps when and where the community can vote.

All overtime matches will be conduced at the conclusion of the final match of the regular matchday, and at a time that the Tournament Organizer deems appropriate. The Determination criteria applies applies in all cases except when noted otherwise.

Divisional Rounds (First and Second Rounds)

The overtime match length is set for 5 minutes. If no winner is ratified following the overtime match, then the Tournament Organizer will repeat the process for a maximum of 3 attempts. If no winner is ratified after the 3rd attempt, the Tournament Organizer has the option to defer the next attempt at the following day and at a time that does not overlap with an existing matchup. The date and time are subject to Tournament Organizer.

Divisional Semifinals and Finals

The overtime match length is set for 10 minutes. If no winner is ratified following the overtime match, then the Tournament Organizer will repeat the process indefinitely. The length of each overtime match is subject to the Tournament Organizer.

Tournament Semifinals and Final

The overtime match length is set for 15 minutes. If no winner is ratified following the overtime match, then the Tournament Organizer will repeat the process indefinitely. The length of each overtime match is subject to the Tournament Organizer.


As noted in the preamble, the Metallic Madness community tournament is inherently and deliberately flawed in its organizing procedures. Unlike the NCAA, there are no stakes in this tournament. The results incurred in Metallic Madness should not be construed as an objective value. Despite these flaws, Metallic Madness takes great pride in being a community unifier by using the spirit of competition to engage fans in friendly and humourous discussion with each other.

All participants in Metallic Madness are expected to practice good sportsmanship at all times: before, during, and after the tournament. There is zero tolerance of any inflammatory behaviour or material forwarded towards an individual, group, or the Organizers. Any participant who breaches the policy may be subject to removal from the tournament, per the terms.

Metallic Madness is conducted out of the good-will of the Tournament Organizers. The community tournament does not seek to harm or to defame any individuals or representatives involved. The Organizers encourages the community not to take the tournament seriously, and to interpret any result in good jest.

Metallic Madness is a single elimination knockout bracket that will feature 64 unique entrants from the vast world of Sonic the Hedgehog official media and fandom. Fans from around the world determine the outcome of each match by voting in a series of polls on Twitter until one is crowned the winner.

For details about the 2023 tournament and procedures, please go the official microsite.

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