For example, in this tournament: lichess.org/tournament/k0Lf5Dr6, there seems to have been 11 players who signed up for the tournament, only to go offline for the duration of the tournament.
These players (with zero points) got ranked higher than players who played and lost their games, which must be a bit annoying for those players. It also makes it appear to casual viewers as though these players are online yet not being paired due to bad programming or bugs with lichess programming, which is what I assumed until I thought to check their online status.
Possible improvements might include the following:
- Add a "withdraw" button that will remove the player from the listings if they have 0 points. Having them listed as participants when their participation level is nil seems to serve no purpose.
- Put those players who haven't played any games but haven't withdrawn below those players who have played and lost their games (effort and participation should count for something).
- Allow the tournament starter to limit their tournaments to those with certain participation/completion levels in past tournaments. This would be most useful for tournaments that have only gotten a small amount of sign-ups, as it could let people see the amount & strength of their actual likely competition. (Lower-rated players might benefit the most from this, though the entire range of active players would likely want to have a better guess at their odds of having close games and final tournament standing possibilities.)
Smaller tournaments can be severely limited or changed from expectations based on sign-ups when a significant percentage of the players play zero games, or play a small percentage of total possible games while pausing for the rest.