Vortex is our latest competitive game that uses calibrated competition.

What is Calibrated Competition?
Calibrated Competition is a scoring system that awards each player points based on how hard they are rowing relative to their own Intensity Zones.

Okay, so what does that mean exactly?
Intensity Zones define your effort level with a range of /500m Split times. For example, your Steady Zone might have a bottom speed of 2:50/500m and a top speed of 2:35/500m. If you’re rowing closer to the 2:35 mark, you’ll score more points with each stroke than you would if you rowed at 2:50. This carries over to each Intensity Zone, and applies uniquely to each player.

When you’re matched up against players of different speeds, Calibrated Competition levels the playing field by awarding points based on how fast each competitor is rowing within their Intensity Zones. Regardless of who is faster, if you are rowing at the top end of your Steady Zone while your competitor rows at the bottom of theirs, you’ll score more points per stroke than they will.

How do I play?
Vortex is a competitive workout, so you can think about it similar to a Race. You’re working against your competition to collect the most tokens. What makes it fun is that there’s a number of ways to win!

Each stroke you take will award you points, and you can earn a varying amount of points on each stroke.

Your SPM (strokes per minute) will dictate how frequently you earn points - a higher SPM means that you’re pulling the handle more frequently, therefore you’ll earn points more frequently. To break that down, if each stroke earned you 1 token, and your SPM is at 20 vs. a competitor’s SPM at 16, you would be earning tokens more frequently than your competition.

Your speed, or /500m Split pace, will dictate how many tokens you earn with each stroke, and you’ll earn more points per stroke when rowing at a faster Intensity Zone. For example, you might earn 3 points per stroke at Steady and 9 points at Sprint, regardless of your SPM.

How do I know how my competition is doing?
You can compare yourself to your opponents in a few different ways:

  1. Keep track of each user’s individual progress bar that appears underneath each player’s Vortex. This bar will grow as you and your competitors collect tokens, giving you a quick “at a glance” view of how you’re stacking up.
  2. The score in each player’s avatar will give a more precise view of each player’s total points earned during that interval, as well as the number of points they are earning on each stroke.
  3. Keep an eye on the rings around each competitor’s Vortex to see which Intensity Zone they’re in. The number of rings will increase as you move up through Paddle, Steady, Race, and Sprint.

What exactly is a token and how much is it worth?
Tokens are equivalent to your points in Vortex. Each individual token is worth 1 point each, except for during bonus rounds when they’re worth 2 points.


What does the diamond in the progress bar at the top of the screen represent?
That diamond indicates the beginning of a bonus round in a specific segment. Keep an eye on those bonus rounds because tokens are worth 2 points instead of 1!


How exactly can I strategize during Vortex?
We all have our specific strengths and weaknesses, and Vortex is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your strengths and strategy. In a Race, the strategy is very clear: you have to be faster than your opponent. In Vortex, you can get a little more crafty.

Say that your competition is far ahead and you know that you need to ramp it up. You can do so either by increasing your SPM or your speed. If you’re someone that finds it easy to pick up the pace and increase your SPM, you might choose that route over someone who finds it easier to increase their drive and pick up speed.

Maybe you notice that your competitor is be working at a higher Intensity Zone than you; the initial reaction might be to match them, but if you know a bonus round is coming up, it might be a good strategy to save your energy for the bonus round when each token earns you more points, instead of spending it all beforehand.

As you complete more workouts, you’ll find which strategies you gravitate towards, and it might be different depending on the type of workout you’re doing.

Learn more about optimizing your Vortex strategy on our blog!


Who will I be matched up against?
Just like with standard Races, you’re able to select specific users to race against, or you can have Ergatta randomly assign you your competition. You’ll be working against other members of the Ergatta community that have completed that same workout.



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