(Late to the party, but I couldn't resist)
Let's straighten out some misconceptions.
Joins are expensive
As compared to what? Of course, reading one flat table is "cheaper" than joining tables, but any mature RDBMS is highly optimized for executing joins because they are inevitably part of sound database designs. Joins over foreign key constraints (the most common ones) are especially optimized. And of course, proper indexing is indispensable.
we should keep our database normalized and with the least queries executed as possible
The way you pose this, it seems to be a consequence of preventing these "expensive" joins. The reverse is true. Normalization will always result in more tables and, hence, more joins to query the same data as from a denormalized data schema. (Well, to be fair to you, later on you say "We prevent EAV and therefore, Joins.").
We should avoid an Entity-Attribute-Value approach (EAV), unless denormalization becomes desirable
EAV is all but denormalization. I'm under the impression that you don't fully understand what EAV is.
In an EAV design, attributes of a relation (aka fields, or columns, of a database table) are taken out of a relation and stored as records in an Attributes tables. The values are stored in yet another table that has foreign keys to the Attributes table and an Entity table. A record in the Attributes tables expresses one fact: this is value X of attribute Y in entity Z.
So with EAV, when applied rigorously, if you want to know the start date, end date, and cost of a tournament, you'll have to query the PGTournament table and join to Attribute and Value (with a
WHERE condition for the attributes). That's two joins instead of zero without EAV!
Nearly always, EAV is bad design. It's to be used when there's no alternative (for instance in lab applications where new analyses for samples can be invented every day -- a fixed set of fields in a Sample table won't suffice).
In your case, I don't see any reason to introduce EAV -- I don't even understand why you bring it up. I think it is because you confuse EAV with 1:1 associations. Read on.
Which means that we should adhere to OOP's SOLID Principles
The EF class model is part of a data access layer. It's not a domain model! At least, it's not its first responsibility to be that. The class properties should facilitate data access. That means that there will be bidirectional relationships and Id properties, to mention two OOP anti-patterns. And the real OOP bummer: the classes tend to be highly anemic. Whenever the EF classes can be used as domain classes, this is a mere bonus.
virtual properties without the
Such properties are known as navigation properties because the "navigate" to other entities. Lists are collection navigation properties and entity-type properties (without the
List<> type) are reference navigation properties. They don't have to be virtual. When they're virtual, EF may be able to lazily load the properties.
this means that it is a one-to-one relationship
Why? Reference navigation properties are often the "1" part of a 1:n association. I think most of your reference properties are like that. For example,
GameGenre. I think there are many tournaments having the same
GameGenre. It's a
1 (genre) to
n (tournament) association, even if
GameGenre doesn't have a
Tournaments collection. Maybe only
MainImage are actual 1:1 associations.
1:1 Associations distribute data belonging to one entity over multiple tables. There can be very good reasons to do that. One of them is to facilitate querying light-weight data without the heavy payload of some blob, like
MainImage. Another one is separating sensitive data from public data. Or common data (often queried) from specialized data (queried sometimes), maybe your
Now, finally, your question:
should I favor a fully normalized design over a OOP Approach when modeling in Entity Framework?
You're comparing apples and oranges. Normalized design is database, OOP is class model. But if there is anything to favor, it's normalized design. A well-wrought database design is pivotal to any data-based application. Everything else follows. The EF class model will necessarily closely reflect the database structure. As I said above: it must be seen as a data access layer.
But whenever you model business logic, of course, try to do it as SOLID as possible. That means that sometimes you'll have to populate a specialized domain model out of the entities queried by EF, and sometimes the EF classes can be extended to encapsulate behavior and data (which is what OOP is all about).