Starseries announces BO3 Swiss format
Few events in Counter Strike showcase an outpouring of interest and preparation as the Majors. With the prestige associated in winning a Major, teams consider it to be the most powerful tournament to determine the true standing of a team. Throughout the past, we have seen the top teams win majors and establish their names in Counter Strike history as Legends.
Counter Strike Major winners have stamped their names as CS GO eras. We have had the NIP era, the Fnatic era followed by the SK era. The earliest versions of Majors used the double elimination format. This format had it’s flaws as it was possible for a team to be eliminated just by playing a single team twice in the group stage. It was unfair and heavily depended on the Groups drawn.
Valve switched to the Swiss format first during the Eleague major 2017. The Swiss system offered several advantages over the Double Elimination format. It eliminated the teams’ fate being left to chance to a large extent. On paper, the Swiss format is the best format for Counter Strike events. But there are several problems which undermine the efficiency of the Swiss format.
Majors use BO1 Matches
Majors use Best of one matches in the group stage. Best Of One matches depend heavily on the map choice and the initial momentum of a team going into the map. We have seen Championship teams of the past lose their first maps and make strong comebacks later in the series, such as EnVyUS. A Bo1 system is necessitated by the limited time available to tournament organisers for a CS GO tournament, but it also drastically increases the chances of an upset, where a less skilled team is able to post a surprise win over the more talented team. Such upsets in a Swiss format can have a repetitive effect as we will see the order of the teams moving through to the next stages shuffled. It often leads to even more upsets and different matchups that many pundits would have originally predicted.
Valve’s Seeding system
Valve uses a closed circuit just for the Majors. They use the results from the previous major and this influences the invited teams and their seeding for the next Major. Now considering the fact that Majors in CS GO are situated almost six months apart, we see several rosters change during this time. It is unrealistic to expect a team to carry the same form across two majors over such a long span of time. Often times the strongest teams from the previous majors might not always be the strongest in the present.
The lack of an adequate seeding system means that we see several strong teams often put against each other. While it’s an exciting match to watch, an early matchup in the system ensures that one of the teams goes down the path of elimination.
StarSeries BO3 Swiss format announcement
StarSeries I league have announced that they will be using a Swiss format for their upcoming tournament. However this format will be using Best of Three matches, in what is definitely going to make a big case study for this particular type of format. We know other tournament organisers as well as Valve will be watching this tournament keenly.
The final stage of StarSeries i-League CS:GO will take place from February 17-25, while for the first 5 days the teams will have to play group stage in a new format, after which 8 of the best teams are expected by an Olympic bracket of the Playoffs (Single-Elimination) with a third place decider.
— StarLadder CS:GO (@cssltv) January 16, 2018
— StarLadder CS:GO (@cssltv) January 16, 2018
The Swiss system, as a format of group stage, has taken root in esports, although many players are still complaining about its random results in Bo1-matches and a lack of possibility to play back. In the new season of StarSeries i-League CS:GO we decided to improve this system- to propose teams to play matches up to two wins, as this time each team will have a chance to play back, while the next stage will be reached by those, who will deserve this.
This format will be implemented as an experiment, but, hopefully, players, as well as viewers will enjoy it on our tournaments in 2018.
It’s going to be a Long tournament
The main reason why tournaments refuse to entertain Best of Three Group stage is because it significantly adds to the length of a tournament in terms of days. CS GO tournaments are notorious for being short and being streamed on one channel. Having a Best of three group stage, would mean that the tournament could go on for several days. This has been implemented in Dota2, and we see week long tournaments with alarming regularity.
The Starseries I league tournament will see five days dedicated to the Swiss format. Each team requires three wins to proceed to the playoffs. The teams that lose out their first three matches are automatically eliminated from the tournament. The SL i-League StarSeries S4 event will run from February 17-25 at the Kiev Cybersport Arena.