Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

New Major format introduced for IEM Katowice event

The Swiss system is coming to the Challengers and Legends stages, with more best-of-three matches going down too.

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ESL has just announced big changes to the CS:GO Major competition format ahead of the upcoming Major at the IEM Katowice event in Poland, although the three stages - Challengers, Legends, and Champions - will still be in place.

The Challengers Stage will feature 10 teams from regional Minors (two from Americas, Europe, CIS, and Asia Minors, along with two from the Minor play-in, featuring third-place teams from each), and six teams placing between ninth and fourteenth at the Faceit London Major. Eight teams will progress from here into Legends, and another eight from London Legends (first to eighth place at the London Major) will join them.

A new Swiss system is being used for Challengers and Legends, and here's what ESL had to say on seeding:

"The initial seeding for Swiss will be crowdsourced from the teams themselves similarly to the method used at IEM Chicago 2018. All sixteen teams in this particular stage will be asked to rank their fifteen opponents based on skill. Individual team votes that are outside of the expected range of the spread will be discarded in order to eliminate anomalies (e.g. a team giving a team #15 when most other teams rated them as #1) as a precaution to rule out collusion."

"After the initial seeding is done, teams will be assigned ELO ratings that correspond to their position in the seeding (high seeding = more points). Every single Swiss round will be seeded according to each team's current ELO ranking. Each team's ELO will be adjusted after matches get played and teams will be paired according to this seeding, with the exception that repeated matches cannot take place."

"The Swiss system at prior Majors would sometimes allow comparable teams to have much harder or much easier opponents on their way to advance or exit the tournament. Live seeding will help prevent such situations and also self-correct differences in perceived form and actual performance. If the #16 seed defeats the #1 seed, that suggests that the #16 team is not yet #1, but probably a bit better than their seeding and vice versa."

What's more is that all critical matches will be best-of-three now, before they get to the Champions stage. This is to help minimise random factors resulting in eliminations, and give smaller teams the chance to get more experience. Out of the 33 matches in the Swiss ssytem there will be 13 best-of-three matches - 10 more than that of the London Major - meaning the first two of the five days of Challengers and Legends stages will have multiple streams running.

The Champions stage will be mostly the same, however, although ESL promises that they'll announce changes if and when they happen.

What do you make of the new format?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Photo: ESL

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