Kiev Format Feelings

Since Conrad’s video is only 5 minutes away from being uploaded ;)

I think that the Kiev Major should be two groups, Round Robin with a best-of-one; followed by a bo3 reseeded Single Elimination bracket, and a bo5 finals.

This format incentivizes performance within the group stage, and ensures teams put effort into placing well. At Boston — many teams realised that if you weren’t 1st in your group, your only real goal was to not come last in it (so win a game and that’s fine). This was because if you were in the 2nd/3rd decider there was no reason to view the match as an elimination match, it just made your next round game slightly easier in some cases (which would also be an elimination match) — unless you ran into a team that gets upset in which case lmao.

The group stage at Boston also had a property where you ran a 1/3 risk of the best two teams facing off against each other in the Semi-finals, no matter how skilled those teams may be. Two group round robin is fixed at 56 games (compared to 49 that we saw at the Boston Major), and since the games are not elimination matches, reasonable tiebreakers would be acceptable (no need for additional games). This would also reduce the current scheduling issue where 2 groups are done on day #1, and 2 groups are done on day #2.

Single elimination with reseeding would work quite simply: Group A’s final placements would be seeds 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15; and Group B’s final placements would be the even numbers in the range 2 to 16. In every round matches are paired top to bottom, so the top seed still in the event plays the bottom seed still in the event.

If you were to look at how this could have worked at Boston Major (beyond the first round which was paired fine), you would have the following:

1 seeds: VP, OG, DC
3 seeds: : NP, AF, EG, WGU
4 seeds: LGD.FY

This would mean that VP, OG or DC would have been paired against LGD.FY and the other two would be against NP, AF, EG or WGU (with the unpaired 3-seeds playing each other). This reseeding heavily negates the impact of a single upset since you don’t “inherit” the path of the team you beat: LGD.FY upset their sister team LGD in the ro16 and then were paired against a 3-seed, not a 1-seed; meaning that Ad Finem also had an easier pairing than they’d expect in the ro8.

If Valve’s experiment with new formats at Boston received the right feedback, one would definitely expect some adjustments towards a more conservative format this time; but given the 4-day event booking for the playoffs Single Elimination is the only format that makes sense for it. A better group stage and reseeding alleviates a lot of the problems with the playoffs.