ESL has announced that it would be changing the format for the upcoming Major to be held in Katowice in February, by introducing a seeding system for the matchups in the Swiss system.

In a move that will be welcomed by analysts and fans alike, the new format will match the highest seeded team with the lowest seeded team for the first match in the Swiss system, with the seedings being decided by an ELO rating, like the one used in IEM Chicago last year.

This will ensure that only deserving teams will make through to the playoffs, as the likelihood of 2 top teams battling for 1 spot is greatly reduced.

“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,” ESL said.

“Live seeding will help prevent such situations and also-self-correct differences in perceived form and actual performance. If the number 16 seed defeats the number one seed, that suggests that the number 16 team is not yet number one, but probably a bit better than their seeding and vice versa.”

Another big change to the format is that unlike previous Swiss System Tournaments, where there were best of 3 matches in only the 5th Round at a score of 2-2, this time there will be Best of 3 Matches for Qualification and Elimination changes. This effectively increases the number of Best of 3’s and the uncertainty and luck that comes with a one-off, with 2-0,2-1,1-2,0-2 and 2-2 matches all being best of 3’s.

ESL explained this decision by saying

Ultimately, if we are testing the champion in a best-of-three series, then we should be testing for potential champions for the ability to win a best-of-three before they get to the Champions Stage,

Best-of-three elimination series were introduced to minimize the influence of random factors in teams getting knocked out and to allow lower-ranked teams to gain valuable international experience.

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