Searching for the perfect format

Striker
April 12th, 2018 21:00

We took an in-depth look at the three group stage formats currently in use and set out on a journey to find the perfect format, one that determines the best teams in the group stage of a tournament and seeds them into the playoffs bracket as fairly and accurately as possible.

For at least a decade we have been searching for the perfect group stage format. A format that finds the best teams and ranks them in an order which accurately represents where they stand among the competition in the first stage of the tournament and that also correctly seeds them into the playoffs bracket. These things have not always happened, which is why we decided to look into ways of improvement.

There are three basic formats in the current landscape: round robin, GSL, and Swiss. In top-tier Counter-Strike, round robin — by far the oldest of the three, as a format that has been used in many mainstream sports and other esports — has taken a back seat, although we could still see it in play at the biggest tournaments until recently, such as at all IEMs before this year's Katowice stop.

The GSL format (named after the Global StarCraft League) arrived in Counter-Strike 1.6's last year, 2012, after Tomi "lurppis" Kovanen brought it to attention and explained its benefits. It went on to become the go-to format at the Majors in CS:GO, with many other organizers using it in their premier tournaments as well. DreamHack is now perhaps the biggest advocate of the GSL format, as they continue to use it regularly, be it for the Open circuit or at the larger Masters tournaments, while ESL came up with an adjustment to the same principle for their tournaments in 2018.

How can we improve the tournament format at the Majors?

The Swiss, adapted from tournaments in chess, is the newest in CS:GO. The teams advance through the format by facing opponents with the same win-loss record, until they reach a set amount of wins and advance to the playoffs, or a set number of losses and get eliminated. It was first used at the ESL One Cologne 2016 Main Qualifier and, at the beginning of 2017, the format was brought to the Majors themselves, where it has been the most prominent ever since.

Different organizers using different formats is understandable. The tournaments are theirs, after all, so it's up to them which system they see as the most fitting for whatever reasons, such as scheduling, the number of teams attending, the viewers' preferences, etc.

However, the Majors, in which the developers themselves are involved, need to be readdressed. They are the pinnacle of CS:GO, the events we hold to the highest standards. They should feature the best way available to get the eight best teams in the playoffs, sorted as accurately as possible, which is ultimately what the perfect format should do.

Let's first take a look at each of the three formats and explain what their flaws are before we finish with our idea of a solution.

Round robin

The round robin is undoubtedly the most flawed. The lack of proper tiebreakers, particularly in cases where more than two teams end up with the same amount of points, is perhaps the most glaring problem. Usually, those cases are dealt with by using round difference between the tied teams, but that is hardly a solution, as teams shouldn't have to worry about how many rounds they can afford to lose; winning the match is the only thing that should matter.

The best tiebreaker would be rematches between the tied teams, but there normally isn't time for that in an already tight schedule during groups. That is why, ahead of IEM Katowice 2016, ESL introduced mr3 tiebreakers, where the teams played each other on the same map in an overtime setting, after they all participated in one veto. Fortunately, that only happened once, in 2017's Katowice tournament, and, as we can see, ESL abandoned the idea and round-robin altogether.

Every team's nightmare

Secondly, the outcome of a round-robin group stage can already be determined before the last matches are played, which renders said matches meaningless. That, for example, happened in both groups at ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals, as Luminosity played Liquid and North faced NiP at the end of groups with nothing at stake, aside from some pocket change.

Although this issue rarely comes up nowadays, mainly because it's rarely possible to do with no risk involved, round robin allows for teams to lose a match on purpose to avoid a hard matchup in the playoffs. That can be limited by proper scheduling, in which both groups are being played at the same time, but not completely prevented. Lastly, the oldest format of the trio only determines who the best teams are within the chosen groups rather than the best out of all teams, so it's very dependent on seeding.

GSL

The GSL format is a significant improvement over round robin in that there is no need for tiebreakers and there are no meaningless matches, because it's essentially a double-elimination bracket.

Nonetheless, it isn't perfect. The last issue mentioned above persists, perhaps even more so than in the round robin. A team faces only three opponents, or two if the decider is a rematch of the initial round, in which case they only need to be better than one opponent to make it to playoffs.

Na`Vi only had to beat Heroic twice to advance

A recent development by ESL, who evolved the GSL format to eight teams per group for IEM Katowice 2018 and some of their future events, helps the aforementioned issues considerably. However, the organizers use it to find three teams who advance (first place to semis, second and third to quarter-finals). If it were to produce four, the last matches of each bracket would only serve to seed the teams who had already advanced to quarter-finals, so you'd still only have to beat two teams to get there.

Swiss

As far as improvements go, teams play between three to five opponents and have to beat three to advance to playoffs. Furthermore, they can meet any opponent throughout the group stage, depending on their results.

At StarSeries, best-of-three series were introduced into the system for the first time. That has reduced the possibility of big upsets, rewarding teams with a deeper map pool as opposed to teams who play only three to four maps and get away with it in best-of-ones, but it can't prevent the odd matchups created by the randomizer.

With the way things currently stand, the semi-randomized system only considers the teams' scores when determining the next matchups, which means it is possible that the two best teams — or the two worst teams — can meet earlier than they should, for example. That makes the entire system collapse because a team ends up in a pool where they shouldn't be in the first place, which snowballs into more and more mismatches down the line.

Cloud9 had one of the toughest routes at StarSeries

A good example would be Cloud9's route in Kiev when they were ranked third in the world. After winning the first match, they met FaZe (the #1 team at the time) in the 1-0 pool and lost, and proceeded to lose to SK (#2) in the 1-1 pool. As if that wasn't enough, when they beat Virtus.pro in the fourth round, they faced the hardest matchup in the fifth round, mousesports, and got eliminated. Cloud9 likely would have made it to playoffs had they had just a bit more luck on their side.

The perfect format

That leads us to the solution. The most obvious idea would be to utilize a predetermined seeding, which would stay the same throughout the group stage, but it's not as simple as that. It would highly depend on good seeding and limit the number of possible matchups severely.

On top of that, in a perfect scenario where no upsets happen, a predetermined seeding would lead to the ninth-best team advancing to the playoffs rather than the eighth-best because of the Swiss format's core rule; rematches can't happen, unless it's unavoidable.

To deal with that issue, either that rule must be scrapped — which would undermine the Swiss format's significant advantage over GSL — or in-tournament reseeding must be introduced.

There is a way to use the tournament's results to reseed the teams based on what level of opponents they have faced; the Buchholz system, which is normally used as a tiebreaker. It determines how hard a team's route has been throughout the tournament by summing up the scores of their opponents, so it can also serve as a seeding tool between each round to prevent teams from having a much tougher (or easier) route than they should.

As it's based on results within the tournament, it's completely objective. That is not the case with predetermined seeding, which is based on results over a much longer period of time, so it's prone to overlook teams' recent improvement or decline. However, it is still necessary to use predetermined seeding for the first round at the very least, as Buchholz can only take over in the third round, when each team has played two opponents, which creates a diversity in the seeding.

To show how this works in practice, let's take the next StarSeries example, in which we left things as they actually happened until round three, at which point Buchholz can be applied, and proceeded by reseeding each pool from there on:

Buchholz scoring method: sum of previous opponents' current scores (W-L)

In reseeding ahead of round five, a tiebreaker (the higher number of wins) was used between Liquid and TyLoo, who had the same final Buchholz score (0).

As you can see, not only does Buchholz add your opponent's scores directly after you've played them, it continuously gathers data on all your previous opponents to determine what level of teams you've faced throughout the tournament, giving you your next opponent based on that information.

You will find that, in rounds three and four, this mostly results in seeding groups rather than specific seeds for each team. That is because the sample size of your previous opponents is still quite small, so there can be more than one possibility of the next round's matchups. By round five, things usually get a lot clearer, as at that point most teams have finished the group stage and thus Buchholz's sample size increases.

The nature of Swiss is that as you keep winning, you should meet harder and harder opponents, while as you keep losing, you should meet easier and easier opponents. The Buchholz system underlines that nature, as it prevents the best teams (and the worst teams) within each pool from meeting each other. If you've faced difficult opposition (a set of teams who won more matches than they lost on average), the Buchholz system will put you up against an opponent that hasn't been tested as much, and vice versa.

This can be improved further. The problem is that there is still the randomized second round in place, which can wreak havoc if by a chance it turns into the worst case scenario, or similarly:

A scenario like this is what we're trying to avoid

This is what we're trying to avoid with the Buchholz system later on. That is why it would be better if predetermined seeding was extended to round two as well — or at least seeding pools of four teams, if that is how the first round was drawn — before Buchholz can take over in round three and start taking in-tournament results into consideration.

When you've arrived at the final standings, with eight teams through to the playoffs, another issue comes up. Up to this point, the playoffs brackets which followed the Swiss format have been drawn semi-randomly:

1. 3-0 teams are drawn against 3-2 teams
2. Remaining 3-2 team is drawn against a 3-1 team
3. Remaining 3-1 teams face each other

This has caused quite some controversy in the past, most notably at PGL Major Krakow, where Astralis (3-1) faced SK (3-1) in the quarter-finals, while North (3-1) got the easier matchup, Virtus.pro (3-2).

It can be done in a better way. And guess what - the Buchholz system's original purpose is exactly this, to break ties. By calculating each team's Buchholz score, you can seed them 1-8 instead of into three groups (1st-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th) and the aforementioned issue is solved.

Here is the PGL Major Krakow playoffs bracket in an alternate universe, where Buchholz was used to assign each team an exact seed after the Swiss group stage came to an end:

Astralis wouldn't have faced SK, but instead they would have played North, who had had a much easier route throughout groups than the other 3-1 teams. Meanwhile, SK — as the team who had faced the toughest opposition on average out of the three teams — would have met Virtus.pro on the other side of the bracket.

To conclude, not only can Buchholz make sure all teams have a fairly even route throughout the group stage — based on actual results in the tournament as opposed to a prediction ahead of the event (for most of the way) —, it then helps seed them into playoffs in a fair way, accomplishing what we expect from a perfect format. The only drawback is that the numbers behind the Buchholz system are quite complicated to follow, but the basic principles of the Swiss format stay the same.

The only thing that remains is to hope this becomes more than just a theory on paper. Your turn, tournament organizers.

#1
 | 
Albania ez_first 
gsl best
2018-04-12 21:00
#8
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Mongolia Tendies 
It's always nice to see journalism like this
2018-04-12 21:01
lol
2018-04-12 21:01
indeed
2018-04-12 21:17
#74
Edward | 
Moldova flymans 
Very good article
2018-04-12 21:29
#84
 | 
Austria shaakeh 
This actually looks perfect
2018-04-12 21:38
why not the same format like champions league groupe stage????? 4 groups with 4 teams and everyone plays each other 2x bo1, just like online league team B bans 2 or 3 maps, team A picks one of the remaining...... playoffs bo3 final bo5 GG
2018-04-12 22:18
#129
TACO | 
Brazil TonimSan 
This format rewards the best team, of course, but doesn't solve the problem of inumerous meaningless matches, and you will have to accept draws as a final result, to avoid creating irreversal leads. Imagine a group with SK, Fnatic, Gambit and Tyloo, and we are set to start the 4th round. Here are the standings: SK - 7 points (2 wins, 1 draw) Fnatic - 5 points (2 Draws, 1 win) Gambit - 2 point (2 draw, 1 loss) Tyloo - 1 point (1 draw, 2 losses) If both SK and Fnatic win in their matchups in the actual round, the group is settled with 2 rounds reamaining. A total wasting of time, and huge drop in public interest. The real shit is seeded swiss format, much like HLTV explained.
2018-04-13 00:05
#197
 | 
Switzerland RaF1337 
I agree +1
2018-04-14 00:32
#43
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Australia BohemianJerry 
Yes. Gz hltv
2018-04-12 21:06
#52
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United States Revan___ 
Good OC like this is why hltv is the best.
2018-04-12 21:12
#13
kennyS | 
France Thijo 
ok
2018-04-12 21:00
#18
f0rest | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina Fackyyy 
Gsl all bo3 best format ever
2018-04-12 21:01
bo3 swiss with seeding
2018-04-12 21:01
zzzzzzzzz
2018-04-13 14:53
U are a bot!
2018-04-12 21:19
#77
 | 
Germany Tunio 
+1
2018-04-12 21:33
+1
2018-04-13 15:02
#2
 | 
United States J3nks 
n1
2018-04-12 21:00
#120
 | 
Bulgaria Pixeland 
RIGGED
2018-04-12 23:09
kebacdisa
2018-04-12 21:00
#4
 | 
Turkey Yarrak 
Xay
2018-04-12 21:00
#5
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Indonesia Konerd1 
hi
2018-04-12 21:00
First
2018-04-12 21:00
Bo3 swiss
2018-04-12 21:00
#36
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Argentina W0LFy[RushB] 
Gsl and round robin are the bests
2018-04-12 21:03
#9
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Portugal ogait57 
4th
2018-04-12 21:00
bs
2018-04-12 21:00
#11
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Serbia aXilelele 
9th
2018-04-12 21:00
#12
 | 
Poland Frytekooo 
ok ko
2018-04-12 21:00
#14
 | 
Norway Phancy11 
BO3 Swiss best
2018-04-12 21:00
Nice real journalism
2018-04-12 21:01
#19
 | 
Israel TheLoveGuy 
Yooo
2018-04-12 21:01
Bo2 swiss plz
2018-04-12 21:01
Shut up
2018-04-14 16:00
Why?
2018-04-14 16:21
#22
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Poland Kazahi 
Expected
2018-04-12 21:01
I hope so
2018-04-12 21:01
World Cup like format is GG.
2018-04-12 21:01
#25
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Russia sneakyboy 
like me when i searching the fucking perfect sens :(
2018-04-12 21:02
TLDR
2018-04-12 21:02
#28
NAF | 
Bangladesh Ligma_ 
lol
2018-04-12 21:02
#29
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United Kingdom 1NvErT 
bo3 Swiss bestest
2018-04-12 21:02
never
2018-04-13 00:39
#30
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Czech Republic thek!ng 
Nice article. Thanks!
2018-04-12 21:02
ok
2018-04-12 21:02
#32
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France StickyRice 
BO3 swiss is the best probably. Round robin is fun as well, you have to be able to play against multiple teams, not only 2 (or 3) teams like GSL ...
2018-04-12 21:02
#33
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Sweden flippig 
didn't read
2018-04-12 21:02
#150
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Australia CaZeR01 
Then dont comment
2018-04-13 05:26
#34
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Poland ToxoFox 
Nice one
2018-04-12 21:02
#35
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Turkey SG^^ 
Why not BO2 round robin?
2018-04-12 21:03
Wow nice
2018-04-12 21:04
#38
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India GET_REKT1337 
Interesting!
2018-04-12 21:04
#39
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Portugal ola2k17 
Great article!
2018-04-12 21:04
#40
vsm | 
Brazil matwoks 
Interesting article.
2018-04-12 21:05
#41
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Germany Gloin 
I like GSL. At the end of the day, swiss format is always a bunch of bo1s. Swiss has so many matches that look "meaningless" (if you are not a direct fan of the team) while GSL has much more excitement IMO.
2018-04-12 21:05
great article.
2018-04-12 21:06
GSL is the best so far
2018-04-12 21:08
This is noice
2018-04-12 21:09
GLS or BO3 Swiss for sure
2018-04-12 21:09
#102
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Finland Smoonah 
+1
2018-04-12 22:13
#47
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World nakTriceps 
nice
2018-04-12 21:11
#48
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Malaysia byaIi 
nice hltv
2018-04-12 21:11
#49
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy 
bo3 swiss
2018-04-12 21:11
#50
 | 
Turkey ugureker 
I think use Swiss Perfect Program. Chess tournament use everytime swiss perfect or same programs. In order to use Swiss Perfect program, it may be necessary to make an initial sequence. This can be used with HLTV team rankings. As a result... Examination of matching systems used in chess tournaments will be the best example of this. Best system Swiss System with rankings, results and Buchholz etc. Its not problem BO1 or other. Very good pairings can be done in this BO1 step
2018-04-12 21:15
swiss BO3
2018-04-12 21:12
#53
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Brazil spaark1 
not bo1 swiss for sure :)
2018-04-12 21:13
#54
 | 
Brazil xMoita 
bo7
2018-04-12 21:15
Best format would be like the format TI was in dota2. Every team plays vs each other in a BO2. 3 points for 2-0 win, 1 points for each team if 1-1 (like in football). Then the top teams after point calculation are in upper bracket, the others in lower, and depending on how many points they have, it's decided who plays vs who in playoff. If 16 teams, then top1 vs top8, top2 vs top7, etc... and in lower bracket top9 vs top16 ... but you can even elimiante the bottom 4 teams if you want
2018-04-12 21:15
#58
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Turkey ugureker 
Its too long for challanger stage. But maybe using group stage.
2018-04-12 21:19
#56
mixwell | 
Spain Alser 
I really liked this article and the proposed format should definitely be given a chance. Gotta wonder how things would shake up if we get a lot of upsets, as we usually do in CS
2018-04-12 21:17
#60
FoDa | 
Brazil Tintones 
Tchuchukay
2018-04-12 21:21
That’s great
2018-04-12 21:21
Bo3 GSL besterest
2018-04-12 21:22
Wow this is actually very informative, let's hope many orgs will get right into that
2018-04-12 21:22
it's really so fucking simple DOUBLE ELIMINATION BO3 GROUP STAGE viewers have made it obvious for years now that they hate the swiss system, and you idiots wonder why the viewing numbers are dropping. csgo is lead by complete idiots
2018-04-12 21:23
#78
 | 
France StickyRice 
Viewers overall imo love swiss more than they hate it. I have no numbers to back my statement but overall people complaining are always more vocal than people satisfied so you probably focus on outnumbered haters.
2018-04-12 21:33
ever since swiss system has started, viewing numbers have dropped a lot. i see a ton of criticism about swiss. people like BO3 mostly
2018-04-12 21:34
#80
 | 
France StickyRice 
BO3 swiss system is then the best system IMO. Took a lot of time though.
2018-04-12 21:34
maybe Bo3 swiss is better, we will see. BO1 swiss produces very boring tournaments and horrible teams get to playoffs only to get rekt in bo3
2018-04-12 21:35
#86
 | 
France StickyRice 
People blame Swiss BO1 for bringing "too many" updates, i definitely can see their point. But GSL (especially when some GSL have winners and losers games aka qualification for the first, elimination game for the latter) is boring to me (2 or 3 possible opponents for a team, 2 BO1 and you're eliminated), so it doesn't totally remove the "decent team can get eliminated after 2 - not even 3 - BO1s" yet it adds the "boring predictability" thing because - especially if seedings aren't done properly - you can guess pretty accurately which team is gonna get eliminated after 2 BO1, which team will qualify after 2 BO1 and which 2 teams will face in the decider game. I'm not a fan of GSL at all. To me it's clearly behind Swiss (even BO1 swiss, even though i prefer BO3 swiss) and behind "round robin" system.
2018-04-12 21:42
Agree completely.
2018-04-12 21:48
#66
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Germany s2ily 
This is a great format with the Buchholz system. Would love to see that in a big tournament soon.
2018-04-12 21:23
Just dont let one person choose who is against who and we are good. This asian guy just picked which he wanted.
2018-04-12 21:24
BO5 is the best
2018-04-12 21:24
#69
 | 
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
I like that! Good job folks! you did great! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2018-04-12 21:25
BO3 Swiss Format with Buchholz Seeding is the best
2018-04-12 21:27
#71
fox | 
Portugal GoDtK 
That format is pretty good HLTV, it's more close to UCL football, the most fair format in my opinion. In my opinion, a copy/paste of UCL format in cs:go, would be perfect. Two high seeds and two lower seeds, most of people can say that's unfair, but tbh, it's fair like nowdays? SK vs Faze on suisse format for example, and Heroic vs Tyloo, a case where one of the best teams in the world starts with 0-1 and one of the worst starts 1-0. What do you want, a event with the best all fighting each other, or teams like tyloo in the midle for a boring match against tier1?
2018-04-12 21:28
nobody reads that.
2018-04-12 21:28
I read it and it was good content. Only retards with short attention span don’t enjoy good content like this.
2018-04-13 02:24
#152
 | 
CIS iGNISKEY 
+1
2018-04-13 06:13
#154
 | 
Germany Benjir_V1 
+1
2018-04-13 07:51
Dota 2 ti system or gsl bo3.
2018-04-12 21:29
#75
 | 
United States Prattatat 
Very well done. Think it should be tried at a couple events in the future
2018-04-12 21:32
#76
 | 
Germany Tunio 
swiss is cancer
2018-04-12 21:32
I fail to see the perceived issue with Swiss. If you're a good team, you will advance regardless of opponents faced. If you're a bad team, you will fail and go home. I don't want to see a strong team breeze through the weak ones into the playoffs, I want two strong teams decide who's stronger. That's the entire purpose of a tournament. Same with weak teams: decide who is worse. In group stage, you're climbing a ladder, each step should be higher than the one before. Yet in other formats after the first step you may encounter a pit with the weak team in it, and then suddenly rise several steps after the third match. Fnatic playing the weakest team on the tournament is surely more entertaining than Fnatic playing mouz or Astralis. Substitute team names at your leisure.
2018-04-12 21:34
#127
 | 
France Chagror 
With swiss, it's possible to be the 4th best teams in the world and then go out by losing against the 3 best teams, while the 10th passed it by winning against worse team. You're first sentence is just false. "I want two strong teams decide who's stronger". Yeah, that's the point of playoffs, groups are here to determine who are the strong team, and the playoffs are here to see which one is the best with a better format (bo3). If you already sent home half of the good teams to make places for the weak one, then the playoffs are going to be shit.
2018-04-12 23:35
If a team is sent home, then it's a bad team. X best team in the world is a meaningless statistic made up by someone based on whatever subjective parameters they could come up with. I could rank top 30 in such a way that Virtus Pro would be the best team in the world by a large margin, and this ranking would be technically correct but obviously disconnected from reality. And reality is always happening right now, not in the past or future. QBF made it to the playoffs of a major, got a huge boost to hltv ranking and immediately returned to being tier 3-4 team it is, yet that performance months ago still affords them the rank they currently have. Sure, points drop off and all, but the very fact that past performances are used to extrapolate for results makes any ranking much less credible/useful. You ask me how would one quantify team strength in an environment detached from actual gameplay ( =HLTV) then? I ask why do you need to? My point as follows: Teams are as good as they're performing *right now*, at this very tournament, in this very match. Potential strength does not equal actual strength shown in the game, and needs to be actively and properly utilized in order to manifest itself. Many teams don't do that, for various reasons. This major factor of performance cannot be quantified or observed at all until the team is already playing, at which point you can only watch the game and enjoy some CS. Therefore, all rankings are meaningless and all existing ones are essentially a coin flip due to how much uncertainty that factor has.
2018-04-13 01:34
#194
 | 
France Chagror 
So if a team A is clearly better/beat team B, but then go out by losing against the 3 best team of the tournament (not talking about ranking) while team B pass the group by winning against the 3 weakest teams by far, then team B is better than team A ? Really ? Take a real exemple. Starseries season 4. Cloud9 go out by losing against Faze (3rd best teams of the tournament), Mousesport (the best teams of the tournament), and SK, a good team at this tournament. Meanwhile, Renegades pass it by winning Fnatic (really bad at this one), Tyloo (a bad team), and hellraiser (average team). So by your point, Renegades was better than Cloud9 at this tournament ? Please tell me I misunderstood you, because it looks really stupid. Ranking as nothing to do with it, we all know that Cloud9 was better than Renegades, and faced far better team, whatever their ranking might be. Cloud9 was better than Renegades at Starseries season 4, and still didn't pass the group stage while RNG did because of the randomness of the swiss system. That's the issue. And it's only one example, there is one almost every time swiss is used.
2018-04-13 20:20
"So if a team A is clearly better ...[than] team B" Here's thing. It's a statement, and statements are based on objective facts. There is no valid framework to establish such facts that can be used to predict and/or expects results. You can say that C9 was the strongest team on the major because: 1) they won it, and 2) It was in the past. You can't use this performance to predict how they would fare on DH Marseilles, IEM Sydney, etc. Cannot extrapolate from past results because future team performance is inherently unknown - the "potential strength" I referred to earlier. It sounds needlessly reductive and clearly obvious: C9 were the strongest team on the major because they won. The issue is when people start to apply this conclusion to future, unrelated events. "we all know that Cloud9 was better than Renegades" Again, you don't. You can *feel* that C9 is better than Renegades and a lot of people may share this sentiment, but that does not make it an objective truth, it's all make believe. You can rank teams whichever way you like with no consequence because it is inherently subjective and meaningless. The only hard truth is past results: If C9 beats Renegades in a match, they were better. If there was no match between them, you can't state anything. I feel like this is more a philosophy, a particular outlook on 'team comparison'. I sense that it could be argued over for a long time and no benefit.
2018-04-13 20:44
Agreed at the moment BO3 Swiss is my favourite. If you bad enoug to lose 3 BO3s then you don’t deserve playoffs and if you good enough to win 3 BO3s then you deserve it. Although the idea in this article does seem like a good one
2018-04-14 15:16
so can we say that BO3 Swiss Format with Buchholz Seeding is the best option?
2018-04-12 21:36
bo21 pls, each available map played in bo3 format
2018-04-12 21:39
#87
 | 
Poland zJe 
seems complicated but yeah i agree
2018-04-12 21:43
Actually really interesting article
2018-04-12 21:43
#89
 | 
Poland OvniDlix 
very good article great job hltv keep it up!
2018-04-12 21:46
#91
 | 
Russia VeryBlyatGuy 
lmao volvo doesn't give a shit, nt though
2018-04-12 21:49
#92
 | 
Slovakia BuKY 
that's a nice one Striker!
2018-04-12 21:52
I cant read can someone explain???
2018-04-12 21:58
#94
Hiko | 
Turkey vVoLF07 
swiss the best
2018-04-12 22:00
#96
bodyy | 
Afghanistan remiska 
"The GSL format (named after the Global StarCraft League) arrived in Counter-Strike 1.6's last year, 2012" thonk
2018-04-12 22:02
#97
 | 
Turkey dakina 
b3 swiss
2018-04-12 22:03
I think the fairest bo3 swiss
2018-04-12 22:07
I read this like 10 times, still don't understand where does (previous opponents score) in round 3 comes from. How can it be 3-1 or 1-3 if there were only 2 games before?
2018-04-12 22:09
#103
 | 
Brazil Raphzzz 
if the first team you meet goes 1-1 after the round 2, and the second team you meet go 2-0, you will have a 3-1 score in buchholz system.
2018-04-12 22:14
wow that is really simple, thanks xD
2018-04-12 22:37
#117
 | 
Brazil Raphzzz 
no problem
2018-04-12 22:38
Groups bo3 than Olympic bo3 for sure. BO3 RULES DA WORLD.
2018-04-12 22:12
#101
 | 
Sweden Dino1 
Really good job Striker
2018-04-12 22:13
We need more thoroughly analyzed articles like this from HLTV. This is so satisfying to read.
2018-04-12 22:14
#106
 | 
Brazil Raphzzz 
yeah, it is a long article but its not boring, that's cool.
2018-04-12 22:16
#105
 | 
Poland fatkidGOD 
pgl
2018-04-12 22:15
#107
 | 
Sweden Trkmag 
Quality post
2018-04-12 22:17
#109
 | 
United States CheatCleaner 
High Quality Post.
2018-04-12 22:20
#110
 | 
United States HorchataMan 
Round robin is the best in my opinion
2018-04-12 22:30
#111
 | 
Spain G3CK0 
This is a great article Hltv keep it up
2018-04-12 22:32
Quality post
2018-04-12 22:33
perfect format is mp4 /thread
2018-04-12 22:34
striker, cs expert. pick one
2018-04-12 22:34
Interesting discussion.
2018-04-12 22:37
BO5 swiss every game XDDDD
2018-04-12 22:51
I have read up on it and it seems promising but people will complain
2018-04-12 22:56
bo3 swiss best
2018-04-12 23:11
Dual streams full best of 3 swiss
2018-04-12 23:13
#123
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
high quality post
2018-04-12 23:15
#124
 | 
Denmark MeToxi 
After reading this i really would be excited to watch this used in a big event. It seems really thought through, and u make some great arguments. A BO3 swiss + buchholz could end up being the format that we've all been waiting for. Lets just hope that the tournament organizers will see it in the same way. Btw, great article Striker.
2018-04-12 23:19
+1 I hope people at FACEIT are taking notes
2018-04-13 01:58
It's been Bo2 Win Weighted Round Robin for like 10 years what is the point of this article
2018-04-12 23:20
5 IQ?
2018-04-13 00:15
#126
 | 
Brazil waveeee 
SWISS FORMAT, ALL GAMES BO3, FINAL BO5 IF U AGREE SAY +1
2018-04-12 23:32
GJ HLTV, very nice post
2018-04-12 23:38
Love this article
2018-04-13 00:10
1. GSL 2. Round-robin 3 Swiss
2018-04-13 00:10
#133
 | 
Turkey dakina 
swissssssssssssssss
2018-04-13 00:21
Why not do it like this? Major:16 teams to 4 groups. Tier 1 and 2 will be the 8 legends from last major. Tier1 top seeded teams from the 8. Tier2 bottom seeded teams. Tier3 will be top seeded teams that qualify from the qualifiers And tier4 is the botom seeded teams. All teams each group playing eachother once. Win will be 3 pts Lose 0 pts. Tie will be 1 point. Or Ot win 2pts and lose 1 point.one of those. At playoof it will be like this. 1place teams draw against 2nd place teams. Thats it..like in football.
2018-04-13 00:58
#136
BnTeT | 
Azerbaijan WaitWut 
the last one it should be astralis vs heroic cloud9 vs gambit liquid vs tyloo not astralis vs gambit liquid vs heroic cloud9 vs tyloo how could that happen? tell me
2018-04-13 01:11
#137
BnTeT | 
Azerbaijan WaitWut 
gsl one
2018-04-13 01:11
Because Astralis vs. Heroic would be a rematch (as it says under the reseeding table), so Astralis then has to meet the second-lowest team (Gambit). Cloud9 can't meet Heroic either (also played before) so they have to play TyLoo, leaving Liquid vs. Heroic.
2018-04-13 02:02
#177
BnTeT | 
Azerbaijan WaitWut 
ah ty, i got it now
2018-04-13 16:54
I find the format of matching teams to pit against each other used by starladder cool.
2018-04-13 01:43
Swiss system is underrated, it can lead to so many good ways of seeding, and it also makes the pick'em much more challenging, a Buchholz system seems like a good solution to Swiss's issues, I would also add a BO3 match between the 2-X and X-2 teams, so then no team goes out of the tournament without playing a BO3
2018-04-13 01:56
+1
2018-04-13 02:50
#160
 | 
United States Winkydinker 
+1000000 to the BO3 for 2-X and X-2 matches
2018-04-13 09:04
Tbh my favorite is GSL BO3 with double elim bracket And after that it is BO3 Swiss system with Buchholz I’ve also been a huge of seeing what playoffs could look like if they used the same seeding as the NHL does for hockey
2018-04-13 02:27
In chess Buchholz is used.. Why did they adapt the system only partially?
2018-04-13 03:00
Are you stupid? It's not perfect and doesn't change anything you moron hltv
2018-04-13 03:20
BO3 everything with LB
2018-04-13 04:07
#149
 | 
United States Doge14 
Bo7 with Swiss is the only way
2018-04-13 04:54
#151
JinNy | 
Thailand fsjp 
To take a very long sleep maybe?
2018-04-13 06:01
+1
2018-04-13 07:51
#155
 | 
Germany Benjir_V1 
1.GSL 2.Buchholz-Swiss 3.Swiss 4.Round robin Thanks for nice article btw
2018-04-13 07:53
If match-betting still exists, GSL would still be an interesting format.
2018-04-13 08:34
#157
 | 
Brazil yudondon 
Major suice
2018-04-13 08:35
#158
 | 
United States Winkydinker 
Fantastic article by Striker, need more of this on HLTV. Also I would LOVE to see this used by a tournament organizer in the near future so we can see it in action!
2018-04-13 09:02
Swiss is good, but BO3 and preseeded structure... in that case its a more difficult and compley 3win GSL
2018-04-13 09:03
Flip coin to decide which side is the best format.
2018-04-13 09:08
#162
 | 
Finland Lependary 
BO1 Swiss system is horrible especially when there is no seeding coming in to the tournament. GSL with the losers match being BO1 instead of the winners match is the best option if you can't run the whole tournament BO3 IMO.
2018-04-13 09:31
#163
 | 
Slovakia Legeden 
I hate seedings, everyone goes into the tournament as an event on it's own and some teams had already to prove they are worth being there. Also, if you want to win you should be able to beat anyone. Most fair format would be IMO one group where everyone plays each other but that would be really time consuming and not really interesting to watch in LAN setting. Important point why Swiss is good as it is, it can pit against each other any team and that makes the first stage very interesting to watch, and to be frank, organizers aren't looking for the most fair system. They are looking for system that gets them the most attention. To bury the Buchholz system completely. It's not that much fun to see top teams playing worst team each and every round, it makes the tournament predictable and matches boring to watch, assuming that top teams account for most of the fans watching.
2018-04-13 09:37
BO2 SWISS!
2018-04-13 10:30
#165
 | 
Hong Kong Ver1tasC 
Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups Playoff: bo3 and bo5 grand finals (Used in Katowice 2018) This is the best one.
2018-04-13 11:00
nice text
2018-04-13 11:03
#167
 | 
Finland AnZinh0 
Couldn't they just use this? The 16 teams are divided into four preliminary groups After a single round-robin series in each group, the top three teams from each group advance to the Qualification Round while the fourth-placed team in each group moves to the Relegation Round. (BO!) The Qualification Round consists of two groups (E=A+D and F=B+C) with six teams each, playing a single round robin. The teams carry the points from the Preliminary Round with the teams that they played and advance with. Teams, which have played in the Preliminary Round, do not meet again in the Qualification Round. (BO3) TIE BREAKING FORMULA The tie-breaking system for two teams with the same number of points in a standing will be the game between the two teams, the winner of the game taking precedence.
2018-04-13 11:05
#168
 | 
Finland AnZinh0 
Forgot to add that: Regulation wins 3pts OT wins 2pts OT losses 1pt Regulation losses 0pts
2018-04-13 11:46
is that GSL = Group Stage Line ? and to be honest this is nice information
2018-04-13 12:17
Quoting the article: "The GSL format (named after the Global StarCraft League)"
2018-04-13 15:29
ah I see thanks for give me an information
2018-04-13 20:04
Adapt the structure from UCL, and you are all good. This upper bracket, lower bracket shit needs to go, forever.
2018-04-13 12:20
#171
 | 
Portugal Bazinga_7 
Excellent job, really good article
2018-04-13 14:01
really good article!!
2018-04-13 15:04
very good article i would prefer a mix between bo1 and bo3 swiss groups. day 1+2/ every team plays 3 bo1s. day3/ teams with 2-1 record play bo3 against each other to qualify for playoffs teams with 1-2 record play bo3 for elimination + teams who won the elimination match and teams who lost the qualification match play a bo1 against each other to qualify for playoffs (match don't really check out but yeah just proposal)
2018-04-13 16:58
#178
 | 
United States TotSpotter 
There are actually many scenarios of the seeding of the Swiss system in which the "perfect scenario" results in the top 8 teams moving on. Here is an example: imgur.com/a/1XC2U The problem with perfect scenarios is that they never happen and you can't plan ahead. I believe this is the issue the author was trying to get across by demonstrating a perfect scenario that wasn't perfect. I like the Swiss system because it makes the group stage feel separate from the playoffs. I think the randomness of the draw keeps things fun and exciting. I dislike when it just feels like one large bracket.
2018-04-13 17:42
I want BO1s. I want some degree of randomness. Otherwise just give the trophy to the best ranked team on HLTV. That way the best team automatically wins. If you can't win BO1s, sorry no playoffs for you.
2018-04-13 22:12
Looks great but hard to prove.
2018-04-14 06:13
#199
 | 
United States RecoS 
NBA playoff?
2018-04-14 07:00
MR12 20SEC FREEZETIME SINGLE ELIM WHO CARES #RNGWIN
2018-04-14 08:32
#201
 | 
India f0rtyseven 
Very good article. Nice to see there are people working to improve the tournament format.
2018-04-14 09:20
Striker’s best post ever, rest was rubbish And best format, thanx
2018-04-14 16:02
Why not use the old fashioned draw format like football tournaments.
2018-04-15 10:17
because this is not football tournaments, this is CS. feel the difference dude
2018-04-19 08:41
bo3 swiss
2018-04-23 17:34
Everything bo3 Final bo7
2018-04-26 06:03
o.O
2018-04-26 06:06
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