We sat down with FACEIT co-founder and Chief Business Officer (CBO) Michele Attisani ahead of Wednesday's announcement and picked his brain on the new format.
Earlier on Wednesday, FACEIT revealed that it will be implementing the Buchholz scoring system as a seeding tool for rounds 3-5 of both Swiss stages at the Major instead of using just the teams' overall score.
By summing the scores of each of the opponents of a team, it is possible to measure the level of the opposition that team has faced and determine the next opponent based on that information, as HLTV.org's own Milan "Striker" Švejda wrote in an April feature titled "Searching for the Perfect Format",
In this interview, FACEIT's CBO reveals how the company decided to use the Buccholz system and explains the benefits of this new method. He also briefly touches on the addition of an extra day to facilitate the round 5 matches, which will feature a best-of-three format.
How did the idea of using the Buchholz system came about? Was the decision made based on feedback from teams, or was it Valve that suggested it?
We continually discuss ideas internally while keeping our ear to the ground and get feedback from various CS:GO stakeholders regarding tournament formats to ensure the highest integrity at our events. There was a great article on HLTV about the Buchholz system as we were exploring different format options and we felt this was a great improvement. We decided it was an addition that would ensure the best teams move onto the Legends and Champions Stage and Valve was equally supportive of the change.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of using this new system?
In a normal Swiss format, as the tournament progresses, the better a team performs, the harder their opponent becomes since they are matched up with other teams who have done well, while the lower scoring teams experience the opposite, they play against other lower scoring teams.
The addition of the Buchholz system adds an extra layer of seeding to the Swiss format and matches up higher scoring teams with teams that have had less challenge in their previous matchups, this ensures the best teams make it out of the Challengers and Legends Stages.
Will there be any changes to the way that the first round seeding will be done, or will the teams be split into two pools as usual?
The first two rounds seeding will be same as previous Majors. The Buchholz system ranks teams based on live results so it will not be applied until round 3 and will use results from rounds 1 and 2.
In terms of the playoffs, will the seeding stay randomised (which infamously produced an SK-Astralis quarter-final match at PGL Major Krakow) or will you be using the Buchholz for it as well?
We will use the Buchholz system as a parameter for the playoffs, with their match win/loss ratio taken into account first, followed by their Buchholz ranking to rank teams with the same amount of matches won/lost. This should avoid a repeat of the SK-Astralis quarter-final match scenario.
Adding an extra day to the Swiss stage and making the last round a bo3 will be very impactful. Did teams ask for these changes?
We strive to find the format that provides the best possible competitive integrity. We wanted to add more BO3s for critical matches while keeping the event schedule manageable, so we decided to focus the extra day we managed to squeeze in on the deciding matches for the Teams with a 2-2 match win/loss ratio.
This should add value to both the competition and the storylines to unfold in the various stages of the tournament.