ESL announce Minor changes; reveal Play-in details
ESL introduced small changes to the format of the Minors leading up to the IEM Katowice Major, and revealed details about the Minor Play-in tournament.
As was previously announced, the IEM Katowice Minors will take place between in the second half of January. CIS and EU teams will be playing on January 16-20, with squads from Asia and America set to fight for a Major spot on January 22-26.
Following the Minors, the Minor Play-in tournament will take place, where the third-placed teams from each Minor will fight for two spots at the IEM Katowice Major.
The tournament organizer announced that they will be refreshing the Minor format which will still feature GSL groups and a double elimination playoff bracket, but now, only the opening matches will be BO1. The decider and elimination matches used to be played as BO3, but in Katowice, the winners' match will be BO3 as well.
A change has been introduced to the playoffs as well. The Minors will no longer feature a grand final, which used to be played between two teams that already secured a spot at the Challenger Stage of the Major and only decided seeding and prize money. At the upcoming Minors, the team that wins the upper-bracket will take the first place, with the winner of the lower-bracket (consolidation final) taking the second place, qualifying for the Major.
The third-placed team from each Minor will participate in the Minor Play-in tournament which takes place on January 27. That event will be played out using a double-elimination bracket, with the opening and winners' matches being BO1, and the elimination and decider matches being BO3.
The seeding for the Play-in has also been revealed; in the opening round, the European team will be playing the Asian representative, while the team from CIS will take on the third-placed squad from the Americas Minor.