ESL announces IEM Katowice Major format and seeding method
ESL has announced an expanded format for the IEM Katowice Major and the seeding method that will be in place for the competition.
The first Major of 2019 will continue using a Swiss stage in the New Challengers and the New Legends stages, but a best-of-three format will be used for all progression (2-0 and 2-1 pools) and elimination matches, rather than just the fifth round matches (featuring the teams from the 2-2 pool).
This means that the Swiss stages in Katowice will have 26 best-of-three series, 20 more than the FACEIT Major. To accommodate the heavier schedule, the opening two days of the new Challengers and the New Legends stages will have concurrent streams running.
As a baseline seeding for both Swiss stages, ESL will be using the "Player-Selected Seeding" method introduced at IEM Chicago, which sees the participating teams create their own ranking of the opposing squads who will partake in the competition. The scores are added up to create a ranking, with the votes that are the farthest away from the final average removed to prevent anomalies and team collusion.
The biggest seeding change from FACEIT Major is the introduction of live seeding after every Swiss round using the ELO rating system, which replaces the Buchholz system that was used for rounds 3-5 in London.
After the starting seeding is done, the teams will be assigned ELO ratings matching their seed. Each team's ELO will be adjusted after every encounter - the winners taking a portion of the losers' points -, with the following round's match-ups being determined accordingly.
The IEM Katowice Major will kick off February 13 with the New Challengers Stage, featuring the teams who placed 9th-14th at the FACEIT Major, the top two sides of each of the four regional Minors, and the two teams coming out of the Minor Play-in.
The top eight sides of the New Challengers stage will progress to the New Legends stage, kicking off February 20, in which they will be joined by the Returning Legends, the top eight sides from the FACEIT Major.