FACEIT's Michele Attisani on ECS overhaul: "We wanted to create a format that is more fun and entertaining to watch"

We had a quick chat with FACEIT co-founder and Chief Business Officer (CBO) Michele Attisani to discuss the revamping of the ECS format ahead of Season 7.

FACEIT revealed on Friday the new format for its showpiece league, which will have a much lighter calendar as the UK-based company look to lighten the burden on teams, much in the same way that ESL did by changing the ESL Pro League group stage matches in Europe and North America to a LAN setting.

ECS will continue to feature an online regular season, but it will now consist of five single-elimination tournaments, each one with eight teams and $25,000 in prize money. The winners of the first three tournaments secure direct entry into the LAN finals, while the fourth regional spot will be determined by the amount of prize money accrued over the season.

ECS' new format is "more sustainable for the scene and the ecosystem", says FACEIT

The teams coming from ECS Season 6 will have priority when it comes to filling the spots in these regular season tournaments. Any open spots will then be taken by the teams coming out of the Challenger Cup, a 16-team competition that will use a Swiss format.

Read below to know more about how FACEIT put together this new format, what it will represent in terms of co-ownership in the league, and the possibility that more fine-tuning will be done to the league's structure in the future.

What has the reception from the teams who were in ECS Season 6 to these changes been like? Did they propose this new format?

We started discussing this format with the teams during Season 6. We had several iterations of the format itself, and all the time we were asking teams and players to give their feedback. At the end of last year, we settled on this particular format, and earlier this year we started discussing the dates with all the teams, confirming the dates on which each team will available. We wanted to create a format that is more fun and entertaining to watch. Obviously, there have complaints about how repetitive online leagues have become, and I can agree to a certain extent that we had got to a point where it was starting to become repetitive. With this format, it is almost like you have a fresh start every week. There is this new story that will start and end in four days, and there will be a winner for each of these tournaments, which, we believe, will make for a much better story for the fans, first of all, and for the teams and the players participating.

Comparisons are inevitable between the ECS and the Pro League, which will focus on a LAN setting. Was this something that you considered as well? If so, why did you go for a format that will also include an online season?

Yes, we considered that as well, we just did not feel that, with the current calendar and saturation of events in Counter-Strike this year, it was possible to have a format that was all played on LAN. What we did was try to find a format that is more sustainable for the scene and for the ecosystem without putting too much additional weight on the teams and players. The teams obviously loved the format because they have to play less and there is more certainty around the schedule. There will be much more interest around the matches, which will all be best-of-three elimination matches. Teams will play fewer matches for the same amount of money. Potentially, one team can qualify for the LAN finals by winning only three best-of-three matches.

How will these changes affect one of the core ideas of the ECS, which is teams having co-ownership in the league and being represented in the governing committee. How will this work now?

All the top eight teams coming from ECS Season 6 will retain their membership for Season 7. For future seasons, the teams who qualify for the LAN finals will secure membership, and the teams ranked 5th-8th will be determined based on prize money and will be offered membership.

Will this make it easier for teams to lose membership?

I do not think it will be easier because the top eight teams have a priority on participating in the tournament so they will have more chances to win prize money. Therefore, if they lose their membership it is because they played less or performed really poorly. It is a more meritocratic system.

This will be the first ECS Finals event in London that will be held over four days. Will you change the format?

We wanted to have a better tournament format and, by having only three days available, you were limited in the number of best-of-three matches that you could have. The idea of an additional day provides for a much better tournament format. It is something we tested at the ECS Season 6 Finals, in Arlington, where we had four days, and it worked out really well. The feedback we had from teams and players was extremely positive, so we decided to carry this change to 2019. The format is the same that we had in Arlington [double-elimination group stage with best-of-one opening matches, followed by single-elimination playoffs].

FACEIT will stick to the LAN format that was used at the Season 6 finals

It seems strange that you will prioritise the first three weeks of the regular season over the last two. Why those three in particular?

This is the feedback we got a lot from teams and players, they wanted to be rewarded for good performances and, therefore, wanted to know in advance if they qualified for the LAN finals to be able to prepare for the tournament in the best possible way to increase their chances. On top of that, I think it is not a bad thing in terms of storylines. If you think about it, you will have very stacked tournaments in the first three weeks, when you will have all the top teams participating and high-level competition and fights to get the three spots. Then, you will have the additional two tournaments still with tier one teams participating but also some up-and-coming teams as well. We think it makes for good storylines. Every tournament will be different. We did not want to have five tournaments that are just the same thing, with just the same teams, happening over and over again. I think that, with this format, we can achieve that.

Many were disappointed that South America and Asia were once again left out. Are you still planning to expand into these regions?

The problem with regions is, as you can imagine, latency. It is really hard to have teams from different regions competing against each other. You could consider the Americas one big region, but if you look at Latin America and North America, the latency is pretty high and it would be hard for let them play at a good competitive level. For this season, we decided to adopt this model, which is in line with what we did in the past, but we are looking for opportunities to integrate more regions into the structure in the future. That is something that is still on the table and that is being discussed.

Are you open to format changes for Season 8, or will this be the final structure for the two seasons for this year?

This is what we are currently planning for Season 8, but we are always listening to feedback from players and the community, and we are always looking for ways that we can improve. If we feel that the feedback that we get would represent good changes for Season 8, then we will most probably implement it.

Wow an italian person on faceit management :O
2019-02-10 14:32
sorry MICHELE ATTISANI but no one didnt even read your new format rules, because you change them every time and they are just getting worse
2019-02-10 14:33
#17
 | 
Finland Humistelija1 
Fnx 6 major wins? Not in go at least. Can you define more presicely
2019-02-10 14:41
never said it was cs go only
2019-02-10 14:42
#20
 | 
Finland Humistelija1 
Yeah thats what i was thinking
2019-02-10 14:57
#63
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Austria shaakeh 
good thing
2019-02-13 23:20
#30
 | 
Brazil davidzor 
Actually he only have 2 which was with Fallen and Co. Major = Tournaments sponsored by Valve. Not a single 1 tournament was sponsopred by Valve in 1.6. What he has is what its called premier event. liquipedia.net/counterstrike/Fnx If we consider premier events in 1.6 as majors Zeus from NaVI has like 7 for instance.
2019-02-10 16:47
wow, very structural information, very informative and formal. ty <3
2019-02-10 20:01
wow +1
2019-02-11 08:31
#46
dapr | 
Estonia beesti 
+1
2019-02-11 04:29
There were no "Majors" in 1.6, technically speaking.
2019-02-11 03:50
they were no majors in 1.6 only 3rd party organisers
2019-02-14 21:15
#19
 | 
France GenezizFR 
Shut up everybody who follow the CS scene read it, you are juste dumb. This format are way better than the previous one and i prefer it compare to the pro League format! Thanks for good work faceit&ecs !
2019-02-10 14:42
Its way worse than the pro league format in every way really
2019-02-10 15:17
FaceIt bot
2019-02-10 15:19
#37
 | 
United States J_Nasty 
+1
2019-02-10 18:26
#41
 | 
France GenezizFR 
No, just the format is really interesting, and i'm sure will be very enternaiting to watch, i love the concept of few lan tournaments who qualify for the final event and i'm sure will be great. And of course sorry for my bad english ^^
2019-02-10 20:06
Nt michele
2019-02-10 19:26
cool
2019-02-10 14:32
2 min and u read it ok
2019-02-10 14:33
u2
2019-02-10 14:34
who?
2019-02-10 14:32
#22
 | 
Denmark Green_fairy 
ECS
2019-02-10 15:00
#8
 | 
Netherlands Awpple 
expected
2019-02-10 14:32
WELP
2019-02-10 14:32
Ok blast pro series...
2019-02-10 14:32
#12
 | 
Poland Astoner55 
That's cool
2019-02-10 14:33
#13
 | 
United States ichibaNcs 
ok...
2019-02-10 14:33
Nice
2019-02-10 14:39
#EZ4ENCE les ged iit
2019-02-11 08:32
#21
 | 
Denmark Green_fairy 
Thumps up
2019-02-10 15:00
Very nice
2019-02-10 15:06
no u
2019-02-10 15:12
add asia league , we are in 2019 guy
2019-02-10 15:12
googled Michele Attisani just to find out she's a dude -1
2019-02-10 15:15
#44
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Brazil xMoita 
+1
2019-02-11 03:01
go add rocket launcher.mb zeus can get a kill
2019-02-10 15:50
#31
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Italy f8nt 
What is this hate on that guy? I think is doing a great job with FACEIT. Keep going Miky!
2019-02-10 16:54
#36
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Norway DickyFromThe9 
flag checks out
2019-02-10 18:13
-faceit +esportalen
2019-02-10 16:59
#33
 | 
Italy f8nt 
nt the site is not even in english
2019-02-10 17:04
#39
 | 
Sweden DrakenIsHot 
Nt swedish > english
2019-02-10 19:44
#34
 | 
Norway DickyFromThe9 
just dont host another major, thanks.
2019-02-10 17:31
#35
NAF | 
United States Raptorial 
+1
2019-02-10 17:50
+1
2019-02-11 02:51
I am just thinking why the 13th major was the worst major
2019-02-11 02:54
#50
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Russia sergeich182 
Nt Jason Statham
2019-02-11 12:35
fuck I just came to cmnt same thing after see banner on main page -.- u quick shitt
2019-02-11 13:20
#54
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Ukraine FGVM 
same
2019-02-11 19:18
#58
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Russia sergeich182 
As quick as Jason Statham :)
2019-02-12 11:22
+++sdsadasd
2019-02-14 18:52
#53
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United Kingdom munt_ 
Just add more teams
2019-02-11 18:22
on the front of HLTV Page on this topic, is that u Jason Statham? LOL
2019-02-11 22:16
> 20yo broken and ass boring arcade-like game > Entertainment Choose one. LUL
2019-02-12 10:14
Does Jason Statham play csgo?
2019-02-12 10:55
who ?
2019-02-12 12:43
#60
ngiN | 
Azerbaijan JWD 
Jason Statham
2019-02-12 17:32
#61
 | 
United Kingdom Xradas185 
Personally I've lost a lot of interest in CS after they been making all these changes. Tornies are too hard to follow when you work and games are all on at the same time. I don't think professional teams get to shine as most bo1s. Gives underdogs/new people chances of getting somewhere but end up being a load of teams no one cares about.
2019-02-12 20:13
Jason Statham LUL
2019-02-13 20:42
Jason Statham is great <3
2019-02-14 11:01
nice to meet you Jason Statham
2019-02-14 18:52
Sounds pretty good!
2019-02-15 07:27
WoW, did you guys heard that CBO of Faceit also works as a TransporteR on his sidejob
2019-02-15 15:55
#70
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Lithuania 7000won 
omg 100% Anthony Hopkins
2019-02-16 18:24
Having matches start on time and run without technical pauses would help. I was showing some friends what eSports is and it was just a non-starter with match delays and crap.
2019-02-16 19:00
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