PGL addresses criticism with Americas RMR format change
The tournament organizers have partly addressed calls to change how teams advancing to PGL Major Antwerp are decided.
Various team representatives such as FURIA CEO Jaime Padua and Complexity General Manager Graham "messioso" Pitt have taken to Twitter over the past 24 hours to share their concerns over the tie-breaking method used in the PGL Major Antwerp Regional Major Ranking events for the Americas and Europe, set to be played in a Swiss format.
What is the Buchholz system?
The Buchholz score is the combined record of a team's previous opponents (in essence the difficulty of a team's path), used to break ties between teams with the same win-loss record. Buchholz was utilized in the past to seed teams between Swiss rounds and in the playoffs bracket at some Majors, but never to determine Major status or qualification.
On top of its typical use for seeding in between rounds and for determining future match-ups, the Buchholz system was supposed to assign specific order to the top eight teams after the final round is played at the three RMR events in question.
In some cases, this would determine who out of multiple tied teams qualifies directly to the Legends stage (top 16) and who advances only to the Challengers stage (top 24) and, in others, whether a team advances to the Major or is eliminated altogether.
For example, in the Americas, where six Major spots are on offer, one of two 3-0 teams would be awarded Legend status and the other only Challenger status, and one out of three teams with a 3-2 record would advance to the Major and the other two would miss out.
PGL and Valve have addressed one of these issues, introducing a best-of-three decider bracket for the three 3-2 teams in the Americas that will be played on April 15, the day after the conclusion of the Swiss stage. Buchholz will still be used there to seed the teams in the mini-bracket, with the first seed getting a match advantage.
The tournament organizers have not made any changes otherwise, which means Buchholz will remain in use to break ties in other cases where Major status is on the line and decides at which stage the teams will start the Antwerp event, most importantly between 3-0 teams in the Americas and 3-1 teams in both European tournaments.