Valve’s Swiss System under the microscope

The RMRs, time after time, provide us with some of the most exciting Counter-Strike in the calendar. But are the Major qualifiers really doing their job?

What is the point of seeding? Its dictionary definition is to ensure that higher-ranked teams get an easier path throughout a tournament than lower-ranked ones. It is there to delay confrontation, to ensure that the best teams meet as late in competition as possible. You want the best two teams to play against each other in a final, not in the round of 16.

Good seeding ensures a team’s probability of winning the tournament reflects their strength, and is not a result of a favorable schedule. In situations where there is no seeding, a team can get lucky in the draw and make it to the final without playing any truly top opposition.

Seeding prevents that. If an underdog is to upset the odds consistently, they have to do so against the best teams. There is an element of unfairness to this: Why should a small team have to face the three best teams in the tournament to have a chance of progressing? Breaking into tier one is hard enough in an era when tournaments with partnered teams dominate the calendar — seeding only makes this harder.

This is the real crux of the debate. It is a question of meritocracy against equality: Should the best teams be rewarded for their recent form with a generous seed (meritocracy) or should they have to prove themselves again and again in a random draw (equality)?

It is not an easy question to answer. Most sports, however, end up on the meritocratic side of the fence. Tennis, where seeding originated, uses its world ranking to strictly set up its grueling single-elimination brackets. Soccer’s World Cup uses FIFA’s world ranking, Chess its FIDE ELO rating.

In Counter-Strike we have several methods. BLAST Premier have their member teams rank each other. ESL use their personal world ranking.

At the Majors, however, TOs are now required to use Valve’s specific method. Seeding for the RMRs is conducted in a Major circuit bubble, your rank being derived from placement at the last Major or in the Major qualifiers themselves.

Read more
OG's World Final qualification exposes major flaws in BLAST's Leaderboard

There are benefits to this. Seeding that use ranking systems like HLTV’s world ranking rewards not just good teams but also those that play frequently. The presence of partner teams only makes this harder to account for: Think of how frequently OG get a boost in the rankings when BLAST Spring Groups rolls around. Just a few wins in this closed circuit can have a tangible impact on your later invites and ranking.

The only truly 'open' tournament in the calendar is the Major, which is surely a part of Valve’s thought process in deciding to build a system that completely relies on it.

And so, at the RMRs, we have a world where the two best teams do not have a seed that reflects that. G2, who did not qualify for the last Major at IEM Rio, were initially seeded 9th in EU B, and FaZe, who went 0-3 in the Legends stage, were 7th in Group A. For all the flaws of other seeding methods and the valid criticisms with regards to partner teams, this is unforgivable for a seeding system.

G2 qualified for Paris despite their low seed, while FaZe needed the LCQ to book their slot.

The Buchholz system is integrated into Valve’s Swiss format to act as a band-aid and to self-correct seeding as the tournament goes on but it cannot fix the terminal damage inflicted by only using the last Major and the RMRs for teams’ initial seeding.

We did not always use this system, of course. Part of the appeal of Swiss is that teams always play other teams with the same record; to an extent, it is self-seeding. And initially we let it be just that, using a basic system for initial matchups and then random draws between rounds.

In 2018, FACEIT used Buchholz for matchups from Round 3 onwards in the London Major. ESL introduced player-determined seeding for IEM Katowice 2019, where teams ranked each other and an average was taken to create an ordered list. Live ELO then slightly adjusted teams' placings throughout the stage.

The next Major, StarLadder Berlin, also had Live ELO, but used HLTV’s world ranking rather than players for their initial seeds. It was only after the pandemic that Valve’s new seeding system came in and it is the one we have used for the last three Major cycles.

Below is a chart that shows the correlation between a team’s seed and their final placement in the Swiss system. The larger the bar, the closer a team’s final placement resembles their initial seed — meaning the system is working.

As we can see, the post-pandemic system has rewarded its higher-seeded teams less. Although IEM Katowice and SL Berlin represent a small sample size of two Swiss stages, this is still concerning.

A lower correlation can mean two things. One: The higher-seeded teams get less benefit from being highly seeded. Two: The higher-seeded teams are there incorrectly and are failing to convert their advantage into success.

Both can also be true at once. When G2 are seeded 9th, it is not just G2 who are punished, but also the teams seeded above them. 9INE performed excellently in the closed qualifiers for the RMR, earning the 8th seed, but then had to face G2 in their opener. The Poles won, but it is still a sign that the system was failing.

We all know how important the opening best of ones are in Swiss. Recovering from 0-2 has happened, it even happened twice at the EU RMRs with ENCE and OG, but it shouldn't be relied on. Therefore, having correct seeding for these opening games is paramount: Buchholz can only do so much.

Even the events with the most successful seeding post-pandemic fall short of SL Berlin and IEM Katowice’s averages. If we use HLTV ranking instead of seed, it fares even worse.

Of the systems that use best of threes in decider games, it has the lowest correlation between final placement and HLTV world ranking. The RMR style falls behind even the random draws of StarLadder & i-League's Starseries seasons (that used best of three throughout).

A goal of any group stage is to ensure the highest quality playoffs possible. CS:GO, like any sport, is a spectacle. We want to see the best teams face each other as late as possible into a tournament, when the stakes are highest and the arenas are packed. That is a reasonable view to hold, both for fans and the TOs who are building their formats.

This system, clearly, is not doing so. It relies on too small a sample of games from the RMRs, or an outdated sample from the previous Major. Too much happens in six months for teams to deserve to be seeded based on their performance in the last cycle.


The solution preferred by many would be to return to the more effective seeding systems of the past: Using any world ranking, whether HLTV’s, ESL’s, or Valve’s, would result in more favorable matchups for teams that are performing the best outside of the Major circuit. The same is true of player-decided seeding, the system that is still used today in BLAST Premier.

But, any world ranking is harmed by the Louvre and BLAST partners paying for attendance at big events and the ranking points those hold. That Valve does not even use its own ranking for seeding shows that the issue is not with any individual system but the approach itself. Partner teams are inherently better off under any ranking system — and this is not something we want at Majors, even if Valve showed some leniency by using their system for invites to the online closed qualifiers.

Once it gets to LAN, however, it seems that the playing ground must be even. Under a meritocratic view of 'even' fairness, IEM Katowice and SL Berlin’s seeding methods achieved their goal. The teams which their systems believed to be better advanced more often. Yet, they were not used again.

Teams like Bad News Eagles show the merits of a truly open circuit

If this is what we are striving for — and the Majors are to be a celebration of the open circuit — it is clear that we are striving for a more egalitarian view of fairness. The biggest and best teams’ past results mean nothing once they enter the Major cycle; they have to prove themselves each and every time.

And the end result of this mindset is that any form of seeding at all is missing the point. The only truly equal way of doing it under this premise is for the event to be completely random and for seeding to be scrapped entirely. If the best teams are good enough, they should not need a leg up to qualify.

But, the Majors are not just celebrations of the open circuit. They are the pinnacle of the game, the titles that define the careers of players who have been champions and of the players that do not. We want these tournaments to be narrative builders, their results to give new fans of the game an easy-to-scan history of the esport. We don’t want there to be any asterisks.

And so we are back where we started, needing to define what we truly want out of a group stage. Do we prioritize entertainment and equality or competitiveness and meritocracy?

From a competitive standpoint, the latter is clearly more important. Entertainment should not come at the cost of competitive integrity. Best of ones are often more exciting than best of threes: they have higher stakes, are shorter (and thus are easier to sit down and watch in their entirety), and the lower sample size means upsets are more likely. But we still acknowledge that they are worse at determining the better team on any given day than a best of three.

The same is true of random seeding. We are more likely to see big names eliminated, which gives us more easy narratives and we have the draws themselves to add a spice of excitement. We should also have closer games in a no-seeding environment, because it is more likely teams of equal strength draw each other.

But this is not WWE. The Major does not exist to entertain us; it exists to crown the best team in the world. And so, there are two solutions.

One, we bite the bullet and integrate seeding. By doing so, we acknowledge that the Major is the pinnacle of the Counter-Strike circuit and not operating outside of it. Therefore, it follows that results outside of the RMRs do matter enough for seeding to be based off of them, either by players ranking each other or any solid world ranking.

In between rounds, ESL's Live ELO system at IEM Katowice 2019 did a good job of rewarding underdogs for punching above their weight and punishing underperforming favorites. After fnatic lost to ViCi and Winstrike in the Challengers Stage, their ELO rank dropped from 1.79 (1st) to 8.00 (9th). It is not catastrophic — they still had a favourable match-up against Grayhound in the 0-2 match, but once round four rolled around they had to face G2 (originally seeded 7th) instead of Cloud9 (13th) and were eliminated.

A slightly different system was used at StarLadder Berlin, but with the same principle, and it worked as intended there, too. Katowice's ELO ranks ended the group stage with a 0.954 correlation with a team's final placement, while Berlin's had a 0.956. A high score is to be expected, but this still shows that teams' seeds were being correctly adjusted as the tournament went on.

If a 9INE beats G2 in round one under this system they would not be expected to have to beat two more huge names in order to qualify; an upset would elevate them up three or four seeds. Buchholz is a good system for tie-breakers, but it is clearly less effective than this kind of Live ELO system under a small sample size.

Swiss is one of CS:GO’s best formats. Games matter the same for both teams, unlike round robin, and it prevents rematches so we avoid teams advancing after beating the same opponent twice like in GSL. It is also deeply entertaining, 2-2 games at the RMRs offer a similar intensity to that of a playoff match at a regular tournament.

Gambit only beat two top ten teams (and only one in playoffs) en route to Major glory in Krakow

But it can be better. The current seeding fails to either reward the high seeds or to allocate the high seeds to the best teams. Underdog runs are part of any sport, and will be whatever the seeding system. The difference is that in well-seeded events those underdog runs cannot be undermined. It is the difference between Cloud9 winning the Major over FaZe and Gambit winning it over Immortals. One feels historic, the other like a strange quirk in Majors history.

Take 9INE, who defeated G2 and Vitality to qualify for Paris. More accurate seeding would not prevent a quality underdog run like this, but it would prevent Natus Vincere from having to play FaZe in a 2-0 match while fnatic claim a Legends spot after beating Viperio, 1WIN, and B8.

No seeding system is fair in an egalitarian sense, but for the biggest tournament in the game it is hard to argue against a meritocratic definition of fairness. The current system needs change regardless of where Valve and TOs land on this debate; the current system fails to satisfy either definition.

So we are left at a crossroads. If we want equality, a truly even playing field, we should remove seeding entirely. If we want meritocracy, we should return to one of the seeding systems used at Katowice or Berlin. Today’s halfway-house system benefits nobody.

Katowice 2019 = best system
2023-04-25 15:24
siuhy | 
Poland ad3m93
best system so far
2023-04-25 15:23
Nero snoozefest
2023-04-25 15:24
1 reply
2023-04-25 15:42
for people wondering what is being said: bne gonna win major ez
2023-04-25 15:24
22 replies
2023-04-25 15:25
2023-04-25 16:02
France Guilsz_
2023-04-25 16:48
2023-04-25 17:03
nice delusion you got there bro
2023-04-25 19:00
16 replies
shut up
2023-04-25 20:14
15 replies
name doesnt check out
2023-04-25 21:41
14 replies
Neither does yours
2023-04-25 22:29
13 replies
where was i toxic ?
2023-04-25 23:06
12 replies
2023-04-26 04:34
11 replies
WHY was i toxic ? i just said he has a nice delusion. i was nowhere near toxic lol.. u must be new here...
2023-04-26 05:06
10 replies
U say 0 toxicity but there was more than 0 for sure. Nt bro
2023-04-26 05:09
6 replies
2023-04-26 10:53
i waSNT toxic tho. just stated a fact. but its ok
2023-04-26 17:54
4 replies
Yea yea, I'm not toxic for saying you're dumb because its 100% true.
2023-04-27 17:07
3 replies
ok. delusion is here too kek but what too expect :((( they dont get sun, their brain is dead kek
2023-04-28 00:15
2 replies
Your brain gets sun all the time, maybe thats why you're so stupid.
2023-04-28 11:31
1 reply
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk the lvl of anger int you is awesome.
2023-04-30 23:52
stop being toxic
2023-04-26 10:52
2 replies
ok snNickers
2023-04-26 17:54
1 reply
thanks 0toxicityDude
2023-04-27 10:19
2023-05-04 12:26
nero ure european why do you say soccer
2023-04-25 15:24
10 replies
we write in American English :(
2023-04-25 15:25
9 replies
well it was a nice read
2023-04-25 15:37
2 replies
isnt "If a 9ine beats G2 in..." wrong??
2023-04-25 15:39
1 reply
I don t think he is, it's practically a shortcut for "a team like 9ine"
2023-04-25 19:48
traitor >:(
2023-04-25 17:26
5 replies
United States zovint
I mean fundamentally American English is superior to British English in many aspects.
2023-04-25 19:20
4 replies
except from soccer
2023-04-25 21:43
how come? please elaborate
2023-04-26 12:53
1 reply
United States zovint
Much simpler: Color > Colour Savior > Saviour Oxford comma (fraud comma) unnecessary
2023-04-27 18:48
"british" english doesn't exist tho. It's either English or American English
2023-04-27 13:14
apart from organizers which want the big fanbase teams to always make it to top4 so they get the most €€€€ possible, I think for a neutral fan it's always nice to see upsets happen?? how boring would it be if semis are always just top4 or top8 teams...
2023-04-25 15:25
28 replies
Rio major final would disagree
2023-04-25 15:30
14 replies
much prefered Outsiders winning then faze or na'vi again
2023-04-25 16:24
13 replies
you are in the minority with that opinion why did you prefer outsiders? because they are the best and play the best cs or was it just for the novelty of a new team winning?
2023-04-25 16:39
7 replies
I think they deserved to win, they won all their matches and it seemed like all of their games they were on top, they knew exactly what to do. But I admit, I love seeing an underdog or a new winner on a big stage ^^ I wouldn't be sad if Faze moped the floor and won again, if they deserved it. but they are one of the best teams, why would they need an even bigger bonus with the system? right now it's fair. if you are better in the match, you win and go see your next opponent. if you slip and play careless because you are against "a bad team", then it's entirely your fault for losing.
2023-04-25 16:53
6 replies
Argentina Joedash
All the matches won until the finals, was against top 30 teams, not even top 10. So ofc they should win all their matches, after the major they are nowhere near good any more, just look at recent results.
2023-04-26 01:18
5 replies
its hard to win against top teams when they go 0-3 in the legends stage
2023-04-26 04:18
4 replies
+1 nailed the faze fan
2023-04-26 05:11
1 reply
Argentina Joedash
Kinda clueless answer, but free-speech is a thing so fair enough.
2023-04-26 12:50
Argentina Joedash
Faze, C9 and vitality faced each other in the first 2 rounds which made a situation where one of the 3 would start 0-2 which happened with faze. Vitality didnt qualify but ended 2-3, NaVi and C9 qualified, same with heroic, and STILL outsiders didnt face any of the already named. It doesnt have to happen in playoffs. First 2 rounds for C9, FaZe and Vitality: Faze-C9 // Vit-NaVi FaZe-Vit // C9-NaVi First 2 rounds for outsiders: Outsiders vs NiP Outsiders vs Spirit pdta: FaZe had the highest seeding yet he had to face c9 AND THEN vit. outsiders with way worse seeding got to play against 2 top 20 teams.
2023-04-26 12:49
1 reply
Faze lost a bo3 against BNE... Also Outsiders faced Heroic on the first match. Of course the seed could be better, as the article is saying, but you can't say that this was the only factor.
2023-04-27 00:01
I think fluke majors aren’t great. Outsiders were good, but I don’t actually think they were better than NaVi or FaZe overall in the tournament, and the final was a joke because Heroic didn’t show up. If the Heroic that played vs FURIA showed up that would’ve been cool, or if FURIA made the cinderella run, but the match was between two teams who were both pretty good but unexpected to be in the finals and then it ended in a whimper, just so boring to see
2023-04-25 17:01
2 replies
Bruh, u so dumb
2023-04-25 19:42
1 reply
Good point, fluke majors must be awesome
2023-04-26 05:51
Most fans definitely did not want that
2023-04-26 03:18
1 reply
well, in the same way that most people listen to country or top10 pop hits, humanity is dumb :p
2023-04-26 10:47
Not boring at all, but reworking the entire system to make it easier for bigger teams is wrong Play bad = eliminated Crying about seeding is just pathetic and the fanboys couldn't be more transparent
2023-04-25 16:32
12 replies
yes this is exactly what I think about the system. the poor smaller teams already grind every tournament 50 times as much, sometimes just because they aren't a "partnered team". this system right now it's fair, the team playing better wins. simple and fair for everyone.
2023-04-25 16:54
6 replies
exactly. those on the top should just play harder, so they can stay there.
2023-04-25 18:28
Players who were able to sign for T1 teams grind the same if not more before making it to the T1 team. Imagine playing Bo3 the entire year and ending up having to play Bo1s in the most critical tournament of the year. If you want an open circuit, there should be some legitimacy in the results that Bo3s can bring. Another better idea is to create 4 groups of 8 teams each instead of 2 groups of 16 teams and keep the current system. At least in this, the best teams will be segregated into different groups beforehand and the upset potential will still remain.
2023-04-25 22:21
4 replies
I think having only bo3 would be for the best everyone agrees with this, but obviously it's not possible because in the swiss system tihs would take A LONG ASS TIME. + they play bo3 for progress and elimination, if they lose that, it's on them
2023-04-25 22:42
3 replies
It should still be possible IMO. Concurrently run three matches instead of 2 for the first 2 days. I get that there will be extra costs incurred but still, it will mean that we can have all Bo3s in RMRs.
2023-04-26 00:02
1 reply
I would 100% support this decision ^^ but we are living in almost shadowrun capitalism universe right now, and any € they can save, any company will take in an instant
2023-04-26 00:36
Well there is a difference in facing faze in elimination match rather than b8 for example, so no it's not good seeding. System is bad as well, having bo1 in a rmr for major is dumb af. Most of the upsets wouldn't even happen if it were not for bo1s.
2023-05-06 11:58
I think the current system has issues regardless of partnered teams. Clear example is FaZe vs NaVi and fnatic vs B8 being the 2-0 matches, especially considering fnatic didn’t play a single top20 team. If it was purely seeded based on results within the system, I guess its fine for a team to get lucky, but rn its just seeded poorly. If you want it to be fairer to small teams random seeding should be used thru the whole tournament or at least to start, because the whole point of seeding is to let the better teams go through easier and this obviously isn’t doing that.
2023-04-25 17:06
4 replies
Fnatic made top8 last major. Faze was out 0-3 in legends. Unless u want to completely randomise seeding, this is what you get. And so what? it's valve's major. They should prioritise their own rankings and seed however they want. Fnatic are still a good team and at least they didn't choke games like faze, g2 and choke9 do all the time. You wanna go to the major? Win. It's that simple. Big teams get enough as it is.
2023-04-25 19:17
3 replies
Fnatic don’t “choke games” because all their losses are expected tho
2023-04-26 05:51
If making play-offs is so important, why the last Major winners are not automatically qualified as Legends for the next one? I mean, winning a f***ing Major is a big thing, right? Let's reward it with something extraordinary and lower their 500k prize, so play-off teams get more. Or let the team choose: Guaranteed place as Legends at the next Major, or less prize money.
2023-04-26 11:28
1 reply
How bout no
2023-04-26 15:32
Competitiveness and Meritocracy ofc.
2023-04-25 15:26
2 replies
Make it bo3 all matches.
2023-04-25 15:27
1 reply
+1 It could be perfectly done with 3 or 4 simultaneous streams in 5 days.
2023-04-26 11:30
Current system is actually so shit. No one wants to acknowledge it because so many flukes happen here and there and people actually like them.
2023-04-25 15:28
12 replies
Upsets are like a dopamine hit for some people but then they dont like it when the playoffs are shit and the best matches were in the quarter or semi finals
2023-04-25 15:32
3 replies
+1 dumb people
2023-04-25 15:34
El Salvador Bredalow
+1 This, sad c9 cant be on last major but fnatic got free legends smh clown system
2023-04-25 19:45
I always like upsets. I don't know about the dopamine hit, but it's always enjoyable, especially when some youngsters are celebrating and apexes, cadians and s1mples are malding. I would like the scene to be fresh and teams like G2/FaZe/NaVi to disappear entirely or at least to become tier 1,5 like Astralis/fnatic/NiP, making the way for new teams and new talents to rise (and to be upset by someone else). Even when the teams I'm cheering for are losing to underdogs it's still better than no upsets and the only ones to blame for that is themselves. The only exception is when underdogs are cheaters, obviously. It's the same in every sport. Who needs La Liga when it's basically Real vs Barcelona competition? It's boring af. Sports have to be unpredictable to be interesting
2023-04-25 20:36
Yeah, they like to hate some teams. Faze is so bad, ahaha this team suck, but honestly, the seeding is just awful. You lose really bad against an average team. No problem, next time, you will get a worse one.
2023-04-25 15:35
7 replies
I think only 1 bo1 should be better
2023-04-25 15:35
6 replies
Definetely. I don't mind 1 bo1. It keeps the team alert, it is good for seeding and help a bit t2 teams. 2 bo1 is just random IMO. 1 or 2 upsets and all the brackets are fucked. For me, it shouldn't be that way.
2023-04-25 15:38
5 replies
France Evalion
Oh poor guy, FaZe won 2 bo1s and lost 3 bo3s in a row at the RMR I'll just remind you this.
2023-04-25 18:04
4 replies
HAHAHA. I didn't name any team, you go for the exception, what a loser. I don't even follow Faze. Did you watch the stats ? Nope, RMR and major are perfect.
2023-04-25 18:07
3 replies
France Evalion
"Yeah, they like to hate some teams. Faze is so bad, ahaha this team suck, but honestly, the seeding is just awful." And its not an exception?
2023-04-25 18:11
2 replies
Yo le noob, You got rekt loser, go back to the niche.
2023-04-25 19:08
1 reply
2023-04-26 13:54
Yes just get rid of qualis and give the major trophy to nr1 seed so its fair :()
2023-04-25 15:32
Switzerland nierg
Really great article!
2023-04-25 15:32
common ner0 W, buchholz sucks get rid of it I propose we use a version of HLTV ranking, but without the BLAST showmatch tournaments giving points.
2023-04-25 15:36
2 replies
Yeah, honestly, even now, those Blast showmatch matches should give half of the points. If the TO really cared about the scene, these kind of events should not be existed.
2023-04-25 15:42
What do you mean with showmatch tournaments. I'm genuinely interested.
2023-04-27 11:13
Ner0 once again showing why he is the best dude working for hltv. As in all things in life, I am an advovate for meritocracy.
2023-04-25 15:43
Undubitably, The Buchholz system have to go. It does not work...properly. for now.
2023-04-25 15:43
BO1 = shit Look at legend stage. No doubt about that!
2023-04-25 15:44
Interesting that you used correlation. We should warn that “correlation does not mean causality”. And tbh 60% correlation isn’t that significant. Now Overall I like the approach.
2023-04-25 15:45
2 replies
France Evalion
2023-04-25 18:06
Poland kussy29
Actually they don't research casuality, that higher seeds gives higher placement. They research if seeding corrlates with the results and for that correlation is a good measure
2023-04-25 18:20
Remove CIS. Russia and ukraine should partipicate EU minor.
2023-04-25 15:52
4 replies
cis is already removed bro
2023-04-25 17:29
Didn't this happen years ago lol
2023-04-26 03:18
Dude's stuck in 2019
2023-04-26 14:33
1 reply
United States AMERlCAN
cannon fodder how are you
2023-04-26 16:19
Russia Tarnish
The solution preferred by many would be to return to the more effective seeding systems of the past: Using any world ranking, whether HLTV’s, ESL’s, or Valve’s Lmfao. Who is the many? Please God don't use HLTVs world ranking because it's wack
2023-04-25 15:55
4 replies
HLTV ranking definitely not perfect but look at the way the RMRs played out, 2-0 matches were FaZe v Navi and Fnatic v B8 Seeding wise, that’s 1. fnatic 2. FaZe 3. NaVi 4. B8 or some variation, when FaZe and NaVi are by any world ranking clearly the top 2, so this matchup would never be allowed. Not saying it fixes everything, but it certainly improves some of the stupid shit we get out of Valve’s seeding
2023-04-25 17:09
2 replies
Canada p1peb0mb
World ranking don't mean shit in majors. If you want better seeds , play better in major circuit
2023-04-25 17:26
1 reply
This is just justifying the issues with the current system by restating them, already addressed by article
2023-04-25 17:57
Better than outdated major rankings placing vp 1st and g2 9th.
2023-04-25 17:20
United States Apocasy
Pretty good read
2023-04-25 16:06
Hard road for fnatic...
2023-04-25 16:07
The biggest issue is that bo1's are used for the Buchholz score and some teams only need to win one bo3 to advance. The Swiss system is otherwise good, but the match-ups on each round need to be fair across the board and the bar needs to be sufficiently high for the teams that ultimately qualify. It's okay if some high-end teams don't make it through if they just play badly in the qualifier, after all that's what they deserve. They will not be missed that much and it doesn't really matter if there are let's say 24 of the 30 best teams in the tournament instead of just the 24 best teams. What really undermines the competitiveness of the tournament is if much weaker teams get through in significant numbers, like for example you have only 16 of the 24 best teams and the rest are like 34th, 39th, 47th, 55th, 59th, 63rd, 70th and 94th best teams.
2023-04-25 16:28
1 reply
Poland kussy29
However if you look on the correlation between bo3 swiss systems and bo3 decider systems it doesn't have that much of the difference and its much quicker because most of the bo1 are played in one day and it doesn't take another day to play.
2023-04-25 18:49
Turkey sonbafrali
Nice article indeed
2023-04-25 16:29
Unforgivable low seeds for G2 and faze? Because they were bad at the last major. Unforgivable. Really? This reads a lot like "bigger teams should have an easier path to qualify" Shame
2023-04-25 16:29
5 replies
2023-04-25 17:22
Romania CoCo1006
So what? Shouldn't they? Would you rather give the easy path to a small team that proved nothing until that point and have no idea if they actually deserved to advance (given the easy path they had)? At least with the good teams, you already know what they're capable of. In RMR A, one team went 3-0 without facing any team that qualified. In the same group, another team went 2-3 and all 5 teams that they faced qualified. Even without the team names, how is this possible?
2023-04-25 17:40
1 reply
G2 couldn't qualify with a good seed last year. They deserved disciplinary action.
2023-04-25 18:11
+1 If big teams are so good, then they should prove it by winning, not with a system biased towards them. Reputation means nothing if you don't have the victories to back it up
2023-04-25 19:00
Clearly didn't read the article
2023-04-26 01:54
United Kingdom Leftie
Scrap RMR's and replace with the Minor's again pls ty Volvo
2023-04-25 16:31
It just seems mad, that there are BO1 instead of BO3 games, when some teams still had to play extra games at the end in the "last chance" group or to decide who goes to the Legend Stage. BO3 would provide a lot less chance to have teams on equal number of matches and maps won.
2023-04-25 16:37
Scotland Ludax
I dont understand any of these charts but BO3 > BO1
2023-04-25 16:38
1 reply
funny enough that's what one of them says
2023-04-25 17:15
just dont lose games
2023-04-25 16:39
Germany phillo283
Very good article, totaly agree.
2023-04-25 16:44
whoaaa didnt read , but seems like they did alot of explenation to hltv analysts
2023-04-25 16:47
BUCHHOLZ BIGGEST CHAD IN PRO CS cry all you want. Buchholz doesnt care.
2023-04-25 16:51
1 reply
Canada p1peb0mb
2023-04-25 17:24
Great article. I would prefer random, but I don't think it has to be completely random. Its could use buzholdz in a way that teams with same buzholdz are randomed between each other instead of every round being completely random. And with the caviat that one cannot face the same team twice in stage. I think it could work.
2023-04-25 16:51
Turkey fatihero
Good news finally
2023-04-25 16:54
Just get rid of Bucholz. Format is still not perfect with 2-3 Bo1s per team but would still be decent and way better without that abomination of a seeding system.
2023-04-25 16:55
Great article!
2023-04-25 17:07
Canada p1peb0mb
How about removing all invites and seeding. Everyine starts fro open qualifiers with swiss b01s. Best teams from multiple swiss qualifiers goes to rmrs. Seeding of rmrs is based on how each team performed in open Swiss qualifiers. In that way no bullshit invites based on previous major results and bullshit seeding based bullshit rankings won't be there.From rmr onwards use bo3s with swiss stage Only thing that matters will be the performance in tbe current major circuit . Nothing from the past
2023-04-25 17:11
3 replies
What about killing the scene and making it not profitable ? Do you know how much cost an open qualifier ?
2023-04-25 18:10
2 replies
Canada p1peb0mb
dude we are already doing 1024 team open qualifier for majors. right now its bo1 single elimination bracket. just change it to bo1 swiss. hltv themselves posted an article about swiss open qualifiers. also whatever happens on the major only boosts the scene. just look at BNE. they are still a team only because of major money. if there was no such open circuit, teams like them disbanded an year ago
2023-04-25 21:33
1 reply
I'm not saying remove the major bit you have to fill the rest of the schedule and organize match up. Ah I realize you talk about the major and not all the events. Bah online Qualifiers are a mess. Without auto invite, some teams could skip some brackets. I agree Swiss would be 400 % better imo
2023-04-25 23:12
I have always said that IEM Katowice 2019 had the best system. But Valve are donkeys.
2023-04-25 17:15
Brazil Heineck
It's a good format if there are 8 teams qualified from the 16 starting the tournament, but in this recent Americas RMR, there were only 5 major slots available, and the swiss system sucked, if you lost the 1st bo1 you're already a bo3 loss away from being out of the major.
2023-04-25 17:18
3 replies
you lose to any na team even in a bo1 means you dont deserve major anyways xD
2023-04-25 22:16
2 replies
You lost to 3 EU teams, you don't deserve to play at the major.
2023-04-26 03:36
1 reply
i agree
2023-04-26 12:56
bring back 4 way groups for first cs2 major. after one event if it really is better to play or make viewing numbers in Swiss you can switch it back
2023-04-25 17:19
Scotland TWGKofi
Bo1s need to go ASAP. Doesn't matter what ranking/seeding you use.
2023-04-25 17:23
Kazakhstan Nyaaamm
random system with bo1 rounds
2023-04-25 17:29
2023-04-25 17:29
2 replies
Scotland TWGKofi
The Bucholz System, RMR system and Bo1s are overrated and punish top seeded teams too often. The previous system before COVID of letting teams pick seeding or using something like HLTV ranking seems to be the way to go.
2023-04-25 17:53
1 reply
ty sir
2023-04-28 15:38
United States urm@m
Current system sucks. A team like C9 not making the major but a filler team like BNE did (and will probably just end up losing 1st round without a fight) is boring. Change it to all BO3's and just take out the BO1s. Too much luck involved in a BO1.
2023-04-25 17:40
I mean, if 9ine faces off vs G2 first thing in the RMR and it's a bad thing, then the reason why the first games are BO1 is right here- to give the underdogs a chance this system is amazing honestly but fans can't see their team lose to the better team that day and start whining about the system
2023-04-25 17:45
ropz | 
Ukraine Raze49
If you make HLTV ranking relevant, seed according to it, and make 1-1 matchups bo3s, i'm fine with that
2023-04-25 17:47
Seeding based on ranks and results achieved from a closed circuit of partner events is inherently NOT meritocracy. The major is fine as it is. If you can’t win bo1s then you don’t deserve the major, if you can’t beat teams ranked 30 ranks below you then you don’t deserve the major. Stop crying and win.
2023-04-25 17:49
1 reply
2023-04-26 03:34
In RMR Americas, Furia is seed 1 and Liquid seed 2. Both win the first two games. On the next round they face each other. Why? The system punish the best teams because they do their job and win their matches. Thats ilogical. Its like federer #1 and nadal #2 have to play against on the semifinal, not on the final match. Bucholz have a lot of problems.
2023-04-25 17:50
4 replies
+1 finally someone who understand. The fact you get punished for playing good cs is totally absurd.
2023-04-26 03:33
3 replies
You don't get punished, you get to prove that you are rightfully the best in this very moment, not some time in the past. It would be absurd to stack 1-0 and 0-1 teams against each other for example, it's unfair and it's silly to assume that the teams doing what they're supposed to must be treated with better draws and other goodies. Only the best teams top their groups, not the fan favourite ones. To think it's a punish is to have one dimensional thinking. They have to prove themselves every single time and not once a few tournaments. Your points have no traces of logic
2023-04-26 04:55
2 replies
Aha wtf no trace of logic. To prove you're the best. It is a mathematical formula, not a feeling test. The fact that you have the best seeding and you're fighting the best of our division doesnt make sense in term of competition. It is a not charity. I'm talking about changing the formula, not my feeling about the current best team. You have the best seeding, but you don't face the weakest opponent, wtf. The seeding should not change dramatically after one victory on a bo1. Again, I'm talking about seeding and ranking. Your point have no trace of logic. Also, your argument about the current best doesn't make any sense since the seeding is based on the last major. So, you're talking like in theory a good team should beat any teams, but you hide the fact the current good team is determined by a bad formula at the first place.
2023-04-26 05:50
1 reply
If you see no logic in what I say, I see no point talking to you. Seeding, ranking, it doesn't matter. Whether an actually good team starting from the top of the list or somewhere in the middle, it should have no issues making it further. Seeding is irrelevant. Their future or current opponent is irrelevant. What is though, is the result they achieve. An actually good team is a team with the best form within it's tier, no rankings ever can accurately determine that. Should be either other players based or the last three months results based. Matters not anyway since it wasn't your point and mine was that the draw and seeding should never be in favour of anyone, bad or good teams. Maybe the bad ones, it makes the most sense
2023-04-27 02:48
Valve System is garbage No need for an article
2023-04-25 17:54
Berlin dynamic ELO all BO3 swiss. Just make it happen
2023-04-25 18:02
"If the best teams are good enough, they should not need a leg up to qualify." : well the same could be said about the opposite as well couldn't it ? If the best teams aren't good enough or the underdogs are as good, then the seeding is just cosmetic isn't it ? Why care that you're facing "the best teams" if they actually aren't the best teams ?
2023-04-25 18:02
Why don't you use groups like in football where everyone plays everyone in the group. Teams seeded in to groups to prevent top teams to face each other too soon. Could do 3 points per win. Or do one point per map win in a bo3
2023-04-25 18:59
faze did not deserve to go to major and every team that went 2 - 3 it was a dumb decison to add th LCQ
2023-04-25 19:02
2023-04-25 19:16
El Salvador Bredalow
I really liked that 1 major's seeding where all the teams ranked all other teams. Seemed most fair seeding to me.
2023-04-25 19:48
make all matches bo3 and let players/hltv ranking seed the teams ez fix
2023-04-25 19:56
tldr swiss is great, but seeding is bad
2023-04-25 20:13
very nice article. now go back to minor and major pls
2023-04-25 20:21
You can't use HLTV's ranking when it's sponsored by the same company sponsoring teams in the said ranking. Hopefully Striker understands this simple concept by now.
2023-04-25 20:41
if u want to talk on that theme just remember aurora team which played on rmr with all top3 teams on that moment (g2, heroic, faze) :)
2023-04-25 20:48
The system is good (I would have forced everyone except for champions or finalists to grind through open quals though). The seeding is great, especially the part when they don't take into account ratings based on pay to play tournaments, what this article implies they should do instead. If FaZe and G2 were shit at the real tournament, it makes sense for them to have lower seed at the next one, despite of their previous pay to play results, to prove themselves again (what they did)
2023-04-25 20:54
Idk why they can't use like the average of multiple different rankings. Like have the current one, then the players one, and lastly HLTV/Valves own team ranking from a longer time period, and each of them is 1/3. Yes, it would be complicated but it's not like any of these other systems are without flaws.
2023-04-25 21:01
No they clearly aren’t doing their job. The LCQ system is a joke. Go 2-3 in any other major and you’re eliminated. The fact in the Americas and Asia/AU if you lose two games you’re eliminated you’re out is a joke as well. That makes your Bo1 very important. If you’re gonna do that just make every match a bo3.
2023-04-25 21:29
actually a very good article, well done nerocs
2023-04-25 21:39
North America iviike
Please say Tournament Organizers instead of TOs. Some people know, some don't. Hell I might even be wrong what TOs mean
2023-04-25 21:55
Interesting article
2023-04-25 22:41
Great article. I think a big problem is that the majors are half a year apart. We all know how much changes during 1 season.
2023-04-25 23:08
+1 awesome deep analysis, use seeding from Kato19/Berlin19 or remove seeding completely. Lmao when I posted something similar with same idea (but ofc in really short form) after Faze going down 0-2 in Rio after losing to Cloud9 and Vitality and if Faze won against BNE they would meet Navi, everyone laughed at me and called me idiot and defended current system.
2023-04-25 23:32
Buchholz system sucks. First of all nobody really understands it without a spreadsheet. Secondly it relies on previous major results instead of current.
2023-04-26 00:21
Imagine being from the UK and calling football "soccer" smh my head, Harry jk, this is a pretty good piece of analysis, and I finally have someone who agrees with me on Swiss vs GSL, being that GSL is a terrible system where, in a group of 4, a pair of teams can face each other twice, while another pair won't see each other even once.
2023-04-26 00:41
Why not average Major circuit ranking with some Global ranking (Valve, Hltv etc)? All Games must be Bo3, one extra day is nothing when EPL goes on for 5 weeks. And before flair comments - C9 lost 4 matches including 3 Bo3s. That's just too many chances to complain about seeding or schedule.
2023-04-26 01:17
Stupidest question as always, and of course it's an easy one to answer in fact. But HLTV herded by some whiny manchild gotta address for it too although it's such an idiotic idea
2023-04-26 02:20
2 replies
What are you talking about
2023-04-26 03:21
1 reply
"It is a question of meritocracy against equality: Should the best teams be rewarded for their recent form with a generous seed (meritocracy) or should they have to prove themselves again and again in a random draw (equality)? It is not an easy question to answer" This, and it's so funny and yet hard to read do much catshit. The way they wrote about proving themselves and other things later
2023-04-26 04:47
The old major system was superior
2023-04-26 03:19
Actually great article. Longer than most I read but well put together
2023-04-26 03:33
NIce content. Swiss System is perfect.
2023-04-26 04:17
Just change to all matches to be BO3 and it's solved.
2023-04-26 04:57
Yeah let’s give the bigger orgs automatic berths and expand the field if they get eliminated. One thing about pro CS is that there are so many teams and everyone gets a chance to play for big money. Stop coddling the big orgs.
2023-04-26 05:17
CS2 definitely needs a better format. PGL & Valve have 1 year to arrange this and hopefully will focus more on this .
2023-04-26 06:17
BO1s are random and most teams prepare for BO3s anyway, so no point in having them. Tournaments are stretched over weeks, I'm sure they could squeeze them in. I don't know how they did seedings for Europe RMR, but it didn't turn out well. B group was A LOT harder, which should never happen. Also if you're having Katowice or some big event right before the major, you could give the winner a qualifying spot.
2023-04-26 07:52
> fnatic run to Legends: None Top30 - Viperio - 1WIN - B8 > 9INE run to Legends: all Top15 and not dropping a single map btw - G2 - BIG - Vitality > Monte run to Challengers: all Top15 - ENCE - Cloud9 - Heroic - Forze NO COMMENTS.
2023-04-26 11:31
4 replies
Ever heard the phrase "exception to confirm the rule"? NO COMMENTS.
2023-04-26 13:34
3 replies
Ever heard of the MB index? NO COMMENTS
2023-04-26 22:26
2 replies
No I haven't, and it apparently is not a common thing as google doesn't know either. Stay relevant, if not, it's pointless to discuss with you, as you just waste peoples time.
2023-04-27 12:55
1 reply
It's not pointless. It's the MAH BALLS index. You should check it out.
2023-05-04 20:15
finally a good post about the seeding issues.
2023-04-26 12:02
Great for entertaining upsets, bad for competitive integrity. I'm general, almost all tourney structures suck. Give us a fucking league, which is without a shred of a doubt, the best way to find the overall best team. All other formats has a lot more luck involved.
2023-04-26 13:36
Just win your games, ez
2023-04-26 23:15
Canada firtlast
the point is for the results to be entertaining, really. whatever will drum up the most talk
2023-04-27 02:16
United States ezpop
Pretty good article, hopefully valve will change it
2023-04-27 03:40
Buzz | 
Denmark 2ism
If you are truly the best team, you have to be able to beat every other team. So it doesn’t matter who you will face. Therefore we can conclude that seeding is an idiotic thing. Stop being pussies and have a good day.
2023-04-28 07:48
meritocracy vs equality LOL
2023-05-02 09:32
Italy Karimk03
"best of three favorite higher ranked teams" Imagine playing the most important tournament of the year with a shit format lmao, how can people even defend this?
2023-05-04 20:25
Fnatic fluke
2023-05-06 12:03
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.
Now playing
Thumbnail for stream
24777 viewers
Top streams
United States
United States
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
ESL TV B (YouTube)
United States
North Macedonia
United States
North Macedonia