Bucharest major – Is the format really optimal?

Since this blogpost might be interesting for more people then the Swedish scene, i decided to write it in English. Again PGL solves a good tornament. I have not heard anything else (except for some minor issues with soundproofing) but they took care of that. I believe PGL is one of the best organisations in the world for these things, ive worked alongside with them in Manila, and as a caster from Sweden, the timeschedule is always respected and they seem to go earlier rather then later, from my experience.

Anyhow, the format of the tournament. I’m not sure if im a big enough fan of that, and i would like to discuss it. I felt when the tornament was done that the number of ”even” games where quite few, and alot of the games had a leader, a bigger leader and then finally a winner. Where the leader from the first part of the game is winning the game. Not much back and forth. And this might just be me tired after an event, but i believe the format of the tornament made it harder for the teams to dare to walk outside the meta.

First off the swissformat, bo1 with random enemies. The randomfactor could be countered with ”well there is random groups in other tornaments so” and thoughts like that, and i agree. But here you never really knew what to expect until it was almost already gametime, and i believe that the teams got scared from that. Atleast alot of the teams ran meta-stable picks and didnt do too much crazy things. You could argue that this is how to ensure the best teams win, and i agree. But you could also argue that this format made the teams scared, and their strategies kind of standard because of it. If you look at LGD.FY and the fact that they finished last in this tornament after losses versus VP, Liquid and VG, its easy to understand the potential frustration that might come up from a tornament like this.

When you finally come to the finals, there is no lowerbracket. And i have thought about this back and forth since i even played and its not an easy decision. I give you that, but with the experience from tornament as a caster, i believe that lowerbracket is needed, not to ensure the best teams to win, but to ensure the other spots in the tornament. Liquid performed far better then VG.J versus VP, and if you look only at those games, you would say Liquid might have been deserving a higher rank from this tornament. When you think about the winner tho, there is no doubt in my mind that the right team won. And to be honest, if it wasnt for the TI points i believe you have to accept some luck / unluck in the drafting of the majors. But the TI points are too damn important, thats why i believe the format of the tornament should be extremely careful to ensure that not only a rightfully winner is decided, but runner ups aswell.

I did love the format for some reasons too, for example we got to follow all the teams because of it, and that was very enjoyable, and the later playdays didnt become so extremely long (as a caster) since there was a normal amount of games every day.

In the end what i want is to follow all the teams, and not having matches played at the same time. I do love that. But i believe the format should be more adapted then this to make sure that 2nd 3rd 4th spots are fairly given to the rightful teams. I dont think it was that this time.

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About the author: Kim Larsson