Seeding, systems, and the Elo rating are all forms of an attempt to understand the format of the major, which is a task in itself. Especially in light of the fact that the major in Katowice changed in terms of the format of the meeting. The new features are: seeding after each round and division of teams by voting participants, and not by random draw. Such a system has its pros and cons.
One of the main changes at the major in Katowice is the use of the first-to-two format to enter the next stage and or get kicked from the tournament. This significantly reduced the impact of random luck on the result. For example, in the New Legends stage, teams with higher seeding won in 55% of meets on one map and in 92% of first-to-two matches.
Of course, it’s a far cry from the level of SL i-League with all first-to-two matches. But against the background of races with one map in each match in the first major with the Swiss system, the tournament in Katowice looks great.
An important addition was the rating compiled based on the voting results of the participants themselves. In this way, the “most objective” list of teams is formed in terms of strength. This is probably the best option for the distribution of participants. All teams are well acquainted with each other, and therefore their assessment will be the most objective.
Another plus is the use of the Elo rating system and seeding after each lap based on it. After the participants started voting, the teams received an Elo rating score. It varied depending on victories and defeats. Due to this, starting from the second and third round of the game, the teams began to meet rivals of equal strength.
However, there are downsides. The main one is the advantage of strong teams. First seeding divides participants into pairs: 1st place and 16th place, 2nd place, and 15th place, and so on. As a result, strong teams get an easy way into the next stage, while weak teams in the first two rounds of games have a nightmare.
Another disadvantage is the distribution of the Elo rating coefficient. To maximize the effect of using the Elo rating, you need to issue it on the basis of several matches, rather than a vote. In addition, at IEM Katowice, all teams had a starting rating that was different because of repeated seeds that did not change the overall picture much.
IEM Katowice 2019 successfully developed the ideas and concepts of the major in London and improved the system. We hope that the next major in Berlin will make this system even more perfect.