The Bucharest Major: Swiss format group stage ends with unexpected results
Swiss format group stage is probably fun by itself, but making the matches best-of-one probably makes the humor too dark.
Swiss format, previously used in The Kiev Major 2017, makes teams face opponents that have similar scores. Teams with one win and two losses play against each other, and so do teams with other scores. This format is supposed to be a fairer format because it prevents teams to get good scores due to getting weak opponents all the time.
However, The Bucharest Major uses best-of-ones in the whole group stage, which gives significantly higher chance for teams to win against supposedly better teams due to luck. Teams that win three times get to the play-off immediately, teams that lose three times get to go home early.
This gives us a big question: Did all the statistically better teams, or teams with higher rank in the Dota Pro Circuit, get better scores? The answer is no.
The results are surprising. Evil Geniuses and VGJ.Thunder are the two teams that get three wins in three matches. Newbee, Virtus.pro and Team Secret were 3:1. Team Liquid, TNC Pro Team and OpTic Gaming were 3:2.
The change that the group stage brought is good for viewers. Only five of the top eight in ESL One Katowice is in The Bucharest Major play-off, which comprise eight teams. If the group stage was fairer, The Bucharest Major would be even more similar to previous majors, and it can be boring.
Unfortunately, some teams are definitely not happy with the results. Out of all the disappointed teams, Vici Gaming must have felt the worst. The runner-up of the major two weeks ago didn’t even make it to the play-off after losing against VGJ.Thunder, paiN Gaming and Team Liquid, winning only once against LGD.Forever Young.
Other big names that lost three times are Natus Vincere, Mineski and OG.
The play-off format
Play-offs are best-of-three with a best-of-five grand finals. Losers are immediately eliminated, and third place is not determined.
As the big winners of the group stage, Evil Geniuses and VGJ.Thunder need not face each other until the grand finals, but getting to the grand finals can be a bigger challenge for them than beating each other. Ranked number eight and 17 in the Dota Pro Circuit, respectively, they definitely are not the favorites.
They may surprise us though. Regardless of the condition, they beat top teams in the group stage. Evil Geniuses won against paiN Gaming, Team Liquid and Newbee while VGJ.Thunder won against Vici Gaming, Team Secret and TNC Pro Team.
Are you happy with the group stage? Which team are you rooting for? Let us know in the comments below!