Team Liquid’s Epitácio ‘TACO’ de Melo believes that Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Majors are losing some of their prestige.
The two-time Major Champion has been critical of recent Majors in a Twitter post, arguing against the switch to the Swiss system format that has replaced the old GSL-style groups. He also complained about the roster lock rules and the decision to include stickers for teams competing in what used to be the “Major Qualifier” stage.
CS:GO majors lost its prestige
The first step back was changing the format to Swiss format
Second, creating non-sense roster locks rules
Third, making stickers to teams that are playing the qualifier (my team is also challenger so i’m not being jealous)
and few more things
— Epitácio (@TACOCS) July 11, 2018
The GSL-style groups that were used in previous Majors would feature a double elimination pools of four teams, with best-of-three elimination and decider matches.
The Swiss system, which has been favored more recently, sees teams always playing against other teams with the same record (1-1 teams play each other, 0-2 teams play each other etc.) until they have three wins or three losses.
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The major complaint with this system is that it doesn’t use seeded draws for each round and can often result in runs for some teams that appear to be significantly more difficult or easy depending on the randomness of the draw.
I see people misunderstanding Swiss format again.
Swiss is basically a triple elim bracket. That's better than all group formats, but the current fully random draw makes the "bracket" have terrible seeding.
We wrote about how it could be improved:https://t.co/ei74AHgEhJ
— Petar Milovanovic (@Tgwri1s) July 11, 2018
There has also been criticism about the lack of best-of-three matches in the Swiss System due to time constraints. Some members of the community, like MLG’s Adam Apicella, stating that using side stations and streams with best-of-three games are preferable to best-of-ones all on a single main stream.
I do not like Swiss at all. More "fair", possibly. Hard to understand and lack of narrative? IMO yes. The old format was great and exciting it just needed to be best of 3s not best of 1s, and if that meant a second station/stream to make it happen then it should happen.
— Adam Apicella (@MrAdamAp) July 11, 2018
As for decision to extend Majors by ditching the old Major Qualifier in favour of the New Challengers Stage means that eight more teams earn stickers than they did previously.
Teams that qualify for a Valve sponsored Major get to have stickers with their logo added to the game along with a share of the proceeds from their sale; the same applies to individual player signature stickers.
A number of professional players, including MiBR’s Jake ‘Stewie2K’ Yip, have pointed out that giving more teams stickers takes away some of the prestige away from having them in-game, because teams used to have to play their way into the Major and couldn’t qualify directly from the regional minors.
Qualifying for the major was always an accomplishment, regardless how we finished. Earning your own sticker and having it be a symbol of yourself in the game is when I knew I put my foot through the door. 24 teams at a major devalues the importance and competition
— Jake (@Stewie) December 13, 2017
As for the roster locks, there have been numerous examples of top teams having to use stand-ins for Major tournaments due to these occurring so early in the qualification stages.
Team Liquid, for instance, were forced to play with their coach Wilton ‘Zews’ Prado at the ELEAGUE Boston Major in January. SK Gaming, on the other hand, had to resort to bringing back the benched João ‘felps’ Vasconcellos for the same event.
The Majors are still the biggest events in all of Counter-Strike, but TACO is clearly concerned that they are falling behind other premier events and could continue to do so if things don’t change soon.