ETF2L is going Swiss, and we don’t mean we are moving into making time pieces or holey cheese! This January is going to mark the beginning of the biggest experiment the modern ETF2L has seen. We are excited to announce that we will be experimenting with the Swiss-Style tournament system. The aim of this news post is to guide you through the big changes in brief. Additionally ETF2L’s very own Permzilla will be featuring on a dedicated Fully Charged EU airing Monday the 22nd of December, where you will be able to ask any questions on the change.
What does this mean exactly? What is a Swiss System?
All teams will now be seeded into one of four different tiers. Roughly speaking, Premiership will have its very own tier; division 1&2 will combine to have its own tier as will 3&4 and 5&6. Based on 6v6 season 19 signups we have produced this example division of tiers:
- Tier 1 (Premiership) – 8 teams
- Tier 2 (1&2) – 32 teams
- Tier 3 (3&4) – 72 teams
- Tier 4 (5&6) – 184 teams
Premiership will remain relatively untouched by this change; it will still be run in a round robin style where every team will play every other team once. However the other 3 tiers will witness the bulk of the changes because not every team will face off against one another, instead your team will play a set number of games against teams with the same points or similar match records; it’s important to bear in mind you can’t play the same team twice .
The names of the tiers have not yet been decided, we are open to suggestions but were thinking of following the ESEA/CEVO trend with Premiership/Main/Intermediate/Open.
One of the main features of the Swiss system is a stricter schedule. Therefore the week will now be divided into different segments:
- Sunday – Thursday: All available playing days for the week.
- Thursday 23:59: Result submission deadline.
- Friday & Saturday: Days reserved for potential replays and/or matches where Match Complaints are involved.
- Saturday 23:59: Fixtures created and default dates set.
The Thursday deadline is absolutely strict unless permission is granted for a replay/ match complaint by the admins. Matches without submitted results will be nullified.
The Premiership tier will also run alongside this schedule, however there will be slight differences since it continue to be run in a Round Robin format. Obviously the fixtures for all 7 weeks will be available in advance, the same as it is currently. Scheduling will run the same method for Premiership as any other tier.
How are the fixtures decided?
Fixtures will now be created by matching teams with a similar points total where possible, ignoring teams that have played each other already. This is intended to create closer matches throughout the season. Another benefit of the division tier system is that there is much less seeding to do for admins which reduced admin workload and also reduces the chance of poor seedings (which do happen).
Before the season the admins will seed the top 50% of each tier who will receive imaginary points. These imaginary points will be used in addition to any earned points in the first two weeks to create fixtures. In other words it will ensure that the matches in the first two weeks are closer while not compromising the fairness of the standings. More detail can be found here. Once imaginary points have been discarded in Week 2, fixtures will be continue to be created by matching teams with similar point totals.
In addition to this any new teams will now be added into the next available week of fixtures as soon as they sign up for the season. Instead of being added to the bottom of the pile, the new team will be given real match points from imaginary games based on a team rating given by the ETF2L team, however this will never place them in the top half of their tier and will usually be set to a low bound. It will still have a deadline of adding new teams into the season, but that is yet to be decided when.
Every Saturday default dates will be automatically created at the same time as fixtures. In order to accommodate this, each week a team will pick 3 days out of the possible 5 playing days (Sunday-Thursday) which they would prefer to play on. An overlapping day will then be chosen by the automatic scheduler.
Teams will also select a preferred time AND a time window in which they can start the fixture. If the preferred times match, that time will be chosen. If they do not, the time window will be looked at. If the time windows do not overlap, then a compromise will be set between the time windows. The deadline for selecting your playable days is Friday at 23:59. Thursday has been chosen as the new default date for matches with no days submitted, it was chosen as it had the highest number of ETF2L games, when ignoring Sunday.
An unfortunate necessity of this system is the elimination of wildcards. There are no Wildcards allowed in the Swiss-System, because in order to function it must adhere to strict deadlines. However in our opinion this minor drawback is vastly outweighed by the benefits of this new system.
Another by-product of the new system will be an increase in ties, particularly in the bigger tiers. To solve this issue ties will automatically be sorted within the table by round difference (rounds scored subtract rounds conceded). This applies to all ties, including ones that affect any playoff positions. Tiebreakers will therefore no longer be used.
Playoffs would now take place in all tiers . This system makes it much easier to run playoffs in all tiers, just one look at some of the playoff trees from Season 19 should make it clear.
ETF2L is excited to be able to implement this system and experiment with it. There may be some hiccups but this system offers great benefits and we believe it will create a more enjoyable league for the community. Once the system is complete we will test it internally and make sure it’s in working order, if everything goes smoothly it will be available for implementation for 6v6 Season 20.
We hope we have covered most questions regarding the details, but no doubt we will have missed something out. There will be a Fully Charged EU featuring Permzilla to answer any questions or issues regarding the planned changes on Monday 22nd December. We have created a thread here for you to ask your questions about the Swiss System. Make sure you tune in on the 22nd!