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This is part of a series of articles about the 2019 College LoL Season. See the links below for more info:
- Gearing Up for the 2019 College LoL Season
- 2019 College LoL Season – Format & Calendar
- Registration for the 2019 College LoL Season is open!
If you missed our last article, we confirmed many of the major details about the 2019 College LoL Season. Today, we’re going to share some of the quality-of-life rule and format changes that we’re making for 2019. Our full set of rules will be released when we open up registration on November 1st.
Swiss Byes & Cross-Group Play
tl;dr: If you’re in the playoff hunt, you’ll get a bye instead of having to play a team with a better record than you.
One of the most common bits of feedback we’ve gotten in every season is that a lot of teams wish they could play more. In 2018, one of the things we did to ensure that was to avoid byes altogether. If there wasn’t an opponent with the same number of wins for a team to play, they’d get matched up with a team from the next group over. This occasionally resulted in teams on the brink of qualifying for playoffs (and earning scholarships) getting matched against a stronger team than they otherwise would have to avoid one of them getting a bye. We knew this was a possibility, but valued getting teams real games—and avoiding situations where byes decide playoff spots—over how easy the individual matchups were.
In the 2019 season, we’re amending this rule. For any playoff eligible teams —any team with zero or one loss in the regular season—they’ll no longer be matched with a team with a different record. Instead, the team with the highest preseason seed will receive a bye worth a free win. Any teams that are no longer eligible for playoffs—or any team with two or more losses—will still get matched against a team with a different record to get them as many games as possible.
Swiss Match Seeding
tl;dr: Regular Season matchups will match the highest seeds in each win group against the lowest seeds.
Last season, Regular Season Swiss matchups were decided with even seeding. This meant that each match would be played between teams with approximately even skill difference, instead of the high-versus-low matchups that are commonly used in elimination brackets. We wanted to do our best to give teams even matches throughout. We also weren’t the biggest fans of giving teams advantages based on their players’ solo queue ratings, so we decided to give this method a shot.
After its trial run in 2018, we aren’t convinced that it gave us the results we were hoping for. For 2019, we’ll be going back to good-old top vs. bottom seeding. For example, if 10 teams have the same number of wins, the #1 seed will face the #10 seed, the #2 seed will face the #9 seed, and so on.
College Championship Play-In Format
tl;dr: The 2nd and 3rd place teams in each group will play a playoff match to decide who goes to the Championship.
As we continue to add more partner conferences, we’ll continue to adapt the Play-In format. As more conferences join, it’s extremely difficult to gauge how even the two round robin groups will be. To accommodate for this, we’re adding a second phase to the format, where the 2nd place teams will play a Best of 5 match against the 3rd place team from the other group, with the winner of each match advancing to the College Championship. The 1st place team from each group will continue to qualify automatically.
College Championship Seeding
tl;dr: Teams from the same conference can’t be on the same side of the College Championship bracket.
Last year, we incorporated whether a team took 1st or 2nd in their Play-In Pool when determining the final Championship bracket seeding. This year, we’re adding a condition where two teams from the same conference can’t be on the same side of the Championship bracket in order to bring the College LoL Championship in line with our other events. If it were to happen, the teams in question would trade sides with another Play-In team with the same finishing position. For example, a pool winner would swap with a pool winner from a different pool.
Registration will open up on November 1st! We’ll post another article with more information about how to register then. In the meantime, make sure your club is registered on the College LoL website, and you’ll receive an email when registration opens up.