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New Global Starcraft 2 League format

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Posted by: Dustin Steiner

GOMTV, the folks who run the Global Starcraft 2 League (GSL), have once again changed the format for this presitigious tournament. They sure do love their confusing tournament systems over in Korea. Let's have a look at this chart from GOM's website.

So, you're probably wondering what all of this means? Going through tier by tier:

  • Code S matches are now always played before Code A. The first part of the Code S tournament is the group stage (unchanged). What has changed is that the 4th place player in each group is sent down to the Code A tournament to join the 40 other qualifiers. The 24 losers of this Round of 48 are then out of the GSL and have to requalify next season or go through the Code B tournament.
  • The 24 winners of the Round of 48 Code A are then combined with the 3rd place players in each group from Code S to form a Round of 32 in Code A. 16 losers from this round head to the Up&Down matches (more on this in a second), 16 proceed to the Round of 24 in Code A.
  • The Code S Round of 16 will now use a group format. The 8 losers from this stage move on to the Code A round of 24, while the top 8 proceed to the final tournament which is played as normal.
  • The Round of 24 in Code A is treated as qualification for next season's Code S tournament, as are the up and down matches - 12 Winners from this round proceed directly to next season's Code S tournament, while the 12 losers head to Up and Down.
  • Up and Down matches consists of the 12 losers from Round of 24 in Code A, 16 losers from Round of 32 in Code A and 2 international seeds (from MLG events, most likely). The top 10 advance to next season's code S tournament, while the bottom 20 are seeded back into Code A for next season.

So what are the concequences of these changes? Firstly, players can now be eliminated from Code S and the entire tournament altogether if they perform very poorly (Place 4th in Round of 32 Group Stage and Lose the Round of 64 Code A). Second, there is a much larger turnover in Code S, with only the top 8 players staying. Previously, the tournament had begun to feel stale as a result of players being seeded highly. Third, Code A is no longer its own tournament and is treated almost as a loser's bracket for Code S, as there are no finals and the top 12 advance directly into next season's code S. Finally, there are more group stages in Code S than previously, as the round of 16 also uses this format.

Does your head hurt yet? Good. Now tune into the GSL and watch some epic Starcraft 2 matches on GOMtv.net for a monthly fee of only 10 dollars. For this much Starcraft action, its a steal!

Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent!

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