European closed qualifiers for the last Major of the Dota Pro Circuit season reached the playoffs stage, but not without drama.
Three teams finished the group stage tied for the 4th-5th place and had to play another round of best-one of matches to determine which one is eliminated from the competition and which two would advance to the playoffs. Team Liquid, Alliance and Aachen City Esports (ACE) went head to head and ACE lost to both Alliance and Team Liquid.
Heading into the playoffs, EPICENTER had actually posted their tiebreaker rules and the playoffs seeding rules. The tournament organizers have also sent the rule book to all the teams participating in the qualifiers, but by the looks of it, it seems it was just the teams that took the time to read the rules.
European playoffs seeding got the admin extremely confused about how he should make the pairings and resulted in inappropriate playoffs matchups. When poked by a Ninjas in Pyjamas representative and asked to re-evaluate the pairings, respecting the tournament rules, the admin’s solution was to add in a new rule to justify the decision.
Ninjas in Pyjamas’ captain, Peter “ppd” Dager shared a screenshot of the discussion that took place on Discord with the EU qualifiers admin.
ppd also made a TweetLonger post to explain the entire problem:
“Hi I’m Peter from team NiP. We competed in the Epicenter Major Qualifiers group stage.
They gave us a rule-book and we read it to better understand the format of the tournament and how it would play out. These 2 rules were removed from the rule-book AFTER we had finished the group-stage during the tiebreakers resulting in a change of the playoff bracket.
I am posting this because it has resulted in us playing Liquid in round 1 instead of Alliance which I believe is a harder match-up. As the top seed going into playoffs I feel entitled to speak up.
18.104.22.168 If teams have an equal amount of points and compete for advance to the Second phase they should play tie-breaker best-of-one matches
22.214.171.124 If the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th and the 5th place teams have an equal amount of points, a team that won highest placed team will placed higher.
So we had Liquid, Alliance, and Aachen tied for 4/5/6th place. They played 2 games and these were the results.
Liquid > Aachen
Alliance > Aachen
This means: Aachen finishes in 6th place and Liquid/Alliance are now tied for 4th/5th both advancing to the playoff stage.
In order to determine their seeding we we use rule 126.96.36.199.
Highest place opponent defeated by Liquid: Secret (1st place)
Highest place opponent defeated by Alliance: Liquid (4th/5th place)
The same rule is used to determine the tiebreaker between NiP and OG who both finished 5-2.
Highest place opponent defeated by NiP: OG (2nd/3rd place)
Highest place opponent defeated by OG: Liquid/Alliance (4th/5th place)
Round 1 matchups should be NiP (1) versus Alliance(4) and OG(2) versus Liquid(3).
Changing the rules in the middle of the 4/5/6 tiebreaker for no good reason that I can see is unacceptable and unfair.”
This is not the first time when EPICENTER chose to overrule something. When they announced the Major, the organizers ignored Valve’s Dota Pro Circuit few written rules and were proudly presenting three qualifiers slots for CIS region. They were forced to retract the announcement as only Valve has the authority to decide which regions receive an extra qualifier slot. European playoffs qualifiers are scheduled to commence today, Friday, May 17 and it remains to be seen if Valve will intervene in this particular case as well.