NIP Captain, Peter Dager talks about Tournament formats in Dota 2

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The Kuala Lumpur Dota 2 Major is currently underway with the top 16 teams competing in the tournament. The event will see a total of 15,000 Dota Pro Circuit Points up for grabs and is one of the only 5 majors for this season. The reduced number of Majors means that there is a growing importance for each Major / Minor. However, tournaments using the GSL format does not seem to be the ideal format to PPD, Captain of Team NIP. 

The Tournament Format

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The Kuala Lumpur Major sees the sixteen teams divided into four groups of four teams each. They will play in a GSL Double elimination format. The teams play against each other with the top two teams from a group advancing to the Upper Bracket of the main event. The lower two teams in a Group will have just one more chance to proceed further in the tournament in the Lower Bracket.

On paper, this format seems to be a very sound format which will ensure the best teams move forth in the tournament. However, as we saw on the opening day of the Major, it is not always so.

Group A – Pain Gaming go to lower bracket after just losing to one team

Group A had Team Secret, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Pain Gaming and J.Storm. The Ninjas in Pyjamas won their inaugural game against Pain Gaming. Their winners match against Team Secret was a washout as they were unable to have an impact in that match. The NIP roster failed 0-2 against Team Secret.

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However as they went down into the elimination match, they were matched up once again with Pain Gaming. For Pain Gaming, this was probably the worse matchup as they were unable to make any impact against Team Secret’s playstyle. The Brazilian team did manage to take almost all their games to the late game. However, in the late game, Team Secret was just much better in their movements and coordination.

With Michal ‘Nisha’ Jankowski dominating the lane and the game with his Morphling, Pain Gaming was almost always out-drafted by Team Secret. But the vulnerability of the format was open for all to see. After losing to just one team [ multiple times] Pain Gaming is no longer in the upper bracket. For many analysts and fans, this results is definitely underwhelming. A team should receive a much better chance to prove themselves against different types of opponents. The Double Elimination GSL Format has many problems and this is one of the biggest problems with the format.

PPD speaks up for Pain Gaming

In a series of Tweets, Peter Dager, the Captain of Ninjas in Pyjamas Spoke up about this format. He mentions that it is unfair for Pain Gaming to move into the lower bracket after just losing to the Ninjas. Another alternative that is doing that rounds is the Two Group Round Robin format. This format provides all teams with a chance to prove themselves against multiple opponents.

It is time for Valve and the tournament organisers to find the right tournament format. In Dota 2, the format does play a significant role in a match. A team’s true potential can only be seen in a Best of Three [ or Five ] matchup. A match series can have a different meta of its own. The two teams might be playing mind-games based on the draft of Game 1.

For now, the Kuala Lumpur Major is in its Day 2 with Group C and D competing to qualify for the upper brackets.

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