While Valve and the Counter-Strike community are excitedly awaiting the release of CS2, the coach for Heroic has suggested that his team will be dealing with seeding concerns at the upcoming BLAST Paris Major.
Heroic will encounter tougher competition than they deserve in the BLAST Paris Major Legends Stage, where they are only the fifth seed. All four teams that were seeded ahead of the Danish squad—Natus Vincere, 9INE, FURIA, and Fnatic—are currently worse than the Danes.
Valve mandated that the event director use each team’s performance at the most recent Major, either IEM Rio in November 2022 or the Major open qualifications if the team didn’t attend Rio to determine RMR seedings, rather than the world rankings (which are also flawed).
This method has not been shown to be beneficial over time in events using a live ELO system, as as the Major, where the Buchholz system is eventually integrated into the Swiss system and automatically adjusts seeding as the tournament progresses. For instance, 9INE is the second seed of the BLAST Paris Major Legends Stage due to Buchholz.
Before the RMR, the Polish team was an underdog, but after beating G2, BIG, and Vitality, all teams with higher seedings, they were given a higher seed. Meanwhile, Heroic went 3-0, but their record was adjusted downward because they had to face teams with lower seeding.
Valve and BLAST refused to recognize Heroic for their consistent play since the end of 2022 and their unbeaten RMR campaign. This is in contrast to 9INE, who may have an easier route at the BLAST Paris Major thanks to their Cinderella run in the RMR.
Although the Danish team Heroic is currently ranked first by HLTV and ESL and third by BLAST, the latter’s Buchholz seeding system will make it more difficult for them to advance to the finals of the upcoming BLAST Paris Major, which begins on May 8. Even more so for their coach, Richard “Xizt” Landström.
Xizt said, “We headed in as the second seed entering the EU RMR and didn’t lose a single map at the qualifier, and the only team seeded above us didn’t qualify for the major,” adding, “Right now, we are the number one rank at HLTV (first in ESL World Ranking and third in BLAST World Ranking), but we ended up as the number five seed at the Major.“
IEM Katowice and StarLadder Berlin, both of which took place in 2019, are good examples for Valve to study. During both of these Majors, the seeding was adjusted in some way during the course of the tournament to prevent situations like the one described above from occurring. Unfortunately, it is too late to help Heroic at this point, and they will most likely reach the Legends Stage where they will compete against tougher teams.
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