If you’ve been following Call of Duty over the past year, you may have noticed the general change of format in most tournaments (with the exception of the recent MLG Anaheim event). Throughout the season, the Call of Duty World League has been based around a single elimination bracket, extending individual matches to a best of seven contest. To say this was an unpopular move would be an understatement, but the format continued through both Stage 1 and Stage 2 Finals events and worked fairly successfully, if lacking in some dramatic flair. The nail in the coffin for single elimination came during the Stage 2 Finals event, with OpTic Gaming falling out of the competition in the first round, gaining only a top 4-8 finish in the league overall. The increased community pressure, as well as near ‘call-to-action’ tweets from the OpTic Gaming twitter account eventually caused ESL to officially announce a change from single elimination best of 7, to a double elimination best of 5 format.
Whether this is the best move for Call of Duty esports is for others to decide. Here at Call of Duty Betting, we’re more interested in how this will affect your bets and the outcome of the tournaments. But first, how exactly does a double elimination tournament work? Well, this can vary (and we don’t have exact details for CoD XP yet), but in general terms it means that teams are initially placed into an upper bracket where they play through the tournament as normal. If a team loses this match, they fall into a “last chance” lower bracket. These two brackets play out and at the end of the tournament a final two teams emerge, who will then play each other for the championship. First, a best of five series is played. If the upper bracket team wins, the tournament is over and they take home first place. If the lower bracket team wins, the upper bracket team are then given their “second chance”, as they hypothetically fall into the loser bracket. A second best of five series is then played for the title.
So then, how does this affect the betting scene? First of all, there will be a lot more matches on the go at any one time, so potentially more to bet on. On a match by match bases, the switch from best of 7 to best of 5 means an increase in the variability of individual series winner. There also becomes a higher importance placed upon Hardpoint, with Uplink and CTF becoming less vital to victory. Overall, however, the double elimination format should provide a more accurate representation of skill and produce a more predictable final winner of the event. Never again could we see a potential 2nd place team be knocked out in the first round by the eventual 1st place winners, as everyone gets a second chance.
If you’re interested to check out how Double Elimination plays in Black Ops 3, check out the VODs of MLG Anaheim. MLG Orlando is also just around the corner, and is expected to use this same format. We’ll have more info on each tournament’s details as they draw closer, so keep an eye out for those articles coming in the near future!