With Fall standings for CS:GO finalized, the Winter Invitational and new groups are now launched; read on for an overview of what to expect as we move closer to the playoffs.
The top (2) teams in each group of each division have automatically qualified for the playoffs in Spring as the top seeds. Additionally, instead of having to play in the 2nd group stage, they will be placed into the Winter Invitational tournament, a bonus event that takes place concurrently with the 2nd group stage and offers additional prizing. Remaining teams will vie for the last playoff spots through the 2nd group stage.
Note that as we are moving into cross regional play, CEVO servers for each match will be automatically selected based on the lowest average ping difference between the teams to accommodate cross-regional matches as best as possible. Coordinators should double check their team's server preference is properly selected! Teams may agree to move the match to a different server location; as always, document evidence of all agreements in case of disputes. In case of an issue with the wrong server being selected, the match must be moved to the appropriate location with the lowest average ping difference.
Lastly, as a reminder, all coordinators will need to internally verify ALL their team members' academic information for CSL player eligibility once again, as their status may change from one phase of the season to the next; make sure their final Fall grades are satisfactory and that they are still full-time status and in good standing, as defined by your university and specific program.
Teams that use ineligible players will be subject to penalties; you don't want your team to potentially lose their playoff spot because your coordinator did not bother to do the basic check! All team members should speak to your coordinator and double check that they are properly verifying your teammates to avoid any potential issues.
The top (2) teams in each group in each division have automatically qualified for the playoffs in Spring as the top seeds. Additionally, instead of having to play in the 2nd group stage, they will be placed into the Winter Invitational tournament.
Format is single elimination Best of Three using the CEVO map selection process. The matches will be played weekly at the normal Saturday 12pm Pacific play time. All matches within a round must be finished by the end of Sunday Pacific so that the bracket can advance; teams may reschedule to Sunday or to a previous day as usual, if agreed. Matches that are unplayed/unreported by the deadline will be set as double forfeits.
The bracket is available on the PLAYOFFS page, under 2018-2019 Varsity and Junior Varsity, denoted as WINTER INVITATIONAL. CEVO match duplication and other odds and ends will be updated in the coming days.
Prize Pool Reminder:
As stated in the rules, the groups are now mixed between regions and teams have been seeded by their Fall standings into the new groups. All unreported or unfinished matches counted as forfeit losses for BOTH teams for standings/seeding purposes. The Winter Invitational/playoff qualified teams have been removed from the groups, and the top (2) teams in each group of each division at the end of the 2nd group stage will advance to the playoffs as the bottom seeds.
Map order is as follows:
CEVO match duplication and other odds and ends will be updated in the coming days.
In the Varsity division, the top (2) teams in each group from the 1st group stage will advance as the top seeds and the top (2) teams in each group from the 2nd group stage will advance as the bottom seeds to a 64-team double elimination playoff bracket culminating in a live final event.
In the Junior Varsity division, the top (2) teams in each group from the 1st group stage will advance as the top seeds and the top (2) teams in each group from the 2nd group stage will advance as the bottom seeds to a 64-team double elimination playoff bracket culminating in an online final.
As a reminder, every individual round counts! Playoff contention is often decided by differentials and head-to-head results as there are normally a few tied records, so make sure to get as many round wins as possible, and give up as little as possible (16-0 is better than 16-14, and 14-16 is better than 0-16)!
Prize Pool Reminder:
*Note that teams that forfeit in the Playoffs will only be eligible to receive the prize of the previous round played, if any*
If you have any questions, you can always email us at [email protected] or speak to an admin live on DISCORD during our weekly help desk on Mon at 8-9pm Pacific (first weekly help desk for Spring starts 1/7).