‘Broken’ seeding just made top CS:GO team’s BLAST Paris Major journey much harder

It simply doesn't make any sense.

Photo by Adela Sznajder via ESL Gaming

The BLAST Paris Major promises to be a great final send-off for CS:GO as Valve and the Counter-Strike community look forward to CS2—at least, it will be for teams not dealing with seeding drama like Heroic, as their coach revealed today.

Heroic are arguably the number one or two CS:GO team in the world at the moment, which is reflected across multiple rankings—the Danes are first in HLTV and ESL world rankings and number three in BLAST’s ranking—but even so, they’re up for a tougher journey at the upcoming BLAST Paris Major beginning on May 8 because of how Buchholz seeding works. And their head coach, Richard “Xizt” Landström, is obviously unhappy about it.

“[We were the] number two seed entering the EU RMR and went 3-0 at the RMR (didn’t lose a map), and the only team seeded above us didn’t qualify [for the Major], [we are the] number one rank at HLTV (first in ESL World Ranking and third in BLAST World Ranking) right now, [but] we ended up as number five seed at the Major,” Xizt said, and complained about the Bucholz system in the end with the infamous “clown” emoji.

Related: BLAST Paris CS:GO Major’s full schedule

Being just the fifth seed at BLAST Paris Major Legends Stage means that Heroic will most likely face much better teams than they actually deserve. Natus Vincere, 9INE, FURIA, and Fnatic have been seeded above them and are all arguably worse than the Danish team at the moment.

Instead of relying on the world rankings—which also have their flaws, as HLTV admitted—Valve made the tournament organizer conduct the seedings for the RMR using the team’s placement at the last Major, IEM Rio in November 2022, or at the Major open qualifiers if the team didn’t attend Rio.

The Buchholz system is later integrated into the Swiss system and it auto-adjusts seeding as the tournament progress, but this practice hasn’t been proven effective over time in events with a live ELO system like the Major. It’s because of Buchholz that 9INE is the second seed of BLAST Paris Major Legends Stage, for example.

The Polish team were considered underdogs prior to the RMR and after they beat higher-seeded teams in the form of G2, BIG, and Vitality in the RMR, they got a better seeding. Heroic, in the meanwhile, also had an undefeated run, but their score was reduced because they faced lower-seeded teams in their 3-0 campaign.

Valve and BLAST failed to reward Heroic for their good form since the end of 2022 and undefeated RMR campaign, and overly-rewarded 9INE, who could be up for an easier path at the BLAST Paris Major due to their Cinderella run in the RMR.

What Valve can do in the future is look back at previous Majors such as IEM Katowice and StarLadder Berlin in 2019, where the seeds were just slightly adjusted throughout the tournament to avoid situations like this. But it’s too late to help Heroic out now, who will probably have to face off against higher quality teams earlier on in the Legends Stage.

The BLAST Paris Major will kick off on May 8 with the Challengers Stage.

About the author
Leonardo Biazzi

Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for HLTV.org between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.