PGL changes tie-breaker ruleset in the middle of a qualifier

The controversial time rating rule was implemented to shorten the qualifiers.

Image via Valve

PGL, the organizers behind one of the last remaining Valve events of 2017 has made an adjustment to the format of its qualifiers mid-tournament.

Taking place from Sept. 11 to 18, the qualifiers for the upcoming PGL Bucharest Open Minor included a rule known as time rating, which is used to evade tiebreaker situations in group stages. So rather than play a separate set of matches between the tied teams, if a competitor has played longer matches than their opponents, they are eliminated.

Fnatic’s new Dota 2 roster was put in this situation early on Sept. 11. Competing in the Southeast Asian qualifier’s group stage, Fnatic carry player Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao tweeted prior to their final game that the team would not be able to advance. This resulted in Fnatic’s opponents Mineski and Happy Feet advancing to the playoffs, as Fnatic’s average game-length in the group stage was longer than theirs.

The rule itself is often looked at as an unfavorable solution to tiebreakers, as game-length is widely considered as an arbitrary measurement. It is, however, useful for evading tiebreakers and streamlining competitions, which is why it was used for the qualifiers, according to a statement by a PGL representative to joinDOTA. But due to what seems to be outside pressure from the Dota 2 community and players competing in the qualifiers, it now seems that each upcoming qualifier will be featuring tiebreakers. The decision wasn’t, however, reached until after Fnatic were eliminated from the Southeast Asian qualifier, meaning the team won’t be attending the Valve Minor in October.

A total of 12 teams will be competing in the PGL Bucharest Open LAN finals, which are set to take place between Oct. 19 to 22.