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So long, and thanks for all the fish!
As popular as the GSL is, it’s still a young, evolving league with a format that has received its fair share of complaints about accessibility. The climb into Code S is a long trudge, and once you’re there it’s incredibly easy to find yourself hanging on by the proverbial thread. Just look at IMmvp, who went from champion to Code A in a single season; or the ever innovative former Code S player LeenockfOu, who was knocked out of Code A altogether by a completely new face in GSL May. Now it looks like Code S players can breathe easier, if only slightly.
Starting this Summer, the Code S and Up/Down match formats will be reconfigured. Group stages will now only force the last place member of each individual group into the Up/Down matches. Likewise, the Code A winner (along with MLG champion) will be directly placed into Code S. The Up/Down matches will remove the seeding format of seasons past in favor of evenly dispersed 5-player groups. The first and second place finishers from each group will advance to Code S. This eliminates the favoritism given to Code A and 3rd place Code S players, instead allowing each player an equal opportunity to shine.
In other good news, it looks like the GSTL format is starting to catch on. As such, the GSL has decided to expand its scope with a larger, longer format and regular broadcasts every Thursday and Friday.
Here are the full details from GOM (click the link to see a visual of the new schedule):
Code S Group League Match Format Change
- Pre-existing GOMTV League Format -> Dual Tournament Format
- Group stage games will always have 5 sets and the last game will be the deciding game for 2nd and 3rd Place.
- From each group, 3rd Place will stay in Code S and 4th Place will go through Up and Down Match.
- 1st and 2nd Place from each Group will advance to Ro16
Code A Morning Time Broadcast
- For the 5 days of the first week, Code A games will be broadcasted at 1:10 PM.
- Starting from the second week, Code A game will only be broadcasted at 7:10 PM.
Up & Down Match Format Change
- Code A Winner will automatically advance to Code S without going through Up & Down Match
- MLG Winner will receive a GSL Code S seed for the following month. (Even if the winner is a Korean player, the seed will be provided). If the winner turns down the Code S seed or is already a Code S player then the runner-up will be given the seed.
- Code S 4th Place Players (8) + Code A Top 7 = 15 players
- Players will be divided into 3 groups of 5.
- One group per day will be broadcasted. Each group’s 1st and 2nd Place will advance to Code S.
GSTL 2 Group Full League
- Every Thursday and Friday, GSTL 2 Group Full League will be held.
- The current 10 SC2 pro teams will be divided into 2 groups of 5.
- Each team will go through a full league and top 3 teams from each group will advance to the playoff (20 matches / twice a week = will be broadcasted for 10 weeks).
- Playoff will be played with the following format: Group A 1st Place vs. (Group B 2nd Place vs. Group A 3rd Place) / Group B 1st Place vs. (Group B 3rd Place vs. Group A 2nd Place)