ESL to Revamp World Ranking

Josh Folland
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The ESL World Ranking determines invitations and seeds for professional tournaments like Intel Extreme Masters and ESL One. After evaluating the system throughout 2017, it will respawn in 2018. 

“The aim of the world ranking is to provide fans with a tool to determine who`s the best team in the world. The ESL World Ranking system does that objectively and in the spirit of transparency by using numeric values to rule out bias.” - Jonas “bsl” Vikan, Tournament Director, ESL

The goal of redoing the World Ranking has been to more accurately reflect the competitive worth of a tournament based on the number of participants, their quality and level of play. Below we’ve summarized the changes. Keep reading to see a more detailed breakdown of our new system.


Tournament Evaluation

  • Quality is no longer determined by counting team ranks from various regions of world rankings. Instead, we will use a “Quality Rating” that ranges from 0-102 and is the sum of the world ranking positions of the qualified teams.
  • Tournament quality is graded on six levels (AAA to D) based on the level of competition. Each level is tied to a multiplier (x100% to x15%) that affects the final points available.
  • Size of the tournament is split into five groups (huge, large, medium, small, tiny) that affects the final points distribution.

Points Decay

  • Points now decay by -5% each week instead of -20% each month.

Minor Changes

  • Tournaments are now evaluated at the start of the event instead of at the end.
  • Last-ranked team(s) will no longer receive points, no matter if they’ve qualified or been invited.
  • Club rating is now treated as a bonus feature, shifting focus to the power ranking instead.

Tournament Evaluation

ESL will follow a slightly different system when it comes to evaluating how many points any given tournament is worth. In 2018, the two main criteria will separately consider how many participants there are in a tournament, and what quality and level of play they’re competing at. Let’s dive into the details.

The quality of the tournament will no longer be determined by counting the teams that are ranked in a certain region of the world ranking. In 2018, it will be described by its “Quality Rating,” a value ranging between 0-102, the result of the sum of the values of the world ranking positions of the participating teams.

To determine the quality of the participants, we have designed a more granular system with six levels of quality, ranging between AAA and D. Each of these levels are attached to a multiplier for the distribution of points, with 100% for AAA and 15% for D.

Alongside the multiplier, the new system factors in the size of the tournament, broken down into five levels (huge, large, medium, small and tiny). The size of the tournament will affect the points distribution among the teams once the final placements have been established and the tournament is concluded.

Note that the size of any given tournament will not affect its quality. Only the caliber of players and teams will influence its quality and apply the multiplier to the points based on the size of the event.

Our main reasoning behind this change lies behind some faults of the old system. Tournaments could get a lower tier if either the quality was poor OR the size was small, regardless if either criterion was strong. We found this unfair and looked to separate the two values.

Additionally, a multiplier will be added depending on how much of the tournament is played offline, putting greater emphasis on offline events. More teams competing offline means more points up for grabs!

Point Decay

Previously, points would decay by 20% each month. This negatively affected tournaments that happened towards the end of the month as opposed to the beginning, where the points would hold weight for longer.

Moving forward, points will decay by 5% every week, disregarding what time a tournament happens in any given month or how long a month is. Overall, this change will increase the precision of scores throughout the season.

Minor Changes

We’ll be implementing a number of smaller changes as well. First, the last-ranked team(s) will no longer receive points, to avoid the risk of giving points to teams merely for being there, without proving they deserve them. Second, we’ve steered the focus away from the club rating - instead treating it as a bonus feature of the website. The full focus is solely placed on the power ranking. Finally, we will be evaluating the points allocation for each tournament at the start of the event, instead of at the end.

We’ll share the full details of the new world ranking system on January 1st, 2018. Stay locked on the ESLCS Facebook and Twitter channels for more updates!