The next season of the Esports Championship Series will be played in a new format, league administrators FACEIT revealed.
The old league-oriented format is thrown in the bin in favor of direct elimination-themed series of tournaments.
The first stage will consist of eight single-elimination open qualifiers – four for the European and four for the North American region. Each qualifier will produce two teams that will enter the next stage – the Challenge Cup.
The Challenger Cup will once again divide the sixteen qualifiers into two regions where they will be joined by as many invitees. The pair of best-of-three (Bo3), Swiss format tournaments will determine the team rankings for the ECS Regular Season.
The Regular Season will boast a total of ten single-elimination Bo3 tournaments – five per region. Each of those will comprise of eight teams and will bring $25,000 in prize money. The participants in each tournament will be determined by priority. These priorities go as listed:
- Teams that qualified for ECS Season 6 Finals
- Teams that finished 5th in their ECS Season 6 regional regular season group
- Teams that played in the ECS Season 7 Challenger Cup based on their Regular Season rating
The winners of the first three tournaments in each region will automatically qualify for the LAN Finals. The last two spots will be granted to the teams that accumulated the most prize money through the regular season. As always, the gold is split equally – one team from NA and one from Europe.
The LAN Finals themselves will not undergo any changes in comparison to Season 6. The eight finalists will be spread into a pair of GSL groups with only the openers played as Bo1. The remainder of the tournament will be in Bo3. The prize pool for the Finals will be $500,000, which, combined with the Regular Season money, adds up to $750,000.
All of the dates for ECS Season 7 can be viewed below:
- Open Qualifiers – February 16-28
- Challenger Cup – March 5-7
- Regular Season – March 11 – May 9
- Finals – June 6-9
The initial player response has been rather positive, but only time will tell if this format will stick around for long.
Image credit: FACEIT