Masters Berlin is just a few weeks away. Today, Riot revealed the tournament’s format, to mixed reception. Less than 12 hours after the announcement, they updated things in line with community expectations.
After months of gameplay, VCT Masters Berlin is nearly upon us. As of writing this article, all but four spots have been secured for the big tournament.
With the event just a few weeks away, it's time to get some further announcements. The first was made today. In a video entitled "VALORANT Masters Berlin: Everything You Need To Know", caster Rivington Bisland III runs through some details for the event - most notably, the format.
Masters Berlin to feature group stage, four-team playoffs
First off all, what has been rumored for a while will be happening. Berlin will have a group stage. The event's 16 teams will be split into four groups of four teams each. In the video, Riot say they're doing it "with the goal of distributing teams from the same region into different group." EMEA is getting the most slots for this event, at four. So mathematically, that should always be possible. Perhaps Riot worded this poorly, but that goal should always be achieved.
The groups will run as a double-elimination bracket, instead of a round robin. It's essentially the GSL style that CS:GO and VALORANT have each used extensively. However, only one team will advance out of each group. That means there will be a final match at the end of the group between the winners of the upper and lower brackets. It also means that a high seed and a good group draw is massively important to make the top four.
From there, the four group winners will be sorted into a single elimination bracket to determine the ultimate champion. Every match of the event will be best-of-3, with the exception of the grand finals, which will be bo5.
Lastly, we have set dates. The event will begin on September 10th with the group stages. This will run until the 17th, with the playoffs taking up the last few days of the event.
Format announcement sees mixed community reaction
While this announcement ticked some of the right boxes, many fans were unhappy with the structure as the tournament hits its later stages. Having only four teams in the playoffs has struck a bad note with many. One notable proposal is to get rid of the final match of each group, and instead have eight teams progress to the playoffs. Such a change would importantly keep the amount of matches the same.
Ultimately, this is Riot Games we're talking about. They're notoriously set in stone when it comes to formats and with things announced it's unlikely we'll see change.
Update: Masters Berlin format changes to 8-team playoffs bracket
In an update released the day of the announcement, Riot Games revealed that they had taken into account community feedback, and adjusted things to be in line with the aforementioned proposal.