Report: Boston Major to Feature Best-of-One Group Stages
Valve’s upcoming Boston Major, which is slated for December 7th – 10th, will change its group stages format from a best-of-two to best-of-one, according to a report made by theScore esports that cited sources close to Valve and PGL.
The change reverts back to the format seen at Valve’s annual The International, which features best-of-one group stages that are used to progress through the tournament in a timely manner. It’s possible that Valve chose to change the format for this reason, as a best-of-one would drastically impact the time required to advance to the main event.
However, a best-of-one also ensures that a team is advancing from group stages in a way that is purely skill-based, rather than playing off of an opponent’s weaknesses. Not only does this increase the chance of a tournament-favorite being taken down in an upset similar to what fans saw during The International 2016 when TNC Pro Team flipped the tables on Team Secret to knock them out of the event, but it will also decrease the likelihood of bias that would come from splitting teams into groups.
Valve has not commented on the report yet, so it is currently unclear as to why the format would change so suddenly when qualifiers will kick off in just three days.