Every OPL team wants to secure themselves a ticket to the Grand Final at the Melbourne Esports Open later this year. I bought tickets through Ticketek, but the OPL teams want to do it the hard way – by qualifying for and battling through the OPL Gauntlet.
The OPL Gauntlet is a single elimination tournament in which teams are seeded based on their position at the end of round robin. Only the top 5 teams at the end of round robin compete in the Gauntlet, with the final two teams playing in the Grand Final.
Given the current standings, it is still mathematically possible for EVERY team in the OPL to finish the round robin portion of the split in the top 5. The difference between 4th place and 8th place is 3 points. This split is so close that it should probably be called a juncture.
We have to differentiate the teams somehow. Let’s not beat around the Tri-bush. I’ve crunched the numbers. Which teams are locked in for the Gauntlet? Which teams could miss out? And what kinds of results are required for your team to qualify? Here are your answers (with working, just to satisfy all those mathematics teachers out there).
- Possible final standing is the mathematically possible final standing (1st-5th or DNQ) at the end of the 10-week round robin
- DNQ stands for ‘Does Not Qualify’, meaning a team does not qualify for the OPL Gauntlet.
- The maximum number of points that a team can earn over the final two weeks of the OPL is 6 (that is two clean wins).
- Also, if teams finish the round robin portion of the OPL on equal points, seeding is determined by head to head tiebreaker.
As they are currently 4 points ahead of the 2nd place team (Chiefs), if Dire Wolves earn a total of 2 points or greater over their next two matches, they secure 1st place for this split. This is true even if the Chiefs earn the maximum number of points over the next two matches, as Dire Wolves would win on tiebreaker.
This means that the Dire Wolves can lose their next two matches 2-1, and will still finish on the top of the table. However, I think the potential for an undefeated year will prevent any complacency.
There isn’t much complex math to think about for The Chiefs. They have set themselves up a real cozy spot heading into the Gauntlet.
If the 3rd place team (ORDER) earn the maximum number of points (6) over their next two matches, Chiefs only need 3 points over the next two matches to lock in 2nd place (they defeat ORDER in the tiebreaker due to head-to-head).
There are four teams below ORDER who are within 6 points. However, even if ORDER earn zero points in the next two matches, they cannot place lower than 5th. If we assume the worst case scenario – ORDER earns zero points –
Avant: With two clean wins, Avant will equal ORDER on 14 points. They will still place below ORDER on tiebreaker.
Bombers: Bombers need 5 points to overtake ORDER (as they will lose on tiebreaker if they also end the split on 14 points). Bombers need a 2-0 against either Chiefs or MAMMOTH, and can simply scrape a 2-1 against the other to secure the points. If Bombers beat MAMMOTH (with either record), then MAMMOTH cannot overtake ORDER on the leaderboard (they can only earn 4 points maximum – and then lose on tiebreaker).
This means that only two teams (at most) can overtake ORDER in the final two weeks of the OPL. At worst, ORDER place 5th. With 1 point earned, Order lock in 4th place. With 2 points, they lock in 3rd place.
MAMMOTH and Bombers are in a very similar situation. They play against each other in week 9. The result of the match has implications for all teams currently placed 4th and below. This is largely because MAMMOTH face Legacy in week 10, and the three teams are within 1 point of each other on the leaderboard.
There are too many “ifs” when it comes to these teams, so I will not run through every possible outcome. However, the MAMMOTH VS Bombers match is interesting to consider. If MAMMOTH defeat Bombers 2-0, and Avant do not win both their games 2-0, MAMMOTH secure a place in the gauntlet. If Bombers defeat MAMMOTH 2-0, this brings up the possible requirement of a tiebreaker match in week 10.
If Legacy earn 6 points over the next two matches, they are guaranteed a place in the Gauntlet. This will see them pass MAMMOTH (as one of the teams they defeat would be MAMMOTH) and they would not be able to be passed by Avant or Tectonic.
If Legacy earn 5 points over the next two matches, the highest they can place is 4th. Alternatively, they could fail to qualify for the Gauntlet if Avant win both their games 2-0 (Avant pass Legacy due to tiebreaker) and Bombers earn 5 points or more.
If Legacy earn 4 points, they are guaranteed at least 7th place. If Avant do not win both matches (earning at least 5 points), Legacy are guaranteed at least 6th place. If Avant do not win both their games (earning at least 5 points), AND
– 3 of Legacy’s points come against MAMMOTH, or
– Bombers earn 4 or less points
Then Legacy are guaranteed at least 5th place.
If Avant earn zero points against the Dire Wolves, they cannot earn 4th place. In this case, MAMMOTH needs to defeat Bombers 2-0 if Avant wants to place 5th. In this case, Avant would need to pick up 3 points against Tectonic in week 10 and hope for MAMMOTH to defeat Legacy.
If MAMMOTH and Bombers both earn 4 points over the next two matches, and Avant earn 6 points, Avant do not qualify for the Gauntlet.
Tectonic are in a similar position to Avant. Both teams are relying on the teams in 4th-6th place to pick up specific amounts of points over the next two matches.
If two in any combination occur over the next two weeks;
– Legacy pick up 3 points
– Bombers pick up 2 points
– MAMMOTH pick up 2 points
Tectonic cannot qualify for the Gauntlet even if they win both their matches 2-0.
If MAMMOTH defeats Bombers 2-1, Tectonic will need at least 5 points over the next two matches to have a chance to place 5th. If Bombers defeat MAMMOTH 2-1, Tectonic will need 6 points to have a chance to place 5th.
Regardless of which team you support, all wards should be placed on the MAMMOTH vs Bombers match this week. Both the winner and the result have implications for the teams placed 4th and below. In fact, every game this week is highly relevant when you consider that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
Who do you think will qualify for the Gauntlet? And who should start putting together a cover of Amumu’s theme? Let me know on twitter @BicycEllis #OPLJuncture2018.