Knowing the format is not critical to your team's success, nor is it necessary to have fun. If you'd like, just show up every week to play your match, and we'll figure out the details to find the best opponents for you. However, for those of you who are curious to understand our matchmaking algorithm, feel free to continue reading.
As per the CEA Captain's Guide, the season is broken up into four phases: preseason (Feb 13, or "week 0"), swiss (generally weeks 1-5), placement (generally weeks 6-8), and playoffs (generally weeks 9-12).
- The regular season swiss phase will look very similar to past seasons. This will be a standard, unseeded, Swiss bracket.
The seeding phase is also labeled the "round robin" phase in the CEA handbook.* The different groups in each phase will be sized according to the number of teams that register, and the performance of teams through the season. To that end, many games will have groups in the seeding phase that are actually round robins, and many will not.
- The placement group is guaranteed a spot in playoffs.
- Approximately the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the challenger group will advance to playoffs based on their performance in their group.
- The consolation group is not playoff eligible, but the top team in the playoff group is guaranteed an appearance on at least one CEA broadcast before the end of the season.
- Then we get to the big show. The number of teams taken into playoffs for each game will vary based on the number of teams in the tournament, but will be defined by a clear cut off substantially prior to week 8 of the regular season. Some higher seeded teams will receive a bye in the first week of playoffs.