Season 3 of the Gfinity Elite Series is expected to be much more intense with the addition of several new teams and a lot of roster movements.
However, league organizers also announced an overhaul in the season structure which is expected to make every week intense.
You can check out the format on the league page. What I want to do here is break down the most important parts and how each team could approach the upcoming season.
The first part is the most notable, that the teams are being split into two divisions and the teams will stay in their own division. We don’t know which teams are going where, so we can’t speculate on potential matchups.
This is an intriguing move because that means there are only 5 weeks of regular season play. Every team will be in it through at least three weeks. It’s a good play for the viewer because now there won’t be as many throwaway matches. In the first two seasons, there were too many teams playing just to play out the schedule.
The second part of this new format is that six teams, three in each division, will advance to the postseason. There are a couple of points to this part of the format.
Let’s tie back in the first part. In the past two seasons, a team that was out of it after Week 4 — and there were a few teams — had to play spoiler for three more weeks. Ouch. Now, that team that’s virtually out of it will only have to play spoiler for one week, at most two.
Since teams are going to be in it for the majority of the regular season, and with so few weeks, it almost assuredly means a tiebreaker of some sorts will come into play. There was no word on tiebreaker format, and my guess is those rules will be coming soon.
But the most ideal tiebreaker would be head-to-head matchup. Easy to sort through.
What if three teams are tied for two spots, or all three playoff teams are tied?
My guess would be the next tie breaker would have to be games allowed. If that came into play during Season 2, here’s how it would have looked.
Oh wow. The spread between games allowed is so tight, that would not have been enough to break ties if it came to it.
However, this is the potential reality that teams could face in Season 3. Not only does every match become so important, so does every game. Instead of surviving matches by any means, winning 4-0 becomes the true goal.
There were no 4-0 decisions in the previous regular season and only four 4-1 decisions. Epsilon was involved in three of the 4-1 decisions, losing to Excel and Infused while defeating Endpoint.
In a way, teams should prepare for the season and set up their match orders with this in mind. The teams should almost expect to be in a tiebreaker somewhere.
That means we might be seeing a lot more of the team’s best players loading up on their second trip through the lineup instead of spreading out the distribution of games to all of the players.
There were quite a few active players in Season 2. Here’s a list of all of the players from last season who played at least 10 games and the amount of games allowed.
Many of these players we could see in Season 3 lead the way again in terms of workload, especially if their ratio is in the positive as is the case with many of these on the list here.
Infexious will be one player whose workload could increase even more. The most active player last season, he ended up 9-6. His numbers were excellent, posting a .136 late-round comeback rate and a .950 late-round closeout rate. When he got the lead, he was nearly unbeatable.
If he can do the same in Season 3, the rest of the league will have to go to a Plan B.
However, there’s another player you might have seen on that list that also had an eye-popping total. That, at least for me, was Bolt Strike.
The Doctor had a plus-8 last season for Reason Gaming, going 11-3. A .208 late-round comeback rate and an .864 late-round closeout rate were key factors in that.
The regular season is intriguing, but so is the new playoff format. Every team will not face each other, that’s a given. However, it is possible one team goes the whole year not even facing the opposing division.
That would be really wild. When we get to the postseason, we’ll be able to crunch the numbers to determine what the projections are that this could happen.
For now, we have to wait until all 10 team’s rosters are set and where everyone is headed in the divisions before we can go full on with the numbers.