RGL HL S2 League Structure, Plans, and More

   exa_   - 12/4/2018

Register Now For Season 2


Important Details


Experimental Cup
December 15th - 16th


New Team Registration Ends & Placement of Teams
Jan 1st


Roster Locks
February 11th


Regular Season
7 January - 18 February


Playoffs
25 February - 11 March


Default Match Day
Monday @ 9:30 PM EST


League Format


With Season 2 of RGL Highlander beginning, there are many changes that we wish to change or improve on that were either successful or were not very well received by players in the first season.

Invite

The first of which includes changes to the Invite structure. In the first season, we had a double-round robin structure with 6 teams. Teams and players felt that the regular season was longer than it should have, and it also resulted matches for each week simply being a “filler” match that did not really impact the seedings of the teams during the playoffs. To remedy this,

  • Invite will now feature a 7-week regular season instead of a double-round robin gauntlet.
  • This means the division size of Invite will now be 8 teams instead of 6 teams.

Pick/banning was something that I think a lot of people were happy to see but it came at the cost of a lot of teams not being able to ever play their best maps as they were always banned, because of this we are rethinking our pick/ban method if we decide to continue with that structure.

  • The regular season will consist of 7 weeks with a X number of maps in the pool.
  • If not, it will likely be a 7-map pool with 1 map for each week.

It should be noted that we are thinking about moving the default match day for Invite matches to Tuesday or Sunday at 9:30 PM EST. This has large benefits for our production, since we will be able to get much more high leveled casters and viewership if players can watch the match on an off-day. Other teams will still be able to reschedule to Monday to play their match. Please let us know what you think on the forums. No matter the default date, teams can always reschedule to a different day (including monday.) Our goal is to have Invite on a seperate day to allow it to be more visible to the other players.

Regular Season

  • The regular season for Invite will be free for all the teams participating.
  • At the end of the regular season there will be two different playoff brackets considering of the teams that placed in the top 4 and bottom 4 of the regular season.

Playoffs

  • This means the regular season is used to determine the placements of each teams into these two tournaments.
  • Default match days for the lower bracket matches will be on Saturday.

The tournament’s structure for the top 4 seeds will be a four-team double elimination bracket like the following:



The Invite top 4 bracket will charge each placed team a flat amount of $X to participate and will feature a prize pool for all four teams. The flat amount will likely not be anything too ridiculous in terms of per person.

The Invite Placements (bottom 4) will be free and will happen at the same time as the top 4 Invite bracket. This tournament is used to determine the teams that will remain in the Invite division, like qualifiers.

If a team that qualifies for the top 4 bracket is unable to front the entry fee to the tournament, we will look to the fifth seed to see if they’d be able to instead. This would mean that the Placement Playoffs may only contain three teams instead of four for the tournament, as the team that is unable to pay for the bracket is already a lock for the following season’s Invite placement and therefore will have no need to play in the Placements. This could potentially go the other way depending on the scenario, where the top bracket could include three rather than four (in the event one of the teams can't front the entry).

If this happens the format for the Placement Playoffs will be the following:



Other divisions

Invite, Advanced, Main, and Intermediate will continue to feature a round-robin format.

  • Only the Open division will feature a Swiss system with no division sizes.
  • For Season 2, we will utilize round robin in Main and Intermediate and switch to Swiss if a new team is added into a particular division.

Implementing a round-robin structure particularly in the lower divisions had the drawbacks of being unable to adequately move up teams mid-season that were incorrectly placed in a division. The idea with switching to a Swiss structure for these divisions is to compensate for the large skill disparity in these divisions. We will likely stick with single-elimination playoffs across all non-Invite divisions going forward.

Please note that a team’s division is still subject to change as the week goes on or if a team leader can make a compelling case for being in a division. Players that leave and join new rosters during the season will also be monitored. If you believe that a team should be in a different division, you can contact us here on Discord.

All Divisions Structure


Note: Maps are subject to be changed or added based off feedback from the Experimental HL Cup. We will do a poll, as well as gauge community feedback to help decide the remaining maps.

Map pool


  • koth_product_rc9
  • pl_upward
  • cp_steel

Playoffs


  • Invite - See above for Invite playoff structure
  • Advanced - single-gauntlet structure - top 5 teams
  • Main - single-gauntlet structure - top 6 teams (switches to Swiss if a new team is added in)
  • Intermediate - single-elimination Swiss bracket - top 8 teams (switches to Swiss if a new team is added in)
  • Open division - single-elimination Swiss bracket - top 8 teams

Other Changes

Ringer Discussion


The topic of ringers has been one that has been discussed throughout the entire season. It particularly becomes an issue when teams do not have adequate substitutes to replace their "starting" players and have to resort on a "ringer" at the very last minute. Similar to other leagues, we use a "default first ringer" rule, which is where the first ringer cannot be denied if they are playing in the same division as both teams and are reasonably within the skill range of the player that they are replacing for the match . This rule is to allow teams to be courteous to each other and also to allow both teams to play a fair match where 9 players are on each side.

The reason that this is brought up was because there were a few cases where there were lack of miscommunication between the teams and the admins regarding request of the first ringer being approved by default. We apologize for any mishaps on the administrative side regarding the enforcement of this rule, as a lot of our staff are newer admins that may not know all the technicalities of the rules on this platform. We will be going over these much more carefully with the staff to ensure similar incidents do not occur for season 2 and beyond.

Registration Restrictions


Alluded earlier with the RGL HL S1 Playoff article, the concept of enforcing division guidelines in a prompt manner is something that we wanted to work on improving for season 2. No one wants to play with sandbagging players in lower divisions. We understand this. It simply ruins the integrity and competitive nature of newer and lower division players trying to play with players around their skill level to improve.

Starting in Season 2:

  • There will be functionality added that will allow us to add "minimums" to player accounts, so they cannot use the site to register lower than what we tell them.
  • This has the added benefit of ensuring that players that win a division do not stay in the same division, and instead are moved up to the next. This feature will be rolled out in the next month or so, so do expect it soon.

Capacity on Non-NA Players


It should be noted that RGL HL NA is a North American league. Players outside of NA may sign up for RGL, but teams are under no obligation to accommodate their play. We have run into issues with teams intentionally abusing this rule. Having a team composed of a couple of players with high ping is tolerable, but once an entire team consists of players with high ping -- it makes the entire experience unpleasant and not enjoyable for the other team having to play against this.

  • Each team now has a maximum capacity of two non-NA players. Any excess players that are found or reported will be removed. This has also been updated in the hl.rgl.gg rule set.

Team Sizes


RGL Highlander roster slots have been decreased to 12 before new team registration. They will be adjusted to 18 after new team registration ends. This is a change from last season where the roster slots were initially at 15 and we adjusted it to 18 during the mid-season.

Stream Delay


We want to be on a level playing field as a player streaming. Since the STV is on a delay plus normal twitch delay, it makes the stream a worst option since you are behind where the other player streams are. Viewership of broadcasted RGL Highlander matches are also important. It is a way for us to advertise not only the league, but the format being played.

  • Starting in RGL HL S2, all players participating in an official highlander match cast (casted by eXTV) must use at least a 3-minute stream delay on Twitch.
  • Players are subject to penalties if they are not willing to cooperate. This will be edited in the RGL HL ruleset.

Prize Winnings


For RGL HL Season 2, we wanted to sustain at least a $1,000 prize pool for the Invite division.

1st Place
$520

2nd Place
$360

3rd Place
$120


Bans


Last season, we mirrored several bans from other leagues. We are still maintaining the idea of full duration of previous league bans for cheating being served before a player may participate in a sanctioned RGL scrim or match.

Certain players with behavioral bans from other leagues will be granted a second chance and be cleared of their RGL ban. This is from the result of looking through our mirrored bans and investigating each case individually. However, we will continue to look at each of our mirrored bans and reevaluate them going forward if we believe said players can act and behave in the good spirit of RGL.

This does not apply to players that have been banned due to conduct on the RGL platform itself.

The following players will be cleared of their bans:


  • Acclaim
  • Sovereign

It should be noted that these players will be watched carefully. Any infractions or issues that arise will not be dealt with loosely.

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