What needs to happen for your team to get that important first-round bye? Let’s go over the scenarios for all six Playoff teams– Keep reading to find out more!
Tie: if two or more teams have the same number of wins
Tiebreaker: a set of rules that are applied in a certain order to break a tie
Tiebreaker game(s): a tiebreaker that is applied as a last-resort if the previous tiebreakers did not resolve the tie
Head-to-head: record between two teams
Standings Scenarios for All Six Playoff Teams
Let’s look at our top six teams one-by-one in order from current 6th to 1st. The focus here is to highlight the most important points and show how teams can get a top two spot (and, with that, a first-round Bye). To fully understand why the different scenarios result in the outcomes presented above, please read the second section regarding ties.
Ties - How Are They Resolved and How Many Extra Games Can We Expect?
These were the scenarios for your favourite teams. Now, to better understand what’s going on, let’s go over the tiebreaker rules as laid out in the official EU LCS rulebook. Hopefully this will answer some of the questions you might be left with after the previous section as well as give you guidance in scenarios not discussed above.
The first tiebreaker that is applied to a tie is the head-to-head record between the teams involved. If the head-to-heads do not resolve the tie fully (meaning after possibly applying successive head-to-head standings as detailed in the “mini-standings” below, we still don’t have a unique rank for everyone), tiebreaker games are played to decide seeding.
In a two-way tie this means if one team has a 2-0 record vs the other, that team will get the higher seed. In a three- or more-way tie, the head-to-heads among all tied teams are taken into account. That means that we calculate new “mini-standings” with all games these teams have played vs each other (if we have teams A, B & C, we look at games A vs B, A vs C and B vs C).
After all uniquely ranked teams within these mini-standings are awarded their proper seeding, we start from scratch (generate new mini-standings for teams tied in the current mini-standings) for all non-unique rankings (ties within our mini-standings). This continues until ties cannot be further resolved with head-to-heads, at which point the remaining teams play tiebreaker games (depending on the scenario they all play versus eachother or are drawn into a bracket, based on the number of teams involved).
Scenario: Teams A, B and C are tied for 1st
Head-to-heads: A vs B: 2-0, A vs C: 2-0, B vs C: 1-1
Result: A locks 1st, B & C play a tiebreaker game for 2nd
Current Head-to-Head Records Among Top Five Teams
Above you can find the head-to-head records among the top five teams (SPY can only end up in a tie with VIT for 5th as their head-to-head is 1-1). The only remaining games among top five teams are MSF versus VIT on Friday and G2 versus VIT on Saturday.
As you can see, Fnatic are not just in a great spot because they are the only team with 12 wins, they are also the only team that currently holds a 2-0 head-to-head versus another team. This means that Fnatic automatically get the highest seed in any tie involving S04 (for those wondering: yes MSF and G2 can get 2-0 head-to-heads vs VIT but, in those cases, VIT cannot be part of the tie with FNC, therefore MSF’s and G2’s record vs VIT becomes irrelevant for those tiebreakers!) For most other cases, we have a lot of even head-to-heads, raising the likelihood of tiebreakers games.
Tiebreaker Games Scenarios
With 1024 (2 to the power of 10) possible scenarios remaining and tiebreaker games only being played to resolve ties involving playoff implications, this is the distribution of scenarios over the number of tiebreaker games.
This is not necessarily the likelihood for this many tiebreakers to occur as it does not take into account the odds for the games (it can be viewed as a probability if you assume 50/50 odds for each of the remaining games). If you want to know more about how many tiebreaker games have to be played for different tie scenarios, check out section 6.5 in the EU LCS rulebook.
The standings at the top of the EU LCS are pretty close, so there are still a lot of things up in the air. We hope this piece helps you get ready for a crazy Week 9 that will hopefully see lots of turmoil in the standings as well as some tiebreaker games.
If you want to be updated on standings implications throughout Friday and Saturday, make sure to follow @LolEsportsStats on Twitter.