One and a half months after the announcement of Riot Games’ first Teamfight Tactics tournament, the Galaxies Championship, Riot has finally revealed the qualification system for the European regions. This announcement was a welcome one, especially given the extensive delay. However, the post itself has attracted significant criticism from pros and other high-elo players from Europe West, Europe Nordic and East, and the CIS region.
Before the announcement, complaints were already being made about the fact that EU players had to wait for over a month after their North American counterparts had been given information regarding their qualifiers.
Now these complaints are intensifying. In particular, the fact that 64 players will be whittled down to 8 over the course of only 5 games has attracted significant criticism. Given the luck factor inherent in Teamfight Tactics, players are concerned that getting unlucky in just one of these five games could do considerable damage to their qualification chances.
Egor “Deisik” Popov, who finished both season 1 and season 2 at the top of the EU West ladder, was among those who took to Twitter to voice their concerns over the proposed format. Deisik spoke to Level Push about the proposed qualifiers to further understand his criticisms. When asked about the Best of 5 format for the group phase, Deisik said that he felt “completely negative” about it, adding that “for 64 players you need at least 8 games.”
Another sore point for Deisik is the fact that, as a Russian national, EU West’s number one player will have to qualify for the CIS region, rather than for EU West. He said, “it would be great to have a chance to qualify from the region in which I play.” On top of this, Deisik highlighted the difference in quality between the EU West and EU Nordic and East regions, as well as the Russian region which has only 20 challenger slots.
Edward “Lallana” Barber, the highest-ranked Teamfight Tactics player from the UK, gave similarly damning remarks when interviewed. After stating that the current system is “lazy and uninspired,” Lallana proceeded to pose the question, “if it was going to be this bad, why was the info one month late?”
Given the strong criticism, we asked Lallana how he and other high-elo Teamfight Tactics players would like to see the qualification system improved. He responded that a system which “would keep some value in the ladder points but also have circuit points available for weekly tournaments” was being mooted by various pro players. Lallana pointed out that weekly tournaments would “attract constant interest” from fans. This, in turn, would provide a boost to any high-elo streamers who would participate in such tournaments.
Given the strong reaction against Riot’s proposed qualification system for the European regions in their Galaxies Championship, it will be interesting to see if any revisions are made. If the qualifiers go ahead as outlined, the group phase of the regional finals will commence on the 8th of August, 2020.
Jacob is an undergraduate student at the University of St Andrews. Originally from East Sussex, he loves writing (and sometimes shouting) about esports.