Week 9 is in the books, and with that, we now have the 1st place team, and the Crucible, decided in three regions. China, because of only having a single round robin, is still a little bit uncertain in places.

World Elo Ratings

Quite a bit of movement this week, as L-5 retakes the number 1 slot, and ce jumps over E-Star to become the top team in China.



North America

Tempo Storm locked up the number 1 seed by beating Gale Force eSports on Sunday. Now, their game against B-Step is only practice, as Tempo Storm will be the first North American representative to the Mid-Season Brawl.

Further, after Team Freedom beat No Tomorrow, it seal the NA Crucible. Team Naventic and No Tomorrow will play for their HGC lives. Everyone else will be going to the Playoff. So no reason for tables this time: Let’s just focus on the seeds:

#2 Seed - Despite the loss to Tempo Storm, Gale Force is still in the driver seat here. A win against Team Freedom or a loss by Team 8 to No Tomorrow next week will lock up the number 2 seed. This is because they hold the edge in 3-0 victories over Team 8 (Gale Force has 8 while Team 8 only has 6), and the two split the series. However, if Team 8 wins and Gale Force loses, Team 8 will take this slot, kicking Gale Force down to #3. This is a big deal, as the #2 seed only needs to win a single set to go to globals. Elo gives Gale Force an 83.4% chance of taking second.

#3 Seed - This will either be Team 8 or Gale Force, whoever doesn’t get second. B-Step is down 3 wins, and only one game is left, so the gap won’t be closed. Elo gives Team 8 an 83.4% chance of taking third.

#4 Seed - Superstar beating B-Step made the race very interesting. This race is between Superstars and B-Step. There are a lot of variables here, so…deep breath...here goes. If one team wins next week and the other loses, then the winner takes 4th. This is the most likely scenario, as Superstars should beat Naventic, and B-Step should lose to Tempo Storm. However, if both teams lose, B-Step would get 4th because they have 2 3-0 victories while Superstars only has 1. If both teams, win, then it will again go to 3-0 victories. This favors B-Step. However, if Superstars wins 3-0, and B-Step wins 3-1 or 3-2, Superstars would tie the number of 3-0s, and then take 4th place on number of 3-1 victories (Superstars has 4 right now, B-Step only has 2). gasp...pant...pant Got it? Elo gives Superstars a 68.9% chance of taking the 4-seed.

#5 and 6 Seed - There are no differences between these seeds, this this will be Team Freedom, as well as whoever loses the #4 seed between Superstars and B-Step.


Fnatic’s win over Team Dignitas locked up the number 1 seed. Synergy and beGenius are heading to the Crucible (despite beGenius winning 2 of their last 3 matches). No real drama there, so let’s look at the seeds. Here only the 2 and 3 seeds hold any uncertainty.

#2 and #3 seed - These seeds will be Dignitas and Liquid, though the order isn’t decided yet. Team Dignitas plays Tricked eSports this week, and Team Liquid plays beGenius. Here are the scenarios:

  1. If both lose - Team Dignitas takes the 2-seed on 3-1 victories tiebreaker
  2. If only one loses - The loser gets the 3 seed, the winner gets the two seed
  3. If both win - Team Liquid only gets the number 2 seed if they win 3-0 and Dignitas does not. Any other scenario, including both getting 3-0s, will give Dignitas the number 2 seed.

Elo gives Dignitas an 80.2% chance of taking the 2 seed.

#4 Seed - Team Expert. They can’t do better, then can’t do worse. Team Expert will have to win 3 matches to get to globals.

#5 Seed and #6 Seed - This will feature Playing Ducks and Tricked eSports. Playing Ducks will get the 5 seed, but it doesn’t matter, since their playoff positioning is the same.


L-5 has locked up the number 1 seed. Team BlossoM and Raven are heading to the Crucible. No drama there, so again, playoff seeding:

#2 Seed - MVP Black will find themselves one match away from returning to internationals.

#3 Seed - Tempest still holds the 3 seed despite their loss to Mighty last weekend.

#4 Seed - TL;DR this is almost certainly Mighty. But MVP Miracle has a window. Technically. Okay, if ALL of these happen, MVP Miracle can take the 4th seed:

  1. Team BlossoM beats Mighty
  2. MVP Miracle beats L-5 either 3-0 or 3-1 (a 3-2 victory won’t be enough).
  3. If it’s a 3-1 victory, the rules say this would go to a sudden death match to decide 4th place. MVP Miracle would need to win that.

So, let’s come back to reality: Mighty has a 99.8% chance of taking this spot according to Elo. So it’s not happening.

#5 and #6 Seed - MVP Miracle will probably be the 5 seed with GG being the 6, but, again, it doesn’t really matter.


The race is still on in China, and in order for me to say who is likely to take it, I have a question that I still haven’t been able to answer from Blizzard. The question is this: if both teams are tied UNTIL you get to 3-0 victories, after head-to-head, do you eliminate the third place team and then start over? I.e., go back to head-to-head? Here’s why I ask: Right now, SPT cannot match 3-0 victories with ce and E-Star. If ce, E-star, and SPT have the same record, and they are all in a 1-1 tie with the other two head to head, SPT will finish third in 3-0 victories. Does this then go back up to head-to-head between ce and E-Star? Or does it continue to 3-1 if they are still tied with 3-0s?

  • If they go back up to head-to-head, ce would win.
  • If they keep going through tiebreaker, the odds of a sudden death match are high.

Anyways, my current stimulator model assumes they keep going. I never thought this would come up, but here we are. I tweeted the question to Blizzard. If it necessitates a model change, I will enact it.

1st place odds

Right now, ce is in a substantial lead to take 1st place. Because E-Star dropped a single game to Super Perfect Team in Week 1, ce currently leads HGC China with 5 3-0 victories to E-Star’s 4. SPT lags now irredeemably behind with only 2. As such, SPT can only win with both E-Star and ce losing while SPT beats X-Team (1.23% odds). If ce can beat Keep it Simple 3:0, they will take the number 1 seed. If E-star wins 3:0 and ce wins 3:2, then E-Star could get 1st if tiebreakers are handled like they are in my model. There is a chance of sudden death between ce and E-Star if ce wins 3:1 and E-Star wins 3:0.

Crucible Odds

Keep it Simple and Start Over Again are going to face relegation. They have locked in 8th and 7th place respectively.

Step Ladder Playoffs

#2 Seed - Due to tiebreakers, this is most likely E-Star Gaming, or ce if E-Star takes first. SPT effectively needs someone to lose to sneak in here.

#3 Seed - Most likely SPT. If ce or E-Star loses, they could wind up here. No other team can finish 3rd. The top 3 are now completely separated from 4th and below.

#4 Seed - With their win over X-Team, RPG is now in the driver’s seat for 4th place. If RPG beats Hots Lady or X-Team loses to SPT next weekend, RPG will take this spot. However, if RPG loses AND X-Team wins, X-Team will take this slot. I’m surprised that this only puts RPG at 64.2% to take 4th place according to Elo.

#5 and #6 Seed - Hots Lady will be joined by whoever falls out of the 4th place race between X-Team and RPG.

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