It’s almost the start of a new year, and that means it’s time to look back at everything that’s happened in 2020. Well, maybe not everything that’s happened in 2020, but at least some of the good things from the SVO 2020 competitive season, as well as what we can look forward to in 2021!
PAM and EURO Merge into WEST
The biggest change for SVO players outside the SEAO region was the merging of the PAM and EURO regions into one big WEST region. Unfortunately, there had been a significant decrease in the number of SVO players in the EURO region during the 2019 season. To maintain competition at a high level, we merged the regions together to sustain about 200 players per tournament during the 2020 season.
We understand that by merging the EURO and PAM regions, it was harder for some EURO players to participate due to the difference in time zones. We know everyone wants to have nice, relaxing evenings on the weekend, and we really tried to come up with a better solution for the tournament times. However, since our studio and admins are located on the US West Coast, we ultimately had to make the tough decision to set the tournament times according to their availability. So thank you to our amazing EURO players for your patience and understanding, and for showing up for all those late night SVO tournaments when you could have been sleeping!
We don’t have any plans to change the current two region format, and we will be keeping the same tournament start times for SVO 2021. But, as we’ll talk about in the next section, we are going to try and shorten the length of the tournaments, so hopefully you can get at least a few more hours of sleep next year!
The SVO 2020 format was designed to keep tournament duration as short as possible, so players could have more free time on the weekends. To do this, we kept the number of Swiss rounds constant, regardless of the number of players, and created a new “16-Player Playoff” system at the end of Day 1, to decide the Top 8 players who would be advancing to Day 2.
However, you gave us lots of feedback about how even just playing one round of single elimination takes time, and with the current rules, these playoff matches are often delayed. So, we’re currently working on how to best ensure the matches start on time, not just for the playoffs, but also for the Swiss rounds as well. We will be more strict in handling delays during Swiss rounds next year, so that we can go through all seven rounds as quickly as possible. We’re hopeful that this will make your overall tournament experience better, and we’ll be able to keep things moving more smoothly.
Due to COVID, we had to hold our Contenders Cup online, like we do with our normal SVO tournaments. We know that many of the players were looking forward to having an offline Contenders Cup, and we were also very disappointed that we couldn’t provide a place for players to gather and socialize as part of the full tournament experience.
However, it was still an amazing tournament, with some incredible gameplay from our players, so thank you for your patience and willingness to adapt. Due to the continued uncertainty of things, we don’t know whether we’ll be able to hold Contenders Cup 2021 offline, but we will do everything in our power to try and make that happen if the option is available!
We’d also like to give a huge shoutout to all our casters and hosts this year: Ignideus, East, Luisthepanda, Wonderchef, Vicious, Momojelly, and Shiryane. Every single one of them made the SVO tournaments this season so amazing to watch! We also had some great feedback from our players and viewers about the broadcasts this year, and we’re hoping to implement a lot of your ideas and suggestions throughout the 2021 season! We’re already looking at showing webcams again for all of the matches, and we’re working on several other ways to improve the broadcast experience for our viewers. We will also be making some big changes to the overall theme and design of SVO next year, so keep an eye out!
Again thank you, and great job to everyone who participated in the SVO 2020 season. Whether you are in the WEST or SEAO regions, we are so glad to have you as part of our SVO community. Thank you also to everyone who sent us feedback in the surveys, the discord channel, or even in twitch chat. We have read your suggestions and ideas, and we hope that we can make next year’s SVO even better than the last. We look forward to seeing all the new and returning players in the upcoming SVO 2021 season. See you soon!