The final match of Group A at Dreamhack Masters Spring 2020 saw G2 beat Astralis 2:0, getting revenge for their recent grand-finals loss.
With Group A consisting of a Danish derby featuring Astralis, North, and Heroic, it’s quite surprising that none of them were able to top the group. Instead, G2 finished the group 2:1 after their wins against Heroic and Astralis. Both G2 and Astralis finished the group with six points, but due to the round difference, G2 will take first place. It must be taken into account that Astralis had little time to prepare with their new lineup, with the news of gla1ve stepping down having only recently been announced.
A similar situation unfolded in the third and fourth place positions. Heroic and North were each only able to win one match. However, due to North having an absolutely horrendous round difference of -39, they will finish the group in last place.
Dreamhack Masters Spring Format
The group stages of Dreamhack Masters Spring features a round-robin BO3 format. The team that places first in each group will proceed to the upper-bracket, with second and third-placed teams moving to the lower-bracket. Teams that place fourth in the group stage are knocked out. The Playoffs consist of a double-elimination BO3 bracket with a BO5 grand-final.
If you were trying to illustrate the flaws of the round-robin format, the way this group has played out provides the perfect example. Round difference should not be the defining measure of success for determining if you are knocked out of the tournament or not. In this case, also determining who placed first in the group. Teams go into matches trying to win the game, not trying to achieve an optimal round difference. A complete breakdown of the flaws of the round-robin system can be found here.