Overwatch League Faces Backlash Over Midseason Madness Seeding Mistake

A mistake in the Midseason Madness seeding has drawn criticism for the Overwatch League. The League attributed the blunder to an “administration error.” Grey Zhang, the head of the Hangzhou Spark, expressed his discontent with the Midseason Madness seeding in a statement on June 6 and revealed that it contradicts the agreements made by the Overwatch League before the Spring season. According to the League’s rules, the second spot in the competition was meant to go to Hangzhou Spark as the victor of Bracket 1 of the East Spring Knockouts.

However, Seoul Infernal, the champion of Bracket 2, received the second seed when the Overwatch League released the matchups for the Midseason Madness because the team had a better overall record. Seoul Infernal will receive a first-round bye in the Midseason Madness because they are the top seed in the East division. On the other hand, Florida Mayhem will be the opponent for Hangzhou Spark in the first round of the playoffs.

That this would occur in none of the top professional esports leagues worldwide is entirely impossible, according to Zhang. “This not only goes against the letter of a contract but also violates the law. “After receiving our challenge, League Office announced the seeding arrangement without fully informing us, which we found disrespectful.”

Overwatch League expresses regret for the seeding error

In a tweet, Sean Miller, the head of the Overwatch League, apologized for the incident, acknowledging that “an administration error occurred when we communicated and distributed the seeding rules to teams.” “Our intention has always been to have the team with the best performance throughout Spring Stage be the first seed, and we’ve worked closely with impacted teams – both the Seoul Infernal and Hangzhou Spark – and apologized for the confusion this has brought,” Miller stated.

There was no easy way to determine whether the team was superior because Hangzhou Spark and Seoul Infernal had advanced via distinct brackets. Many think that the Overwatch League should have followed the rules in the absence of a seeding match between the two teams. A Reddit user commented that when you have different brackets and only two APAC teams advance, neither method of finding the higher APAC seed is beneficial. Nevertheless, the League needs to be corrected in rejecting the agreements it forced the teams to sign. 

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