Highlander Season 10 Changes and Map List

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  • HL Admin Roster

    Roster Size

    After some internal discussion, we have decided to increase the roster size back to 18 players. In addition to this change, a rule update has been made regarding being rostered on a team.

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    This rule update means regardless of your role on the team (main, substitute, or roster rider) if you were rostered on the team, it will be taken into consideration when team placement and class restrictions are done.

    “Refresh” Maps

    Group players have been working to modernize and optimize maps used in competitive play. These “Refresh” maps have changes such as but not limited to clipping fixes, bug fixes, and optimizations. An important point to note is the only time a gameplay change is made to a refresh map is with explicit approval from the map’s original creator. This season we will be using the latest version of the cp_steel refresh, cp_steel_f5a. Click HERE to download it.

    Playoff Structure

    Due to the issues regarding playoffs last season (teams dying and the playoff structure not reflecting the number of teams in the division fast enough) we have decided to remove the playoff shading from the League Standings table for all divisions except Invite. As a general rule of thumb, the top 4 teams are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.

    Here are the current playoff structures for each division. Please keep in mind these are tentative and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE:

    • Invite: Top 4 Double Elimination
    • Advanced: Top 6 Single Elimination
    • Main: Top 8 Single Elimination
    • IM: Top 8 Single Elimination
    • Amateur: Top 8 Single Elimination
    • Newcomer: Top 8 Single Elimination


    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, Challenger. As many of you are aware Challenger will not be returning for Season 10. Initially, Challenger was created as an overflow division for low Invite teams that did not make the invite cut to use their roster without restrictions, and for the high advanced teams that could keep up with the low Invite teams. In reality, the low Invite teams decided to play Challenger instead of Invite together for easier matches. Many of these issues were also seen when 6s added its “Div-1” and “Div-2”. After the removal of both divisions, large improvements were seen to the health in Invite in the following seasons.

    With the removal of Challenger, a discussion was had regarding the format of Advanced. The admins concluded that Advanced will be a 12 team Swiss with a Top 6 Single Elimination Playoff Bracket. The Swiss structure over Round Robin was decided as having Advanced Round Robin will both upset Advanced teams that are now either pushed out into Main or having to fight to stay in Advanced. Also, with how often teams die, a team dying in Round Robin has the potential to cause major issues if a team dies early in the season.

    Season 10 Map List

    original article link: https://rgl.gg/?r=24&a=1581

  • 1 step forward 2 steps back, challenger shouldn’t be ever removed. Y’all going overly restrict advance again causing a larger skill gap and it also place some players purgatory. Too good for advanced and too bad to invite. Challenger was doing its job well so far it’s winner have seen some success in invite (ie froggie land placing third) (amigos potentially being playoff bound). And making advanced Swiss AND single elimination is LOL, what’s next invite Swiss???

  • absolutely comical to see advanced regress into swiss and single elim. i feel sorry for the advanced players that have to play a terrible format for no good reason as they try and break into invite. if i was a part of the admin team that made that choice, i would be embarrassed.

  • I think s9 of chal was only bad because of team Ford and mTs dying, no hood that szn as well. So invite was bound to be watered down. S8 was much more competitive. just looking at a certain spreadsheet this szn makes adv look like it’s going to be main 2.0. What are you going to tell the main teams that placed or won main the szn prior? Are they gonna rib in main again due to the exclusion of a div? I think challenger deserves another shot.

  • Just for the record, Challenger was never actually the “new div”. The top teams under invite will always be the top teams under invite–no matter what you call it. Advanced can follow the same restriction guidelines as Challenger with no additional downsides. The actual “new div” was Advanced at the time, since it grouped high-main and low old advanced into one, 8 team division to keep the skill level for Main, Advanced, and Challenger close. iirc, the difference between low main and high main at the time was extremely far apart–same with low adv and high adv in the swiss structure. So adding a new division made sense to give the teams better competition–and still kinda does make sense imo.

    The issue last season was that there was a very light invite, with many known Invite players opting to sit the season out. In addition to two qualifying teams dying last minute, Challenger and Invite were looking to be very unhealthy in team count(all four chall qual teams ended up making it into the division even). In that scenario, it made sense to remove the extra division.

    On a slightly seperate note though, making Advanced a 12 team swiss division with single elimination is awful for division health and doesn’t sufficiently fulfill the goal of the division. Advanced’s goal is to be the seeding division for Invite. You want the BEST to move up and ideally be able to contest mid-Invite. Roundrobin allows teams to play each other at least once. Double elim makes it so that one bad game and or upset win doesn’t decide the better team. Even for the team that didn’t place first, you want to make sure that the runner-up placements can reliably be moved up in case of a team shortage. The structure currently planned just doesn’t have that reliability. The decision to make advanced larger to not upset the teams that would otherwise be unable to make the cut also seems questionable to me. You’re sacrificing division health for player appeasement.

  • @Constantly challenger was created because more and more teams are signing up to play which is fantastic. More teams means a larger skill gap as you stack more and more teams in the same divisions. The problem with advanced being the second division was that skill gap between advanced and invite was huge. Teams would die before moving up because they didn’t want to end up 0-7 and getting nothing out of it and I don’t blame them. When adding a division as important as challenger it needs time to mature in the two seasons it was active you have both winners move up alive!!! Froggie land even placed third and amigos is looking for some wins. Hell even the other move ups like bv and yeye saldo have found some success. Which means to me it’s working as intended. I don’t recall right now but was there even a poll about this?

  • @Constantly Agreed 100%. I wouldn’t be against deleting Challenger around placement time if we were to find out that there wouldn’t enough teams to make a competitive 8 team div under invite. However, deciding before RGL even knew how good invite/prospective challenger would be came across as awfully premature, especially considering that it seems like the low quality and number of teams in S9 that prompted this decision were an anomaly due to several unlucky things happening at once.

    Like Arzt, I’m very curious about the survey results. It’s been awhile since I took the survey, but weren’t there questions on the prospective removal of challenger/sizing of advanced? I think it’d be in the public interest to see what the community thought about the issue. If the vast majority of players wanted 12 team advanced over 8 team challenger, I think people might not be as upset with this decision.

  • @JohhnyFromCali The skill gap between top adv (before chall existed) and invite was not that large. Those high adv teams have always scrimmed Invite and were able to trade wins in scrims. IHM went 3-4 and placed mid Invite s6 after winning adv s5. Markers’ team went 4-3 and made playoffs s5 after winning s4. If there’s a skill gap, I don’t think it’s relative to whether the division was labeled as “Advanced” or “Challenger”. Like I said previously, it’s just a name change. If you’re arguing that the restrictions were too harsh on Invite players in previous seasons before challenger which affected its competitiveness, that doesn’t have to be Challenger in particular. You can make the argument that Advanced could just have loose player restrictions–and it fixes that without “Challenger” needing to be the extra div. Kinda get what I mean?

    @JohhnyFromCali @tua
    Also yea, there was the option in the post-season poll regarding challenger. Willmatic confirmed over discord that the poll results will be released in a later article(hopefully before the season starts tho)

  • @Constantly said in Highlander Season 10 Changes and Map List:

    In addition to two qualifying teams dying last minute

    TBF one of the team deaths (though I don’t know if the bit I quoted was meant to include that one) was from a team that fully threw in order to attempt to get an easier placement and consequently got thrown out, which might feed into concerns they potentially might have had. I know there was other stuff going on too, but that really fucked things up. I wonder if the penalty has sufficiently disincentivized pulling this kind of nonsense in quals, or if it still merits killing Chal.

  • @Constantly said in Highlander Season 10 Changes and Map List:

    literal fire

    Constantly spit so much heat in one post that I don’t even know where to begin to back him up.

    The div under invite is always going to be home to low invite teams no matter the name. Constantly put it well, challenger wasn’t the new div, advanced was. Before challenger main would have like ~30 teams. Now those top 8 main playoff teams are their own division (advanced) which makes mid-divisions healthier.

    That is why when challenger was introduced, both challenger and advanced were round robin. When you make advanced swiss, you instantly defeat the purpose of adding another division and that is why challenger failed and is now being removed.

    To address adv now going swiss to appease advanced teams that are now pushed into main, this is exactly why you have the extra RR division. So they still get a RR division and aren’t thrown into ugc steel the sequel with 30 teams.

    Another issue I have is the theory that invite teams “just play in challenger” for easier matches. Qualifiers existed to prevent this. If you throw quals you get banned (or should get banned. Looking at you s4rr, throwing quals with a fucking IM 6s scout on spy and a main 6s scout on fulltime shortstop. But when it comes to ringers during playoffs, nooo you gotta have the best). If you have 10 teams who could in theory play in invite but you only have 8 slots, of course there are always going to be 2 teams who are most likely a step above the rest of advanced but can’t fit.

    Also I haven’t looked at the steel refresh but if it has gameplay changes I’m gonna be furious. Really disappointed in the direction hl seems to be going atm.

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