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Program Update – Split 2 Adjustments

We hope everyone had a great holiday season! Before the break, we announced that the Gears Esports program will move from being played 5v5 to 4v4, along with the program moving from Escalation to the new Escalation Beta settings. This was a huge change to the program that we are very excited about, but we understand that the way the game is played 4v4 is much different than how it was previously played 5v5. We also received some great program feedback over the course of Split 1, and have made some changes to the Pro League structure.

  • The first Pro League Qualifier will be Sunday, January 24th
  • The first day of Pro League will be Tuesday February 23rd
  • Reactor, Bunker, and Forge have been removed from the Map Cycle and replaced with Exhibit, Foundation, and Harbor
  • Rule updates to Escalation Settings, Disconnects, and Character Restrictions
  • Pro League Win Bonus added for Split 2 and Split 3

 

With the recent change to 4v4, we had to shift the schedule quite a bit to account for the additional qualification period in Split 2. As a result, we have shifted the original timeline that was shared prior to the Season starting. As noted in the 4v4 announcement, Pro League qualification starts on Sunday, January 24th, and concludes on the weekend of February 13-14th. Challenger Series will begin again on Sunday, February 21st, and Pro League will begin again on Tuesday, February 23rd.

"Image showing the updated 2020-2021 Split 2/3 schedule, which will run from January 2021 through to August 2021. Split 2 will run January to May, Split 3 will run May through August. Each Split begins with a Pro League Qualifier and ends with a Major Event. Splits 2 and 3 are divided into two phases, separated by a Mid-Split Playoffs and second Pro League Qualifier."
The remainder of the 2020-2021 Season is scheduled to run from January 2021 through August 2021. Split 2 will run January through May, and Split 3 will run May through August.

Key Dates:

  • Split 2 Pro League Qualifier #1: January 24th, 2021
  • Split 2 Pro League Qualifier #2: January 31st, 2021
  • Split 2 Pro League Qualifier #3: February 7th, 2021
  • Pro League Roster Lock (Pre Qualified Teams): February 11th, 2021
  • Split 2 Pro League Qualifier LCQ:February 13th-14th, 2021
  • Pro League Sub Lock: February 18th, 2021
  • Split 2 Pro League Day 1: February 23rd, 2021

 

Another big thank you to everyone who participated in the 6 map testing tournaments this past week. After reviewing the results of these tournaments and discussing our findings with the Pro Player community, we have decided to make the following changes to the map cycle for Split 2:

Removed:

  • Reactor
  • Bunker
  • Forge

Added:

  •  Exhibit
  •  Foundation
  •  Harbor

Split 2 Map Cycle:

  • Asylum
  • District
  • Training Grounds
  • Vasgar
  • Exhibit
  • Foundation
  • Harbor

 

During the map testing tournaments, we were also able to test a number of changes to the Escalation game mode itself. The new Escalation Settings have been changed to the following:

  • Fill With Bots: Off
  • Bot Difficulty: Beginner
  • Round Score Limit: 250
  • Respawn Time: 12 seconds
  • Respawn Escalation: 0 seconds
  • Friendly Fire: On
  • Gameplay Tuning: Classic Execution (Defaults to Escalation Beta and Live Tuning in game)
  • Elimination Victory: Off
  • Use Lives: Off
  • Initial Lives: 4
  • Max Lives: 4
  • Restore Game (LAN): Off
  • Rounds to win: 5

Gameplay Tuning is currently locked to Classic Execution due to a bug, however it will be fixed shortly. Again, this is only an appearance bug, and the game will default to Escalation Beta with the game’s live tuning. 

 

With the new Escalation Beta settings automatically capping home hills out of spawn, the way disconnects are handled is changing in Split 2 because players are no longer able to sit in their spawn while they wait for a player to reconnect. Rule 5.7.2 (Player Disconnects) will now read as the following:

Each Team will be allowed to restart the lobby once per map.

If a Player disconnects at the beginning of a round and prior to any players being killed or a placed weapon/grenade being picked up, each team should screenshot the overhead map showing the weapon placements and the host should return the game back to the lobby. 

Once the game has returned to the lobby, the Player who disconnected has 10 minutes to reconnect. Once the Player has reconnected, the host launches the game and the Teams recreate the previous game by going through each round and placing weapons/grenades. COG should triple cap the rings first until they have reached their round score, and then Swarm.  If Teams cannot confirm or agree upon the correct weapon placements, then that Team will need to contact live support through the smash.gg/gearsesports Online Platform with proof of the placements prior to the disconnect. Once the Lobby has the correct round count and weapon placements, the map resumes play at the start of the following round.

If a single Player disconnects AFTER a Player has been killed or a weapon/grenade has been picked up, the round is to be completed, the weapon placement phase will be completed, teams will take their weapon/score screenshot, and the host is to return all Players to the lobby if the Player does not reconnect by the time the round is finished.

If a Player from each Team disconnects at the same time, it will act as both Team’s reset for that map.

The process for a lobby reset is as follows:

  1. Player Disconnects 
  2. Player’s Team immediately notifies opponent in game chat
  3. Teams are required to take a screenshot or video of the scoreboard and the overhead map with the current weapon placements
  4. The host is to return all Players to the lobby
  5. Once all Players have entered the lobby and the game has been launched, Teams should recreate the weapon placements and round score through to the round the Player(s) disconnected. The COG team should dominate each round by capturing all three rings until they’ve reached the correct round score, then the Swarm team. Please note that weapon selections made following the round Player(s) disconnected are not considered “current” and can be changed. Only weapon placements made prior to the round Player(s) disconnected must be honored.

***The Administration reserves the right to change, modify, or adapt all rules as deemed appropriate in order to uphold and maintain a spirit of overall fairness and competitive integrity.***

 

Section 5.6 of the Handbook has been updated to include the following:

  • A single COG Team cannot use more than one “New Day” character skin (Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods)
  • A single COG Team can only have one Player use any of the following skins or their variants: Anthony Carmine, Ben Carmine, Clayton Carmine, Johnny COG, COG Gear, COG Gear Corpse, Private Vermelo, Private Casan
  • A single COG Team is only allowed to use one Nomad character variant (Male/Female)
  • A single COG Team is only allowed one UIR Soldier character variant (Male/Female)
  • A single COG Team can use a Nomad character variant and a UIR Soldier character variant on the same team
  • A single Swarm Team cannot have one Player using Theron Guard and another using Lambent Theron
  • A single Swarm Team can only use one of the following characters on a team at once: Beast Rider, Bolter, Cyclops
  • A single Swarm Team cannot have one Player using Flame Grenadier and another using Grenadier Elite

 

This season, we shifted the way prizing was allocated to be entirely through Major Events and Mid Split Playoffs, with the Pro League acting as more of a vehicle for qualification and seeding at these larger events, and new events like the Mid-Split Playoffs. To make these Pro League matches even more impactful, we’re adding a win bonus to each Pro League match starting in Split 2. Going forward, each Pro League match will have a $120 win bonus awarded to the winning team.

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