We are rapidly approaching the end of yet another REBBL regular season with only 10 days until the playoffs begin!
Some coaches have already qualified and are just managing their way through the final couple of fixtures, looking to make sure they're in good shape. Others are still fighting tooth and nail for the right to challenge for the REBBL championship.
Things are slightly different this season, due to the restructure, so I'm going to outline everything you need to know in this post.
Playoffs/Challenger's Cup - Ticketing Process
So you've made it to one of the two competitions... what happens now?
During Week 13, tickets will be sent to Playoff and Challenger's Cup coaches once their tickets have been secured.
If you receive a ticket before playing your Week 13 fixture, hold onto it until you've played that game.
Before entering either competition, you are entitled to a concede loss to restore any MNGs to your team. If you prefer, you can choose not to take the concede loss - if you're looking to manage TV, for example - but this is a one-time only offer. Once the knockout competitions begin, you can't go back and revisit this offer.
As soon as you've played your Week 13 fixture, you may leave the competition to accept your ticket. This will not affect any of the in-game standings.
If you wish to restore your MNGs, inform the Blood Bowl admins and do not accept your playoff ticket. You will instead be ticketed for your concede loss. Once that is processed, you can then accept your ticket. Blood Bowl 2 will let your team hold multiple tickets and they're only dismissed if you accept or reject them.
Once your team is in the REBBL Playoffs competition, you're done. Sit back and prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
If you expect to be late accepting your ticket, please let the admins know and we can add a placeholder team to the competition. We'll kick things off on Wednesday 3rd July.
REBBL Playoffs - Seeding and Draw Procedure
You may have noticed already that the red names are returning on Discord. This denotes a coach who has secured their playoff berth, and they're updated as soon as an admin spots you've qualified. But who do you face?
The REBBL Playoffs draw will be conducted live on Twitch (on my channel) on Sunday 30th June at around 11:00 UTC. We draw the positions rather than the teams (so it'd be REL 1 2nd vs GMAN 4A 1st, rather than specific teams)
Due to the bye weeks, we have 61 teams in the competition. Ahead of the draw, each team will either be marked Seeded, Unseeded, or Division 3 Showdown.
The number were a little awkward...
The bye weeks dictate that three positions in the bracket are already assigned, so the winners of each Division 1 are seeded and drawn to face their respective bye weeks. For those versed in 64 team knockout brackets, this means we're removing six teams from the pool (three winners, and the three bye weeks) leaving us needing to determine 29 matchups - 29 seeded teams vs 29 unseeded teams.
Here's how it'll work:
All Division 1 winners (3 teams - disregarded in below calculations)
All remaining qualifiers from Division 1 of GMAN, REL and Big O (9 teams)
All qualifiers from Division 2 of GMAN, REL and Big O (15 teams)
Three Division 3 teams with the best season record (points, TD diff, least losses, draw lots)
This gives us 27 teams (9 + 15 + 3) who will be randomly drawn against the 27 unseeded teams.
All Division 4 qualifiers (10 teams - 6 from GMAN, 4 from REL)
All Division 5 qualifiers (17 teams - 7 from GMAN, 7 from REL, 3 from Big O)
That covers 54 teams and 27 matchups, and we've already alluded to the bye weeks covering "six" more teams, bringing our total to 60.
What about the last four?
Division 3 Showdown:
Four Division 3 qualifiers with the worst season records (points, TD diff, least losses, draw lots)
These four Division 3 teams will begin with a mini-seeding inside the overall seeding. They'll be split into their own category and of these four teams, best record faces worst record and second-best record faces third-best record.
The alternative was to take the five best Division 3 teams and make them seeds, while casting aside two of them to potentially run into Division 1 teams in the Round of 64. Our Division 3 coaches have already felt a little hard done by this season so this is my solution to avoid a situation that I felt would be quite harsh on two coaches. You'll probably yell at me anyway.
Once seeds have been established, I'll simply draw all the Unseeded teams into bracket positions, then all the Seeded teams. The bottom two seeds in the Division 3 showdown will be included amongst the unseeded teams and when they're drawn, their opponent automatically fills with their rival Division 3 Showdown coach.
Seeded teams will not automatically be given home advantage. We'll alternate, so the first Unseeded team drawn will play at home, the second will play away, and so on.
This will place the Unseeded teams into the bracket, and determine the bracket position of the Division 3 Showdowns.
After that, the Seeded teams will be drawn. The REBBL Playoffs have always promoted cross-regional matches in the opening round and that will remain, so when the Seeds are drawn they'll be placed into the first available bracket position that gives a cross-regional matchup up until the point where no further cross-regional matchups are available.
So that's good news, coaches of one-season old teams! You're no longer guaranteed to run into a Division 1 behemoth in the first round. You might get a Division 2 behemoth instead.
REBBL Challenger's Cup - Refusing Your Ticket
Can of worms time.
You may refuse your ticket to the REBBL Challenger's Cup. As this competition is used to fast-track through divisions, it's worthless entering if you're planning to re-roll the team in the next season.
HOWEVER, refusal of your Challenger's Cup ticket means you must re-roll into a new team in the following season.
If you wish to refuse your ticket, you must inform an admin ASAP. The deadline for refusing your ticket is Saturday 29th June at 23:59 UTC. If you miss this deadline it's tough luck, you're playing. These competitions take a lot of organising and we can't be hanging around for the indecisive. If you know you don't want the spot, inform us before you play your last game. Why is the deadline so early? So you can't drop just because you drew a Division 1 team.
So the next question becomes, what happens when a team refuses their ticket?
The spot is then awarded to the next best record at that team's level, across all regions. We'll be creating a pool of all the teams who narrowly missed out at each level and then using that to offet tickets to those teams. If a Division 4 team drops, another Division 4 team will get in.
Teams who are offered refused tickets may also refuse the ticket, at which point we move to the next team on the list. If you give up a GMAN ticket, it could go to an REL coach. Expect daggers from some of your fellow GMAN coaches.
REBBL Challenger's Cup - Seeding and Draw Procedure
Thought that was complicated? This might get worse depending on the above.
The REBBL Challenger's Cup draw will be conducted live on Twitch (on my channel) on Sunday 30th June at 10:00 UTC. The playoffs draw follows this draw.
The Division 1 teams get a bye week here so we have 61 teams to position. However, we do have four wildcard teams - Stunty Cup Champion, REBBRL Minors Champion, GMAN RAMPUP and REL RAMPUP.
Ahead of the draw, each team will either be marked Seeded or Unseeded. We want 29 of each.
All Division 1 qualifiers from GMAN, REL and Big O (3 teams - disregarded from below calculations)
All Division 2 qualifiers from GMAN, REL and Big O (5 teams)
All Division 3 qualifiers from GMAN, REL and Big O (14 teams)
All Division 4 second-placed qualifiers from GMAN and REL (10 teams)
That worked out nicely!
REBBRL Minors Champion (did not compete in REBBL)
Stunty Cup Champion
GMAN RAMPUP Qualifier
REL RAMPUP Qualifier
Eight best Division 4 third-placed teams (points, TD diff, least losses, draw lots)
All Division 5 qualifiers from GMAN, REL and Big O (17 teams - 7 from GMAN, 7 from REL, 3 from Big O)
This also gives us 29 teams!
Again, we'll draw the actual position (e.g. REL 4A 2nd vs GMAN 2 4th) and then refused tickets will be treated as direct replacements. So if we get three refusals at Division 3 level, the three replacement Division 3 teams will be randomly assigned to the bracket positions of the refused tickets.
Same procedure as per the REBBL Playoffs - draw the unseeded, then draw the seeded.
I really hope this all makes sense! If you're still in the race for either competition, give it your all for the remaining games and hopefully you'll book your place in the draw.