The BOV e-Premier League is into its second season after a successful first campaign, despite a covid-induced break back in March which had halted the league for around four months.
This season will see the league’s first full qualifier after organisers issued a revised format for the 2020/21 edition.
Three online qualifiers, open to all, kick off with Qualifier 1 on Wednesday (7.30PM). With over 100 players expected to take part in these qualifiers, the best eight from each qualifier will go into an offline qualifier taking place in January. This hosts 32 players together with players ranked six to 13 from last season’s competition. This time, they face each other in a Swiss round tournament to determine the 11 players, who added with the top five from last season, will play in the final event which begins in March.
All 16 players taking part in the main competition will once again represent a Premier League side. Head organiser Kurt Bonnici told the Times of Malta this is a way of eventually integrating these players into the clubs which are usually followed on the pitch.
“The clubs will be integrated into the competition as discussions between players and clubs will determine who represents who,” he said.
He added that this is the beginning of the road towards contracting players officially to the clubs similarly to the way foreign clubs have their own eSport players. However, it’s still early stages.
Unlike last season, the league will take place with a format which places players into four groups and seeding is determined through knockout-like matchdays, where players battle it out on two legs to determine the score.
From then on, the teams enter another knockout stage in May. This time, players’ seedings from the group stages present fixtures where the top player of a group faces the bottom player of another.
“We think this is exciting and will be more interesting for those watching,” Bonnici explained.
Last season’s inaugural competition was won by Malta international gamer Christian Spiteri, representing Santa Lucia. He had gone through the season unbeaten but sealed his victorious season on the final Matchday.