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Coinflip in esports. What is this?

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You might have heard the phrase "the side was decided by a coinflip". This is how it's decided who will touch the ball first in football, or who will choose the side in a CS:GO match, for example. Of course, in most cases the organizers try not to use this method, but sometimes it's the only way.

PGL Major Krakow 2017 Qualifier

For example, at the PGL Major Krakow 2017 qualifiers, the team with the highest seeding decided who would start the map pick-ban process. If the teams had the same seeding or were in the same group, they had to flip a coin. A winner of the coinflip would choose to either give the right of the first ban to the opponent or keep it. In a bo1 meeting, the team, banning the map first, got the right to eventually choose the side, but their opponents could ban one more map; thus, they were the one to decide which map of the remaining ones would be played in the match.

Best-of-one example:

  • Map ban by team A
  • Map ban by team B
  • Map ban by team А
  • Map ban by team B
  • Map ban by team А
  • Map ban by team B
  • Team A chooses the side

ELEAGUE Major 2017

At the group stage of ELEAGUE Major 2017, the teams of the same group or with the same seeding had to flip a coin to decide who would start the map pick-ban process. If team A banned first, then its opponent would choose the side on the final map, and while team A had three bans, team B had two. The final map was chosen randomly out of the two remaining ones.

Best-of-one example:

  • Map ban by team А
  • Map ban by team B
  • Map ban by team А
  • Map ban by team B
  • Map ban by team А
  • Map is chosen randomly out of the two remaining ones
  • Team B chooses the side

At some championships a coinflip decides who will ban the maps first. The sides in turn are chosen by the knife round. 

The first references to a coinflip came from antiquity, it was a common thing to settle minor disputes by flipping a coin in Rome. This tradition made it to the modern times and adapted in sports, since a coinflip is considered unbiased.

However, a coinflip is used not only in sports. In some countries it's used in commercial decision making or in political issues resolutions. Sigmund Freud himself wrote about this solution! Moreover, it's used in some lotteries, too. For example, our partner CSGOPolygon.com offers everyone to try his luck in an instant contest. Two players, one coin and a 50/50 chance, you either double the bet or lose. It's titillating indeed!

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