ESEA have announced that their league will be using double-elimination playoffs in all divisions for Season 32.
The change follows the results of a community poll which saw a turnout of over 1,000 votes, with an overwhelming number of users supporting a best-of-three double-elimination format. The other options were best-of-one double elimination, best-of-one single elimination, and best-of-three single elimination, the last of which has been the standard playoffs format used by the platform.
There will be a longer gap than usual between Season 32 and Season 33 over the Christmas break which will allow ESEA to test the new format.
Among the other rule changes, the number of forfeited games required for a team to be marked as inactive and stop receiving matchups has been lowered from four to three in Advanced and below. There will still be some "wiggle room" for teams who are forced to forfeit matches for reasons out of their control. This change has been justified by ESEA as a way to stop poorly performing teams from receiving free wins against inactive squads.
Other rule changes mentioned in their blog post include a change allowing players who do not play in any league games being able to request a refund of their league fees at the end of the season, teams having to provide 24 hours notice to their opponents before rescheduling matches due to LAN conflicts, and the ability to mutually change server even after rounds have been played if needed.
A full breakdown of all the changes, including some not mentioned above, can be found on ESEA’s news post.