Tomorrow is the final race of Zwift Racing League Season 2 – a TTT on London’s Greatest London Flat.
But this season is ending differently that ZRL’s Season 1. This time around, top teams are being invited to a Battle Royale Play-Off on Friday and Saturday! Here are the details, including notes about how relegation and promotion will work for all teams…
The two-day event takes place on March 5th and 6th:
- March 5 – Points Race on Richmond UCI Worlds (2 Laps)
- Men Race at 19:05 UTC (14:05 Eastern, 11:05 Pacific)
- Women Race at 19:45 UTC (14:45 Eastern, 11:45 Pacific)
- Powerups: Aero, Burrito, Feather
- Intermediates: Monument Ave Sprint, Broad Street Sprint, Libby Hill KOM (both laps)
- March 6 – TTT on Watopia’s Magnificent 8 (1 Lap)
- Women Race at 19:05 UTC (14:05 Eastern, 11:05 Pacific)
- Men Race at 19:45 UTC (14:45 Eastern, 11:45 Pacific)
See WTRL’s Courses & Times page for route details including powerups and intermediates.
Only Division 1 teams are invited to the playoffs. More specifically, only the top 2 teams in each Division 1 are invited.
So if your ZRL Division was A-1, B-1, C-1, or D-1, and you finish 1st or 2nd in your division after race #8, you are eligible to compete in the playoffs.
The playoffs are points-based, just like the regular season. All team points will be reset to 0 heading into the playoffs, then the normal points structure will be used for the two playoff races.
The winner in each division will be the team with the highest team score after the two playoff races.
Teams can’t bring in “ringers” for the playoffs – squads have to be defined beforehand, and riders must have completed at least 4 teams with their ZRL team in order to race for that time in the playoffs. Furthermore, some ZADA verification will be in place for all participants.
Rule specifics from WTRL:
- Nominated squads of 10: 4-6 compete each day
- All riders in squad must have completed at least 4 races with the ZRL Team.
- ZADA assisted verification for A1 Teams – basic height and weight verification for B-1, C-1 & D-1 teams.
- A-1 Division teams must:
- connect trainer as primary power source (not pedals/crank/hub power meter)
- dual record and submit files within 2 hours of each race’s completion
- wear a fully-functioning HRM connected and transmit to Zwift
- submit height and weight video taken within 12 hours of race start
Note: the A-1 requirements above are basic requirements of the ZRL Premier Division, which is governed by Zwift’s ESports Ruleset. For further details, see Zwift Cyling Esports Rules.
What Is At Stake?
This weekend’s playoff will determine which A-1 teams get promoted to the ZRL Premier Division. This is a big deal, as the Premier Division is where cash prizes are awarded, races are live-streamed by Zwift, and teams get a custom in-game kit.
In many ways, promotion to Premier Division is the Zwifty equivalent of moving from amateur to pro team status. It’s the top of the heap in terms of Zwift racing, and you can be sure A-1 teams will give all they have to get promoted!
For lower categories (B, C, and D) this weekend’s playoff is just an optional championship round which doesn’t affect promotion and relegation in any way. These categories are competing for a title – nothing more. Whoever wins the Battle Royale will be crowned “Season 2 World Champion” for their category, but promotion and relegation are based on regular-season results (see below).
Promotion (and Relegation)
Once race 8 is finished, WTRL will finalize promotions and relegations between divisions. The promotions and relegation structure is fairly simple: the top two teams in each Division will be promoted up to the next division, and the bottom 2 will be relegated down a division.
The only exception to this is if you’re in a top or bottom division for a category (eg, B-1, or perhaps C-5). Teams will not be forced to promote up to a new category (eg, B-1 to A-4). Rather, WTRL says those teams, and especially dominant 1st-place teams in Division 1, will be encouraged to promote up to the next category. Teams will never be relegated to a lower category, so if you were a bottom team in a bottom division (say, C-5), you won’t be relegated to a D Division.
- You placed 1st or 2nd in your B-2 Division. You will be promoted to B-1.
- You placed 1st or 2nd in your D-1 Division. You will be encouraged to promote to C-4 (or whatever the lowest C division is for your sub-region).
- You placed last (or second-to-last) in your A-1 Division. You will be relegated to A-2.
- You placed last (or second-to-last) in your C-4 Division (the lowest C division in your sub-region). You will stay in your division, since you can’t be relegated to a lower category.
Season 3 Changes
ZRL Season 1 and 2 saw very “loose” team structures, with teams not required to provide a set signup lists for their team members. This allowed teams to bring in “ringers” and swap riders out as much as they’d like, as long as the riders were within the proper category.
This relaxed approach to team structure was done to encourage participation, but it results in a neutered promotion/relegation process, since teams could bring in a completely new list of very strong riders, making their past performance a moot point.
WTRL assures us that, “Season 3 will see more restrictions on riders and multiple teams including pre-nominating a team.” This seems like a welcome change!
Questions or Comments?