An Inside Look: TGP Format Changes and Implications

This weekend, the Dragonflight Season 4 TGP moves on into the Group Stage, with Group A starting their first day this Friday, July 5. At the end of the weekend, only 3 of 6 teams will move on to the Global Finals on July 19th, but until then, prepare yourself for three days of some astonishing key pushing!

Before the event begins, we wanted to provide a quick recap on how the TGP works and offer some context for the changes Blizzard made to the format for this season’s event. We expect these changes to result in very different pacing than we saw in Season 2’s TGP, so read on if you want to learn everything there is to know about the new format and how we think these changes may affect the outcome!

Table of Contents

TGP Group Stage Format

This season, The Great Push (TGP) follows a slightly different format than the last time around. During the Group Stage, 2 groups of 6 teams each will be playing against one another. The Top 3 teams of both groups will move on to the Global Finals on July 19th, while the remaining teams will be eliminated from the tournament.

Both groups will start with 3 dungeons on Friday. 2 more dungeons are added on Saturday, and one final dungeon joins the fray on Sunday, for a total of six dungeons. All teams will be granted 5 hours to play up and push their keys as high and as fast as possible. Teams must take a mandatory 20 minute break, though they can split that time up into smaller breaks if they so choose. By the end of each day, the combined key levels of all dungeons will be tallied up, and the lowest scoring team will be eliminated.

In the case of a tie-breaker, the combined timers will be added up as well, with the slowest team being the one to leave the tournament instead. Teams are not allowed to leave the dungeon at any point, and have to adhere to a 1 Tank, 1 Heal, 3 DPS comp for all of their keys. Duplicate classes are allowed, but duplicate specs are prohibited

Managing their time just right will be very important for the teams, as any key that has been started before the 5-hour timer ends can still be finished. If teams plan ahead well enough, they might be able to get in one additional key over their competition, which will be important in setting themselves up for success for the following day.

Global Finals

The Global Finals follow the same format, with one minor but very important distinction: No team will be eliminated on Friday or Saturday, leaving us with all six Global Finals competitors fighting over the crown on the final day of the event. The initial keys will likely also start at a higher key level and with more difficult affix combinations, allowing us to watch teams wipe and despair against overwhelming odds while they try to push every dungeon to the highest key level possible.

With the competition being stronger than ever before, we expect an incredible finale no matter which teams manage to make it to the Global Finals, and we highly recommend following the spectacle live on, YouTube or via our Raider.IO Live Coverage.

Implications and Analysis

This is the first time that Blizzard has made major changes to the format of the TGP, and we’re here for it! Many of these adjustments are a direct response to the feedback provided by players, viewers, and broadcast talent alike. To make the event an even more enjoyable experience for everybody involved, Blizzard focused their efforts on a few modifications to the way the TGP will unfold in DF Season 4.

Enforcing a 1 Tank, 1 Heal, 3 DPS group composition: This is a great change, as we previously saw many MDI runs that did not have a healer whatsoever. While many of the highest scored keys on Raider.IO may also show as having no healer for the duration of the key, this is largely due to players starting with a 4-DPS comp, but then switching back to a healer once all the trash is taken care of. However, the TGP requires teams to also play up their keys, and quickly 3-chesting those keys early on is a crucial part of the strategy to save as much time as possible. Competing without a healer would’ve been the likely strategy for many dungeons, particularly at the lower key levels, so this change is still an effective one, even if teams would’ve already had to play a healer for the absolute highest level of keys.

Dungeon Distribution now follows a 3/2/1 schedule: One of the main problems with the old 4/1/1 schedule was that the vast majority of the first day was spent only building keys. Teams would typically spend close to 4 of their 5 hours of that day just playing up their keys, instead of truly pushing higher level dungeons, and the competition rarely managed to heat up before the day was already over. Eliminations were often based not on a team’s ability to push massive keys, but to play them up as fast and efficiently as possible, and that’s not really what the TGP is supposed to be about. Building up keys still plays a major role in saving time throughout the first 2 days of the event, but it is no longer the deciding factor in which team will have to pack their bags on Day 1 of the weekend.

The Global Finals will not eliminate any team during the first two days: This new rule ties into the previous problem of very early eliminations simply because teams did not manage to build up a key as well as their competitors. Most notably, we saw Mandatory eliminated on Day 1 of the Season 2 TGP Global Finals, after missing 3-chests by mere seconds in several keys. This very slight misplay put them too far behind compared to their competitors. Ultimately Mandatory, the team that typically places second in most MDI and TGP events, and the one that finally took Echo down a peg in Season 3 of the MDI, never even saw the last day of the Global Finals in Season 2. With this change, the competition will stay as hot as possible until the very last second!


About the Author

Seliathan has been playing Rogue for over half his life, since the initial release of WoW over 19 years ago. After a long career of Raid Leading, Theorycrafting, and pushing Mythic+, Seliathan enjoys creating all kinds of PvE content on Twitch, co-hosting the Tricks of the Trade Rogue podcast, contributing to Raider.IO as Staff Writer, and writing guides for Icy Veins.

About the Editor

Gogogadgetkat has been playing WoW since late BC, and has been the GM of her guild Propaganda since its creation in 2014. As a career healer, Kat has a number of CEs and old-school heroic kills under her belt, all on a variety of healing classes and specs—she’s a serial altoholic! In addition to Mythic raiding and a little Mythic+, creating safe, inclusive spaces in gaming is her longtime passion; Kat has been an admin for the Perky Pugs community since late BfA, and is also a founding council member and the community manager for the DEIBAJ initiative VISAGE. She is excited to bring her wealth of experience and love of writing to the Raider.IO team.