Kisei League Format


New Kisei League Format

The Japanese Kisei title challenger will, starting from the 40th Kisei cycle, included a 4 tier league system with 62 total players. This is an upsizing from its previous population of 12 players in two 6-player leagues. Each year the leagues (S,A,B and C) will change members through a promotion/demotion system.


  • S: 6 player round robin, 2 advances to the final step-ladder play-off to decide the challenger.
  • A: 8 player round robin, 1 advances to the play-off.
  • B1 and B2: 8 player round robin. 1 advances to the play-off.
  • C: 32 player 5 round modified Swiss, 1 advances to the play-off.


A preliminary tournament (called the First Tournament), involving about 400 players including 4 amateurs (the final four of the Net Kisei amateur tournament) will provide 16 players.

These 16 players will join the players who finished 7-16 in the C league past year, and the 6 players with the worst records from B league the past year, to form the 32 player C league. These players will play a 5 game modified Swiss tournament (who lost 3 games are excluded from the pairing) to decide a champion. The top 6 players will also earn the right to play in B league the following year, while the bottom 16 (this is, effectively, all players with fewer wins than losses) will lose their places the following year to make room for preliminary tournament winners. The champion will enter the final playoffs to determine a challenger.

The top 6 players from C league (this is, effectively, all players who won at least 4 of their 5 games) the previous year join the 4 demotees from A league, and 6 players who held their place in B league. These 16 players will make up leagues B1 and B2, 8 player round robin leagues. The best players in each league will play each other to determine the B league champion. The bottom 6 will move down to C league the next year, and the top 4 will join A league the following year. The champion will enter the final playoffs to determine a challenger.

The top 4 players from B league the previous year make up the bottom half of the A league, which includes 2 players who retained their spot in A league and 2 players demoted from S league, to make up a 8 player round robin league. The winner of this round robin league is the champion. Tie breaking procedures are unknown as of yet. The bottom 4 players will be moved to B league the following year. The top 2 players will play in S league the next year. The champion of A league will enter the final playoffs to determine a challenger.

The top 2 players from A league the previous year join the 4 players in S league who didn't get demoted, or a set of players including a previous Kisei, should the Kisei become dethroned. Particular promotion and demotion changes for if an A, B, or C league challenger becomes Kisei are unknown as of yet. The 6 player league will play a round robin to determine a champion and a runner up. The champion and runner up of S league will enter the final playoffs to determine a challenger.

After league play has finished, and all leagues have determined their candidate, (or candidates, in the case of S league) for the role of challenger, the final step-ladder playoffs begin.

  1. C league's champion plays B league's, and the winner continues.
  2. The winner plays A league's and the winner continues.
  3. The winner plays the runner up for S league, and the winner continues.
  4. The winner will play a two game series with the champion of S league, in which the champion of S league need only win one of two games to advance.
  5. Whoever advances will play a best-of-seven series with the reigning Kisei.

Note: Players for the first year of the new format are being selected via previous tournament result numbers, and the promotion/demotion system will be implemented for all following years.

nadoss?:Please let me know if you feel anything is incorrect or confusing, or if you have new information, including, but not limited to, knowledge of the format of the prelim tournament, initial league lineups, and specific rules involving promotion and demotion when the title holder is defeated, or when players who automatically qualify cannot participate.

Special Thanks to Oren for researching and translating to help me write this summary.

Kisei League Format last edited by hnishy on November 2, 2022 - 10:52
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