Definitely debatable since Arabia is still THE preferred map but i would say in a way it kinda is a gimmick as well. Possibly gimmick also just wasn't the best term to use here, so maybe "theme" or something would've been more suited. Part of my reasoning here is also that one of the big changes introduced by DE was the ranked map pool and i feel like that type of event i was thinking about should reflect that in some way as well. But yeah KOTD obviously feels a lot less gimmicky than HC.
I'd love to see a fun event with the theme being random civs being played on maps from the current ranked map pool.
Working a little like this:
Seeded knock out with a new map from the ranked map pool each round.
Bo3, maybe Bo5 for later rounds.
Random civs for both players game 1,
Civs flipped for game 2,
Random mirror for the game 3 tiebreaker.
To avoid completely horrible civ matchups for the 1st two games of a set maybe give the players a snipe each to be used if they want.
I think it would be a fun showcase of skill, on the fly game knowledge and it would give the players a break from the hard task of preparing for custom map and drafting etc.
For the viewer it would be refreshing to see the unique matchups and rarely seen civs that the ladder provides, being played under competition level intensity.