The tournament format is one of the most important aspects to consider when playing competitive games. It can make the difference between winning or losing a game, and is also an important part of the overall success of any player’s career.
In a typical tournament, players are arranged into a single elimination bracket, with matches played between each entrant until one is eliminated. The player who wins the last match of the bracket is considered the winner, and the loser finishes in second place.
There are several different types of tournament formats, some more popular than others. Some of these are:
Single Elimination Bracket (SB) – The standard and most common tournament bracket, where each entrant plays against all the other players in their group before being eliminated. The winner advances to the next round, and the loser goes home.
Double Elimination Bracket (DEB) – The most popular alternative to the SB, where each player is guaranteed at least two sets before being eliminated. The winner of the DEB is the champion of the tournament, and the loser goes home.
Championship Set (aka Grand Finals) – The championship set, the last and final set of the tournament, is usually played to determine the winner, with the loser going home. This set is often a higher scoring and more difficult match than the first two, because it requires a greater number of individual games to be played.
The winner of the DEB is typically given a large amount of ranking points, which is used to help them place in the winners’ bracket in the following rounds. The loser of the DEB is awarded a much smaller amount of ranking points, which are not as valuable for the winner.
Alternatively, the winners’ bracket may be split into separate groups to begin with, where the highest finishing group in each bracket will play a round robin before facing off in the Championship Set at the end. This system allows for teams to be placed in stronger groups, and can lead to the more competitive teams being more likely to win, which is not always the case with the traditional SB.
There are several different ways to run a tournament, and it’s largely up to the tournament organizer to decide what works best for their particular event. They can use any of a variety of methods to seed their participants, including a traditional Swiss system, or they can create a bracket that has multiple stages and feeds them into the elimination bracket depending on their results.
Many tournaments are organized by local players, but they can also be backed up by TOs from other regions. This is often done to provide a larger community, and some TOs will offer a discount for supplying a venue or volunteering to help with the tournament.
Regional tournaments are large events that draw significant participation from a specific region, as well as attract attendees from neighboring regions. These are listed as C-tier events on the Panda Global Rankings (PGR), and can be referred to as superregionals when there is a strong attendance and top players from other regions attend.