What is a Double Elimination Tournament?

November 22, 2022
Trophy Graphic Double Elim

When hosting a tournament, you are faced with an abundance of choices to make from start to finish. One of the first steps is selecting what type of tournament you are hosting for your competitors, such as double elimination.

Here, you will learn more about double elimination, including:

  • What double elimination is and how it works

  • The difference between single elimination and double elimination brackets

  • Pros and cons of double elimination brackets

  • How LeagueSpot can get you started

What You Need to Know About Double Elimination

What is a Double Elimination Tournament?

Double Elimination Bracket

First, let’s unpack a single elimination tournament. Single elimination, sometimes referred to as “sudden death” or “knockout,” is a tournament style where the winning opponent in a match advances to the next round, and the losing opponent is eliminated from the competition.

Double elimination is a tournament style where opponents are eliminated after losing two matches, rather than one match.

A few examples of double elimination brackets in gaming events include:

4v4 Esports Tournament

How is Double Elimination Different from Single Elimination?

The key difference between a single elimination and double elimination format is the second chance teams receive to get back into and win the tournament stage.

First, all opponents in a double elimination stage begin in the main bracket, commonly referred to as “upper” or “winners” bracket.

With every match won, competitors advance to the next round against another opponent remaining in the upper bracket.

When a competitor loses a match in the upper bracket, they are not removed from the tournament. Instead, they are moved into a secondary bracket, also referred to as “lower,” “second chance” or “losers” bracket.

When a competitor loses their match within a lower bracket, they are officially eliminated from the competition. However, if a competitor wins their match, they continue in the lower bracket to play the next opponent eliminated from the upper bracket.

Both the upper and lower brackets continue simultaneously until one opponent remains in each of the two brackets. These two opponents advance to a final bracket, commonly referred to as ‘grand finals.’ Here, the opponents complete a final series where the winner takes the entire event.

Pros and Cons of Double Elimination Brackets

Pros of Double Elimination Brackets

  • Competitors are guaranteed at least two matches in a double elimination bracket. This can be more favorable for teams traveling long distances or

  • Some spectators find double elimination bracket more exciting to follow, with more matches overall to shift outcomes.

  • Compared to round robin, double elimination can accommodate a greater amount of teams in less time.

Cons of Double Elimination Brackets

  • More matches are played in a double elimination bracket compared to other brackets, requiring more time and people management.

  • Some critics of double elimination brackets believe other formats such as single elimination brackets determine the more appropriate winner.

  • With double elimination brackets, there can be an uneven distribution of matches played by final teams, where those in the lower bracket can end up playing matches more than a team who stays in the upper bracket.

Get Started with LeagueSpot

Stressed about tournaments? Schedule a call with a member of our team or reach out at contact@leaguespot.gg and let us know how we can help. Be sure to join LeagueSpot on Discord or sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest esports news and events!

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Written by Sam Anton
Published on November 22, 2022