What is a Round Robin Tournament | LeagueSpot

What is a Round Robin Tournament?

Portrait of Amanda DeMizio
October 15, 2021
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When it comes to esports, teams can compete in many types of tournaments and an infinite number of variations of those tournaments. In this article, you can learn about the basics of round robin tournaments, including:

  • What is Round Robin, and How Does Round Robin Work?
  • Round Robin Pros and Cons
  • How LeagueSpot Can Get You Started

What You Need to Know About Round Robin Tournaments

What is a Round Robin Tournament?

A round robin styled tournament is where teams play one another an equal number of times, accumulating points as they win (or none if they lose).

In a round robin tournament, the team with the best record is the winner. Depending on the tournament rules, there are a few different ways a winner can be determined in the event of a tie:

  1. The top players or teams are seeded into an elimination or “knockout” bracket.
  2. The winner is decided by a point differential. In single round robin, ties are broken with even records based on “head to head” record. Games with draws (like chess) are the exception to this.
  3. If both teams hold an equal record against each other in a double round robin, a final head-to-head game may be used to determine the winner or top seed.

One of the most well-known round robin tournaments is the annual League of Legends World Championship, where each qualifying team takes to the stage to compete for the crown of the world’s best League of Legends team, a title earning the winning team a 70-pound Summoner’s Cup and a multi-million-dollar grand prize.

A typical round robin tournament can host a minimum of three teams. The more teams that compete, the longer (and more time-consuming) the tournament will be since each team must play every other team.

Typical round robin scheduling is more straightforward than the League of Legends World Championship, which features double round robin tournaments to determine the best two teams, followed by a single-elimination match to crown the top team.

Here are a few examples of games and tournaments that use round robin:

  • The International Dota 2 Championship
  • Overwatch League Regular Season
  • Rainbow Six Siege Regular Season
  • Valorant Regular Season
  • ESL Pro League

How is Round Robin Different Than Double Elimination or Swiss?

Unlike double elimination or swiss, round robin scheduling and opponents are clearly defined from the start. While double elimination tournaments guarantee players two matches (and players must lose two matches before being eliminated), round robin and swiss system tournaments operate in a similar way by recording wins and losses over a set number of rounds.

Swiss system tournaments match up teams with relatively similar records or points, where round robin tournaments focus on each qualifying team playing against each other, not according to skills or success level in an event.

Round Robin Tournament Pros

For competitors, round robin tournaments are a chance to compete in more matches before elimination, and every player or team gets the opportunity to compete against all other participating competitors. This also means that even if a team has a bad match, they have multiple opportunities to redeem themselves.

Round robin tournaments are also a great choice for competitions where you would want the option to see your opponents in advance. This would allow flexible scheduling in situations where the tournament rules allow players or teams to play matches in advance.

Round Robin Tournament Cons

Round robin tournaments may not always be the best option. Some reasons why include:

  • Round robin tournaments can be lengthy.
  • An extended tournament, while exciting for the fans, means more player fatigue and cost overruns related to tournament production. For grassroots tournaments, this could mean operating past closing time and being viewed negatively by the community for a timely event. For larger tournaments, this could mean paying penalties to the venue or risk being shut down for operating outside the permit hours.
  • Winners may be determined by tiebreakers rather than single-elimination competition.
  • If one team forfeits or drops out, the rest of the group may be affected.

Join LeagueSpot Today!

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of esports or dream of hosting a big-league round robin tournament of your own, LeagueSpot offers the simple interface and straightforward management tools to help you hit the ground running.

In just five minutes, you can unlock a world of program design, tournament management, marketing resources, and the potential for limitless monetization. Contact LeagueSpot today to learn more about our esport gaming services and how we can help you promote your passion into something more. After you do, be sure to join us on our Discord and stay up to date on the latest and greatest esport happenings!

Portrait of Amanda DeMizio
Written by Amanda DeMizio
Published on October 15, 2021