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Single versus Double Elimination

Michael on 2013-05-01

Single versus Double Elimination


Have you ever wondered what are the mechanics behind the Single Elimination & Double Elimination systems? What are the Pros & Cons behind each system? RGN makes an analysis on both systems.


Single Elimination


Photo credit: PrintYourBrackets


The Single Elimination is a one-off knockout bracketing system. Once your team loses, you are out of the competition so its tentamount to 'sudden death' for every round. It is a quick format to complete the tournament, but unfortunately the format is harsh as players/teams cannot afford to make any mistakes.



- Tournament runs throughout a shorter period of time (less games)

- Easier for underdogs to win



- The 'luck or surprise' factor may eliminate top teams in the early stages of the game


RGN's Analysis:

As far as possible, the Single Elimination should be avoided as it does not accurately gauge the true strength of every team. Well it is true that if you want to win the tournament, you'll have to win every opponent. However, an underdog team may use a 'one-off' surprise strategy against a top team.


If the Single Elimination format has to be used due to time constraints, RGN's recommendation is to use a 'best-of-3' format for each of the tournament stage (to eliminate the luck factor), and also possibly seed the top teams on the different sides of the bracket to avoid them meeting each other early.


Double Elimination


Photo credit: PrintYourBrackets


The Double Elimination system allows teams to lose twice before getting knocked out. All teams start off from the Winner's (or upper) bracket. The winners from each round will continue on to the Winner's bracket while all of the loser's will drop to a separate bracket called the Loser's (or lower) bracket. Once you lose again in the Loser's bracket, you'll be eliminated from the tournament.



- Less 'luck or surprise' factor resulting in Top teams getting eliminated entirely from the tournament

- Accurately pitches the true strength of teams by having a Winner's & Loser's bracket

- The winner of the Winner's bracket finals gets a longer resting time before the winner of the Loser's bracket finals. They may also get a game advantage in the Grand Finals.



- Long & tedious (for teams in the loser bracket)


RGN's Analysis:

Should a knockout system be used, a Double Elimination system is highly recommended there will be less chances of top teams getting eliminated entirely during the early stages of the tournament. This will more accurately pitch the top teams against each other in the later stages of the tournament; which could also potentially bring about more interesting games. Better still, a 'best-of-3' format should be used in every round to further eliminate the 'luck' factor. However, this means that the tournament will take an even longer period to complete.


We've asked a couple of DOTA 2 professionals about their opinion on both systems.


THAILANDNoppadon 'MiTH-Tr | SD' Paopongprapun, support player from THAILANDMitH-Trust:

"I prefer the Double Elimination system because everything can happen in games just from luck or something. Double Elimination will give them a chance to prove and every team have more chances of facing each other. "



SINGAPOREKenneth 'K e N' Lee, carry player from SINGAPORENetolic.SG

"Single Elimination usually benefits the underdogs more, as you can catch known teams 'off-guard' whereas you'll probably know their style. Whereas for Double Elimination, this case is totally non-existent unless the team's drafting sucks."



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1 Comment,  Leave a Comment And Get RGN Social Points

  1. gravatar
  both format!!

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