Introducing the Bracket Group
So, what is a bracket groups ? As it names hints, it’s a group stage working as an Elimination Bracket (Simple or Double).
Bracket Groups structure brings a whole different pace to a group stage as each match becomes crucial. This translates into a rise of intensity and drama for each match, whereas traditional group stage may lead to boring or useless matches.
The downside is also obvious : your participant can be out of the tournament really fast, and they won’t have the chance of playing all other participants from their group.
Most of the time, the two finalists are qualified, the winner being better seeded than the second.
Here’s a notable example of bracket groups, with the famous GSL Code S tournament on Starcraft II:
To create such a stage, all you need to do is create a "Bracket Group" stage, with as many groups of 4 participants as you wish (meaning a Size of N, and N/4 groups), and add a Threshold value of 2 (under the advanced tab) to remove the grand final from each group, and effectively qualify 2 players per group).
Bracket groups have seen a rise in popularity lately, a trend started with the Starcraft II scene, and this particular format that gave its name to this kind of stage: "GSL Groups”, or “EVO Groups”.
You should experiment with bracket groups and see how your participants enjoy its high stakes nature !