Structures available on Toornament
As Toornament offers a vast array of competition structures, here’s a quick and useful guide on what each of them do best. Must read, if you need to pick the format that suits you best!
Single EliminationFormat Details
Pitch: The most used format, where the winner of each match advances forward and meets another winner,until one final victor remains.
Duration: Moderate. Each round is 50% shorter than the previous one.
Capacity: Can accommodate a wide range of participants.
Pros: easy to handle and understand, straightforward.
Cons: no room for error, weaker participants will only play one single match.
Pick Bracket if: you want to rely on a quick, solid format known by everybody. Perfect for a first competition.
Double EliminationFormat Details
Pitch: The Double Bracket adds a "Loser Bracket" welcoming all the participants who lost a match. You then have to lose twice to be eliminated.
Duration: Average. Be aware that this format more than doubles the time needed for a tournament compared to the Single Elimination.
Capacity: Can accommodate a wide range of participants, but the Loser Bracket can get loaded at times.
Pros: Greater match variety, possibility for comebacks.
Cons: Hard to understand, leads to confusing situation due to variants (like the Double Grand Finals), timing issues between the two brackets.
Pick Double Bracket if: you want to provide a flexible experience for all your participants, where a single lose doesn't mean elimination.
Pitch: Dispatches the participants into smaller pools where they will face the other members of their group.
Capacity: Limited. Groups are designed to keep a relatively low number of participants, but you can spawn numerous groups.
Duration : Depends on the group size, but generally quite short.
Pros: Easy to understand and to set up, good to separate seeds, flexibility as each group is independent from the others.
Cons: Doesn’t work well as a standalone structure, better when followed by an Elimination-type structure.
Pick Groups if: you have numerous participants from different skill levels and you want to have several matches played simultaneously.
Bracket GroupsFormat Details
Pitch: Each group is a bracket. Widely used by the GSL (4 participants in a Double Bracket), giving the name "GSL Groups".
Capacity: Usually small, but tournaments like the Vainglory League and March Madness use 64 participants Bracket Groups.
Duration: A bit shorter than regular groups, as there is no need for participants to face all their opponents to determine who's qualified.
Pros: All matches are important, no participant has won or lost until he has played all his matches.
Cons: Weaker participants play very few matches, harder to understand than the regular Groups.
Pick Bracket Group if: the average participants’ skill level is consistent. Great for high level tournaments.
Pitch: Same as the Round-Robin. Usually a Standalone stage, the participant with the most points at the end wins.
Capacity: Accommodates with any number of participants, but better for small to medium size.
Duration: Long, as each participant plays all his opponents. Some leagues even use Double-Robin format.
Level: Beginner. The League format is straightforward. Its main difficulty lies in the workload involved and its points system.
Pro: flexible schedule, lots of matches for everybody, rewards the most consistent performing participant.
Cons: Stretches over a long duration and can become boring for the weaker participants who already know they can’t win.
Pick League if: you want to create a continuous stream of matches for all your participants. Works well for online competitions.
Swiss SystemFormat Details
Pitch: The System pairs participants with equal or close level, based on their previous results, getting more and more accurate as rounds go by.
Duration: Variable, but not exponentially long like a League, as you can choose the number of rounds.
Capacity: Works well with any number of participants.
Level: Advanced. The pairing and tiebreaking algorithm are somewhat complicated, but Toornament handles everything on its own!
Pros: Most match-ups are well balanced for everyone.
Cons: Abandons are possible, but not that impactful, as dropped-out participants are simply not paired anymore.
Pick Swiss System if: you want to entertain participants with various skill level. Only the first rounds can be random.
Pitch: All the structures explained above can be combined freely: Groups to Bracket, League to Playoffs, Groups to Groups to Bracket etc.
Duration: A little bit tricky but keep this in mind: a complex structure takes more time than the addition of its two sub-structures.
Capacity: Depends on the combination.
Level: Intermediate, Advanced.
Pros: More variety in match ups and match values, can suit any situation, with qualifying or seeding rounds into Elimination.
Cons: There are no real con except the added workload.
Pick a combination of formats if: you want to offer an exhaustive experience to your participants and your audience.