Swiss System Format for eSports Tournaments

Swiss System Format

With the latest CSGO major at PGL Krakow just finished up on Sunday, we have our new champions Gambit eSports! But have you wondered how they got there? The most commonly used format to find the best teams to play in the finals is the Swiss Format.

Counter-Strike often uses this system and recently Dota 2 has transitioned over to this format as well. This best of 1 (Bo1) format is used in the group stages to determine the 8 finalists from the 16 qualifying teams. This format is often used when there are too many teams to use other systems that see every team play each other. With 16 qualifying teams it would be a very long road out of the group stages before the finals. This Bo1 format can often see upsets from high seeded teams if they have a bad day as they cannot redeem themselves.

Each of the 5 rounds will see teams play against a different team based on the results from the previous round. Once a team has won 3 matches they will move on to the finals but once a team loses 3 matches they are knocked out. The remaining teams will continue to play until each has 3 wins or 3 losses. The top 8 of the 16 qualifying teams will move on to the finals. The bottom 8 will go home. The finals consist of the Quarter finals, Semi-finals and Grand Finals that are often best of 3 matches (Bo3). The Swiss Format is only used for the group stages and the finals format is often decided upon by the individual tournament.

The Finals then become knock-out games; the team that loses goes home, the team that wins moves on. The last team standing at the end of the grand final is the winner. Here is an info graphic to show you how it all works:

Swiss Format

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