Beginner's Guide to Tournaments

This guide is mainly for people who have never entered one of our tournaments before. However, it can also help those who have entered once or twice but don’t fully understand the format.

Standard Format – Double Elimination

Unless specified, all our tournaments are double elimnation. DE tournaments have a winners and losers bracket. On the OzHadou bracket (see below) we all start in the middle of the page in the winners bracket (where the numbers are)¬†and depending on the result of your match you will either progress further to the right (winners) or be moved to the left (losers). As the bracket is played out, players are moved around the bracket either towards the winners side final if they are winning or thrown into the loser’s side where they will progress towards the losers side final.

Typically matches will be decided best 2 out of 3 games, with each game usually set to best 2 of 3 rounds. This is often the case during our OzHadou Nationals. Generally, the local tournaments that you attend will be a single game to help keep total tournament time down. The number of rounds/games may also be increased during semi-finals, grand finals, or top 8s.

The player at end of the left side (losers bracket) will be in the grand finals with the player at the end of the right side (winners bracket). The losers bracket has to win twice as much in order to win the tournament. This is known as sets, as the losers finalist has earned their way back into the winners (or brought the winners bracket into the losers, however you like to view it). In a best of 1 game bracket, the losers finalist will have to win two games in order to come first, whereas the winners bracket only needs to win one game.

Each game has its own rules. Failure to comply with these rules may lead to a round/match disqualification as determined by the tournament staff. One such example is pausing whilst in game. Often the opponent will veto the disqualification and continue the match. But this is dependent on the opponent, so count it as a privilege NOT a right.

You may also be disqualified if you’re not present when your name is called out during the tournament. Tournaments are run on a schedule, so if we have to wait 10 to 15 minutes for each late individual because they’re buying food or going to the toilet, we will be running severely overtime. If you believe your match will be called while you’re away, please inform the tournament staff. Otherwise we will forfeit your match.

Variations to the norm


We generally run the tournaments on one bracket (a single sheet). However, if the number of entrants is quite substantial, we might divide the bracket into pools to speed things along and keep it easier to track. A pool is just a smaller bracket (basically, just split a 64 player bracket into 4 x 16 player brackets/pools). Pools can be run one at a time, or concurrently if there is sufficient equipment to do so. This allows people not in the current pools to either take a toilet break; get something to eat; or play casuals. Another reason for this is it helps reduce overcrowding. The final two players from each pool will then advance to another bracket, often for the top 8. Note there is no “grand finals” for pools, whoever comes out of the winners and losers finals will progress.[1]

Team Tournaments

Team tournaments add an extra dynamic to the tournament. The most common team tournament format we have in Australia is 2v2 (AB vs CD) or 3v3 (ABC vs DEF). For 2v2 we often adapt the a-cho format. This involves Player A vs C and B vs D. If both wins are on one team, they advance in the bracket. However if each team has a win, they the winners will play off to see which team would advance. 3v3 is a “player stays on” system which allows the chance of one-player-victories as well as reverse-one-player-victories, where the last member of the team beat all three from the opposing team.

Tips on surviving tournaments physically [2]

This is just basically just common sense, but some people tend to overlooked this in the excitement of a big tournament.

  • Fluids –¬†Tournaments can get quite warm due to the amount of people at the venue, so it’s always good to have easy access to water or something to drink. Especially if you do a lot of “talking”.
  • Fill your stomach – Sometimes we get so caught up with the games we neglect to replenish the energy we used from all that button tapping. We’ve had people not fare too well during our post-tournament activity due to lack of food throughout the day.
  • Smell fresh – As I said earlier the venue might get a little warm when there’s a lot of participants. I usually spray on some deodorant BEFORE the tournament and once or twice DURING. We often perspire when we’re nervous/anxious and if left unattended, it will leave quite a nasty smell later on in the day.
  • Plan your trip – Some of our local tournaments can go well into the evening and it’s always good to know when your last bus/train is, save you having to wait for a nightrider or 3 hours for the first train of the next day (true story!).

Further Reading

For more details on tournament rules specifics and running a bracket, check out the OzHadou Tournament Resource.

[1] Evolution tournament format
[2] Domination101: Mental Toughness