[Organizers] How to emulate the Davis Cup format?

A member of our community recently asked this: is there a way to bring the Davis Cup format on Toornament? The Davis Cup is a specific format relying on both team and individual matches.

A typical Davis Cup match poises two teams one against each other in a Best Of 5 format.

Each team will assign a player to each game, but won’t know which player the opposite team will pick. Note that in the original tennis competition, a player cannot take part in more than 3 matches: one of the first day single matches, the second day double match and one of the third day single matches.

It is very easy to recreate the Davis Cup format in Toornament, thanks to our “Public Note” feature:

  1. Start a team tournament with the (nick)names of all players for each rosters. Set match format to “Best of 5”. (check our post, how to define a match format)
  2. Each team’s captain will then provide to the admin his line up for the 5 games.
  3. In the dashboard, click on a individual match “Miscellaneous” tab and use the public notes to indicate which players will face each other.


The result will appear on the public widget:

[Organizers] How is Esport prize money awarded?

Each Esport discipline has its own rules, popularity, business model… We wanted to have a synthetic view on how each game award prize money, whether it’s trough numerous small tourneys, or a few big ones.

Based on Esports Earnings datas, here are some interesting results:


Next time, we’ll try to factor in other revenues (crowdfunding, stickers, stream ads…).

Tournament format analysis: How Riot and ESL deal with the Random factor

As tournament formats and structures are our little hobby, we started analysing the major Esport events and the reasons behind their choices.

After The International 5, here we are, breaking down the LCS Finals and the recent ESL One Cologne 2015.

We hope you’ll find good inspiration or cautionary tales for your own tournaments!

LCS Finals 2015

  • Group Stage

The Group stage follows a “Round Robin”, “Home – Away” Best-of-1 format. It looks like a Best-of-2, but the each participants won’t play their opponent twice in a row.

We like this approach, as it provides more variety in each day’s match-ups and allows some time for the “revenge hype” to build up.

  • Knockout Stage

Following the Group Stage, eight teams  advance to the Knockout Stage (formerly known as the Bracket Stage) and matchups transition to Best-of-5s. The Knockout Stage is comprised of Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals.


The main change this year comes from a draw phase between the Group stage and the Knockout stage.

Riot wanted to give more transparency and avoid “throws”, where a team loses a game on purpose to avoid another team in the knockout bracket. The bracket draw will be broadcasted Live after all the Group stage matches are played, so that no one is be able to predict its future opponent.

Randomness is used here as a firewall against deceptive performances which hurt teams’ credibility and cast a shadow over the rest of the tournament.

ESL One Cologne 2015

After the unique format used at IEM Gamescom, ESL continues to explore alternatives to the classic “group-to-bracket” format. For this Summer ESL One, the German organization has come up with yet another twist in their structure. Here’s an excerpt from their announcement:

“We start the event with 4 groups of 4 teams each. Each group contains 2 legendary teams and 2 challenger teams. The teams will fight it out in a double elimination best-of-1 format per group with a small twist. The top 2 of each group will qualify for the playoffs.

The twist comes at the end of the first day of matches:

On the first day, all 4 groups will be played out up to and including the winners match, with the elimination match and deciding match still to be played out. This means that 4 teams will have qualified for the quarter finals and everyone else still has a chance to make it that far.

At the end of day 1, we will redraw the groups and seed the quarterfinals ensuring that a team cannot face off against a team that they have faced off against before until they reach the grand finals. After this swap, the teams will continue their run through the groups against their new opponents and try to reach a spot in the quarter finals.”

In a nutshell:

1. Groupstage is a Double Elimination brackets with 4 teams.

2. Semi finals are played, Winners Finals are played. The winner of this match qualifies for the Knockout Stage.

3. The three remaining teams from each group are shuffled with teams from other groups, but keep their current position.

4. In the new groups, Losers match is played, then Losers finals are played. The winner qualifies of this match qualifies for the Knockout Stage.

The main motivation behind this move is to prevent a team from being beaten twice by the same opponent. Still, it doesn’t look like it’s a fairer solution, as the original groups are supposed to be balanced from the start, with top seed teams and two low seed teams.


But our main concern on this option is the audience: Bracket Groups are already quite peculiar – although very interesting, but stacking a redraw right in the middle might be excessive.


Instead of playing games in a group of 4, we’ll play the 3 first games in a group of 4, then shuffle, then play the 3 remaining matches in a new group of 3. Still with us?

We then think about the participants. ESL CS tournaments are already criticized for using a Best-of-1 match format in the group stage, considered by many as not suitable for Counter-Strike. This FPS metagame is heavily influenced by the different maps and its ban/draft system.

Adding the group redraw hurts the relevance of the results, as naysayers will always have room to complain and post many “what if…” post-tournament articles and tweets.

The ESL One Cologne 2015 tournament format ultimately received mixed feedbacks for its Best-of-1 Match format in the group stage and GSL Groups redrawn. The next major tournament for ESL will be held in Dubai for the ESEA Invitational and we wonder which format they’ll come up with.

The major Esport events covered on Toornament, Aug. 21-23

This week end saw 4 major tournaments on 3 games around the globe: Cologne welcomed the major CS:GO tournament ESL One. Meanwhile, League Of Legends was holding its Summer Split Finals both in Stockholm and New York. Hearthstone was the focus in Busan, as the OGN Masters Korea reached the Season 3 Finals.


All event were packed with fans filling entire stadiums, a nice sight for Esports growth.

We covered all those major events and you can find the scores, details and VODs below:

ESL One Cologne 2015

2015 NA LCS Summer Split Finals

2015 EU LCS Summer Split Finals

OGN Hearthstone Masters KR Season 3