Double elimination, eliminated on first loss

I recently finished a double elimination tournament in which I was successful up to the final game. In the final game I made a mistake which cost me the game and was quite disappointed to find out there would not be one additional game since it was only my first loss of the tournament.


This tournament:

Yeah, that looks like a bug or design mistake. Double elimination should mean that you should get a second shot at playing the final game since you hadn’t lost yet in the tournament.

The final in a double elimination tournament should always be: the undefeated player only needs to win once to win the tournament while the other player needs to win twice.


Thank you for the link to the tournament, I hadn’t considered adding it.

Looks like all of the double elimination tournaments on this site behave this way:

This is one way that a double elimination tournament can work, it’s not a bug but rather a design choice. We’re certainly open to changing it.


That seems like a rather uncommon variation upon the double elimination concept, as it departs from the commonly understood notion that a player is eliminated if and only if they lose two games.

As a design choice, this current implementation might have some benefits, such as making the length of the tournament slightly shorter and more predictable. However, I think that this comes with the drawback of introducing some unfairness.

One of the motivating factors for using a double elimination format (as opposed to single elimination) is that players have the safety net of the bottom bracket to avoid immediate elimination from having just one bad game. This design choice basically takes away that safety net for the player that hasn’t used it yet, once the tournament has been reduced to two players.

Also, a fairly common occurrence in double elimination tournaments is that the final two players have already played each other once before. In that case, one can think of the final one or two games in a typical double elimination tournament as finishing the best-of-three, head-to-head series between these final two players.

On the other hand, reducing the final match-up to just a single game (as is currently done) can result in a somewhat arbitrary determination of the winner. If the player that had previously lost wins the final game, you wind up with a symmetric situation between the top two players, where both have won all but one game, and they have split their two head-to-head games, however, the player that lost first gets awarded the win. This was the case in the Thyderion’s tournament and the second other example that I gave above.


I know this is an old topic, but I thought I’d register my opinion on this as well - I was surprised to be eliminated in the final round from the winner’s bracket.

I guess I can’t argue with an intentional design decision, but it was certainly unexpected. I’ve participated in double-elimination tournaments in a variety of games and I’ve never seen the finals be an exception. If the topic is still under any sort of debate, I vote for the “normal” way that most (all?) other tournaments use.

At the very least, there should be something written on the tournament page that the finals are single-elim :slight_smile:


I don’t mind which arrangement is used but I very much agree with:


Sorry to bump this old topic.

I ran into this little surprise last night as the organizer and producer for Kyu Clash.

I set up a double elimination tournament for the contenders thinking it would auto-create at least 2 games for them. However, only being two contenders, it treated the match as a single-elimination final. It caused some confusion on all our parts.

As an event organizer, I would love to have the ability to create matches between other players so they don’t have to fiddle with it themselves on stream. I’d like to be able to create the matches, choose the colors, set a time for the event, etc. But, I know that’s pie in the sky.

Thanks for making a nice online platform for go. I agree with the other commentators that a warning about the single-elimination final might be appropriate.


This bug was reported again recently as a result of this tournament

I searched GitHub and found no open issues so I made this one

@anoek could you please clarify where you now stand these 5 years down the line? Is it still a design choice you align with? Or do you now agree that if a player loses their first game of a double elim tournament in the grand final that the game should be replayed such that only one player is left with less than 2 losses.


Yet another report here:

@anoek any comment on @BHydden’s questions in the previous post?


In my experience final game (or final X games) don’t follow double elimination rules and are single elimination or sometimes best of X.

So that’s normal.

Being normal doesn’t make it either intuitive or ideal. There are strong arguments that it is neither. If anoek feels that normal is best, that’s fine, but we request that it at least be more clearly stated that this is the intended function to clear up any confusion.