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Swiss System Format

The Swiss System is a commonly used method of whittling down the number of teams in a tournament in CS:GO and many other eSports. It pits them against each other in a number of rounds, based on their overall record in previous matches played.

Before the Tournament Starts

Before the tournament begins the organisers assign a set number of wins that a team needs to qualify for the next stage, and a set number of losses that would kick a team out. The system only works for games that do not allow draws, seeing as the team you play against is determined by the number of wins and losses you have already achieved.

This method is advantageous as it gives those teams that lose a few games a fair chance to still qualify for the next stage should they win all their remaining games. It also gives teams a set number of wins to aim for to qualify for the next stage, rather than them constantly having to work it out as the tournament progresses using a traditional league structure. Those teams that show their dominance by winning their first few matches in a row are rewarded with an early qualification, hopefully splitting the best from the rest as soon as possible.

How the Swiss System Works

Round One
For example, in a tournament of 16 teams, the set number of wins to progress would typically be set at three, and the same number of losses would see you eliminated from the tournament. It begins with the teams being randomly drawn against each other and the first matches being played. After the first round of matches, eight teams are 1-0 and the other eight are 0-1.

Round Two
The eight teams that are 1-0 would play another team that are 1-0, and the same would happen with those that are 0-1, leaving you with four 2-0 teams, eight 1-1 teams and another four 0-2 teams.

Round Three
In the third stage, all the 2-0 teams would play another team with the same record, which would create two 3-0 teams who qualify for the next stage and two more teams that are 2-1. The reverse would happen with the 0-2 teams, as two teams would end up at 0-3 and be kicked out, whilst two would survive at 1-2. In the pool of eight 1-1 teams, four would end up at 2-1 and four would be 1-2.

Round Four
The fourth stage then sees only 12 teams competing, as two have qualified and two have been kicked out. All six 2-1 teams would play another team of the same record and, in turn, this creates three 3-1 teams who qualify for the next stage based on their three wins. On the other side, three 1-2 teams would lose another match and such be eliminated at 1-3. This then creates six remaining 2-2 teams for the final round.

Round Five
In this final round, three teams must win and three must lose, with those winning qualifying for the next stage at 3-2 and those at 2-3 leaving the tournament.

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