Double Elimination

The double elimination format is rather uncommon within HEMA. Since this format led to some confusion last year, we have prepared a descriptive explanation. The easiest way to explain the system is by example.

Displayed below is a double elimination tournament with eight participants. It is separated into two tournament trees: The Upper Bracket (also known as Winner’s Bracket) and the Lower Bracket (aka. Loser’s Bracket). Everybody starts in the Upper Bracket, just like in a standard single elimination. After a loss in the Upper Bracket, a participant moves to the Lower Bracket. Important to note: Even participants in the Lower Bracket can still win the whole tournament!

For a better understanding, we accompany the imaginary participant Erich Stripf through the tournament. After a victory in his first fight, he loses against Lore Leukfeld and moves to the Lower Bracket. There he continues to win, eventually even beating his former rival Lore. As the winner of the Lower Bracket, Erich now faces Nathalie Zeug, the winner of the Upper Bracket.

If Nathalie wins this fight, the tournament ends right away with her victory. However, she ends up losing against Erich. Now both participants have lost a single fight during the whole double elimination. To determine the final winner, they have to face each other again in a Grand Final. This time Nathalie holds her ground and wins the fight and the tournament, with Erich becoming second and Lore Leukfeld becoming third.

In the Symphony of Steel, we will use a double elimination with 16 participants. The corresponding tournament trees can quickly become large and confusing. However, you see one displayed here: