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Format Guides Overview

This is a quick walkthrough of how I've formatted my format guides.

Ultra-Quick Look

First, I'll have a quick blurb about the format with strengths and potential drawbacks.

How it Works

Next, I'll explain how the format works.

By the Numbers

Here I will provide a reference table of important numbers for the format. The calculations will revolve around the number of competitors, represented as n. The values in these tables will include:

  • # of Matches Played

    • This is how many total matches will be played given n competitors.
  • # of Necessary Consecutive Rounds

    • The number of necessary, consecutive rounds of play given n competitors
    • This is how you can calculate the runtime of a format! Multiply # of Necessary Consecutive Rounds by the time you expect a match to take. Note that if you do not have sufficient setups to run all available matches concurrently, then your runtime will be longer than this
  • Distinct Placements

    • These are the final standings you will have after you've completed all matches. If you want to award prizing, then these will be your options
  • Possible progressions

    • How many competitors you could advance from the format. This may involve shortening the competition (e.g. stopping a single-elim bracket after quarterfinals so that you can advance 4 competitors)

Be aware of a couple things! Firstly, if you're using groups, you'll want to use the group size for n (and then multiply by number of groups for values like # of matches played). Secondly, values in these tables assume that you are playing to completion and determining a 1st place. If you are stopping early to advance competitors to another stage, then # of matches played and # of rounds required may vary.

Notes for Different Roles

Here, I will list notes for each role to keep in mind. These might be opportunities to capitalize on an aspect of the format, potential issues to watch out for, or ways that different roles will need to communicate with each other. When you're meeting with everyone in these roles and discussing your format options, these are some good starting points for conversation!

Competitors & Competitive Ops

As I mentioned previously, Competitors & Competitive Ops overlap enough on format-related concerns that I've grouped them together here (not to mention, competitors are usually not involved with planning events so Comp Ops are their seat at the table). Comp Ops, in an ideal world, exists to facilitate an excellent competitor experience while keeping everything running smoothly for broadcast & other stakeholders. That being the case, Comp Ops' considerations are largely driven by how Competitors feel & behave in different formats. The items I list for them in each format usually relate to the competitor experience and the logistics for operating that format.


Broadcast tells the story of the competition to the world. Hence, Broadcast considerations are largely driven by what stories can be told and how they can be told. The items I list for them relate to predictability in a format, typical storylines, and potential pitfalls. This includes aspects of a format that audiences may find exciting (or boring).