Tiebreakers are integral to having fair, proper scoring in any swiss or round robin event. Often, players that compete through multiple rounds of swiss can (and will likely) have the same general set count as other players in their pool. Tiebreakers are strategic algorithmic ways to break down who has the better overall performance in tournament and can be decided a number of ways.
General Tiebreaker Terminology
Found in Bracket Setup of the Admin, click on the first phase option (which determines the type of bracket you’re running) and then scroll down to Tiebreaker Rules. Here you can add, remove, and set floors and ceilings to determine your tiebreakers.
(NOTE: “Partial Rounds” refers to finishing only a certain set of rounds and not all the rounds of the tournament. In other words, if a person were to drop, the partial rounds win percent would take effect since they didn’t finish the entire event.)
Below are just a few common ways to break ties. While each game/tournament can run their own specific rules, these are a few you’ll find more frequently than others:
- Set Win Percentage - The Set Win Percentage describes what your record was for your total sets.
- Example: Player A has played 3 games and won all 3. Player B has played 3 games, winning 2 and losing 1. Player A therefore has a 100% set win record vs Player B’s 66.6% win record.
- Game Win Percentage - The Game Win Percentage will show how many games you were able to win within each set each round.
- Example: Player A and Player B both have 100% set win rate percentages. Player A has won all of their games 2-0 in a best of 3, but Player B won 2 games 2-0 but 1 game 2-1. Therefore, Player A will be considered over Player B as their game win percentage is 100%, and Player B’s is not.
- Opponents’ Win Percentage - Your opponents’ win percentage is calculated as their overall win percentage via games throughout the tournament.
- Opponents’ Set Win Percentage - Your opponents’ set win percentage gets calculated by looking at their overall wins from their sets within the tournament.
- Opponents’ Opponents’ Win Percentage - This percentage goes further than just calculating your opponents’ win percentage. It will take all of the player’s opponents’ scores and then average them.
- Opponent Point Total - This is calculated based on the opponents’ entire point total.
- Total Sets Won - This is calculated through just set wins, and totals all of them across each player in the event individually.
- Head-To-Head - “Head to Head” refers to how well your scores overall match the opponents’ scores overall when needing to solve for a tiebreaker. Head to heads generally are necessary when things such as set win and game win percentage are both identical.
- Standing of Last Opponent - Very rarely seen, the standing of your last opponent may be used as a tiebreaker. This is calculated by pulling all of the other tiebreakers in the order they were set. You would need to look at your last opponents’ overall record.
Tiebreaker Percentage Floors and Ceilings
In some popular games, discerning what your Opponents’ Win Percentage or other common tiebreak floors (low numbers) and ceilings (high numbers) are done via a strict, locked percentage and not a general one.
Below are a few examples:
- Pokemon: In Pokemon, if a player is dropped before the event completes, there’s a special tiebreak circumstance. If a player has completed the event, then their win percentage will be the number of wins divided by the total number of rounds in the tournament. However, the minimum win percentage that ANY player can have is 25%, even if going 0-5 in tournament. Likewise, there is a maximum. If another player wins their first match of a round five event, but then drops from the tournament, their win percentage is 1/1 (so, effectively 100%). Since this is higher than the maximum win percentage, that player’s win percentage is reduced to 75%.
- Hearthstone: In Hearthstone, there is no maximum win percentage, but there is a minimum. Like Pokemon, the minimum is to allot for a percentage that isn’t zero. The minimum in Hearthstone is 30%.
- Byes: Common across many major trading card games, Byes typically count for a 100% win percentage when calculating the opponents’ win percentage.
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