The structure of a tournament describes all the steps of the competition. It defines what matches are played and how they relate to each other. It is composed of stages, groups, rounds, and matches. And it may be composed of brackets or rankings.

A stage is a major step in a tournament. It defines the method used to have participants play against each other. There are several types of stages, each with a specific purpose and functioning.

A stage is always composed of groups, rounds and matches. It may also be composed of brackets or rankings.

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A group represents a portion of a stage that involves only a subset of the participants. Groups are usually played simultaneously, because they involve different participants. There is always at least one group in a stage, even when the stage type does not require groups.


A round represents a small step inside a group in which each participant usually plays only one match. The rounds are meant to be played one after the other to progress the competition. A round contains matches.


A match represents a small structured form of play involving one or more participants. A match always take place in a round, a group and a stage. It may optionally be involved in a bracket or in a ranking.

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A bracket refers to a competitive method in which the outcome of a match determines where the participants go next. Winners will continue while losers are progressively eliminated. Matches are therefore connected between them and are often represented as a tree leading to a final match to determine the winner.

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A ranking refers to a competitive method in which the outcome of a match awards points. A ranking is calculated based on these points and tiebreakers. Participants progressively earn points until all matches are played and a final ranking is established.

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The placement represents the process of bringing and placing participants into the structure, and more specifically in the stages. Once participants have been placed in a stage, the stage will automatically place them in the appropriate groups, rounds and matches, as well as the brackets and rankings.

The structure and the participants are independent. They can be created before or after each other. Only when participants are placed in the structure do they actually enter the competition.