A double-elimination tournament presents several advantages over the single-elimination format. Each team will battle at least twice and most will battle three times or more. No team is eliminated until their second loss. Because teams are placed randomly in the draw, it is possible for 2 of the strongest teams to meet in the early rounds, but the losing team can then work their way through the lower bracket and progress to the later rounds, despite meeting the strongest team in the early rounds of competition.
All teams begin in the upper, or winner’s, bracket. Following each battle the winning team will move forward (to the right) in that bracket. The losing team moves to the lower, or looser’s bracket. Thus, each team is the upper bracket has no losses and each team in the lower bracket has one loss. Each battle is numbered. The position of the losing team in the lower bracket is indicated by an L followed by the number of the battle in which they lost. So in the example below, the loser of battle 1 moves to the line marked L1, the loser of battle 2 moves to the line marked L2, and so on.
Play in the lower bracket is identical to play in a single-elimination tournament. Winners move forward in their bracket, but losers are eliminated from play. Thus, a team’s second loss removes them from the double-elimination tournament.
If, in the final round (battle 14 in the example), the team from the upper bracket is victorious then that team is the tournament winner and play is complete. However, if the team from the lower bracket is victorious, then the teams are tied with one loss each. Neither team is eliminated because neither team has two losses. Only in that case would the dotted lines of our bracket be used. The teams from battle 14 battle once more and the winner of the second battle (number 15) becomes the tournament champion.