# Best Strategy for Each Team in The Regular Season to Win Champion in The Knockout Tournament

## Keywords

Probability theory, knockout tournament, game theory

## Select the category the research project fits.

Mathematical/Computational Sciences

No

## Abstract

In 'J. Schwenk.(2018)What is the Correct Way to Seed a Knockout Tournament? Retrieved from The American Mathematical Monthly' , Schwenk identified a surprising weakness in the standard method of seeding a single elimination (or knockout) tournament. In particular, he showed that for a certain probability model for the outcomes of games it can be the case that the top seeded team would be less likely to win the tournament than the second seeded team. This raises the possibility that in certain situations it might be advantageous for a team to intentionally lose a game in an attempt to get a more optimal (though possibly lower) seed in the tournament. We examine this question in the context of a four or eight team league which consists of a round robin ''regular season'' followed by a single elimination tournament with seedings determined by the results from the regular season. Using the same probability model as Schwenk we show that there are situations where it is indeed optimal for a team to intentionally lose. Moreover, we show how a team can make the decision as to whether or not it should intentionally lose. We did two detailed analysis. One is for the situation where other teams always try to win every game. The other is for the situation where other teams are smart enough, namely they can also lose some games intentionally if necessary. The analysis involves computations in both probability and (multi-player) game theory.

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Best Strategy for Each Team in The Regular Season to Win Champion in The Knockout Tournament

In 'J. Schwenk.(2018)What is the Correct Way to Seed a Knockout Tournament? Retrieved from The American Mathematical Monthly' , Schwenk identified a surprising weakness in the standard method of seeding a single elimination (or knockout) tournament. In particular, he showed that for a certain probability model for the outcomes of games it can be the case that the top seeded team would be less likely to win the tournament than the second seeded team. This raises the possibility that in certain situations it might be advantageous for a team to intentionally lose a game in an attempt to get a more optimal (though possibly lower) seed in the tournament. We examine this question in the context of a four or eight team league which consists of a round robin ''regular season'' followed by a single elimination tournament with seedings determined by the results from the regular season. Using the same probability model as Schwenk we show that there are situations where it is indeed optimal for a team to intentionally lose. Moreover, we show how a team can make the decision as to whether or not it should intentionally lose. We did two detailed analysis. One is for the situation where other teams always try to win every game. The other is for the situation where other teams are smart enough, namely they can also lose some games intentionally if necessary. The analysis involves computations in both probability and (multi-player) game theory.