Produce an on-time Tournament

Updated by Geoffroy "Vomact" Piot


Here are greats tips we gathered from professional tournament organizers, to help you master your schedule and minimize issues.

  1. Balance between preferences and logistics
    Most of the time, a tournament format depends on contraints : how many days, hours do you have ? How many admins, computer, how many participants ? And first of all, what is your budget ? Every game and community has its preferences and traditional match formats, but before you please them, make sure you can handle the format.

  2. Add 30%
    If your tournament takes 6 hours on paper, make it 8 in reality. Even when most of a tournament goes smoothly, there are always hiccups and issues creating delays. Or this 8 Overtimes Counter Strike match going history, just during your tournament poolplays. Plan for a 20, 30% extra time so that only the better can happen, while the worst is already in your agenda.

  3. Best of 3, worst for timing
    A lot of Esport disciplines requires a Best of 3 format. Don’t make the mistake to weight a Bo3 like 3 Bo1. As most games rely on score and not time, length varies. Stacking games on games widen this variation.

  4. Know the game specifics
    With warm-up and set up, a typical FIFA match is around 30mn. A typical Counter Strike map is more about an hour, plus finding 10 players and their coaches. Don’t forget to start from scratch everytime you build a tournament around a new game, it might screw the whole timetable that worked so well your previous game.

  5. Do players play enough ?
    Depending on your choices and constraints, the minimal number of matches a player or team will greatly change, from 2 (2 losses in a double bracket format) to 5-8 (groupstages, leagues). Is it important ? Depends on who your participants are. If they’re progamers, the number of matches they play doesn’t matter, as they’re here to win, period. Most of the costs (registration, hotel, flights, food) are taken care of by their teams and sponsors. When you design a tournament for amateurs, this point goes a whole new level. Amateur gamers pay and invest a lot to join your tournament. They come to play and eventually win, but play first. Choosing a format where all participants play a high minimum number of matches will increase the satisfaction rate. It will also greatly burden your schedule but still, think about your participants : don’t let them leave starving for more matches.

  6. Brief, brief, brief
    Most of the hassle you’ll get during a tournament will come from clueless participants. Even tho you send a rule book weekd before, chance are no one really read it (remember, the most common lie in the world is “I have read and agree to the terms of use”). You have to get rid of as much issues as possibles when your tournament starts. A pre tournament general briefing is always a great way to remind participants how things work and prevent some unecessary and exhausting live FAQs. Also, put AS MUCH informations as possible in your rule book. This will end or shorten most resquests and questions from your participants.

  7. Repeat and rince
    Your pre-games briefing you just did this morning ? Do it again tomorrow, and the day after. As smart as they are, people need you to stuff instructions in their mind with a shovel, again and again.

  8. Talk to the tech
    Your technical staff also desserve special attention. They’re the other backbone of your tournament. Showing a proactive attitude and going through every checked box together before a tournament will lower the workload during the event and thus, make them far more efficient when something unexepected happens.

  9. Online and offline doesn’t work the same way
    Last but not least, Online and Offline. With the same game and the same rules, Online tournaments doesn’t the same or more specifically, follow a different pace. The reason is people can’t easily take 8 hours from their week days. People attending Offline tournament are often 100% dedicated to it, whereas Online tournaments can happen during well, other online tournaments. Plan accordingly, by scheduling one or two matches per week per participant.

We hope those tips from professional tournament organizer will help you ! If you have some more, we’d be glad to hear from you !

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