Enjoying tournaments as a newbie


Here’s a bit of a weird question, possibly even more subjective than even the stuff we get around here.

I’m brand new to the fighting game community, and thus far Marvel is the only game I play. I’m totally free right now (but getting better!), I’ve never been to a tournament, and I’m probably never going to have the time to become a SERIOUS, top-level-minded player. But I do love the game and I really want to participate in tournaments, even though I’m prepared to lose most if not all of the time.

So my question, I suppose, is: Can I still enjoy tournaments, soak up the atmosphere, improve my game, and be respected even without the intent of becoming Chris G? Or is this community basically a big torture chamber for all but the unemployed?


As long as you love the game, willing to get to know the fellow members of your community, and want to work hard to get better (at any level that you’re comfortable with), you’ll be accepted as part of the community, and I highly encourage you to make it out to your first tournament asap.

Ideally you shouldn’t just show up a minute before the tourney starts, talk to nobody, play your matches until you lose, and go home. Really you should take this time to play casuals or warmups against other people, be willing to talk to other people, and just generally be involved and part of the community.

So yes, you can still enjoy the tournament scene, hopefully be motivated to improve, find new ways to improve your skill set, and be respected without having to have the skills of a top-player. Think about it. The VAST majority of people in the scene, 80% of them are just regular gamers looking to play their favorite games with people that share their hobby.

Also, be sure to shower and wear deodorant, and that’ll go a long way towards helping you enjoy your first tournament.


Almost everyone in the FGC has real jobs. Daigo is (was?) a nurse.

Just go into it with an open mind and try to connect to the best players you can. Most of them are more than willing to help you get better in order to improve their own competition. Just be humble and listen to what people say. Some advice will be bad, most of it will be good.


The concept of pro-players who live solely on video games is pretty far-fetched in the vast majority of cases. Even sponsored players have other jobs. Actually, I think both Mago and Tokido spend a lot of their time training players in Japan for a liveable paycheck. Anybody who is fully sponsored to play video games aren’t getting filthy rich off it, I can tell you that.

Fighting games aren’t anywhere near the raging popularity of RTS games. Pro SC1 and SC2 games in S.Korea literally make an average of $80k+. That’s US dollars in a country where standard of living is fairly low and the US currency is valued fairly high.


I’m not proud of this but I know for at least a year of entering tournaments I never beat anyone. I never felt it wasn’t worth the experience but that’s just me.


I’ve been to many tournaments and I’ve always like doing casuals as a way to break the ice and get to know everybody. The more friendly you are the better your experience will be. Sometimes it’s not just about playing the game, its about playing with friends. That’s what a community is all about.


Skill level has nothing to do with the community accepting you. Don’t let that bother you, a community is just getting to know one another and the gaming aspect is just the 2 cents.


Thanks guys, this is really encouraging. :slight_smile:

It’s just that I’m in my last year of university and I’m also planning to go to grad school. But I see things like that recent Fanatiq interview where he talks about doing nothing but play Marvel for a month and I think, “Hmmm…” But yeah, I just want to play and get better and make some new friends. None of my own friends play fighters, so I need to reach out if that’s going to happen.


it pays well to like a game for yourself, if you go to tournaments just be yourself and be friendly, learn from those that are better and teach those that are not, never look down on anyone, have a few good drinks and exchange gamertags, try and find out hangouts where they play outside tournament play and generally have fun


As many people have said, (and as someone who isn’t able to go TOO far for things and is still getting my passport) even if you’ll lose a lot and stuff, going for the experience itself and getting a feel for how the community is, is just a good thing as a whole. Like often the whole atmosphere and that is kind of something that you’ll get into relatively easily after that whole nervous thing of not knowing anybody. Just remember that the vast majority of people in the scene at one point or another came in without knowing anybody. I’d also recommend trying to watch a bunch of the matches that are going on too and talking to a bunch of the better players there/people you play/etc. On top of just giving you tips and stuff, it’s usually enjoyable and pretty fun to see things the whole way through as it, if nothing else, helps you get a better overall idea of what stuff’s like and all that.


Keep in mind you don’t have to (shouldn’t?) make your first tourney venture alone and just “cold call” start talking to people.

Organize dudes who play locally to go together, or meet up with peeps from the message board, or even bring along a friend who doesn’t play FG’s at all but is bored on a weekend. I did that once.

  1. Be willing to learn. Accepting that you’re not as good as you think you are is the first step to getting better. It sounds like you’re comfortable with this.
  2. Show up early. Be clean, wear deodorant, etc.
  3. Play casuals. Also, if you see something new, see if you can get in a match or two. You never know what game(s) you’ll enjoy till you’ve tried it / them, and tournament casuals are a much cheaper way to get a basic feel for a game in action than actually buying it… especially if it’s an import title for the moment.
  4. Ask people for advice, especially the ones who beat you. You’ll probably have a hard time getting tips about matchups before the tournament is over though, so don’t just leave when you get eliminated either.


Anyone can be a strong player as long as they got the right mind-set and are playing the right people.
Thing is, there will be some sacrifices to get up there. What those sacrifices are, well that’s up to you.


Yeah, that’s a good point. All of the times I went to a tournament in a city for the first time, either other people from around me were going, people I knew from another city were, or both. Actually…that tends to be the case with any tourney.


He was also training for a $5k money match. If you had $5k riding on a money match, you’d be practicing all day every day for a month too.

Don’t be too worried or put too much thought into what the top players or popular players are doing. Just show up, get to know the local community, and have fun with it. If at some point you decide you want to take it to the next level and be a competitor, then you can do so.


That’s very true. Lord only knows how hard Clockwork and Neo practiced for THAT money match.


What is a reasonable goal for someone to have going into their first tournament. Im talking about in the tournament, I have the obvious goal of going and playing casuals getting advice and meeting people. I was thinking that I should aim to win at least one round of a game in the actual tourney…


That’s a pretty reasonable goal. I’d say one goal would be that if you’re losing a game or a round, try to utilize what you’ve observed about your opponent, and change your game plan. Even if it doesn’t work and you end up losing the game anyways, at least you tried, and you’re starting to learn how to adapt your strategy and playstyle to combat your opponent for that match.

Another one would be to win at least one match. This is difficult due to the randomness of your brackets, unless the brackets are properly constructed and assigned by player rank and location. It’s a lofty goal for a newbie, but definitely attainable, as long as you keep your nerves and check, and keep your focus and mental faculties in the match at all times.

Another goal is to learn how to keep your nerves in check. This is a lot more difficult than you’d think, since there’s a lot more pressure to do well in a tourney setting, what with people watching you, you possibly losing your money, being embarased on stream, etc etc. I think as long as you play to the best of your current ability, and not succumb to pressure and start doing stupid shit that you know not to do, that would be a good goal to have. Learn to play consistent no matter what good or bad situation you’re in, and no matter what skill level you’re at. Consistency is what separates the great players from good players, and is often the most difficult thing to retain.