Major tournaments should pay out more than just the top 3 players


The West Coast Warzone tournaments were extremely well run, great job by John Rog and everyone involved. It had a great online broadcast, it was well organized, and ran smoothly despite over 100 people showing up that didn’t pre-register.

But it was kinda disappointing to see that Yeb, the standout player of the tournament who surprised the hell out of everyone by kicking ass with his amazing Gen, won nothing at all for placing 4th out of about 300 people.

With a $4000 prize pool, there’s plenty of money there to award a little something to the players who did well but couldn’t quite make it to the top 3. The payouts could have been something like $1500, 900, 600, 400, 200, 200, 100, 100. (note- I am NOT suggesting they should have changed the payouts after people showed up at the tournament.)

Paying only the top 3 is a leftover idea from back when tournaments were small and had 20 or so people showing up. When you have a major event with tons of people entering, there’s no good reason not so spread the money around a little bit more. Here are some reasons why it’s a good idea…

  • more exciting for the few dozen people who have a chance to reach top 8, but aren’t at the level of Justin/Marn/Valle yet
  • more exciting for people to watch, since there are money implications on more late-round matchups
  • mid-level players would have an somewhat attainable goal of one day winning money in a big tournament if they practice and improve, which is nearly impossible now with only 3 spots paid

I think it only makes sense to pay out the top 8 (if not more). If you’d pay 3 people in a 30 man tournament, it’s hardly unreasonable to pay 8 or so when there are 10 times as many entrants. Look at poker, they pay the entire top 10%… though I admit top 32 paid would be going too far.

Look at any other tournament sports… you don’t see golf and tennis only paying the top 3. Look at competitive gaming… the WoW PVP tournament paid the top 32. There was a huge Halo 3 tournament run by the CPL, they paid the top 64.

Only small-time competitions pay out the top 3, and now that there are major SF events with hundreds of people, paying only 3 people is a leftover outdated idea. I’m hoping the major tournaments start looking into paying out more places, it’d be better for almost everyone whose name isn’t Justin or Marn.


i agree!


i disagree!


money matches




fully agreed. top8 needs to get paid!


Payouts should be determined by number of entrants. So if a tourney has 40 people, go with top 3. If it has 200 why not top 8?


I agree, once you start getting 100+ people you really should reward those players that almost make it as well, certainly not as much as #1, but something. Might even increase the turnout for tourneys because there is more of a chance to atleast get your entry fee back or something.


In my opinion any additional money beyond the money required to get the best players around to come is basically a loss to the rest of the tournament players, since it unnecessarily buffs the individual at the potential expense of everyone else; the payout’s goal (to get the best players to come) was already accomplished, so why make it any larger? Imo all tournament payouts should be designed to give just as much money as is necessary to entice the best players to come and then no more. I know it’s hard to find that exact payout number, but that goal should still factor into the discussion when trying to set a sum.

A payout pool of $4000 that gives $3000 to the winner instead of $3500 will not have an impact on the high-level players who come; both numbers are enough to convince very good players to fly across the country or even the world for the chance of winning. That extra $500 is totally sweet for the winner, but the $3000 was already enough to get him to come. But it’s not hard to imagine that using that extra $500 to buff up 2nd and 3rd places’ prizes and to repay the entrance fees for the top 8 or 16 or whatever finishers is going to make more players come. It’s not gonna make new players come, since new players can’t realistically expect to get top 16 in a 250 person tournament, but it might make good-but-not-the-best players come out more. I tend to think that’s a pretty minimal effect in real life since those players probably wouldn’t be more likely to drive or fly from farther away, but it might make people who aren’t sure about their expendable income or might otherwise feel like they don’t want to come that day decide to come. It’s also a helpful incentive for future performances; I remember the first time I won money in a tournament, and it was a huge incentive for me to work harder and try to actually win the whole thing next time. It was like, “Man, I really might have a chance to be good at this! I’m gonna work hard and see just how good I can be!”

The real point, though, is that if you’ve made the pots large enough to to get the best players to come, and then you have this money left over and nobody to incentivize it with at the top but maybe a few people to incentivize it with at the other high-ish placing positions, and if the top players are already getting a lot of money but others in high-ish placing positions are getting none, then it seems much better to me to give it to those other high-ish placing players both to incentivize them and to be a little fairer.

We’ve talked about this a bunch of times before, and some people have said that they think that giving the money to only the top 3 as opposed to at least giving back the entrance fees of the next whatever number of finishers will make everyone who doesn’t get top 3 even hungrier. And like, come on. If a number of dollars is enough to make the best players fly across country (that $3000, say), then it’s for sure also enough to make the other players to be hungry. An extra $500 that doesn’t make more of the best players fly over because they’re already flying over isn’t going to make a player who is already hungry for that $3k to be even hungrier. It’s also not gonna do anything for players who still aren’t incentivized to be hungry to become incentivized. We’re not talking $3000 vs $1 million here.

All sorts of other tournament scenes get this. I mean, name a major tournament scene and its payout or other methods of support are gonna be more egalitarian than Street Fighter’s.


lol, enough of this. hell, why not just pay out to everyone? john rog added $1000 to the pot, so everyone could have come up on like 3 extra bucks. y’all need to get a job


dont they ever do tournaments where you pay to get in and winner takes all?
that would be good.

at places like evo it would be nice if they get a sponser to organize consolation prizes for everyone that takes part.
since evo draws in so many casuals etc… too.


Only because it’s impossible, imo. You got a set of scarce resources; use what you need to to get the best players to come, then use the rest to incentivize and be fair to as many other players as you can.


Id rather people just figure out the minimum amount of prize money to attract the top players, and then figure out what the minimum entry fee is to generate that money instead of dividing the leftovers to the top 8/16/32/whatever else.


Yeah in relation to the turnout more people should get paid.Ironically didn’t Marn say if I remember correctly in the gootecks interveiw less people from japan turned out for EVO because less heads were getting paid and were scared of Daigo?I would have liked to see Tokido,Nuki,and Momochi at this past evo.


Imo payout should be to top 5%.


There has to be more money involved.


I think paying top 8 is a good idea. 5 extra payouts is not the end of the world, but extending it beyond that really cheapens the value, both monetarily and psychologically. Some people aren’t interested in just playing top tier in order to take home money and I applaud Yeb for sticking with Gen. I think that approach should be rewarded, even if only with a small portion. As opposed to Japan, where apparently no one gets paid and it’s a simple matter of pride, the US scene is based around winning money and I think extending payouts to the top 8 keeps competition healthy and promotes a little reward for taking a risk.


If they had dropped the top prize to ?1500 would it have made financial sense for Marn to enter?

How much would his return flights, accommodation, entry fee and food costs have been for the weekend?


who nkows llololol


Lol Mechanica, been drinking?

On topic: Top 8 at larger tournaments sounds reasonable, but what do I know.