The first tournament I ever went too was a 3s one and I ended up in the finals. Granted, that the best players from the state weren’t there but it was a decent local venue for FL. iirc, there was like around 15-20 players.
For a small tournament, you can play games and watch to spot the killas and the scrubs. Sift them out. Anyone who you can’t beat or looks like they may give you a hard time, watch them for a bit. Watch their character, break down their playing style like weather or not they’re agressive or a turtle etc… see if they have specific patterns that they are always taking advantage of and most importantly, see how they react under pressure. Sometimes you’ll see someone who is super deadly but if you take his options away, he’ll just crack open and kill himself. If you run a specific character only, look for your counter characters @ a tournament and try to break down that fight according to the type of player they are etc…
All the tourneies I’ve done well in so far, I wasn’t even worried about winning the whole thing. I was just worried about the next guy I had to play and I took it 1 game @ a time. If you start thinking you’re doing well and you made it far, chances are you’ll probably lose. Stay focused and play smart. Don’t even worry that the guy you’re playing next is a fucking killer. Break him down and go get him.
I had a real weird exp in my first tourney. I was playing a ken player who got top 15 @ FR the year before so its not like he was a scrub. Right off the bat, I had the best guy there. It goes 2-1 him but I got mad a little and took a walk outside. I broke down our fight and figured out where I was losing @. So i’m in losers immediately and fight all the way back to loser finals where I run into the same person who put me into losers. I calmed my nerves first before I started playing and I ended up getting the guy 3-1 and only won our fight because I had broke down some of his tendencies and punished him for it and he never figured it out. I even yelled " where the hells is my money." Not realizing it was loser finals and not grand hahaha.
you’re only as good as your competition. I was playing 3s with mixup and another homie @ the time and the level we were training @ was the same level of the top players there. For your first tournament, don’t expect anything. Take it as a learning exp weather you go 0-4 or win the whole damn thing. After the tournament, I was kinda hyped that i got 2nd @ my first one but I was more impressed by the fact that I had countered someone who was obvioulsy a much better player than me because I broke down his strat and found counters. That learning exp in general was more valuable than the damn money.