Tournament Hosting Help

I run an airsoft arena in Portland, OR, and we’ve got a 214" projection TV in our lounge complete with couches and seating for dozens of people. On occasion, I’ll play movies for free to get some people to come hang out, but when I’ve run free game tournaments, they tend to fall short on attendance. I need some advice, and a friend of mine recommended me here.

Next Saturday (Oct 3rd), I’m hosting a Soul Calibur IV tournament with the help of a local buy/sell/trade game retailer. The registration for it seems to be lackluster, so I’m already looking at what I need to change to get more people to show.

I looked around your forums for an ‘Idiot’s Guide to Hosting Tournaments,’ but found nothing that helped me, but I guess that’s what I’m asking for here. If anyone can give me a handful of XBox 360 titles that are commonly played, I’d appreciate it. I assume SF4 is a popular one, but I’m looking to do this every few months, so running the same title constantly will get old. Also, I’m looking for a basic rundown of how the tournament process (brackets, elimination styles, other types?) so my events are as entertaining and interesting as they can be. I am not looking to produce the 200+ person tournaments that some of you have been to, although that would be fantastic if it came together.

Any help from you folks is a great help. Thanks!

-Nic Redfield
General Manager, PDX CAGE

Nothing? Really? Am I asking for too much info? Is there somewhere else I should be looking instead of asking here?

Well, most tournaments are a double elimination bracket run with Tio. Prize money gets split about 70/20/10, though that’s something you can change as you see fit, especially if prizes are not cash.

There’s not much more to it than that. You can seed previous tournament winners to keep high level players from fighting each other too early in a tournament, though that’s not as important in a double elimination format. If you have any other specific questions I’ll try to answer them, though I only have experience being involved in very small tournaments (less than 50 entrants).

Imo, Street Fighter 4 is here to stay and won’t get stale even after 5 years.

haha never even heard of this tio

just make sure your projection tv doesn’t lag.

really though, you should try to make a friend with somebody involved in the fighting game community to help you out with this stuff. if you find someone semi intelligent and willing to volunteer, they can help run the tournaments, promote, and even help you decide which games are going to run.

I don’t mean to be rude, but these are the kind of questions you should have asked yourself before committing to a first tourney date. You have a tourney coming up in a week and you don’t know how to run brackets? :confused:

Most tournament organizers that are successful are themselves members of the community. If you’ve never participated in something like this, don’t know how tournies are usually run, and aren’t even sure what games are really popular, you’re not really in a great position to be a tournament organizer.

It’s really difficult to effectively promote to a scene you’re not involved in. Although I think it’s great you’re trying to provide your local area a venue to have tournies, perhaps you should try reaching out to the local tournament organizers and see if they would like to get involved?

Also, I think one of the reasons people aren’t signing up for your free tournaments are they are, well, free tournaments. When people in the fighting game community see “free tourney” the first thing that comes to mind is “no payout.” Most people would rather just play casuals with their friends than go to a small tourney with no payout.

2 problems with your situation:

  1. you weren’t part of srk, thus no promotion to your tourney. *** FIXED ****

  2. soul calibur IV? and you’re wondering why noone shows up? seriously host a real game people care about like Street Fighter IV or MVC2.

oh and ur projector probably lags ;\

Yeah, make sure to post it in the regional sections of the boards here, that’ll help, especially for SF4 tournaments.

The SCIV tourney is being run by a game retailer that’s giving me a hand with the brackets and everything (I think I said that). I’m trying to get more info so future events that I run gather a larger crowd.

I think that’s what I’m trying to do by posting here. :wink:

Noted. Thank you.

As for my projector lagging, I can assure you that any lag is minimal to non-existent. Rock Band requires no extra setup to play without latency after being set up on my LCD at home, and that game has a manual synchronizer to adjust for the lag between audio and video. Unlike most home projectors, this is one wasn’t designed for home use, and it can outperform anything you’ll find at Best Buy.

SCIV being chosen for the tournament is soley based on my own game library. :slight_smile: I’ve been playing SC for the last 10 years, since it came out on Dreamcast (I still have my DC, actually…), and I’m really just testing the waters by running a tournament with what I have.

Thanks everyone for your replies, I appreciate the input.

Cool. Honestly, small is fine at first, especially given you only have one station to run things on. Running a big tourney on one screen is rather hard.

It’s definitely a good start, but maybe try poking your head into the regional matchmaking sections and see who the movers and shakers are in your region. Usually if there are multiple tourney organizers in one area, it’s in everyone’s best interests if they coordinate with each other. Everyone likes having more promotional help and no one likes having their toes stepped on.

… or it could have the same amount of lag as your home TV. You should probably do some more thorough lag tests to see what’s up. Many gamers regularly play on laggy TVs and never know it until the SF snobs show up.

Also (excuse me if you already know this, I don’t know what you know and don’t), make sure your 360 is easily accessible and not in the back with the AV rack or something. People need to be able to switch in their own sticks. Playing on wireless 360 pads is unacceptable to most of us.

I would say drop Soul Cal and just do SF4, unless you know for sure that your airsoft players are into it.

Advertise through flyers at the local colleges and especially on Shoryuken. Offer prize money, or something equivalent, like store credit that matches the amount of money taken in. Like someone said above, 70-20-10 percent split is pretty acceptable, or 60-30-10.

Do 2 our of 3 rounds, and 2 our of 3 matches to move on. Make it double elimination, since single elimination leaves people feeling like they have gotten ripped off once they lose, and goes very very fast. Everyone wants a second chance, and they paid, so the least you can do is give it to them.

Charge between $10 to $5, but don’t do it for free. Paying money keeps people invested and makes the tournament more interesting. Everyone and their mother will enter a free tournament if you ask, and not show up to play their matches, because “Who cares if I get DQ’ed? I just did it for fun and it was free.”

Hope that helps some. Post up in the Northwest forum in the regional section and you will most definitely get some some love from the Portland crew. They are beasts too.

you should be on 8wayrun

not srk

I say drop SCIV period.