Tournament organization


I’ve been in the FGC for about three years now. After watching spooky streams and various other majors i’ve been wanting to take a stab at organizing my own tournaments in my area. I have an ok sized community with what I see as some really good people and would like to provide something for the scene. I also think this organizing something solid like this would help me in plenty of other ways.

To the people who have been in this community for a long time, where would be a good place to start? What are the Required materials and cost estimate? Best way to test if there’s a decent amount of demand for a tournament in the area?\

Thank you for all your input.


I’ve been going to SF4 meets for over 3 years, (and parties and mini tourns a couple of years before that), so I guess I can share the little things I do know.

Before anything else, it would be great to do a poll or survey of local/target audience so you know what games and consoles to prepare. It would be embarrassing to under-prepare (and to a lesser extent, have too many setups with a low turnout). Allot at least two months if it’s a large amount of players, to allow for vacating scheds, planning and reservation of consoles and venue(s), and to allow for change of plans.

How big are we talking here? If it’s starting out small like 8-man or 16-man, it can be held at someone’s home if it’s spacious enough and there are at least 2-3 similar console or PC units.

Larger tourneys would require a LAN center/arcade/conventional hall, so you may want to check out the rental rates of those if they allow it. Make sure you’re near food/concessions/places like convenience stores too, if you don’t provide the amenities yourself. The players and other guys running the show will really appreciate it. I cannot give an estimate of cost, since I’m in a different country, and rentals/consoles and accessories/food will most likely vary.

Too keep track of the players and who advanced and who lost, use stuff like these:

Bracket Builder
Bracket Maker

A little too vague, but I guess I’ll throw this out here too. :lol: You never can be too kind or accommodating, the customer is right as they say. Who knows, you might win new friends too.


This probably doesn’t belong in the Newbie section, as tournament organization is something of an advanced topic, but I’ll answer nonetheless.

The best way to test for demand is to talk to the community. Since you seem to know at least several local players, I would suggest talking to them about it, and possibly spreading the word that you’re trying to organize some sort of regular offline sessions. This seems to be the most reliable way to get a feel for demand .

That’s the easy part. The hard part is sourcing good setups. Decide for yourself which console you want to use, which TVs you’ll use, tables, power strips, chords, all that stuff. Once you get that sorted out, you need to figure out a venue. You need a place that doesn’t mind noise, has access to a stable power grid, lots of room, chairs and tables, and owners that don’t mind you using the place. Typically there’s a venue fee that you must charge players, which pays out to either the venue, yourself, or both. Don’t make it too high, you’re not going to get rich off running tournaments, it’s more important to establish credibility and reputation first.

Also consider how you want to run brackets. Paper brackets? Challonge? Tio? Figure out a system that you know how to use, figure out a tourney format, figure out the rules you want to utilize. Using the Evo ruleset is a pretty surefire way to keep things consistent. If you’re tech savvy, or know friends who do, it’s possible you can run a stream, provided the internet at the location is pretty stable with a lot of bandwidth to pass out. If not, it’s probably a good idea to diligently record matches. You can do this using a camcorder and a tripod, or capture software.

Then, you gotta put the word out that you’re running a tournament. Print up several copies of a flyer with relevant information, fancy graphics, whatever you want. You can also pass out flyers to local areas to help spread the word, post them up in Game Stops, arcades, PC Cafes, etc… Attach some sort of contact info on it where people can call, text, or email to get additional information. It helps to start using social media to help organize your local scene and make it easier to communicate with them. This usually means either an email chain, a facebook page, twitter account, etc…

If you can get that far, we’ll talk about what you actually need to do the day of the tournament.


Not too big. I’m cant give exact numbers yet but 16 sounds reasonable. Theres places around me that have been known to host various Fighting game tournaments. Pizza places seem like my best bet so far.

Thanks for the links man. Ill give all of them a read.


Restaurants with party rooms can work, but you need to be really pragmatic about electrical power, size, hours available, and so on. The most common mistakes from small tournaments stem from lack of preparation. Tournaments often start late or early, end late, or mess up the brackets. It’s essential to be a little douche-y about making sure people play and report matches so that the tournament’s not slowed down. Otherwise players will goof off, disappear, or show up late. Just make sure the rules are clear beforehand.