Hello everyone who is reading this. My name is Muk and I used to TO quite a bit in the Netherlands. Now that Ultimate is going full force and running and tournaments are getting capped left and right. Maybe you want to join in the fun and create your own tournament series (or tournament) to see how the TO’s handle their events. There’s a lot of things that go into organising a event and creating a tournament series. Of course this all depends on how big you want it to make and how well known you want it to make, but it comes down to a lot of the same stuff which all TO’s have to do. In my honest take; creating a perfect tournament is impossible, but creating a perfect event is possible. I’ll come back to that later after you learn the basics first
Now that you are interested in learning the way of TO’ing. I will go into details what comes into play with TO’ing and what can be improved/used as a learning opportunity. Note; even the best TO’s make mistakes, it’s fine to make a few mistakes, if it doesn’t enrage the community. I’ll compile the details into sections.
I’ll go into details of what everything is about. A lot of subjects have their own big wall of text to learn from, while others will have a lot less. This isn’t a bad thing, because of the amount of value it can bring to the event or because it’s not really one of the hardest things to do. I will put an introduction in every new big subject of what the big picture is and comments that can help going into reading that subject. I will also put in a conclusion for every main subject. There are a lot of smaller details that could be added, but they would distract from the main ideas behind TO’ing. It’s great to add in, but it’s about the main principle. That’s why there is also an Extra section. Which has quite a large amount of things that can be written in there. The extra section is not really a must, but it can give more value to your event and make it stand out more than other events that don’t have it. Understand that IF you have any questions about TO’ing then you can always ask. People want to see better quality tournaments. So asking more experienced TO’s for help is always fine. Now I will go into details of how YOU can become a great TO and how to help your scene grow with your tournament series!
Preparation is a lot of work. Especially when it comes to TO’ing a event. In TO’ing; organising a event goes into a lot of detail and you need to be able to make sure that people understand it as much as possible. This is of course for you to make sure that you can work effectively on the day itself and minimise any questions from players. It’s not bad for players to ask questions, but making sure that players can look up the questions themselves, without needing a TO, means that you can work effectively on the day itself. It’s the little things in preparation that can help out a lot, but if you change it midway then people as well as other TO’s can become confused. Be open and clear with what you want to prepare and the event can almost run itself, if everything is set in stone. Not only is it useful for the players, but it helps you a lot too. Keeping everything checked and knowing its done makes sure that on the day itself that you can be more at ease and less stressed, because you don’t know whether you’ve done it or not. Especially with TO’ing this can be a huge issue, if you aren’t certain when something is done or not.
It sounds weird to start off with motivation when the reason you’re reading is to become a better TO, but there is a reason why I start off with this and never really mentioning it throughout the document. Motivation is needed for excellent TOing, but of course, that goes for everything. If you don’t put the effort in with the drive you have, then it becomes noticeable with the thing you are doing, but with TO’ing it’s a lot easier to see when someone isn’t motivated anymore than with other subjects. You will make obvious mistakes, not wanting to continue halfway through, things are “done”, but only create confusion for the player, etc. Having no motivation not only causes a less efficient tournament, but it also worsens the experience for the players as well. They are the victims of your work being done poorly. A tournament isn’t a project you can just start and pray it works out. You have to take time and effort to start it from the ground up and build from there. Or you can pick up an existing tournament series and continue from there. Your motivation can lower through time of course. It’s normal for someone that does something for a while to just not have the drive they used to. This is normal, but you can try to change it with multiple things: taking a break, changing up the events, asking help from other TO’s so the workload is cut and you can relax more, etc. In the end, your event shines the most when it’s noticeable that you care about it and have the drive to make it how you want it or even bigger, but having no motivation for it can create multiple problems and make a tournament a less fun experience, which probably won’t pull more people in. It does the opposite and it goes down in a downwards spiral until it breaks. Without motivation, some series wouldn’t be as big as they are today. Example: 2GG series. Look back at their old vods from the beginning of smash 4 and now.
Finding a venue (and location)
Now that you want to start your own series. Where do you want to start it off? Having a name and trying to set things up is nice, but where? It all comes to multiple things which we go into detail. First off, we have how accessible the venue is. This is the main reason why people don’t want to come to your event, because: Oh it’s too far, oh it’s hard to reach, oh the train connections are terrible, etc. This is something you want to avoid for a consistent series which could bring in quite some players. Not only that, even if people are willing to go there, they also have to go home. So you already have less time to work with, because you have to make it shorter to make sure that people can get home. Luckily it isn’t the hardest problem to fix, but if you want to host something in a bigger town/city, then the cost will go up, which we will talk about later in the subject costs. For now remember: The more easily accessible, the more people will be willing to come. Easy examples: Counterpick & Fight Night. Utrecht is the main city which almost anyone can reach with a single train and then taking a 5 min bus to get towards the Counterpick venue. This is very accessible for anyone that is living in the Netherlands and encourages players to come to Counterpick a lot more. But Fight Night is in Alphen aan den Rijn. For most people that isn’t easy to travel to. Most people have to travel around the town and take multiple trains to get to the venue, which can take up to twice as much time as going to the Counterpick venue. If both series would exist then Counterpick would get more players, because of the location it’s hosted at compared to where Fight Night is. The 2nd thing is: Is it worth going there? Which can mean multiple things: Is the TOing good? Is the venue good? Does it cost a lot? etc. This why some locals can create a amazing start with already established TO’s that do their job well running the event. This of course doesn’t count for just locals. This counts as well for nationals and bigger for out of country players. Is the tournament series big? Has it been run well historically? Is the cost going to the venue a lot? etc. This can make a national series pull in a lot of out of country talent. Easy examples are: Elysium and Dat Blast Zone. Both of them are accessible for players within the country, but also accessible for players wanting to come to the tournament from out of country as well, like being able to buy a flixbus/plane ticket to get close to the venue and then staying in a airbnb/housing. This can all add up to having a great venue where everyone can be pleased. The 3rd thing is: What is around the venue? What I mean by that is: Are there any supermarkets close by? Are there any fast food places close by? etc. People still need to eat and drink something which isn’t included in the venue. It’s only a good thing if your venue has a bar or something to keep the players fed, but if there is no food place close to the venue then people can rather come to another national event, so they can at least eat close to the venue. It isn’t the biggest thing to take into account, but it’s always worth noting. The last part which is also the most obvious one: How big is the venue and how much can you do in it? It sounds easy, because you can just check how much m3 you need to have enough space to work with, but finding a venue at a good place, having enough space AND accessible venue can be harder than people think. Finding a good balance of all makes sure that people are willing to go towards your venue. It isn’t terrible if one of those things isn’t that great, but the rest needs to be good to make sure that the attendees are willing to come back for it.
In any event, costs are required no matter what. If you have a tournament that costs nothing to create then you are making bank. Every event has costs to calculate in. Doesn’t matter what. The venue, streamers, commentators, helpers, etc. Of course it isn’t hard to follow your own costs, but it does stack up more and more once you realise what you need for the event. The reason of why people are paying for the venue fee and entry fees is that the TO’s can pay back the people with the venue FEE. This fee can be used to pay off everything you hired for the tournament. Of course if you have money left you can do multiple things with it. Or you can spend it and think that the next event will reach the minimum again to pay off everyone. Or you can keep it and use it as a safety net to make sure, if you don’t reach the minimum then you have money left to use for paying all the costs you have. This fee varies with prices for how big and known the venue is. That’s why if you go to a major then you are paying a lot more compared to a local. First we’ll talk about the thing that you have to pay no matter what: The venue. In Finding a venue I already stated that finding a venue in a bigger town/city can already be costly. This of course is normal for multiple reasons like; accessibility, reach, the place itself, etc. They of course tell you a prize which you have to pay to host the event there. Venue’s don’t mind you paying after the event so you can have the money to spend on it, but if they want to be paid upfront, then have fun. The price of the venue varies within every region. Heck even within the city itself it can vary. So finding a venue with the right size and the right price can be a steal. The second thing which is something most events want is a stream. Streamers are people that can make the series bigger than you expect, but they of course don’t for it for free. It comes down to the streamers how much they want to get from the event. Note that if they bring their own equipment, so they might ask quite a bit. Just for the heads up. Next thing is the equipment renting (if you have to). This mainly goes for switch setups and TVs, but everyone has connections for how they get them. Those prices vary of course, but keep in mind that it can cost quite a bit so be aware. Next one is helpers and commentators. These people help make your event bigger and better, but they are putting in their own time for creating a better event. The prices can be discussed, but these costs shouldn’t be ignored. The last one is extra costs. What I mean with extra costs is: costs that aren’t needed to be used to CREATE a event, but creates a better experience for the event. Printing costs for information, commentary background sheet, etc. These costs aren’t needed to run your event, but helps the event stand out more. So if you have a bigger budget then you are willing to do so, but be in mind that you still have to be in the positive in the end of the tournament.
The player cap is something people can create one of the most crowded tournaments or one of the most relaxing events you can imagine. It’s needed to find a balance how much players are able to play without getting a stroke of the heat and the amount of people attending the event. After you found a venue and know the costs, how much players do you need to get at least a decent minimum amount of players to have a good atmosphere and able to pay everything back. This cap and minimum can be done with calculating how much room there is for the players within the venue. This can also put away players that want to come, but know it will be a mess, because of the amount of players that are coming. So knowing how much players can be in the venue without dying would be perfect, but also a amount to make sure that you atleast get the minimum required to pull the event off with the costs you have. The player cap also works for PR’s like PGR. They ask for a minimum requirement of attendees to be on the PGR. This should also factored in with is there a possible chance to count it in as a PR event, PGR event, etc. So if you have the space and wanting to take the risk then you can crank up the player cap higher to count in for those PR’s, but it shouldn’t make the event less worthy to come. Then it isn’t worth doing it.
This is something can grows over time or should be your starting point. Depends on which kind of tournament series you want to make. For a local you want to make sure that people around the area can go to your tournaments and bring more people in to make it bigger, but for nationals and bigger it can bring the whole country towards the event. For something like a super national and majors then out of country players should be involved as well, if they are able to come of course. These players can highlight the event with the top players attending the event. Nationals and bigger should be promoted with the chance to do well in a PR event and able to learn from that side of the country and learn the community. While able to attract more players to your event. With known nationals all around Europe like Elysium and Dat Blast Zone. You can market more to out of country players as well, so they can make the event stand more out then other nationals for it. This can be done with the marketing for it, but also in a more relaxing way like direct messages. Once your audience has come and enjoyed theirself, then they can spread the word in their countries of how good the event was and it grows more and more. This creates a stable known series all over Europe and even in the World, if you do a major. Speaking of Target audience and majors. You want to bring even out of europe players to your majors as well. Now with the release of Ultimate you can keep up your major series and bring some known american, japanese, etc players to your major and make it known all over the world. And the circle repeats itself like the nationals one.
How many staff are there
I can tell by experience that, if you are doing a event on your own which is bigger than a national, be prepared to be tired and done at the end of the day.
It takes a lot of effort on the day itself to make sure that everything is ran fine. But it’s not worth it to do it all on yourself. That’s why you need staff/TO’s to help you out. When you do something like a major. It’s too much work to do it on your own, so make sure that you share the workload with them if needed. Even if you want to do it all on your own. It’s needed. Your team can consist of maybe 2 members or even 20, but if the workload is shared that the event can basically run itself then take as much people as you can. You can split things up as example: Ladder, Top 64, Waves, Doubles, Stream, etc. You can talk this over which person does what. If that is done then they day itself and the preparation is cut quite a bit and a lot of stress removed from your shoulders. If you think you don’t have enough staff and don’t know who to ask. The community is willing to help, if they want of course. Once it’s all shared and done. The day itself gets a lot less stressful and you can even able to enjoy the atmosphere a lot more compared do everything on your own.
This comes down to what you want to do on the day(s) itself. Do you want doubles and singles within 1 day? Do you want a lot of players, but just singles? Do you want to do a major and want it with singles and doubles? etc. Events take quite a bit of time and knowing how to schedule effectively. This of course isn’t that hard, but the events itself need to run smoothly. There are multiple different events which people can do over the day(s) itself, but it’s on you to do so. As for example: You want to do Singles and Doubles? Then you can start off with doubles first and let that play out until the schedule says it’s time for singles and continue singles from there on. You can do a lot with the events you have planned, but don’t overdo your events within a certain time period. It only creates more stress for the TO’s and confusion if it will happen or not. Make sure that what you planned happen on the event itself. You can always do special events to spice things up. Side-events like: Ladder, Squad strike, even another game, etc. Those things are quite rare, but quite useful to change things up so that you can create new blood within the scene. It’s not required, but it is great for a change of pace.
Time management / Schedule
After everything you have setup. Now you have to make a schedule for the players and for yourself. These schedules make sure that you do your events run on time and for the players when they have to play. These schedules can be quite broad with information, so make sure that you are clear with what you want to do on the schedule. There are more than just a standard schedule, but there quite different schedules like: stream schedules, waves, etc. These schedules are also important, because of the fact that people can see when they have to play on stream, where they have to play in their wave, etc. This will make micromanaging on the event itself so much easier, because it not only reduces questions from the players, but also creates more time to focus on the event itself. You can also calculate how much time you need for a event or a part of a event so people know when they have time for a break or for free play. One of the most important things once you release a schedule to the world that you stay on that schedule. If you don’t know anymore what needs to be played then how would the players know what they have to do. Making sure that everything is on a schedule is also really useful for spectators too. They know when they bracket can start, top 64 for more action and top 8, etc. Once you did all that then you have to make sure that you are able to do that within that certain amount of time. This means, if you have things scheduled, but unable to do so. Then you have to change up your schedule to make sure that you can finish that part on time. If you know you don’t need the extra time then use it as a break. Breaks will come by itself with how well ran the event is, If you are ahead of schedule and continue your bracket from there. That means that you are beginning to early and will create confusion by the players. You can better create a break, if you are ahead of time of course. With that you can line things up and start up fast when the break is over. Once that certain break is over, make sure that you can push everything on schedule and rinse and repeat.
Ruleset isn’t as important for a TO, but it is important when you are doing a event when you are bringing out of country people to your event. People within your country understand your country ruleset, so they just play it multiple times over and know whats going on. But for people that come from a different country, thats already a lot harder. They have to learn your new ruleset, which that isn’t hard. But the differences can put people off and rather ignoring the changes what you have within your country ruleset. The representatives within your country made a ruleset that can be used all around your country, so you can take that ruleset and work with it. If you are doing a national or bigger that can bring out of country players to your event then you can think twice of how your ruleset is compared to the rest of the countries. If you can create a good middle ground that everyone can be happy about then they don’t mind it at all. Of course a ruleset is something that you can’t make everyone happy, but creating a middle ground is the best option you can do for them. This also goes with custom rules for a side event. In smash 4 we banned cloud from doubles, but in this game you can also create interesting rulesets within events like squad strike, smashdown, etc. Those rulesets can spice up the event more and create a different way to play.
This is where you mainly ask the community for help, except you have a way of sponsoring your setups. But we get into that later. Asking setups as been done within smash since… ever. The player’s don’t mind bringing a setup, but the thing that they do mind is that it needs to be safe and not really a change to be stolen. Once you can show them a guaranteed way to make sure that the switches are safe, then a lot more people are willing to take a switch with them to create a setup. The protection of switches can be done multiple ways. You can use tieraps, switch locks, lock them to the tv, etc. All of these can differentiate from prizes, but they all do the same job. Protecting the switch. If you aren’t certain that you have enough setups for your event then be open about it with your community and ask for more setups if needed. This is one of the few things that the community has to help in as well (without sponsors of course). If you are certain that you have enough setups, then say to the community that you don’t need more setups. They can hinder some players, if they are bringing a setup for nothing and wasting space in their bags. TV’s are also in the same boat as the switch setup’s, but the tv’s can be brought to the venue by multiple ways. Asking sponsors like ZOWIE, If you have a bar ask the bar, renting tv’s, etc. This is something that the community can do, but rather not want to bring, because it is something bigger than a setup and people don’t know where to place the tv. This is why bigger events ask for sponsoring for their tv’s, because the community aren’t able to bring tv’s like the switches do.
Now this is one of the things that your event stand out above the rest. The sponsors. These can help run the event more effectively like getting tv’s from ZOWIE, stand out your event even more and show that the series is known enough to keep the sponsors there. A lot of the sponsors aren’t needed to run a tournament more effectively, but those few sponsors that do help the event run effectively can not only enhance the player’s enjoyment, but also the will to come back, because it was so ran well with the sponsoring.
For example: ZOWIE TV’s. They helped multiple tournament series for what it is today. Able to provide the TO’s with products which the players can use all the time. TV’s are a easy example, but things like game shop sponsors can provide the TO’s with goodies as prize for other events which hasn’t have a money pot in it. Once you can make great use of the sponsors they are willing to sponsor you more in the future. Make sure that you always stay in good terms with them, so that you can keep the sponsors in your favour and maybe even get more out of them then the last time.
Now for the sponsors that make your event stand out. These sponsors only enhance the player’s experience and not the tournament experience. These sponsors can be anything, heck even things that aren’t even related to smash. Do your smashers stink? Why not ask a deo sponsoring? Are your smashers hungry? Why not ask sponsoring from supermarkets, fast food places, etc. You can do a lot with it, but you need to ask them for it. They don’t mind asking for it, that’s how most sponsors happen. If you get one of those sponsors use them as much as you can at the event. The players can abuse the sponsor deal and have a much better experience from it. There isn’t really a limited of how many sponsors you can ask, but be aware that some sponsors can’t help events if they is another sponsor helping the event already.
Streamers is for the smash community essential for a series to get known all around the world. They are able to broadcast everything and do a good job on it as well, but this of course come with a prize. But once you handled everything then they can elevate the players experience through the roof and not only that, the watchers can enjoy some interesting sets to watch back home. Streams are a must on this point for a big serie to get known. The players can watch back and share the vods which your tournament has made. This publicity is something only streaming can do. Once you find someone that is willing to stream then you can work together with them so start of the sets on stream itself. The players can play on stream which is for most people exciting and new, so you can make their day bigger and better with it. They require some things to keep the stream running and effectively, things are: room to work with, LAN, sockets, etc. Once you get that then the stream keeps running on full force. Once the stream is live then you can share it on your social media’s and start off the event with a bang.
There is a insane amount of things you have to prepare for a event, but you are willing to do so. Preparing is the biggest thing and I already split up the main subjects into parts to the preparation subject doesn’t get too cluttered. If the preparation isn’t done right then it is noticeable by the end result of your event. I would highly recommend taking your time with it and check everything you are doing. If not then people can see it from a mile away.
We live in a age now that social media is a must, especially in smash. With sponsors looking for new players, with so many casuals being on other social media seeking for a new hobby, etc. Everyone is on it. Not using social media in this age is a death sentence for your tournament series. It should be known all over the country and all over europe. Not only that, how can you keep the players updated with what you are doing with your event? It’s needed, even on social media’s that smashers don’t use that often anymore. I would recommend starting thing all of from the ground up with social media and see how far you can bring it from there.
Making team Twitter account
This is the most obvious one. Creating a team twitter, or making a twitter account in general. Smashers use smash for a lot. Even in this day in age that other social media’s are more active than twitter. Smash and twitter is where it’s at and the best way to keep people updated besides discords of course. Creating a team twitter is a easy way to publish updates very easy with a easy following once you created your team twitter account. Once you made your account, make sure that all your info is set up so that players can if they need to search for you that they can find a answer as much as they can. This where a lot of confusion comes from, because it wasn’t shared enough, not known enough, etc. Making sure that your twitter is ready to post your updates is crucial for people to stay updated.
Making Facebook page
Even tho a lot of smashers don’t really use facebook anymore. I would still recommend creating a Facebook page for your event. For the people that still use facebook and even are interested to coming to your series as a casual standpoint. You can it up so that the event information is known on the page itself and they can do the rest of the work with the information which is gathered on the page itself. Keeping the page active with the posts you share on twitter can be done on Facebook as well. It’s not just for smashers only. It’s for everyone that are interested coming to the event as a non smash perspective. Luckily this isn’t hard when you make a event on the facebook page and then keep it all updated on the event page itself. If you are all done updating the event page then I would recommend asking a lot of smashers that still use facebook to ask to come by Facebook. They can @ people and with that the network becomes bigger without you even knowing. There are still smash scenes that use quite a bit of Facebook compared to twitter, so making sure that if you want those scene’s do your event then I would highly recommend keep Facebook as much updated as your Twitter.
Making a Youtube account
Creating a Youtube account is just that you can upload the videos which the streamers doesn’t use anymore or it’s for highlights from the event like a aftermovie, trailer, etc. It isn’t that much of a requirement as Twitter and Facebook, but it still really useful that you can upload videos under the team’s name and share it on Youtube as well. It’s not like no one is using Youtube in this day of age. Being consistent on Youtube isn’t really a thing. So you can use it as a platform to upload videos. That’s kinda it. People can luckily always watch it back on the Youtube account, so it makes it useful for that.
Create a hype announcement
Once you have most of the preparation done for the event, now it’s time to create a announcement that the tournament is happening. This is mostly use as a trailer for the series/tournament in general. But don’t underestimate how big a hype announcement can be. In tournaments; a great start can be half the work. And with a good trailer or showing on another tournament can create quite some hype for the tournament. I would recommend asking someone that can edit at least a bit to make sure it comes down smoothly. Once you contact him. Tell them what you want of course. Plan your announcement before hand so that you and the editor has time to create the video and for you to plan everything forward. Once that time period is over and it’s done then make sure that EVERY social media people use for smash gets informed about it. This mainly is done on your Facebook event page, Team Twitter page, Reddit, Smashboards, etc. Once every social media is ready to post it. Post it on a time when twitter is quite active and when people aren’t in school/work. This can affect the amount of people reached compared to people working and missing the event all together. You can tease people with a little showing of the trailer or some emotes so that there is something on the way. Teasing the people can create more hype for the initial release of the announcement. If everything is ready for it then relax and watch the hype overflow and your event page do it’s work. Be sure that the event page on smashgg, challonge, braacket, etc is online and ready to use for the attendees that want to come to the event.
Post interesting things, don’t spam it
When you are done with the hype announcements, people are signing up when the announcement was made. Make sure that post the interesting players that are coming and not fully spam the timeline from some players. This also goes with posting your own posts on social media. People need to be informed by the new things that are coming to your event, not every small thing that will happen to the event. A lot of those small things are things that the players won’t even see. This can put away some players from your social media which is the last thing you want, because they want to stay informed about everyone going and what kind of big things the series can have and be. Interesting posts can be in line with: Sponsors, big names coming, partners, etc. Those posts are posts people are interested in and want to see, but sharing post like: Random x is coming, very small details, etc aren’t worth cluttering people’s timeline for it. Once you figure out what the people like and don’t like then you can share more the things that people like then the other way around. This count’s for every social media you are using. Not only Twitter.
It sounds easier then what it is. Being professional means reacting on everything on a polite and friendly manner, so that everyone doesn’t scared away from the event itself. That’s not what you want of course and not what the team has planned. Being professional has other reasons as well. As for examples: Sponsors that are watching your social media and player sponsors that want contact with you. Being polite and open about makes sure that they don’t have a terrible first impression and with social media and digging old comments quite easy. Making sure that everything is clean helps the series quite a bit. It’s also really good for working together with other organisers, because of the same reason. Being non professional will only hurt in the long run and create a reason of why you shouldn’t come to your series.
Always English; + own language (if needed)
For countries like: Netherlands, UK, Australia and America. This sounds quite weird, because we are used to put everything in english to begin with, so that everyone that is interested able to understand what they are saying on their posts. But countries that use their main language for everything this is something different. The reason why you should do this (mainly for bigger events and not really locals) is so that people can easily understand what they are saying without asking what they mean with it. Not able to give the players information about the events you are doing only creates confusion for the players and even for the spectators that want to see the event as well. Not only that. If your serie wants be known all around the world then being open with english + your own language is the best way to inform your own community and able to understand the community outside of your country. This also goes into your event page like smashgg. People that are willing to travel for your event want to make sure that they can understand whats going on even on the event itself. It is a little thing people notice, but it can create such a difference for nationals and bigger events.
Not being active on social media can die out a tournament without you even knowing. Not giving active information to the players doesn’t give them real reason not to come, if they don’t even know what’s really going on. Being open and active on your posts make sure that people are getting the attention what you want. Knowing that, make sure that the posts you do post are informative or usable/amazing to see for the players itself. It’s a very small thing people forget, but it can create confusion, if you aren’t active on social media. Showing in the players eyes that you don’t care that much how many people are coming or not. This of course is something that you don’t want.
This subject isn’t as big compared to preparation, but that’s more that being active in nowadays society is standard. A lot of the things written down are small tips that can help the person understand why and what. This can push people coming more to your event then some people expect you to do.
Smashgg (Braacket, Challonge, etc)
There are multiple ways to run your bracket in smash. You have the main one which is Smashgg. The one that is mainly used for locals in smash: Challonge. And you have other sites that can do the job as well like: Braacket. I will mainly focus on Smashgg, because smashgg has the most options out of any bracket manager out there and it is also the most known bracket manager out there. I will go into detail the more important parts within the bracket managers and how you can abuse the most out of the site. Some parts are included for other sites like Challonge is great to start a tournament fast and being prepared for small changes on the spot itself.
Reasoning of which site to use
Locals and nationals/majors are quite different how everything can be run. With locals it can be quite easy to use challonge, because it can be edited on the spot and don’t have to wait for smashgg’s approval until you can start editing your bracket, but if you planned your local beforehand then you can also use smashgg if you like smashgg more. But for bigger events I do recommend using other bracket managers then challonge. It can be quite cluttered on challonge and doesn’t have that great of options you have compared to the other bracket managers. The reason I would recommend smashgg compared to the other site is the amount of different options you can create compared to the other bracket managers. This comes in handy if you want other events that are not known to the sites. Like a Mario Kart side-event, or a active ladder system. etc. The only downside is that smashgg is quite weird with how consistent they are with updating stuff and sometimes relied on asking help from the admins. But if everything goes fine without any smashgg being slow problems then I would highly recommend Smashgg. The other bracket managers are fine as well, but Smashgg is universally known around the world, so using that gives a better fibe compared to other bracket managers. This also all count for wifi tournaments as well and I do recommend what you prefer. It depends all on size. Is the size too big? Then I would recommend smashgg, but if the size isn’t that big then try out challonge.
Layout on the site + info
From the point I’ll go more into detail with Smashgg. Because of the fact that smashgg can change a insane amount how things look on your page compared to other bracket managers. Now with that out of the way, I will go into the layouts on your event page. The event page is something that should give you the info about your event in an ordered fashion, able to understand in a easy manner, should give you all the information players need and able to understand in the main languages from that country. This alone can create a more professional overlay on your event page, so they are more willing to come in a more professional way compared to: Not that much information, Information is everywhere, but not where you want it to be, hard to understand, only in one language that other scene’s don’t understand, etc. This can bring more people in so that it sticks more to a professional tournament compared to a local event. Main things that can be put on the event page for a national can be: Into text, Schedules, payouts, fast food places/supermarkets, trailer link, etc. This can fill up the page with useful information for everyone that is interested for the tournament. But if you are missing information that can be crucial for your event then people are asking it multiple times even though you could have just put it on your even page and they wouldn’t ask anymore. This creates less stress on you and you are able to continue working with other parts of your tournament. You can compare it as a poster with all the info on it, but then online where you can sign up too. Once the information and everything is on it, don’t forget to put the rules as well in the rules section. This can avoid questions about stage lists and bans, etc.
With attendees requirement, I don’t mean things like terms of services stuff. I mean requirements that are optional to bring stuff to the tournament like TV’s, setups, etc. While for some people they don’t bring stuff to the venue out of fear of being stolen. Which is understandable, but giving the option of bringing something or wanting to put into a raffle can give the players options which can not only help the tournament series, but also enjoy the tournament more than they already could. This also goes for side-events as well. But you also have requirements that when you are under 18, then you should give your number, if anything goes wrong with the event so you can call your parents, etc. Those requirements not only help the players to be more safe and open in the tournament environment, but it gives more security for the other players as well that they get a feeling that we take things serious. This also counts in for rules that TO’s set up so that people should behave under the rules that the TO’s set up for it. Of course the rules aren’t anything special, but want to make sure IF anything happens that you agreed on it.
Pool captains doesn’t have to do anything directly by smashgg, but pool captains are able to make sure that if you are doing waves, round robins, etc that they know what to do with smashgg and able to run the bracket as fast as possible. They are most of the time people from the community that want to help the tournament out and let it run as good as possible. This can help the tournament a insane amount, because you giving the work from a pool to someone that you know that can run a bracket. You have to ask them first of course, if they want to help out the tournament or not. Once they accepted you can explain them how to run a effective bracket in smashgg. If you know the pool captains before the bracket is released you can plan the pool captains so that they can be a pool captain while they don’t have to play at the same time. This also counts as well for commentary.
How to do Waves
You first have to check how you did your schedule. Do you have enough time to run your wave and being done on time? If so then I would recommend planning things out for your waves. Which I mean with: How many waves do you want to do? How many pool captains do you have to let it work? Which pool captains are in which pool so they don’t have to play at the same time? Etc. This all comes into running waves. If you know how many players are attending your event then you can split those in even amount of numbers, so that the players have a big enough pool that the pool captain doesn’t stress out with the amount of people he has to work with. Once you split the players into enough pools. You can set how much pools they have to play at the same time. If you have 16 pools? Well you can do 2 waves of 8 pools? Do you have 32 pools? 4 waves of 8. Etc. This goes on to make sure the number isn’t insanely high. Once you start with waves on the day itself, make sure that you call your pool captains first for instruction about your pool and how to run it. Then send them to your setups they are going to use or let them stay at the TO desk and call that you start. People that have to play at that pool will be called under the name of the pool captain and send them to the setups they have to play. This continues until everyone is send and then it starts. After the amount of time you set on the schedule you call the pool captains back and you can fill it in on smashgg, or you can give them bracket rights so they can do it through their mobile. Which is a LOT faster btw. After that’s done then you repeat the circle again with the next wave.
When start out of pools
Once you know how you would run your waves and how much time it can take. Then you calculate how much time you need for outside of pools. This means: top 128, top 64, top 32, etc. The amount of time for a set in ultimate can be calculated for a 1-2 or a 2-3 at any moment, so make sure that you calculate the maximum amount of time they need to finish it and add a little extra few mins for setting things up. This also counts for within waves, but there you have more lineway for it compared to top something. Once you calculated the amount of time for it then all you have to do is to setup how you want to run it. Do you want to let everything played at the same time? Do you want to play in parts? etc. If you found your way to do so and know how much time it costs then on that point its grab the mic and scream it in the microphone and call it out.
Top 8 has been seen as something special in the Super Smash Brothers community. This is something that everyone wants to have on stream, so everyone can watch it. But it can also take the most of the time you have. While everything is put on stream, you have all the other setup’s open not used for bracket. This can create a lot of free-play, but because everything is put on stream all the sets can take quite a while. Especially when you run best of 5 sets on stream for the whole top 8. Calculate how much a best of 5 set can take and put a extra few minutes on it so you have play room for scheduling. After that is done, then the whole top 8 can be played back to back. Once everything is played out then you are done with bracket, if you don’t have anything planned after top 8 of course.
Doubles is nowadays seen as a extra event in the tournament scene, but it is still a good event for a lot of reasons. Almost everyone runs doubles before singles start, so that people can play beforehand for singles and having more time to meet other players as well. Doubles runs the same way as singles, but no one is willing to do round robin, single elimination, etc. Everyone is doing double elimination so this can easy up the schedule for how much time you can use while pleasing the players as well. But people most of the time don’t have a static team partner. This can create some extra work, because people will don’t pay attention that the sign up’s are closed and that they don’t have a team partner. This can be avoided to announce before hand that you do a time limit for finding team partners. If there is still team partners left then you can do 2 things: Put 2 places together with around the same skill levels or ask them to refund the money from doubles. If they don’t answer on it then put the player in a team with around the same skill level. If there is a uneven amount of players then make sure that the player gets refunded no matter what then. The amount of time you want to wait for it is on the TO, but I would recommend doing it before seeding for any extra complains/questions people can give to you.
Ladder is a great way to keep the players that drowned or are out of the tournament busy in a tournament environment and with some stakes on it. Ladder can be set up quite a bit before hand, but is the most useful with everything seeded and ready to go. Once the seeding is done then you can put ladder up, so once people have drowned and top ??? has started then people can still be in the competitive mindset and play with the same stakes as before. Of course it won’t be the same as being in bracket, but is the closest thing to being in bracket for now. You can also choose who can join in bracket and who can’t. This makes the playground for people that have drowned a lot more friendly for players that still want to practice and don’t get bodied when they see their name in ladder. I would recommend giving some kind of reward at the end of ladder, so people can get a feeling there is a goal when they can reach the top. For players that can’t it’s for the them still a good practice against other players without asking for money matches. After you are almost done with ladder (with a certain amount of time you planned for it), I would recommend making sure that people are up to date with when the ladder is going to stop.
Fantasy isn’t really a requirement for nationals, but it does help viewers to watch closely what’s going on within the bracket. Everyone likes fantasy to be around and it can bring more people in, just make sure that you have prizes ready for the players that win the top 3 of course. Asking for fantasy isn’t hard, but it’s hoping that you get accepted for to use fantasy. You mainly want to ask when your seeding is done, so there won’t be any confusion for it. Also give people info, if people are dq’ing so their fantasy isn’t robbed from first place. Now that Ultimate is as big as ever a lot of things can happen, so getting at the top of fantasy can do a lot of wonders for it. Make sure that you also do top 8 as well with the requirements are needed for fantasy. This means: Is there a 3 stock? How many times do they play on Pokemon Stadium? etc. This can all be done while top 8 is being done as well. Once the tournament is over you have a clear top 3. Those top 3 of course get their prizes. This is basically done the same way as giving prize money for the players.
A lot of the site work is done quite easily, if you know how to use the site. Once you figure that out then you know how to deal with all the subject’s above, but it’s also making sure that everything is ready for the day itself. It can be a lot of reworking. But it is worth it in the end to have everything ready on smashgg, challonge, braacket, etc.
The scene always has a way for seeding to be done, but you want to make sure that the seeding is done the best way possible to please everyone. Seeding is always a thing where a lot of people will be complaining about, but once there is a great middle ground for it then most people are pleased with it. Seeding can go both ways: It can be done extremely terrible or extremely good. Of course there will be some questionable choices within seeding, but it needs reasonings for it. Once you have that ready then you have a great base for your seeding. Be aware that a lot of time is needed for seeding to be done. Seeding is always a touchy subject for people, because it can undermine people’s skill quite hard. But it can also be a reality check for people. But never go to overboard.
Knowledge of the scene
If you are aware of your own scene and know how to seed your own seed without questions, then this part isn’t really for you, but I still would HIGHLY recommend reading it through. A lot of the scene has a lot of different views how the players should be seeded. This includes you as well. Not having 1 opinion on seeding makes sure that players have different takes on how everything is done. This is of course, if you don’t have the data for it. Still having a different set of eyes can make sure that you as the TO don’t be biased about the choices where you should seed someone. No one is truly unbiased and can make mistakes. That is why people can help you out with quite some knowledge to the scene as well. If they are open to help then it can make sure that seeding is done on a right way. I would recommend grabbing the information of the results the players have and talk to the other person that has knowledge of the scene as well and how to do it. If there are out of country players attending your event and you don’t have any clue what kind of results they have and how that is done then I would recommend asking the most knowledgeable player out there for their scene to help you out seeding the out of country players that are coming to your event. Once you have both that then you can start with seeding and how you want to seed.
Reasons Tier seeding
Tier seeding is the faster way of the 2 ways and also quite open for criticism, because it’s random within the tiers which you put players in. This way for seeding isn’t bad for HUGE event’s, because its becomes so hard that you have to count in so much individual seeds that it isn’t worth the time anymore. Or you have no knowledge about the scene so tier seeding is done. This is mainly used when there is a new title within the series like for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but now it’s more used for majors that they don’t have to go into too much detail. Because you still have other things to do and people can tell what’s wrong and can change it quite fast. This isn’t bad for bigger event’s, because people are already quite divided within pools, so they don’t really have a chance to meet in bracket. This can make people complain less and able to work on complains that are direct clashes or unfair tiered seeding. Which is still possible. After you released it and everything is changed how the community want it then that’s that. It isn’t too much work, but you can’t go into too much detail for it as well. It’s a trade off for how time you need for other things. If you do have time to seed 300+ players individually the have fun doing it all one by one.
Reasons individual seeding
Individual seeding can help the bracket a lot and doesn’t create much clashes. It is the longer way of seeding, but you can change it a lot more by moving few players around without any trouble, while with tier seeding that you put them way lower, if you change that certain player to another tier. This also goes for clashes too. Clashes can be changed within no time, while with tier seeding too. But you have to go within the tier and change it from there. It helps as well that people can give their input and can be changed so that people can get a whole new bracket on the spot by one change. This also works with tier seeding, but that goes within the tiers itself and then it’s not really worth doing tier seeding, if you are doing reseedings within the tiers. Which is why you wanted to avoid individual seeding to begin with. Both has his ups and downs, but it all comes down to how big is the event and how much time can you waste on seeding the event.
Clashes, Releasing and Feedback
Clashes is the biggest nonsense for seeding a event. It isn’t fun to get a clash for the players and it isn’t fun for the TO to repeat the same player results again and again. Clashes come and go, but it will always appear no matter what. It can be fixed of course by reseeding a player so that he doesn’t have that certain player on his path, but for how far are you willing to do so? And how do you recognize that it’s a clash or not? That’s why releasing the bracket a week before the event and asking to make sure that everything is correct can help a lot. Players don’t mind, if the bracket is hard, but they don’t want to play the same players again and again. So opening it up and seeing that people want to change something then check for certain, if it is a clash or not. If all the clashes are “done” then you need to check how far are you willing to within bracket that clashes happen or not. Which I mean with: In which round do you want to stop caring about clashes? Winners round 5? earlier? further? etc, but it comes down to the TO. I would recommend stopping around top 16 for a 200 man event, but that’s my take. You should also check if there will be a clash that can happen by a upset. Which I mean with: If this person upset that person. Then they both have to play each other which would be a clash. Make sure that some players that have quite a chance to upset each other have to play someone that isn’t a clash. I would still be annoying that if you go out of country and still have to play someone from your own country. If so many upsets happen and they still have to play each other then there is nothing you could have done and accept it. Clashes within tournaments happen, because of upsets. Use projected a lot for this, but make sure to calculate the the amount of upset able to happen too. Clashes takes the most of your time within seeding, so be prepared to reseed a lot when you have quite some clashes within your brackets.
Seeding is always a touchy subject, but if it’s done right then people will tell you that it’s done right. It’s in my opinion one of the hardest things to do right and can create a lot of complaints for it. Be open with feedback and make sure that you take that feedback well. They want to create the best possible experience within bracket. Make sure that all of your sources and help are up to date. Once everything is set then you would at least get a passable seeding which people can be happy with.
Layout of your event
Having a good layout can create a event better than TO’s want to admit. People can play in a relaxing manner while having the space to chat and relax as well can do wonders. Layout is one of the things TO’s overlook quite fast, because they want to get through the day as fast as possible. But the people’s experience can be halted if there is no space to work with. This can not only create unnecessary problems, but also a less enjoyable experience. Able to give the players the freedom to chat and relax is also a part of the player’s experience then just playing the whole day.
Creating space for everyone
Players aren’t the only ones that attend your event. Everyone should be pleased with the event, not just the players that are playing. Spectators and sponsors should get the room to watch and do their work as well. Being all close up to each other won’t make things better, heck it does the opposite. Having enough room to work with can help a lot of players to be focused on the match and not someone pushing you around, because there isn’t space for you to work with. Spectators want to enjoy the event as well while not letting people annoyed by just walking around and trying to spectate the matches. Making sure that there is enough room to spectate can help everyone.
Setup’s layout + setup numbers
Now here comes the part where you divide the venue into parts so there is enough space to walk around and the space that is used for setups. Make sure that if you are placing your setups that are is enough room to walk around the setups. This will create a automatic flow that people can watch the sets and being able to play effectively. If you do waves, then make sure that you create islands from your setups. These islands are indicators that this pool has to play there on those setups. That will make sure that people don’t walk around thinking where everything is and being too late for their set. If every island has enough setups then make sure that you still have a area that people can talk when they are done with their pool. This can remove unnecessary people from that pool to another place, so there can be more spectators watching their sets. You want to make sure that if you are creating these islands that it goes by a logical order. If you have everything on a line. Then show where the line starts and the setup numbers follow it as well. This also counts if you aren’t doing waves too. A useful thing that people can use is to create a flag poll on which island is which. This can help a lot of players to go to their island and playing on that island. If you don’t have that then you can put papers on your wall indicating that this is this island.
A spectating area is extremely useful for players that are out of the tournament or for people that want to sit down and relax a bit. Spectating is also a part of the event and it should be respected that people also want to see their friends sets on stream too. Having a designated area for watching the stream and enjoying it makes for not only the TO’s less chaotic rooms, but also for the players too. Especially when you want to create hype for a top 8. This isn’t really done that often on smaller events, but on larger events it’s quite useful to have. This can be done quite easily with a beamer and some chairs, but creating the space for it is necessary do well. Don’t force people to watch the streams by forcing people to stop friendlies and watching top 8. People are going to watch on their own and people still will create hype for those sets anyway. It will come over time, but it takes time to create time.
A TO area is a must for making a big event happen. The TO’s are working around the clock on the event itself and pushing the event as good as they can. Not giving TO’s the room to let them work is terrible. A little area around the middle of everything so they can watch over everything is needed to keep order. That area is useful, so that people aren’t in the way for the TO’s and the TO’s aren’t in the way of the players. In this area having a microphone is needed to all everything out and stand out, because of the position of the TO area. Make sure that the TO area is also open for everyone and not letting people stand their doing nothing. It only hinders the TO’s if they get questions, but also distracts them for doing their job too.
Room to relax
After having played the whole day, you still want to relax a bit. This is something a lot of TO’s don’t really think about. A place to relax besides smash. This is quite hard to do, because you need all the room you can get, but for players it can help them to be at ease a bit, once they are done with playing in bracket. This can be done with a little area which is used to relax or be used for other things. It is still quite hard to get, but not something you should forget. Remember, everyone needs a break when you are being active the whole day.
Creating a layout for a event is insanely unchecked by players, until they see a layout that you can play, walk around and have fun at the same time. This is mostly by using the space that you needed, but not making it too cluttered. Giving the TO’s the room to work and players to spectate all you can to make sure that everyone has the room to do whatever they want to do. Do this a day before the event, so people can play instantly when they arrive on the event itself.
The day of the event
Now that you finally prepared everything for the event. The day has come to do the event. After so much preparation and hard work it’s finally time how the players will enjoy the event. Make sure that you don’t stress out and able to eat and drink as much as you can. You are going to need it. Once you make a great start of your event, then the tournament almost runs itself of how easy it becomes. Be prepared to stay alert at all costs, because there can be problems coming which you weren’t for. Take your time for it and know that people can understand how hard it is. So don’t be afraid to ask for help if anything goes well.
TO word is final
It sounds weird that I start of something that isn’t even done on the day itself, but it matters in the long run. A lot of newer TO’s don’t know that your say and doing is final. No matter how many disagree with it. Your word is final. This is what people can abuse to change your opinion about it, but it’s what you think that is going through. Not their word. Making sure that you know the situation which something happens, ask for all the info that happen and make your statement from that. There is no need to hear opinions from other players, so you can change your reasoning by opinions, not facts. This alone can change a lot of choices within the TO’s and their logic behind it. Be aware that if they don’t agree with your official statement that you have the power to remove them from the event if you like. Not agreeing with the TO with no real bases to work with can not only annoy the TO, but also the players who are within the set choice you made. There will always people that think the opposite way of yours, so pleasing everyone isn’t a real possibility, but be aware that you can please the most people with your choice at hand. Just remember; your word is law at your event. Not theirs.
Start on time (or as close to)
Starting on time is one of the hardest things to do, because people will be late no matter what. Even if they knew that it would start around that time. You have to be hard, because starting can bring a lot of delays on itself, if you don’t run it well. It’s not terrible to start 10-15 minutes late, but be aware that you still have to work with the time you got. If the players are later and you don’t have enough setups anyway to run it in 1 go, then I would recommend letting other players play first and then wait for one set or contact them where they are. This gives them time to come back while the event is starting to run. Not only do you have to DQ them, but you also know where and how long it takes to be at the event. If they don’t answer and the other players don’t know it either then I would recommend just DQ’ing that certain person from the event. This is a choice made to make sure that the start is done right and the tournament runs smoothly. They can’t argue with it, because it was already set when the tournament started and could have went earlier, if needed. If they don’t listen then read “TO word is final”. Because your word is final. If the players are aware that the tournaments runs smoothly; especially the start then they have more time to do other things. Like for example getting something to eat and drink. Once the event is running and you can play everything out then you are most of the time ahead of schedule, so abuse this.
Make sure that you stay on schedule
If you made a great start at your event and it runs smoothly. Then most of the time you are getting ahead of your schedule. This is completely fine, heck it sometimes can give players something that they need: a break. Breaks isn’t really something to plan ahead of time, because if you made a schedule that has quite some time open for it, then once you are ahead then they do what they want until we are back in schedule. But what; why would you not continue even further and be done earlier with the event. Well that’s because there is a schedule to begin with. If you are doing waves and top 64 starts after the waves. But you are done 30 minutes earlier than you expected. You aren’t going to start top 64 30 minutes ahead of schedule and then dq them for not showing up. That doesn’t make sense, because they had no idea that top 64 would start 30 minutes earlier and then being dq’d, because you wanted to start earlier. That’s why planning breaks aren’t really needed, if you can run your event smoothly. It’s fine to plan breaks of course, but be aware that the event needs to be done on time as well. Make sure that once you make a schedule, don’t go off the schedule which I explained before with the 30 minutes ahead of schedule. If the players don’t know when something starts then they stay confused AND they will go to you asking questions. This is not needed and you already made sure that those questions wouldn’t happen, because you made a schedule to begin with. If you are going way off schedule and you don’t know it anymore as a TO; then how would the players know what’s going on as well? Being open that you are ahead of schedule or behind of schedule can help players be aware that they should continue playing back to back or able to take a break. Once you are back on track then you can follow your schedule you made and continue from there.
Don’t waste time
Don’t waste time! It sounds every simple and very straight forward, but it is still something TO’s will do time by time. Wasting time by not paying attention, wasting time by not letting people play when they could have, wasting time by not abusing all of your setups, etc. This sounds very simple, but the TO’s needs to be aware that you can scrap a lot of time when you can push all the sets forward and let people play their sets on time and when they are available. Those small bits of time loss can put a tournament behind and even if everything is fine, those little time losses can put everything behind because of it. Your event wants to be done on time, but that also includes that people have to consistently play as well for not wasting time. Of course, if you are ahead of schedule then there are no problems. But if you are behind then I would recommend checking where you are losing time and where you can gain it back. Being back on track is at utmost importance.
Let everyone be informed about what and how
Letting people be aware of the changes and the small details of a event is necessary for reducing questions and being open to the players as well. As for the example we used at the last few subjects: We are ahead of schedule by 30 minutes. People can think of multiple things: Can we get a break? Will top 64 start now? Can these setups be used for free play, because every wave is done? etc. By not letting the players know which decision you make can put them in a weird position with their time and with their effort, if they reached top 64. This is a easy example, but this can count for almost any decision you make. Being clear to the attendees that are for the event creates a feeling of trust to the players and willing to come back, because they know that they get the information they needed and can do what they want with their time. Because they know what to do with it. It sounds very simple on paper, but not being open can sometimes even destroy the event. Not letting players know what they should know only confuses them and have no idea what to do with it. Information is key. Especially while running a event.
Doubles was the main event that started before singles, but now that most events don’t have doubles. This would mean that you can skip this subject, but I would still highly recommend reading it. Doubles is always a event that can bore spectators and put a event behind of schedule, but this is a event where setup management is mandatory to run it effectively. Doubles takes always more time then singles. This isn’t bad, but you have to take into account that you have to play everything instantly to keep your schedule on the time which you wanted to be. Once every set is getting played, keep running it until you can only put sets on stream. Which is btw still not recommended. Only for top 4, because you have to wait for the other teams anyway. Doubles in Smash4 continued most of the time in the singles time slot as well, because the event couldn’t be done on time. It isn’t bad, but it can slow singles down. That’s why pushing doubles is quite needed compared to singles. Once everything is done with doubles then let the players that were in grand finals instantly play songs, because most of the time you aren’t ahead of singles. The players that reached top 4 are most of the time top players that can speedrun through their bracket in singles. So that is great to bring back time. Be aware once they are done with both doubles and singles waves then they would likely want a break.
Now this is where you can earn a lot of free time or lose a lot of free time. Waves/bracket can be done in different ways, but for now I would do the way I would for sake of a example. Waves is mainly to put everything in a better perspective as a player and as a TO. They can see easier where to be and where to play (if you made islands for waves of course). Once you can start your wave. Bring your pool captains first to the TO desk and tell them how everything works. Doesn’t matter if they already know it or not. It matters that you atleast explained it what you want to do. They can do it on paper, if you printed it out of course or letting them put the score in on smashgg (if you give them rights of course). I would recommend asking pool captains that doesn’t have to play in that certain pool. It relieves the players attention of doing multiple things at once and can’t focus that much to the game itself. Once you explained it, announce that waves is going to start. Call out the pool which the pool captain is and which players are in it. After you done that then bring them to the island which the setups are located. This continues until every pool from that wave has being assigned. You can overview, if everything is going smoothly and running effectively. If everything runs smoothly then wait for the pool captains to be done with their pools. If there are any questions from the players or from the pool captains, be ready to answer them to bring them back to their sets. Once they are done with their pool then they give you the bracket sheet back and you can fill it in in smashgg. You don’t have to do this, if they already did it by themselves. Once every pool is finished and you are ready to play the second wave then you can start the second wave. This is the same circle which I already talked about. Bracket goes a little differently, because you don’t need to create islands and you only have to call out their sets and their station which they have to play on. This is a lot harder at the beginning of the event, because you have to take a lot of sets into account. But once this runs smoothly then it runs like a machine. I would recommend using a microphone for not losing your voice at the end of the day. Play the bracket sets as fast as possible so it runs smoothly can be ahead of schedule. Bracket has less planning, but a lot more work on the day itself and waves is a lot more planning, but on the day itself it almost runs itself. It all comes to how big the event is and which way you prefer being ran. Waves has his positives and bracket has his positives. Like for example: Bracket lets everyone play at the same time, while waves has to wait a little longer until your wave starts. But by doing waves you can sleep longer, if you are in the second wave of pools. While in bracket you have to be there no matter what. It all comes down to which one you prefer the most.
Top “???” starting
This is mainly for waves or splitsing bracket into pieces, but a top ??? can help creating more hype for the players and create more tension. A lot of the times top 64 is used as a indicator when you are out of bracket pools or out of your wave. When for example: Top 64 starts; the players are mostly ready to play back to back. This also was the case with standard bracket, but now it’s for people more tension in the air. Being ready to run top 64 creates a lot of open setups ready for friendlies and other events (we go into later), but the main top 64 bracket goes first no matter what. That’s why counting all the setup which you need for one part of the bracket gives information how much setups you need for top 64. If you are doing top 64 then you need 32 setups in total to run it smoothly, but if you have more setups than that then players can use that for the side-event or friendlies. Once you are able to start top 64 and able to keep it up then it almost runs itself, because they are giving their scores back to back and you are able to call out the next bracket set instantly.
Side event starting
Once top ??? is started you have people that drowned in pools. These people can play friendlies of course, but they still want to play within a event. That’s why ladder is a good side event to run. This can keep players in a serious mindset with at least some stakes to practice and play vs people you normally wouldn’t. You can do other games as well or other game modes which the people that drowned or people are done with their top ??? bracket. Like squad strike, Pokeball 5 stocks PS FD, etc. This keeps players till within the event and not going instantly home when they went 0-2. This is something sad to see that players instantly leave once the environment is quite different which you don’t have every day. Those side events can stand out as well for being a different tournament then others. Which is always a plus in everyone’s books. But don’t ignore top ??? when you are doing the side event. This is where you mainly need a second TO for you to run both events at the same time. Balance your time within the events and people can enjoy the event a lot more than they expected.
Top 8 starting
Now that you are done with top ???. Top 8 is going to start. Make sure that you announce it before you are going to start top 8 of course. This can create more spectators, more hype, etc. Top 8 is something special in the Smash Community. By letting people know that top 8 is starting is really useful for the players that are interested. This doesn’t mean you must top your friendlies, side-event, etc. It is only for people that are interested for top 8. Top 8 is something that streamers want 100% on stream and everything from top 8 as well. Giving the streamers all of top 8 to play on gives the TO quite some rest. They can sit down and enjoy the games while they can do fantasy in the meantime. Yes, if you are doing fantasy you still have to work. You have to make sure how many stocks were taken. Which characters they played on stream, which stages did they play on, etc. This will all take into account for fantasy of course.
Once top 8 is finally over you have the ceremony. You can make it huge or a little thing for fun. It more comes down to how big you want the ceremony to be. Medals, trophies, etc. A little jestere of winning your tournament and going home with something. Of course this is optional, but fun for the players that reached it and also fun for the players that watched it all.
One last event?
Now that singles is finally over. You can do one last event, if you have the time for it of course. This event is mainly a event for something bigger. Crew Battles, beefs, etc. These little event after singles can light up your event until the last moment you have. This of course is also optional, if you don’t have the time for it. But it would be still great for the people home and for the players how the last event will fold out. It more comes down to: can I plan this in? if so, are people willing to do so? Once you know that you in fact can do this. You can run that one last event. Or else you end it with the ceremony.
Asking payout info from players
In the meantime the players that gotten prize money need to find a way to get that money to them. That’s where you come in and ask about they paypal, bank info, etc. This doesn’t take long and you can do this after the Ceremony or when the last event takes place. This takes around 3-5 minutes, so it doesn’t take long. After that you can finally start building off your tournament.
Cleaning up and setting everything back
Now that your tournament is finally over. You can start building down your event and start cleaning up the place. Just like building up your tournament, this can take a while until everything is back to normal. I would recommend asking people that are still there to help out. If they want of course. Once you are done placing everything back and helping the streamers packing up their stuff. Everyone is able to go home and relax after such a hard day.
The day of the event takes a lot of effort and stress, but if it’s done right then people will talk about. And I mean for a long time too. The name gets known for being run well and for being consistent with everything you are doing. Able to run a tournament on the day itself is quite hard and the time and effort you put in will get rewarded with glory all around your country and continent. Your name will be out there for people to see and willing to visit, creating a big name all around the globe.
After the event
The tournament is finally over and you are able to relax, but you aren’t done yet. You still have to pay everyone and have to send payouts to the players. Making sure that everyone that worked with you get what they earned. After that then you are finally done with your event.
Asking payout info from players
For the TO’s that forgot to ask the players for their paypal, bank info, etc at the event. You should do it as soon as possible to make sure that the players get their payment as soon as possible. Luckily when you have everyone’s info. Then you can instantly send out the payouts to the players.
Paying out everything
Once you paid out the players. You can start paying out the people that helped you and the venue. These things are: Streamers, commentators, etc. Luckily this isn’t a lot of work, but remember to have it all written down and made sure you send the right amount of money to them.
Final posts about the event & end
Now that everything is paid out. You are finally done with your event. Send a few posts that the payouts have been send and everything is done for the event. Sending hopes that the next event can create a better experience then the last one. Now that you finally can rest. You can reflect on your event on how good the event was and what things there could be improved on. You can always ask for feedback or general tips how to improve your event even more. Take your time to relax and don’t worry about the next event you want to do. You earned a little bit of rest now. If you know that everything went well and people enjoyed it then you can always share the experience to other out of country players. Telling them how it was and hopefully they can join in the next iteration of your tournament series.
This is a subject mainly used for extra’s things that make your event stand out more. There are so much things you can let your tournament stand out. But few of them as more value than others. Giving those priority compared to other smaller extra stuff is useful and able to shine your event a lot more than you normally would. This of course isn’t needed to run your event effectively, but it’s useful nonetheless. Note that this is only possible, if you know you have money left to spend it on and if you want it to spend it.
Flying out players
This is one of the bigger extra’s which people are familiar with and willing to pay in too. This is mainly used for big events like majors or big nationals, but the hype it creates is real when someone is coming over to the event and gives more people reason to come to the event. Flying out players is by far the most costly extra thing people can imagine for a national/major, but it works. So you can do it. But knowing what you can do with and what the possibilities are can help a lot in the future. I would recommend flying people over by the money you have left compared to a compendium. A lot of people don’t really like compendiums.
Ruleset printed out
It’s quite a small detail to put rulesets on the tables, but it works extremely well. People tend to forget what ruleset which you use on your event and can waste time because of it. This can be avoided by creating rule set sheets for everyone to check. Not only that. There won’t be any crying about rulings and asking for info as well. This makes the players comfortable with the choices they have within the ruling and gives the TO’s more time to do their own stuff and not asking questions. And it’s not expensive for so much to gain. It creates value.
Trophies & Medals
This can range from quite expensive to quite cheap. It’s a little showcase that your event has some prestige for winning the event. This is mainly used to show off quite a bit. But it gives top players more reasons to go for top 8/3. They not only gain money, but something to show off to the world as well. Trophies are better in a way then Medals, but it comes down to how much money you want to spend and what you like more for your event. It’s fun to show off, but don’t do it too much.
A commentary background is extremely useful for showing off your sponsors on the stream and improving the quality of the event as well. It’s a little detail for the stream, but it makes out in the long run when you are bench watching the whole stream. Having a boring background most of the time can put people off sometimes, so having a commentary background can help with that. You can create one version of a commentary background that you don’t have to reprint it every time. A simple investment, but a worthy one for the stream quality.
A side-stream helps the event the become a lot more known and having more streamed matches creates for the players more excitement. It helps promote the event and giving the viewers more sets to watch. A side-stream sounds simple on paper, because it’s easy to think of it. But working it out and letting it run does help the event grow quite a bit. Note that european countries sometimes do this in their own language. This isn’t bad, but if this is a national/bigger event then there are more people watching then you expect. Just a heads up. A side stream also helps for people that doesn’t play on stream that much and having them more chances to play on stream as well.
This sounds also quite easy on paper when you think about it. Someone is walking around and making pictures of the event, but people tend to forget this. Which is quite sad, because people abuse the tournament pictures a lot and have a lot of fun with it. Having a good camera and someone walking around the venue making pictures is enough, but it’s worth it in the end. Nothing really else to note. It explains itself.
A after movie is something amazing if done right and if the tournament had enough hype behind it. Rewatching the event in a montage is great when people loved it. It does cost quite a bit of time. But if you are willing to do another tournament in the same name of the series then having a good after movie can create a lot of hype for the next tournament. If you have the time to edit it and have the materials to create a after movie then I would recommend making one. This is especially noted for majors.
Sometimes you can’t really follow a tournament, because you aren’t home, you are at work, at another tournament, etc. But having a upset thread gives highlights of the tournament and how the brackets is going of your friends/players you like. This is very easy to do, but having a updated upset thread can bring more people in to check out the event. Especially when a top player is getting upset by another lower level’d player. It creates more reason to stay updated and be aware of the tournament itself. This is very big for countries that are quite far in a different time zone. America and Japan are a big examples.
Cheat sheets take a lot of time to prepare and a lot of work to do it right, but if you are able to maintain a cheat sheet then people are extremely aware of what characters are played the most, who your opponents play, what the chances are that you have to play a bad mu, etc. It’s just a lot of work and no real costs, but if you know enough about your scene and the people coming to your event then you can make a cheat sheet work. This is also quite useful for TO’s, because you know which sets can take quite a while. Because of their character choices. But you also know which sets can be extremely fast as well.
I can put a LOT more extra details in Extra’s, but fluting the whole part with just little details isn’t my goal of Extra’s. My goal with it is that you can grow your event no matter what. There are always things to add to your event and there are always things that you could have improved from it. Having those extra’s to fill up your event is always amazing to improve the quality of the series. It can range from a sponsor that isn’t even needed to run more effectively to flying out a player to the event. You can imagine it all on yourself, but it’s on you to do so. It isn’t mandatory to run the tournament more effectively. But wanting more players to your event? It helps extremely.
Last few words
After reading ALL of it (You have quite some times on your hands). I hope that you learned at least a little bit from it. I know I am not the best TO out there, but I know things that can help at least up and coming TO’s to improve their events and make it stand out more. Which is what we all want as players. Better quality tournaments and more tournaments. I am not going to ask to run events, heck far from it. Because I know it a lot of hard work and dedication in it. But I hope that you can get a perspective of how much you have to do as a TO and able to respect TO’s a little bit more. They are the bloodline of the community and the reason why we are still playing the game. Able to understand how hard it is can not only give more reason to help them out, but give TO’s more reason to TO more and help out the scene. In the end. All I am asking is: Help your TO’s and TO’s: Learn from it and become better. Every tournament can always improve more and more. But appreciate what you have as a series as well. You are doing god’s work within the community.
See you next time. Muk signing out!