How to organise a Smash weekly

This guide includes insights from the East Coast, French, and Swedish communities, in order to help TOs organize their weekly tournaments. Once you’ve organized your perfect weekly, don’t forget to include your TO experience in your resume!

The day and time

Probably once a week, huh?

More seriously, it’s better to organise weeklies on weekdays, in order not to deter anyone from going to larger weekend tournaments.

Try not starting too early, so that everyone has time to get out of work and come where the weekly happens. The easiest way to decide on the time and date for the weekly is a quick poll in the group conversation platform you use.

Ask the bar at what time you need to be out of the place – you’ll have to start earlier if it closes early, or to plan better if it opens late. Take into account the number of the players as well: the more players, the more time needed. For a weekly of up to 25 players, you can usually start sometime between 6 and 7pm, following people’s availabilities (some get out of work late, others have to get up early – see who’s in the majority).

Start your tournament on time. Tell everyone that registrations will close at a given time, and don’t feel pressured to accept late arrivals to join the tournament: they can still play friendlies, and will be on time next week.

Schedule one hour from when the setups are ready to registration ending (so arrive around 6pm), and about 15 minutes between closing registration and starting the pools (seeding and announcing the matches).

The venue

The ideal solution is to find a gaming bar, and this guide is based on the assumption that you are organising your weekly tournament in a place like that. In some countries, people under 18 or 21 can’t enter the bar – in that case, go for a café instead. Same energy.

The goals of a weekly are to:

  • stimulate the local Smash scene by letting local players play together with real goals and regular sessions
  • recruit new players, which explains why I’m encouraging the choice of a public place with people who could be interested
  • build a local ranking and acknowledge progress, but that’s not the point here

Another argument in favour of going to a local gaming bar is that you’ll probably have fewer problems with power strips and a better Internet connection for your stream – an important element even if you don’t have a stream yet, so that you won’t get stuck if you do want to stream someday.

You really don’t need a lot of space for weeklies, since not many cities, especially here in Europe, have more than 24 active players; 35sqm is sufficient, for 20 players (5 setups).

How to get started

Equipment

Try having at least 1 setup for every 4 players.

Players should bring their own setups (and CRTs for Melee), and don’t forget power strips if the bar doesn’t lend them to you.

In general, players will have enough good faith to bring their setups to the weekly tournament. They can understand that the more setups we have, the more we can freeplay, and the sooner the tournament will be over, with shorter waiting times.

Some bars will also offer to keep your CRT for a fee – if you split it between regular attendees, it may be financially interesting, so consider that option.

Registrations

This is a suggestion to help out the bar where the event happens, the TO and the players.

Registration is done by buying a (not necessarily alcoholic) drink at the bar, by the bartender; when the registrations are complete, the TO will do the seeding for 10 to 15 minutes at most. This will reiterate every week and you’ll eventually seed the regulars very easily.

Using this method, we’re sure that the bar will get to profit from the weekly, which is a great incentive for them to let you use their space. The TO can prepare the seeding and finish setting everything up during registrations, as well as play friendlies, and will only have to step in once the registrations are over. It takes a lot of pressure and work away from the TO!

In a situation like this one, there are no cashprizes nor entry fee (apart from the mandatory drink order). While good players can turn towards monthlies and larger tournaments to make money, beginners know they aren’t losing money every week to go 0-2, and are encouraged to come back often and do their best to improve.

Tournament format

The number of players and free setups needs to be taken into account when choosing between swiss rounds, pools and a double elimination bracket. Don’t forget low-level players, who don’t necessarily do other tournaments than this weekly, and might not want to come for the evening only to play twice, especially if you don’t have enough setups to allow for friendlies.

Each system has its advantages:

  • Bracket only: a great time-saver, takes fewer setups so people can play friendlies once eliminated
  • Round Robin Pools (then top 3 or top 5 in bracket): everyone gets to play a satisfying number of games, allows you to have a real bracket afterwards
  • Swiss Rounds (6+ rounds, then Grand Finals): great for first weeklies where seeding is unknown, everyone gets to play a satisfying number of games, and beginners don’t get stomped X times in a row

Getting people to attend

Before the event

  • Post the day before on the local Facebook group or forum or whatever platform your region uses, in order to ask who’s coming and who will bring a setup. Remind everyone of the time at which the weekly will start.
  • There might be a national website that has a tournament calendar.
  • Reddit : weeklies calendar on /r/ssbm

Here’s a template for a Facebook post (created by French TO Spartanplume):

[NAME OF BAR – WEEKLY TOURNAMENT]

Hey guys!

The weekly will be at NAME OF BAR and start at TIME.

Who’s bringing a setup?

As always, please register at the bar as early as possible, or send me a message if you might be late for the registrations but on time for the tournament.

See you tomorrow!

Creating the bracket

It’s better to standardise the Smash.gg tournament link.

Try a format like https://smash.gg/WeeklyCITY##, with XX being the occurrence of the tournament.

If you don’t have a stream

  • Post the bracket on your local/national Facebook group
  • On Twitter, make at least one tweet to announce the start and share the bracket link, and one tweet to announce who came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd: don’t forget to @ the Smashers who attended!

If you have a stream

  • Post the bracket and the link to your stream on your local/national Facebook group, as well as EU Melee if regional tops are there (say “ft. this player, this player, etc.”, as people might want to watch these people, and you’ll get extra viewers).
  • On Twitter, make at least one tweet to announce the start and share the bracket link, and one tweet to announce who came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd: don’t forget to @ the Smashers who attended!
  • Be on the lookout for people who want to break into Smash commentary: they’ll be eager to help!

Tips

  • Take a piece of cardboard, or anything that you can put on the TVs. During “serious” games (money matches and tournament sets), put it on the TV: people will know that they should not bother you. If nothing’s on the TV, then you’re just playing friendlies.
  • Make the bracket link public so that everyone can check it from their phone instead of having a hard time finding the only person who knows who they’re going to play against. You can also leave a computer or a tablet somewhere so that people can enter their scores if the TO is busy.

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