I’ve been going to Smash tournaments for several years now. None of them were majors but I also have a history with sports and other various kinds of tournaments. All in all, I would consider myself an experienced tournament participant. And with that experience, I can easily spot out flaws in how a tournament was hosted.
So I wanted to share with you 5 mistakes to avoid when hosting a smash tournament! There are way more than 5 mistakes you can make, but these are just a list of common mistakes or poor planning that I’ve seen in smash tournaments.
1. Too small of a venue
Out of all the ones in my list, this one might be a personal preference but I refuse to believe I am the only one who is affected by this. Sure, gamers will crowd into a tiny venue, but have you ever been to a smash tournament like this? Smash players have a notorious reputation for smelling bad. It’s not a joke, this is an accurate reputation. Give the players room to breathe.
Most stations are almost right on top of each other. It muddles the sound of the game and leaves you with no elbow room. I’m sure a lot are not even affected by this but some us enjoy our space. Besides providing adequate spacing makes the tournament look more professional.
2. Third Party Gamecube adapters
People don’t often believe this one but I will swear that 3rd party adapters can be janky. This is something difficult to prove but you can check out this Reddit post that demonstrates some sort of glitch.
On top of that, players who use USB controllers often disconnect one of the adapters USB plugs. From what I understand, you only need the black USB connected to use the controller. The gray is supposed to power rumble. I still don’t trust doing that, especially when it’s a 3rd party adapter.
While 3rd party is better than no adapter, please do your best to secure official Nintendo GameCube adapters for the tournament.
3. Manually creating your own bracket
Please use Challonge to make your bracket.This one isn’t even a debate. Luckily Challonge has become pretty popular now but it used to not be the case. You’re still to likely to run into local tournaments who don’t use this tool.
It may not be too hard to create your own bracket but I’ve seen too many mistakes. There are people who don’t get entered or the entire format is weird. Challonge makes all that simple. All you do is list the participants (or have the signup on Challonge) and create your type of tournament, double elimination, round-robin, pools, etc. It just takes a lot of hassle out of the equation and makes the bracket viewable to anyone with a phone.
4. No communication
If your hosting, be ready to take command or at the very least have someone there who can. As a participant, we are here to have a good time and socialize. We need someone or a team to be able to clearly communicate to us through the crowd on what to do.
Have a clear ruleset and stage selection. Print them out even! Have stations already set. Have a clear win/loss reporting process. The list goes on and on, but just be sure to be as clear and concise as possible.
Make sure you have enough staff! If your hosting, you will take the brunt of the responsibility. Try to offset that as much as you can. Most will use other participants to help. While that is doable, it creates a jumbled mess. Find a few volunteers before the tournament, who would be willing to help out and not participate.
5. Streaming the event
Do you want to stream? Sure go ahead. But please make this a back burner priority unless you are a larger tournament. Having a stream is cool for live audience and for players to go back and watch, but remember if your reading this, you’re probably a new tournament organizer. Don’t try to be a big shot just yet.
I’ve seen numerous tournaments that have tried to stream only to slow down the tournament or focus on a few players. Part of hosting a new tournament is building up the community in a new area. Don’t forget about the little guys, and please don’t slow us down. Some of us have work the next day.