Preparing for Tournaments

If you’re a competitive person and feel like you just want to take your game higher to the next level, have you ever stopped to consider entering a tournament, local or major, to see how far you’ll get? I remember my first local tournament at my local arcade that I entered for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 back in late 2011 and my first major tournament at Evolution Championship Series (EVO) 2012 for Soul Calibur V. Obviously I did horrible my first time and to this day, I still do horrible. So to no avail, let’s look at tips for entering tournaments.


Evolution Championship Series (EVO), is the biggest annual fighting game tournament.

Before we get into tips, as with every event, there are general guidelines that should be followed. According to Red Rick Dias’ article, general behavior for fighting game events are to bring your own controller (BYOC) or arcade stick; obviously have money for an entry or venue fee or in case if you would like to participate in any games last minute; do some paperwork, which you don’t really need to now-a-days if you’ve already pre-registered online; keep track of time, meaning adhere to the schedule and understanding when you’ll be called for your matches; notify staff, usually tournament organizers (TOs) if you’re not there or have to step out somewhere; and lastly, be civil and have fun.

“Things to prepare for the first tournament are to prepare for any other event,” Jonathan “Binkley” Soon, a Soul Calibur series veteran and IEBattlegrounds member. “You have to basically know the schedule, know the TO, figure out when to eat and how to stay hydrated and have enough food. Also not get tired. It’s basically like any other sporting event or something nerdy like academic decathlon or poker tournament.”

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DereK “ShinATproof” Dyrenforth

Derek “ShinATProof” Dyrenforth, a Guilty Gear Baiken veteran, advice for beginners on tournament preparation is to treat it as casual play. Dyrenforth remembers the time when someone had given him advice due to frustration.

“Someone noticed that me and my friends were frustrated when we would lose in Guilty Gear or lost to much better players,” Dyrenforth said, “He was like: ‘Hey kid, give less f*cks! Don’t worry about the matches, enjoy and have a good time’. The way I would recommend new people getting into [tourneys] is to talk to people there. You’re never going to get any better advice except for people who are playing that game that you’re interested in playing.”


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