Step-by-step guide for short-duration tournaments
- Consider the timing of your tournament carefully. A majority of CC players are from North America and Europe. Therefore, a time which would enable players from both continents to play would be advisable. If you are arranging an evening tournament then early evening in N America is late evening in Europe. Weekend tournaments can be successful for obvious reasons.
Consider what kind of tournament format will work best for you. Will you be running a knock-out / bracket tournament that runs over a couple of hours? Will you be running a league-style tournament that takes place at a regular time and day each week. Or, perhaps you may be running a 'festival' style tournament that takes place over a whole day or weekend (which would invariably involve a win percentage determining the overall winner). Hopefully, organisers will create new, innovative tournament formats in time, although it is advisable to opt for a simple, manageable format for your first speed tournament.
Select your maps very carefully. Maps that are too large or too complicated may put many players off and make recruiting difficult. Often small and simple maps can be popular.
Choose your settings very carefully. Automatic and sequential are much more popular than manual or freestyle. Flat Rate and No Spoils may cause games to drag on for too many rounds and make your tournament run over time (unless you are using small maps). Similarly, games with too many players may take too long for each round to be played whilst 3-player games can sometimes be an issue if two players decide to 'pick' on the third player. If you are using fog of war then consider if you wish to have any rules and consequences about players disclosing each other's whereabouts and troop numbers in game chat.
Consider whether to have any rules and consequences about 'truces' / 'pacts' / 'alliances'. This can often be an issue in speed games where players attempt to manipulate one another in game chat.
Once you have set-up your thread, it is advisable to undertake additional recruiting. It is a good idea to send a PM to players from previous speed tournaments, as well as any tournament player lists you may have yourself. You can find a list here.
When you have received your privileges, set-up your first games. This will attract some players who notice the tournament when using Game Finder to find public speed games.
Send your signed-up players reminders of the tournament start time - preferably the day before the tournament and 30-60 minutes before the start time.
Be prepared to send a lot of PMs to players to join games. This is especially the case at the beginning of a speed tournament. Consider how long you are prepared to wait for a player to join before you seek reserves.
To minimise problems setting-up games have clear rules about players joining (& not dropping games whilst they wait for them to start). Be clear what you will do if if somebody goes missing half-way through a tournament - whether you will seek a reserve (e.g. player eliminated earlier in the tournament) or re-start a game with fewer players . Also, consider rules regarding players missing a turn.
Don't panic if anything goes wrong, or you make a mistake. Speed tournament players are generally very understanding and appreciative of the extra effort involved from a TO. They will be willing to drop a game set-up incorrectly, or to wait for few minutes whilst you make a cup of tea.
Consider having an assistant - somebody to help you PM players to invite them to join games at the beginning, and someone to consult if quick decisions are needed during the tournament.
DJ Teflon is appointed to support TOs in running speed tournaments, contact him for advice and support, He may be able to provide you with some 'live' support when your tournament takes place.
Make use of the advice thread available, it provides examples of succesful techniques used in previous tournaments.