How to organise an esports tournament

How to organise an esports tournament

In 2016, the final of the League Of Leg­ends World Cham­pi­onship took place at the icon­ic Sta­ples Cen­ter, usu­al­ly home to the Los Ange­les Lak­ers. It is not uncom­mon these days for an event, par­tic­u­lar­ly an esports tour­na­ment, to sell out the biggest venues in the coun­tries where they are organ­ised. We can observe an increas­ing num­ber of these tour­na­ments — even “ama­teur” ones — across Europe and the UK where these com­pe­ti­tions are high­ly pop­u­lar. If you wish to organ­ise an esports com­pe­ti­tion, here is our advice.

The Venue

Sev­er­al fac­tors should be con­sid­ered when select­ing the venue. First­ly, you should be aware of your goal. If you wish to organ­ise a small-scale tour­na­ment, you do not need to hire the near­est city’s exhi­bi­tion cen­tre, a local arts cen­tre will suf­fice. What­ev­er the scale of your event, think about choos­ing a loca­tion where you can set up a large amount of elec­tri­cal equip­ment and a high-speed broad­band — more on that lat­er. How­ev­er, if you want to organ­ise a large scale event with an audi­ence, plan for a big enough venue equipped with the nec­es­sary logis­tics.

The key to organ­is­ing a suc­cess­ful esports event is to define the objec­tives and expec­ta­tions around it before choos­ing a suit­able venue.

Registrations and Ticketing

For both gamers and audi­ence to be hap­py with the show, it is impor­tant to:

  • Give them infor­ma­tion on admis­sion, onsite ser­vices and price(s).
  • Let them know what ser­vices are includ­ed and/or pro­vid­ed onsite (or not) on the day of the tour­na­ment. That is impor­tant infor­ma­tion for both gamers and audi­ence.
  • Take the time to cus­tomise your tick­ets, as this will enhance your event’s brand­ing.
  •  Send invi­ta­tions to teams of gamers, jour­nal­ists, influ­encers, and part­ners who could pro­mote your event.

All of this can be done using Weezevent!

Content is critical

It is obvi­ous­ly nec­es­sary to keep up-to-date with gam­ing news and trends. There are, how­ev­er, clas­sics that will attract a lot of teams, gamers and a large audi­ence, such as sports games (FIFA), fight­ing games (Street), and FPS (First per­son shoot­er games e.g. Counter Strike or Call Of Duty) but most­ly Bat­tle Royale games (i.e. Sur­vival games, e.g. Fort­nite) and MOBAs (i.e. Mul­ti­play­er online bat­tle are­na such as League of Leg­ends).

How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to tar­get the games you real­ly want to present so as to stay focused.

Sim­i­lar­ly, even more than the games, the teams of pro­fes­sion­al play­ers are very impor­tant and must be cho­sen with care. Indeed, these gam­ing celebri­ties have a high influ­ence on atten­dance rate, engage­ment and atmos­phere for the audi­ence dur­ing the tour­na­ment. Gath­er infor­ma­tion about a game’s major play­ers and the most icon­ic gamers if you want to organ­ise a large event.

Ensure the success of your event

Now that you have cho­sen your venue, the game you want to present and the com­peti­tors, it is time to focus on logis­tics.

In terms of equip­ment, plan a big stage for the finals so that a large audi­ence can cheer them on. For the knock-out stages, plan a space for each team to play in a com­fort­able set­ting, with­in their own space.

Think of air-con­di­tion­ing or heat­ing depend­ing on the sea­son! Too few tour­na­ments or LAN par­ties think about the com­fort of the play­ers, yet this lit­tle detail can only ben­e­fit your event.

Plan for food and drinks for both play­ers and audi­ence mem­bers. Food trucks, cater­ing, cafe­te­ria, part­ners, etc. there is a pletho­ra of solu­tions!

Don’t for­get safe­ty — noti­fy the fire­fight­ers, the local author­i­ties and ensure onsite safe­ty if you expect a large audi­ence… Secu­ri­ty guards are crit­i­cal at events such as esports tour­na­ments because they also ensure the safe­ty of the equip­ment day & night. And equip­ment in this type of com­pe­ti­tion, often brought by the play­ers (screens, key­boards, mice, web­cams, micro­phones, etc.), is gen­er­al­ly of high qual­i­ty and rep­re­sents a lot of mon­ey.

Technology is essential

Tech is obvi­ous­ly the one ele­ment that absolute­ly needs to be flaw­less. Events such as esports tour­na­ments gath­er togeth­er a lot of play­ers (some­times hun­dreds). This means hun­dreds of machines such as PCs, screens, micro­phones, TVs, etc. It is there­fore very impor­tant to pro­vide a sta­ble and strong pow­er sys­tem, and plan for a back-up in case of a break­down. There is noth­ing more frus­trat­ing — and some recent exam­ples prove it — for a play­er than hav­ing wait for pow­er to come back up dur­ing a tour­na­ment.

Like pow­er and maybe even more essen­tial: broad­band. Video games are most­ly played online dur­ing a tour­na­ment. With hun­dreds of play­ers in one place, the broad­band con­nec­tion needs to be very pow­er­ful for sev­er­al rea­sons. First­ly, for the play­ers them­selves and their gam­ing com­fort. Many recent exam­ples have shown the strug­gles of play­ers who had to endure unsta­ble Inter­net con­nec­tions. Sim­i­lar­ly, the audi­ence will not enjoy the best pos­si­ble show. Final­ly, a poor Inter­net con­nec­tion can stall your event for sev­er­al hours — because the com­pe­ti­tion can­not go on in a poor set­ting — and risks cre­at­ing con­tro­ver­sy. In order to best pre­pare for this aspect, get in touch with a ser­vice provider very ear­ly on, and run lots of tests to ensure a strong con­nec­tion.

Budget should not be overlooked

Of course, for an event to be prof­itable, the bud­get needs to be man­aged rea­son­ably. Esports tour­na­ments are spe­cial because sev­er­al unusu­al fac­tors come into play. First­ly, the Inter­net bud­get must be high because, as we explained before, a good broad­band con­nec­tion is crit­i­cal to esports tour­na­ments for every­one: play­ers, event organ­is­ers and audi­ence.

Don’t for­get to allo­cate bud­get for extra screens and speak­ers so that the audi­ence can enjoy the show wher­ev­er they are and can hear the com­men­tary and the game! If you want to opti­mise your costs, don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact gam­ing brands and set-up a part­ner­ship with them. They can pro­vide equip­ment in exchange for some adver­tis­ing. If you want to focus on one game, con­tact the game pub­lish­er so that they can con­tribute, pro­mote your event or spon­sor you. This is not uncom­mon!

Organ­is­ing an esports tour­na­ment remains sim­i­lar to many oth­er sports events: take care of your com­peti­tors, put togeth­er a great show for the audi­ence and may the best team win!

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