5 Tips for Your First Competitive Gaming Tournament

The recent explosion of eSports popularity has caught many people in the gaming industry unaware. Some experts predict that by 2021, the average annual growth of eSports audiences in the last five years will be around 14%, which is an astounding figure. What’s more, if anything, this projection is moderate, since the actual growth was almost 204 in 2018 alone. From 335 million viewers in 2017, the number increased to 380 million. This popularity has reflected on the gaming tournaments organizers. Big tournaments now regularly have prize pools in seven figures, offering amazing sums of money to the winners. Most of that money doesn’t come from viewers. In fact, only 11% of eSports revenue comes from merchandise and tickets. The largest share is supplied by sponsors, accounting for 40% of revenue, followed by 19% generated by advertising. If you are planning on claiming a piece of this pie for yourself, here are some helpful tips.

Technical Prerequisites for A Gaming Tournament

You can have the best game in the world, but if it doesn’t support multiplayer, you won’t have much success with gaming tournaments. The game also should have a functional lobby system, supporting as many players as possible or applicable in the given game settings. This is essential for keeping track of records and game results, as it allows the organizers to verify them easily. Game lobbies are also useful for streaming matches. One or more players can stream their games for the audience. In larger tournaments, every player has their own stream, so that people watching can observe the action from all points of view.


Location is one of the most important factors that can make or break your tournament. It has to be convenient for both audience and players. There is a reason why not many competitive gaming tournaments are held in Alaska. Or any kind of other events, for that matter. The venue itself should be spacious enough to receive all attendees, with sufficient parking space. Technical requirements like high-speed Internet should be inspected right off the bat. Some venues may even provide gaming equipment, but that can also be sourced elsewhere, so it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Any venue that doesn’t meet them must be eliminated from consideration immediately. Once that is out of the way, potential organizers should take a look at nearby facilities, like hotels and restaurants, especially if they don’t have catering onsite.


Prizes are an important factor for people deciding which tournament they are going to participate in. For smaller tournaments, prizes are determined based on the entrance fee each team or player has to pay to be able to participate. This is a very tricky question, since setting the entrance fee too high will deter people from applying. Set them too little, and you won’t have enough prize money to attract good players. They will rather spend their time on tournaments that make it worth their while. If you manage to round up some sponsors, that can help you immensely in solving this equation. Every little thing can help, even if sponsors only give you less expensive items instead of money. All of them can find their way into the prize pool and help tip the scales in your favor.

Decide on The Tournament Format

The tournament format will largely depend on the game you will be hosting. The biggest distinction is whether the game in question is for solo players or teams. Each of these has its own requirements and unique challenges, including various pros and cons. Hosting a slot tournament will be widely different than hosting a League of Legends one. Once that is out of the way, you have to decide on other specifications, like whether to use the single or double-elimination format. This will mostly depend on the number of people or teams that apply for the tournament, as well as your space and equipment you have available.

Promote Your Gaming Tournament

Promoting your gaming tournament is essential for getting an audience and sponsors, and both of these are a must-have for a successful event. The trouble is that, if you are just starting, you won’t have much money for splurging on an expensive marketing campaign. Fortunately, we live in an age where you can run an effective one for very little money. Use the power of social media to spread the word about your tournament. Nice visuals always help, so consider making a promo video that can be shared on Facebook and Instagram. You can get someone to do it on the cheap if you lack the necessary skills. Make sure you include all the relevant info, like the link to the signups, brief description, and the timetable. All these should be contained in your initial post, as it will get the most attention and be shared by most people.