A tournament (sometimes referred to as a tourney or simply a tourny) is an event that is structured in a way where players compete against each other for the chance to win a certain amount of money. These events usually require some kind of entry fee to enter, and the winner(s) of a tournament are awarded pre-announced amounts of money, typically based on a percentage of the overall pot. Tournaments can be organized at many different levels of competition, from local community events to the largest major international tournaments.
Some tournaments allow players to use any character in a match, while others limit the character selection to a certain set of playable characters. Additionally, tournaments often run bracket formats that differ from Tournament Mode, with the most common being double elimination.
In order to qualify for a tournament, players may either enter a qualifying tournament held by the organizers of the tournament, earn a top placement at another tournament, or win an invitation through a special format such as a Last Chance Qualifier. Some tournaments are capped at a specific number of entrants, such as the EVO World Championships or GENESIS, which is often tiered into C-tier on most global rankings.
There are also special cases of tournaments that offer a prize pool for every player who makes it to the final round, and this is sometimes called a supermajor. These are often regarded as the best events in the game, and can draw some of the biggest names in the community.
Many tournaments have rules requiring participants to pay a fee to enter, and some venues will not be tolerant of paying for entry into a tournament, such as schools and churches, and may refuse to host a tournament if they discover that money is being exchanged between players. Additionally, some state laws consider gaming tournaments to be gambling and may prohibit them in some venues.
Tournaments are widely held throughout the world, with the United States having by far the largest community and hosting some of the largest tournaments in the game. Other areas with significant Smash communities include Canada, northern and western Europe, Australia, and Japan.
While skill alone can get you a tournament win, thorough preparation will make the odds of success even higher. Keeping your emotions in check, staying focused on the process, and avoiding risky shots will help you achieve the results that you want. Thinking of a tournament as an opportunity to learn and practice, rather than a test of your ability under pressure, can be a great mental strategy for those who struggle with performance anxiety.