Tournaments are a type of competition in which players play matches in an organized setting to raise their skill ranking. They are typically arranged into a structured bracket and each match is played to the best of three games. The top players in a tournament are usually awarded prizes.
The structure of a tournament depends on the game being played, the number of entrants and the time and logistics constraints. Some structures resemble the Swiss system, where a player is seeded into each round based on some method of assessing their skill before the event starts, while other structures use a combination of groups and elimination brackets.
Traditionally, tournaments were a single-elimination format, but the advent of modern video gaming has meant that more competitions have been converted to two-elimination formats. These systems allow for more competition by having fewer players eliminated in each round. The double-elimination format is by far the most common, but a player may also be eliminated if they lose in the winners’ or losers’ brackets.
In addition to the traditional double-elimination bracket, some tournaments have a single-elimination format where players are eliminated after winning two sets. This format is used in some regions as an incentive to players not to deliberately drop a tough set to fall into the losers’ bracket, but it is less common outside of these regions.
Card Pools and Deck Zones
During the first phase of a tournament, players are given 6 booster packs and a card pool registration sheet. Each player must write their name in the “Player using pool” section on the card pool registration sheet and use all of the cards from those 6 booster packs throughout the tournament.
Sleeves and Deck Checking
To maintain the integrity of the tournament, judges check cards during each match to ensure that the cards are in the same color sleeves as the cards in the player’s deck zone. Judges may also examine the sleeves and decks of the players in a match for markings or other signs of cheating.
If a player has marked their cards, the judge may deem the marked cards unusable and repackage them into new boosters for the tournament. Alternatively, the Head Judge can choose to grant the player a repacking waiver in exceptional circumstances where it would be unreasonable for them to acquire replacements for their marked cards.
If players agree to evenly split the eventual prizes at a tournament, this is not considered to be bribery, but it is still a violation of the Unsporting Conduct Policy. It is a serious offense and will result in a warning or loss of the tournament.
During a tournament, players must behave in a respectful manner to both their opponents and any event staff members present. It is also a violation to act aggressively, engage in shaming or insults of any kind, or violate the safety or privacy of others in the tournament area.
If a tournament official or any other tournament staff member is aware of any of these violations, they are encouraged to immediately report them. In addition, players are not allowed to engage in any gambling, betting or ante-taking during the tournament.