What is a Tournament?
A tournament is a series of games or events, such as a football or chess championship, in which participants compete against each other. The word “tournament” comes from the French verb tornoier, meaning “to go out into a field and play.”
In a tournament format, players are arranged into a bracket, or structure of matches; the player who wins their first match advances to play against another player in the next round, and the player who loses their last match is eliminated. The winner of the final match is the player who has won the most overall points in the tournament.
Depending on the type of event, a tournament may be based on a single elimination bracket or a Swiss system. In a Swiss system, the matches in each round are seeded based on some method of determining how good the players are before the tournament starts (such as a random method, or a seeding that is based on their performance in previous tournaments).
As the tournament progresses, more and more players are placed into more and more pairs, and the rounds move quickly. The more closely matched the pairs are, the higher the chances of a win are for the better-skilled player. This is why Swiss systems are popular with more competitive players; they allow the best player to compete for a higher prize pool than they would otherwise, which in turn increases their level of satisfaction.
However, this can result in some unbalanced situations where a player is assigned to a pair that they have no experience playing against, resulting in a very low-scoring tournament. For this reason, many Swiss systems now use pools to make the tournament more fair, and in some cases to avoid having the first-round pairings be dominated by more experienced players.
Some tournaments also use pools to give the players a greater chance of placing well in their next round or bracket. These pools are typically created by splitting the entrants into N number of groups, and assigning each group to a separate pool.
The top finishers in each pool are then placed into a second pool, and the next entrants to the bracket are then seeded based on their finishing positions in those pools. This allows for more consistent placings and a larger amount of games being played in each tournament.
This is especially common at large tournaments, where a lot of competition occurs. This results in a larger prize pool, and can be especially advantageous for players who are trying to win a big-ticket event.
Other kinds of tournaments include invitationals and regional tournaments. These are a more professional style of tournament, where only the top tier players from specific regions are invited. In these tournaments, a smaller entry fee is usually required to enter, which can help to make the event more affordable for players in a given region.
As tournaments are a significant part of the Smash community, it is important to be aware of all the different types of tournaments. They can be a great way to test your skills and meet new players from all over the world.