How to Organize a Local Gaming Tournament

How to Organize a Local Gaming Tournament

Gaming tournaments have become a big deal, and it’s no wonder why. Since the time of Covid-19 and the lockdown, e-sports tournaments have seen a surge in popularity, with 2021 being a lucrative year for the industry when the esports industry was valued at approximately $1.08 billion U.S. dollars, which was a 50% spike when compared to the figures for 2020.

The factor behind the growing popularity of esports events and gaming tournaments is simple to understand: they bring together gamers from all walks of life to compete, have fun, and showcase their skills. 

If you’re considering organizing a local gaming tournament, you’re in for a thrilling ride! This guide will walk you through the steps to make your event successful.


Set clear goals

Before diving headfirst into planning, ask yourself what you want to achieve with your tournament. Is it about building a community, raising money for charity, or simply having a good time? 

Your goals will shape your event’s structure, size, and scale. You can get a better idea of the purpose behind your sporting event by studying competitors and what others are conducting their events for. 

Learning competition and having inspiration can make goal setting less complex and more interesting as you will have a starting point in the context of goal definition and, ultimately, planning your event.

Choose your style

Sports events come in various formats, varying from a single afternoon of excitement to multi-day spectacles. Your choice of tournament type is crucial in shaping the planning and execution of the event. 

When it comes to gaming tournaments, there are some essential factors to consider, like the selection of the games, tournament format, and monetization. Selecting the game that forms the core of your tournament is where it all begins, as this decision has a significant impact on your event’s appeal and success. Games included in gaming tournaments usually have various genres, each with its dedicated player base. 

To make the best choice, focus on titles that are both popular and align with your target audience’s preferences. Games like League of Legends and Fortnite have devoted followings and can be surefire crowd-pullers.

If you wish for your gaming tournament to succeed, remember that tournaments often follow distinct formats, including group and bracket stages, to determine the victor. The scale of your event and the number of participants will dictate the design that suits you best. 

For larger tournaments with many contenders, a single or double-elimination bracket system is a swift and straightforward path to identifying a winner. Delineating your event’s goals and objectives is focal in determining whether it will be a free or monetized venture. 

As mentioned, it is essential to define your goal clearly: Are you aiming to cultivate and expand your gaming community, bolster your brand, generate revenue, or yield profits? Monetizing your event can take on diverse forms, and your strategy should align with your aims.

Budget your tournament

Budgeting is vital if you wish to host a successful gaming event! You must account for venue rental, equipment, prizes, and promotional materials. You can generate revenue through entry fees, sponsorships, and partnerships with local businesses. 

Make sure your expenses are within your income. The tech you provide to your participants will absorb a significant chunk of your budget. Still, the hardware quality can either make your tournament a roaring success or leave everyone scratching their heads in frustration. 

But you don’t always have to open your wallet to get the best gear! Sponsors often get why quality hardware matters, and they’re more than willing to chip in. Sometimes, they’ll even roll up their sleeves and help with the setup, making your job as an organizer much easier. 

Pick the right place and time

For a gaming event to have a vast audience, you must time and place it accordingly to get the maximum traction. Think carefully about how you wish to proceed with your venue and the event’s timing. 

Hosting a gaming tournament on the weekdays can be a buzzkill for many players. It can prevent them from actively participating in the event, translating into you missing out on some top-notch competition. 

Hence, it is essential to time your events carefully over the weekend and host them at a venue that can be central for all participants, irrespective of where they come from. However, your budget will play another crucial role here and may help you shortlist locations as possible venues for D-day. 

Craft a clear rulebook

All right, you’ve got your gaming tournament ready to roll, and that’s fantastic. But you know what’s as important as the game itself? Having a rulebook that’s as clear as day. Think of it like the GPS for your event, guiding everyone on the path to fair play and ensuring no detours into disputed land. In your rulebook, leave no stone unturned: 

The rulebook should cover everything from how to register, the nitty-gritty match rules, and the code of conduct for players. The rulebook is your tournament’s constitution, so you want it to be rock-solid. However, having these rules in place is not only one of the end goals; as the host, you must ensure that everyone knows the score well in advance. 

Communicate these rules to your participants, and don’t assume they’ll all magically be on the same page. So, keep things crystal clear, and you’ll be in for a smoother, more enjoyable tournament for everyone involved.

Promote your tournament

Promoting your tournament is crucial to get the traffic you wish to attain through your event. Incorporating a mix of marketing strategies while keeping your budget in consideration can help you yield maximum results and achieve maximum exposure. 

You can print and put up tournament posters in your office/institute/gym or even in your apartment/building complex to get maximum exposure for the event. If you need help with your design skills, you could always opt for gaming tournament poster templates to help you curate appealing posters for your marketing agenda. 

An enticing poster with details about the prizes, schedule, and registration process can go a long way. Engage with the gaming community by reaching out to local gaming influencers in the community and inviting them to your Instagram live sessions and Q&As to boost your promotions. 

Gaming tournament

Engage your audience

It is crucial to remain connected with your target audience at each phase of the event planning and execution. Creating polls on Instagram to get an idea of your audience’s preferred games, registration price brackets, and availability helps build rapport with your potential market and helps them feel welcomed in the marketing and planning phase of the event.

Organizing a local gaming tournament can be a thrilling experience for you and the participants. Remember, it’s not just about the competition; it’s about building a community and fostering a love for gaming. With the correct planning and dedication, your tournament can become a local gaming legend. Have fun!

Written by: Raahim Jamshed