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How to become an Elite Tournament Organizer

BattlefyAugust 9th 2019

Battlefy makes it easy to start an organization and host tournaments, but what’s the next step? Running a successful organization can be a daunting amount of work, and it’s often unclear what the best methods are for recruiting players and keeping them happy. This guide explores the extra steps you should take to become one of the top tournament organizers on our platform, and explores everything from initial setup to community building and marketing.

New to Battlefy? If you’re looking for the basics, these are some great resources to check out.

ORGANIZATION SETUP

Basic setup is fairly straightforward following the instructions on this page, but there are some key steps to take if you want to elevate your tournament organizing game.

  • Create a unique esports brand. Building your brand is an important initial step for setting your organization up for success. Your “brand” is not only the visual identity, but the tone, voice, and emotion associated with your presence. For example: Do you want your organization to be serious, or funny? Cater to professionals, or amateurs? etc

Conexoes Games is a great example of an organization with a clear and consistent brand presence.

  • Keep your organization brand consistent. Once you have established your overall brand, you need to keep it consistent across all channels. Your images, fonts, copywriting, and communications should be the same regardless if it’s on Battlefy or social media accounts.
  • Clearly define what your organization is good at, and why. There are a lot of organizations for players to choose from, so what makes your organization the best choice? Are you the best at running a specific game? Do you provide good prizing/rewards? etc.
  • Focus on your fundamentals before expanding. Similar to Starcraft, quickly expanding can be dangerous as it spreads your resources too thin. Make sure to only run the number of tournaments you can reasonable support at a high quality level.

ORGANIZATION STAFFING

Let’s face it, running any big organization is a lot of work — and esports certainly isn’t an exception. Unless you have GSL level multitasking skills, running more than a few tournaments a week can become too much for one person. Finding the right staff to help out is the key to success, and is a great way to scale up the size of your organization.

What’s the best way to recruit staff?

  • Clearly outline the benefits of being part of your organization, anything from esports experience to a portion of the overall income. What can you offer a staff member?
  • Check out active players in your tournaments. These are a great potential resource for recruiting staff members as they are interested in your games and know both the community and Battlefy platform. Keep an eye out for regular players, they could be a great staff member in the making.
  • Not all staff members need to be humans! Utilize Discord bots by creating custom commands or triggers that answer frequently asked questions 24/7, automatically assigns user roles, and handle giveaways/contests.

What are the advantages to staffing your org?

  • Ensuring you have the resources to answer player questions around events in a reasonable time. Generally you should be able to answer questions in the day leading up to a tournament. In the hours leading up to a tournament, expect some questions from players as they begin to check in and prepare.
  • Making sure you have enough staff to quickly deal with player disputes. Nothing frustrates players more than having a game stopping issue which takes 15–20 minutes for a response.

Match disputes can add up, especially with larger tournaments.

  • Ability to support tournaments in multiple languages. Battlefy is a worldwide esports platform with players from almost every country, so always consider recruiting staff that can cover different languages.
  • Having a dedicated staff member for each major role in your organization. As outlined in this article, having someone for each specific role in your org can be huge for managing tournament ops, disputes, and moderation.

PLAYER COMMUNICATIONS

Regular and effective communications is one of the most important parts of running a successful esports organization on Battlefy. As your organization grows, so does the need for player support, dispute resolution, tournament announcements and promotion.

When do you want to communicate with players?

  • Consistency is key. Plan an announcement schedule around tournaments and stick to it so players know when to expect communications from your organization.
  • Anytime issues related to disputes come up. If there is a delay in answering player disputes or issues because there are so many, make an announcement.
  • During each major stage of the tournament. For example, when you begin seeding the bracks, leave a message notifying players so they can get ready to play. They will receive a notification on Battlefy but that doesn’t mean they’re looking at the page.
  • When you want feedback from your community. One of the best ways to improve is to poll your audience / ask returning players what improvements or changes they would like to see.

What are the best tools to use?

  • We recommend Discord as one of the primary organization tools. This is for a number of reasons — it’s used by the majority of players (on PC), can easily be customized with multiple channels/roles, and can work for both general support and tournament ops.
  • Build your Discord into an active community. This can be achieved by regularly messaging with users, posting information and content, running giveaways and contests, and generally just keeping your players engaged.
  • Setup a Discord bot that utilizes custom responses. You can then set it up to respond to certain phrases or keywords so that it responses with a specific message or ruling.

How do I manage disputes?

  • Disputes are a regular part of running any competitive organization, and esports certainly has its share. Once you’re running regular tournament on Battlefy, you can expect a certain amount of regular support and dispute resolution that must be handled.
  • Never lose your cool and always treat your players with respect. Making difficult decisions is part of running an organization, and players can often be frustrated, especially if they are disqualified due to a technicality. Just make sure you clearly state the rules and explain why a player was disqualified or a ruling decision was made.
  • We recommend using Private Match chat on Battlefy. The benefit is that both players can see the complete chat history, and it cannot be edited or changed. Battlefy also provides time stamps for each message which is extremely helpful for resolving issues around match check ins.

TOURNAMENT PROMOTION

Promoting your organization is an essential part of the process, especially in the early stages before you have a strong following. The right promotional activities will be key for running active tournaments and regularly attracting new players.

What’s the best way to schedule tournaments?

  • Schedule all tournaments in advance and consider other events as not to conflict with them. Don’t make players choose between multiple tournaments at the same time!
  • Give at least two weeks notice before your major tournaments to allow time for promotion, operations, and support.
  • Always have another tournament scheduled after the current one. Once players complete the current tournament they can immediately join the next one.
  • Have all your rules and prizing finalized before making announcements or publishing the tournament. This will lead to fewer questions and a higher player join rate.
  • Create your tournament brackets ahead of time. This cuts down on wait time and last minute ops once the tournament begins.

How do I make my tournament stand out?

  • Create compelling graphics for your tournament banners. Using animated GIFs are also a good way to draw attention, but keep it subtle! Tournament banners are a great place for branding, but should include a clear call to action or prizing info.

Example of a custom banner from Wolfoxy, featuring daily League of Legends tournaments.

  • Create social media and community campaigns around each major tournament. Outlined in the promotional section below, effective use of social media and player communities is essential for running successful tournaments.

What’s the best use of social media?

  • Post consistent social content. While promoting tournaments is the focus, regular daily social posts and activity is a great way to grow your channels. Creating engaging posts will also help with the reach of tournament posts as well.

  • Leveraging influencers or community leaders. A great way to promote tournaments is to work with prominent members of the community, these can be pro players, brands, content creators, or community ambassadors.

  • Engage with your audience. It’s not enough to just post announcement, if you truly want to build a great community you need to directly message and engage with followers.

  • Promote tournaments in game specific social media groups. Finding groups on Facebook, Discord, Reddit, etc and promoting your tournaments in them can be a powerful promotional tool. Just make sure you’re not coming across as spammy or intrusive.

  • Using paid posts to boost social media reach. Most social media platforms have the option to pay to promote specific posts. While it can add up, this is a great way to promote larger tournaments.

What are some other methods for promoting tournaments?

  • As a tournament organizer, it’s vital to be plugged into online esports communities. These can be on Discord, Reddit, or specific websites/forums and act as a great resource for both promoting tournaments and recruiting staff members.
  • Using contests, giveaways, and other community programs. Sometimes tournaments just need a little extra to get started, that’s where contests and giveaways come in. Regularly running contests on your organization channel works to keep players engaged outside of tournaments.

Shadowverse offers tiered community prizing to help incentivize tournaments.

  • Taking advantage of Battlefy community prizing opportunities. Several key developers on Battlefy offer community prizing to eligible tournaments. These include Shadowverse, Critical Ops, and EA SPORTS FIFA 19, with the list always growing.

For the latest resources and guides from the Battlefy team, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you have any specific questions around tournament organization, just leave a comment below!

Dev Update: July 2019
August 1st 2019

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