To organize an online gaming cup could not be an easy task. But organizing a cup for females couldbe a lot harder than you think. Or isn´t it?
I have to say, i have participated in a lot of cups in CoD 1, CoD 4 and in CS:GO and i have seen both well organized and poorly organized cups. But the fact, that i have seen a lot of poorly organized tournaments lately, forced (or inspired?) me into writing this small guide for any organizer of a cup or tournament, even it is only from the view of a common player.
1) Learn from other cups and tournaments
If something functions, there is a reason why (it is just well made, well thought of), so if you´re trying to be somehow original, keep in mind it could harm your tournament and discourage future participants. If there are any rules, why think of new ones just for your cup? If there is a good system, why to think of a new one?
I don´t want to discourage you from innovations, but every innovation has to be well calculated and there has to be a reason, why there is an innovation. Use the rules, mappool or any other idea from other cups, change only things, that are not well made or you don´t like.
Example: Our team played a cup, that didn´t have a check-in prior cup start (caused lot of problems), there was no mappool like in other cups, the maps wer given by the admin (Dust2=OK, Mirage=OK, New Cobblestone= RLY?-not even in ESWC mappool, finals = third map is chosen by the admin – how strange?), there was no voicecheck, no written rules… Why not to learn from other female cups not to make mistakes like that?
2) Make sure you can do it in the given time
Choose your deadlines a terms wise. If you´re organizing your first tournament, there is no rush to organize it. Always have a plan B, but for planning twice, you need time. And if you want to offer some decent prize for the winner, you have to find some good sponzor and that takes time too!
Example: New qualification cup was planned and announced. Deadline to enter it was arranged in a week and the cup was planned in two weeks. The cup was poorly planned, bracket was built from teams, that entered in the first week and there was no check-in prior cup start. So there were a lot of changes, that related to time and opponents and the whole bracket had to be changed anyway. But it was changed so many times noone had a clear idea, what awaited the team for a match and when and even which map to play. Noone even knew, if the finals should be played that day or the day after…
Don´t forget to make detailed and meaningful written rules. Or just respect the first point i did and inspire from other cups and tournaments and copy their rules. But be careful to forget about something. It could cause a lot of problems and a lot of negative reactions from the players, that could be so disappointed not to take part on your tournaments anymore. The rules should be clear to everyone prior match starts, any changes has to be said both capitains of the teams.
Example: In a recent female cup, the rules were following:
„Coaches are allowed to be on servers. The matches must be played on ESL 5on5 config. One player from each team must record ts3 talks to avoid cheating*. Demos must be recorded.“
Wow, what a detailed and meaningful rules description! Let´s look on the word meaningful: Why there is a coach allowed? It is not normal to have a coach enabled in an online tournament, in addition to it, why should be TS3 recorded, if there is anyway a guy=coach speaking? It is not a training to have coach there. It’s a game of five players, from which one of them is a strategic leader. With coach in there, it is a great advantage to have this on player be free from telling the strategies and thinking of them. It is like playing 6v5 then. Now let’s take a look on the word detailed: Map pool info is not included in the rules, but written in the continualy changing brackets, there were no info about playtime of finals, no info about stand-ins/hosts, no info about knives, no info about taking a pause, no info about time allowed to wait on a match, no info about amount of players needed to start a match, no info what to do if the server stops, on whose server to play (pings)… and much much more. My team had to start playing on a server, I´ve sent ours and everything was ok (but what if they didn´t like our server?), but then the capitain of the enemy team said: „Btw. we have a stand-in, one of our players couldn’t play, just letting you know.“ – I said like what? Just letting you know? You have to ask us for god´s sake! What is the host and why we don’t know about her? – „It’s blahblah, already allowed to play by admin, he´s my friend, you know.“ – Huh, things get stranger and stranger. So the admin allowed a player to stand in in the match against us not telling us a god damn word about that and that stand in is a freaking Global Elite rank. Mkay. Nice thing to find out prior match starting. So I´ve told her, it´s not polite to say it only to let me know, it´s polite to ask me and the same thing i´ve said to admin. Fortunately the stand in played like a sheriff and it was no problem playing against her. And fortunately, there weren´t any more problems during the matches, that we needed to solve with help of the rules, because unfortunately and obviously, there were none. There was just the word of the admin, that is apparently friend of our opponents (good thing to know, i say!).
4) Keep in mind special cheating precautions for female players
There are many cheating precautions in the game already. And if you´re playing cups organized by big gaming portals, there are special anti-cheats, that for example make screens of what you see during the match (ESL-Wire, …). Additionaly you have to record your match demos in order to look on your in game performance. Check of Steam-ID´s should be a matter of course…
But if you´re a female player playing a cup only for females, there should be a check, if you are a real female and not only some guy playing for you. If you´re playing some esl cup, you have to play on a given teamspeak server, where the admins visit your room during the match and listen to your voices. That is called voicecheck. So checking at least STEAM-ID and voice of a female player should be a sure thing in cups like that. Sometimes some gaming portals demand even a real photo in the profile from female players to avoid any fake accounts.
Example: In a recent female cup, there were no TS servers given, so admin said, every team has to record their TS conversations during the match and record the demo in game. What a great precaution of cheating! If there was a guy playing, noone could prove it. They could record some other match together and exchange it for the original match recording (noone speaks hungarian, or czech from the admin team, so how could they know?). In addition to that, a coach was able to be on the server during the match (I still cannot really comprehend why was this even possible…), so how could we know the guy, that you could surely hear on the teamspeak recording, didn´t play instead of some of the girls?
Casters are always a good thing for an online cup or tournament. Casters should orient themselves on female scene, should speak at least on of following languages: english (international), language of the first team, language of the second team. It would be nice if the casters were neutral by casting and if they are professionals and speak without cursing, laughing or making fun of players. Casters should know, what is their time schedule and what teams they will cast. Casting doesn´t mean only spectating (then it´s no need to have a caster, just send the gotv to the public), it actually involves commentary of the game.
A cup or tournament shouldn´t be subordinated to the time management of casters, the players are the most-important participants.
6) Admin team
The admin team has to be present and visible during the whole cup. It should controll the whole cup schedule, inform the teams about changes personally and update the data to inform the public constantly (but not spam). The information given should be always final and the changes kept to minimum. So don´t inform everyone about a change if the change is not confirmed, don´t organize a tournament, if you´re not able to be present and solve eventual problems. The admin team is there to keep track of following the rules, not to invent the rules on the place. The admin team should be neutral and their decision should be neutral as well.
7) Give decent information about the cup prior the start
All the information should be clear, well-arranged and complete prior the cup starting. As I´ve already written above, the info should be always final, changes too. If there is always a change in something, it could confuse and enrage the players and discourage them from taking part on your cup.
So what you should always say to the participants and public:
1) General info
What is the cup for? In which game? Is it only for female players? Is this only a small night cup or is is a qualification? If it is a qualification, how many qualifications there will be? For what tournament? Is it online or offline? Which teams are already qualified? How many slots are in the main tournament? Who is organizing it? …
When is the cup? How long will it take? Is is Bo1 or Bo3? When does it start? When is the second qualification? Are the finals played the same day? When will be played the main tournament? …
3) Info source
Where we could find the best and actual info about the cup? Where we could speak to the admins? (Please, choose always only one place to tell info, don´t spam the info, the important thing should be always on top)
Where are the written rules? What rules are there – mappool, stand-ins, cfg, anticheat, servers, …?
Why are we competing in the cup? What is the purpuose of the cup? Are there any prizes – online steam gifts or skins, games, hardware, money, or only prestige?
I hope you like my entry!
Published: 17.05.15 3:47 Pacific Standard Time