How to Handle the Online Tournament Registration Process
9/6/2011 9:05 AM
If you ever have entered an online tournament your either had one of the two methods to join the tournament; Sign up on a website and show up at a place on date and time. Or you had to show up at a date and time to be entered and your opponent was picked. This article assumes there is a place where the tournament is being administered in an online chat room or web/game service. So the question is what are the benefits of having a pre-sign up tournament verse open sign up process.
Pre-sign up process allows the host to schedule or stagger the bracket matches of the tournament . The tournament host can have a larger cut off size for the tournament. It also allows the host to be prepared with enough help and game servers (if needed) to be set up and ready for the tournament. The one downfall to this process is the first round of every tournament has multiple forfeits/no shows. I always called this the forfeit round. The second round you sometimes have to reseed so everyone has a match and the tournament begins. The bigger the size of the tournament the bigger number of forfeits and no shows.
Open sign up tournaments is an excellent model is your tournament is smaller and your not looking to have pre-set brackets. This method avoids forfeits or no shows. This method is more of controlled chaos. Teams need to be entered, seeded/bracketed and launched in a small time frame. The brackets are always constantly updating telling the entrants who won and where and who to play next. I used this method most times if I had less then 32 teams and I could finish in a short amount of time. I also used this process when I was using this internally within my community. I knew the strengths of the teams and players. I didn't need to put together a huge website and advertise it. A simple site news announcement post and a bracket page with a list of rules was all I needed.
I have used both models for hosting online tournaments. I picked the registration model depending on the game, sponsor, and place of the tournament. I used IRC for my large pre-sign up tournaments and I used a game service chat for mostly community tournaments. Game services have rules against advertising and sometimes the tournaments if I was to use it would be a conflict of interest. I kept to the rules and terms of service. I hope this helps you or the host in your quest to host a tournament and select the registration process.