5 Things to Know About Running an eSports Tournament

The world of sports has evolved in recent years. You don’t have to be an extraordinary athlete to participate in or even win a sports tournament.

Why and how is this possible, you ask? It’s simple. eSports has taken the world by storm. eSports athletes participate in tournaments and play on teams just like traditional sports.

And with the growth of eSports has come the need for more tournaments, making this the perfect time to start your own tournament.

You might be asking, what do I need to do to run an eSports tournament? We can help. Keep reading for the five most important things you’ll need to know to start your own eSports tournament. Tournaments are a lot of work, but running one is pretty easy.

The idea of starting an eSports tournament can seem daunting to many. This is understandable, as the idea of creating the tournament, asking volunteers to help, and choosing the right venue can seem like a lot of work.

The biggest worry most people have what it will cost to start and run their eSports tournament. With inflation skyrocketing recently, it’s no wonder someone would be cautious about the money it would take to start an eSports tournament.

If you follow the essential steps in this article, you can wipe your fears away. So, let’s dive into how someone would start their own eSports tournament.

How Do You Start an eSports Tournament?

How Do You Start an eSports Tournament

To start your own tournaments of any kind, it’s important to follow a few crucial steps. According to visitsimivalley.com, these are the 10 steps to follow to start your own sports tournament:

1. Get organized

Create a committee and get volunteers to help you run the tournament. As you can see, without this step, your tournament will fail from a lack of help.

2. Select your dates

This is one of your most important steps because the date you choose could either make or break the turnout for your tournament.

The right date is crucial for a few reasons. First, if you choose a date where many people are working, then that can affect your turnout negatively.

Also, if the date of your eSports tournament is on the same day as another big event, your turnout could also suffer. This is not what you want. So, make sure you look over your dates and choose the best one to help you succeed.

3. Choose a venue

Not only will you want to book a venue that can meet all your needs, but you’ll also want to make sure it’s large enough to fit all the attendees of your tournament. Also, some venues will offer services like catering and even volunteer services, so choose wisely.

4. Determine the tournament style

This one is easy. Your tournament style is eSports!

5. Plan for supplies

Determine the items that are supplied by your venue, what contestants will be expected to bring and what you need to supply. Some items to think about include food and tournament swag.

6. Promote your tournament

Use a variety of methods to get the word our about your tournament. Start promoting early and continue to get the word out about your tournament up until the day it starts.

Share the details of your eSports tournament on social media, post flyers and contact local media. If you know any famous eSports players, invite them to your tournament, which will result in them promoting your eSports tournament on their already popular platform.

7. Finalize details ahead of time

Make sure all trophies, certificates, or awards you plan to give out are already made and ready to go.

8. Reserve officials and referees

This step is crucial. Your tournament can’t run without refs and officials. Start lining up officials and referees as soon as you know the date and venue for your tournament.

9. Reach out to participants

Make sure participants know what to expect. Include the rules and regulations of the tournament in your communications about the tournament to ensure a smooth experience for everyone.

10. Review the plan

Go over all the details of your eSports tournament with the venue, the committee, and everyone else who is involved to make sure no details have been missed.

These steps can help you start any type of sports tournament, including an eSports tournament. If you stick to these steps, your tournament should be a success.

How Many Types of eSports Tournaments Are There?


So, now you’ve found the perfect venue and have selected the good date, what do you do now?

One thing left to consider is what type of eSports tournament to have. There are four main types of eSports tournaments:

  1. League or Round Robin tournaments
  2. Knockout or Elimination tournaments
  3. Challenge tournaments
  4. Combination tournaments

A league or round robin tournament is where the tournament’s winner accumulates the most points. For a win, the player or team receives two points.

In a defeat, the player or team receives zero points. If the player or team’s match ends in a draw, each player or team receives one point.

A knockout or elimination tournament is when a player or team gets defeated once, and they’re out of the tournament. It’s similar to the NCAA basketball tournament that happens every March.

There are also double knockout tournaments, where the player or team has to lose twice before being out of the tournament. The Bagnall-wild elimination tournament is where the winner is determined in a draw match where byes are used in the first round.

The last version of the knockout tournament is the consolation tournament. This is when the player or team that gets defeated in the first round plays the player or team that had a bye in the first round but lost in the second round. They play each other in a consolation tournament.

A combination tournament combines league and knockout styles. There are four types of combination tournaments:

  1. Knockout cum knockout: once a team is defeated, they are eliminated
  2. League cum league: teams are separated into four pools and play in a league style. The pool winners then play each other in league style to determine the winner
  3. Knock out cum league: teams play a regular knockout style up to the quarterfinal round. Then, the remaining teams play league style to determine the winner
  4. League cum knockout: each team plays in a certain pool, and the top teams from each pool are taken out while the remaining teams play each other in a knockout style

The last type of eSports tournament is the challenge tournament. In this style, the winner takes the title, and the other teams play the title holder to challenge them for their title.

Are eSports Tournaments Legal?


One thing that worries people who may want to start an eSport tournament is whether this type of tournament is legal. The simple answer to this is that it depends on your location.

No state officially has banned earning money from eSports in tournaments. That being said, there are certain jurisdictions that outlaw winning money from eSports or other online gambling.

Nevada has recently passed legislation to create an eSports advisory board to recommend best practices for eSports competitions. This is because the lawmakers in Nevada see value in eSports competitions, which can only mean the industry is poised to grow.

Players and organizers must agree with the terms or risks to participate in the tournament. If they don’t agree, they could risk being banned from the platform.

eSports tournaments are also a more casual alternative to professional eSports since not every player has the time or dedication to turn pro. A local eSports tournament is a way these players can compete and have fun, as well.

How Much Does It Cost to Host an eSports Tournament?


The biggest question on anyone’s mind who wants to start an eSports tournament is what the cost will be. Several things go into determining what the tournament will cost:

  • The size of the prize pool you’ll be giving out to the winners
  • The venue cost
  • Travel costs for high-profile players and teams
  • Hotels
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Staff wages
  • Emergency fund to cover unforeseen expenses

The best way to figure out the cost is to write down the costs mentioned above. Those estimates will turn into your budget.

How Do eSports Tournaments Make Money?

How Do eSports Tournaments Make Money

Now that you’ve figured out what it will cost to start your own eSports tournament, let’s talk about how much money you can make. There are three main ways your eSports tournament will bring in revenue:

  1. Revenue share with eSports leagues
  2. Tournament winnings and team-wide brand partnerships
  3. Entertainment and merchandise

When you start an eSports tournament, you can earn sponsorships from eSports leagues. You could also get advertising from leagues to bring in revenue.

Tournament winnings are also a way for you to earn money. When a player or team wins the top prize, the tournament usually takes a percentage of the winnings.

The last major way to earn revenue is selling tournament merchandise. Also, team-affiliated creators that participate in your tournament can make you money from their own brand sponsorships.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of hosting an eSports tournament, we want to know about your experiences. Have you hosted or attended an eSports tournament? Give us your best tips in the comments!