Use Case: the Ubisoft Gaming League

For this new article, we decided to leave the reins of the blog to Nicolas Mivielle, Production Manager from Ubisoft Montreal, for him to tell us more about their internal competition, the Ubisoft Gaming League, that they organize regularly with the help of Toornament:

Hello, my name is Nicolas Mivielle, I have been an organizing member of the Ubisoft Gaming League (UGL) for 5 years, and we will celebrate the 6th anniversary of the competition this year.
It’s an internal association that has been created and is maintained by Ubisoft Montreal employees on their free time, with a simple objective in mind: organize competitions and video games tournaments for all Ubisoft Montreal employees.


Overwatch final with public during Season 5

We want to give the employees a sharing time and space with their colleagues (we really focus on the fun side of the competitions), but also let them discover games that may not be part of the Ubisoft catalogue. For our 5 years anniversary, we also added a new dimension to the UGL, with a partnership with a game that’s yet to be announced, with a strong esport side. We organized an internal tournament, on an Alpha version of the game, to provide the studio with feedback, and check their objectives and ambition, thanks to our huge pool of competitive players and organizers.
We hope that this kind of partnerships will develop in the future, because it was a blast organizing such a competition, and the input has been invaluable for the studio.

Since the beginning of this initiative, we have organized close to 40 tournaments that gathered several hundreds participants. We work with seasons and blocks, and try to have tournaments on as many game genres as possible (MOBA, Fighters, MMO, FPS, RTS etc.). Ubisoft Montreal graciously makes everything we need available, with a total freedom when it comes to organization and communication matters.


DOTA2 casters with prizes behind for Season 6

We finish each season with a Just Dance tournament during a summer gathering where all 3,000 employees are present, before the beginning of the next one in September.
We do use Toornament for the whole process, for both public and private tournaments of the UGL. It’s a great tool that is perfect for all of our needs. We plan on diving deeper into the advanced functionnalities of the Toornament technology, like the TV or the API, for a better integration into our website. This will allow for more visibility and a customized experience for everyone.


Just Dance grand final for the end of season 5

We will soon start the 2nd Block of our Season 6, with For Honor and Rocket League tournaments. We will also organize a “Tournament of Power” in this block, which was a new format we experimented last season, that consists of an evening with many different fighting games, and the ability to qualify on any game present before the finals.

For those that would want to learn more about our organization, or follow our public tournaments, head to the UGL Website, or the UGL Twitch Channel, where we stream all public finals.

Thank you Nicolas for the extensive presentation of the Ubisoft Gaming League, and congratulations on the great initiative!
Don’t hesitate contacting us if you are wondering how Toornament could help you build great events for your co-workers or employees!

New bracket format available: the Gauntlet

We introduced with our recent structure update the Gauntlet bracket, a format that our organizers have been asking for, and we are delivering!
A Gauntlet is a type of duel-match bracket used as final stage in a tournament, usually following a League or Swiss Stage. It is a mono-branch single-elimination bracket in which only a handful of teams will play, with an important advantage given to the highest-ranked teams from the first stage.
In fact, in this type of stage, you place participants in matches up to the grand finals, depending on their #Seed:

This format is widely used in League of Legends Asian leagues, and is gaining traction in Europe too, with this season’s French Official League planning to use it aswell.
Here is an example of this new stage in our widget:

APEX Legends – The latest Battle Royale sensation!

It is hard to believe you would not have heard about Apex Legends, but just in case, it is the latest Battle Royale released by Electronic Arts and developed by Respawn, the creators of the Titanfall series. It’s fast-paced, brutal and seems to have understood everything a Battle Royale must be and do to succeed.

The post-launch numbers are quite eloquent:

Apex Stats

And the first weekend saw a peak concurrent players at more than 2 Million players, and almost 500,000 viewers on Twitch. Needless to say, the launch has been a huge success, and we felt it on Toornament too, with a lot of Apex Legends Tournaments created since the release of the game!

Official tournaments have also started, with the first Twitch Rivals on Apex Legends having been held earlier this month, with European and North American teams challenging each other to a points race during an evening:

So if you want to join the hype train, gather two of your friends and drop in King’s Canyon with your powers and weapons to claim the victory! And if you have the soul of an organizer, we have the perfect guide to help you organize your Apex Legends tournament!

Introducing Brackets for Free-for-All tournaments!

Our latest Structure update brought two new Free-for-All structures to our ever-expanding list, and those have been among the greatest challenges we have had to face. But we prevailed, and are proud to present to you our two new additions:

FFA Single-Elimination Brackets

These brackets work just like the standard Duel ones, except there can be up to 100 participants in a single match, with a portion of them advancing forward in the next round.
We adapted the rules of the standard duel brackets to the Free-for-All format, with a smart distribution of seeds in matches between rounds and no re-match between participants for as long as possible, thus keeping everything that makes a bracket interesting and competitive. Our FFA brackets are not just a linear series of matches where people will keep playing against the same opponents every time!

FFA Bracket Groups

We also created a variation upon this new format, with FFA Bracket Groups, that allow you to split your participants into several groups, where they will play Single-Elimination FFA Brackets to qualify for a final match or bracket!

With these two new structures, we confirm our will to remain the leading technology for all things esports, and no doubt our organizers will make good use of these new structures! And with the increasing number of Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Apex Legends tournaments, to quote only a few remarkable examples, no doubt the need for more advanced structures was becoming a pressing one, and here they are!

The Toornament API now has Webhooks!

We are excited to announce that Webhooks are now part of the Toornament API! Webhooks are a way for two applications to quickly and easily communicate with one another. Think of it as a ‘reverse API’, our Webhooks will let your application know that something happened in one of your tournaments, without the need for you to monitor everything at all times.

Our current set of webhooks, bound to be expanded, covers the whole spectrum of participant actions, from the registration to the check-in, so that you get notified whenever a participant performs an action in one of your tournaments, so you can automatically act upon it, or receive a notification, or build anything you want, really!

For example, imagine you want to send newly-registered players a customized email, thanks to the registration.created Webhook, you will receive a notification when a new registration is created in your tournament, and you will be able to configure any reaction you want to it, including custom emails!

This is a huge step to leverage the Toornament technology and to develop your own platforms (such as the French League of Legends official league or the Splatoon 2 tournaments website)!

You can find more about our Webhooks in our Developer Documentation, and don’t hesitate contacting us for questions and business inquiries!

What to expect from Esports in 2019?

Now that we are almost one month into 2019, it’s time to see what this new year has in store for us, esports-wise. The big names will of course keep doing what they do, some with major changes, others on well-known formula.
We must also keep an eye on some challengers and newcomers that plan on claiming their share of the market.
We have selected some interesting titles that we will hear about in 2019.

First off, we do not see the big current actors going out any time soon, and some games such as DotA 2, Counter Strike: GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, FIFA, Call of Duty, Rocket League and Overwatch will just keep on doing what they do, with the same formats, circuits etc.
Others are trying to bring new things in the mix, like the franchising for League of Legends, but ultimately, spectating-wise, it should not break your habits.

Unfortunately, it will not be the case for all games, and Blizzard recently announced it was stopping esports activities around Heroes of the Storm, so the game competitive scene will only be alive through community tournaments.
Bad news for Valve too, as their Artifact game really has trouble taking off, and they will have to bring a new vision to the game if they want it to compete with the other Card Games out there…

But let’s move on to clearer skies, with games that will probably leave a lasting mark on 2019, whereas they are newcomers, or plan exciting new things for their new season!

First off, newly released Super Smash Bros Ultimate will probably know a flourishing year, especially now that Nintendo has really started investing in esports. Some tournaments are already announced, and great things are to be expected. Pretty much the same can be said for Dragon Ball FighterZ, which has only growth in competitive interest since its release.
Two other games are on our radar, namely Magic the Gathering: Arena and PUBG, with their large scale circuits announced, they both are in a hit or miss situation, especially given the concurrence they are facing in their respective domains.

Speaking of the concurrence, PUBG is of course often compared to Fortnite, which is currently the most played game around the globe. But it still has to prove it has what it takes to become a successful esports title, and the 2018 experience has shown it was popular, but the game must find its format and pace, which PUBG has apparently found with their Pro League.
On the topic of Card Games, the main contender, Hearthstone, is to undergo some important changes for the next season, and after Heroes of the Storm, fans were getting anxious. We will know more next month, but Blizzard should not drop what is currently its most successful esports title (though Overwatch receives much more love).

Moving on to fighting games, we already mentioned Dragon Ball FighterZ, who is coming in a landscape where established titles like Street Fighter and Tekken are king, but some other challengers are on their way, with the new installments of the Soul Calibur and Mortal Kombat series. Hard to tell which will be voted in by the community, and there is probably room for several of them, given their different styles.

And it would be a mistake to forget mobile games in all of this. Fortnite, PUBG and Hearthstone all have their mobile versions, but some exclusive mobile titles are also going strong, like Clash Royale (and new Brawl Stars by Supercell about to make its entrance), Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends or Critical Ops! They might be less talked about, or even frowned upon, but their qualities and interest they generate are very real!

Finally, 2019 might be the year the Real-Time Strategy comes back to the front of the stage, with Starcraft II still alive (though in smaller circles), with the revival of the Warcraft III series. We doubt that Blizzard will take the reins to drive a new competitive scene, but we must not underestimate the power of nostalgia of the game that re-invented modern strategy and created the MOBA genre…

All in all, 2018 has been a tremendous year for esports, with records beaten on a monthly basis, and it is not looking like it is slowing down any time soon! Success stories happened, and games will keep building on them, whereas new ones will try to claim their spot in the fray, so it’s time to step right in and let your voice be heard, and skill be witnessed!

Case Study: French League of Legends official league powered by Toornament!

Riot Games’ LOL French League (LFL in short), the French national League of Legends tournament starts today, and the competition is to be organized entirely on Toornament.com!
That is incredible news already, but there is more!
We teamed up with Riot Games to build the LFL website, based on our API, to make sure it makes the most out of our solution!

The LFL Website is a portal for all fans to follow the competition:

LFL Home

It of course has all matches, with results updated automatically and spoiler tags, and rankings:

LFL Results

There is also a Teams section, with details about each team, their next matches and past results:

LFL Team

It is a pleasure to have been chosen as the official solution by Riot Games for their French Official League.

Use Toornament for your friendly tournaments

We all know that Toornament can handle official esports events with millions of dollars on the line, pitting international players in months-long leagues for world recognition and fame. But the platform is also fitting to welcome you and your friends or family for a good competitive time, given it is entirely free!
Whether you have a friendly FIFA League going every week, or just decide to get Super Smash Bros Ultimate out at a family reunion, know that Toornament is here to help you smooth things up and quickly create a tournament !

Some people have already largely understood that, and made good use of the platform, and here’s Gregoire, a colleague of ours, that decided to take his Nintendo Switch along during Christmas Holidays for everyone to enjoy:

Gregoire’s family going at it on 1-2 Switch

“I always have my Nintendo Switch with me, and suggested a few games after the Christmas meal. Everyone got excited, and i set it up in the living room, with 1-2 Switch running.
What started as a quick and fun family activity soon became an epic tournament in which all 25 members of the family wanted to compete.
Ages ranged from 6 to 50 years old, and even though the tournament went on for more than 2 hours, everyone stayed focused and motivated, with kids asking for results every few minutes, and showing off their wins to their cousins or parents.
I shared the link to the tournament via our family group chat, so everyone could see and follow the matches, and set up a tablet with the Toornament TV by the Nintendo Switch.
Once it was over, I told them they just played some esports, like the people I usually work with!”

– Gregoire Pascal, Webedia Press Manager

And now that the results have achieved posterity, no doubt Daphne will brag about this tournament in future family reunions!

We are glad to have been a part of Gregoire’s family Christmas holidays, and wish you all great friendly tournaments!

Case study: Introducing the new Splatoon 2 tournaments website

Attention, Inklings and Octolings! Whether you’re just starting to dip your tentacles into the world of Splatoon 2 tournaments, or even if you’re a certified splatter, check out the brand new Splatoon 2 tournaments website!

We are proud to be the technical solution Nintendo has chosen to build their platform on, using our Toornament technology and API. Feel free to Contact Us if you are interested in having your own esports platform!

With this new online community, you can assemble your own teams, recruit new members and join regular online tournaments – for fun, or for glory! Don’t have any teammates in mind? Simply sign up, head to the “Find a Team” section and you’ll be teamed up with similar solo splatters.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and claim your turf!