New feature : Draft status

You look at your dashboard today  and yes, something has changed. This orange box wasn’t there before. Half-Life 3 confirmed ? Nearly : We’ve changed the way you can handle your tournament status.

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By default, your tournament is now marked as a “draft”. This means it is 100% operational and working, but cannot be found through search engines on Toornament site and mobile app. You can still share its unique URL to people, but that’s it.

Publishing your tournament will make it visible, searchable and sharable by everyone.

The draft status is very handy when you’re building your tournament and just need to manually share it with a few trusty people (admins, sponsors, players).

The Published status make your tournament 100% visible and sharable. It’s of course great for your audience, media partners and competitors.

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We hope this UX update will make the process smoother for you. Feek free to send us feedback !

Introducing the schedule functionnality

Let’s start the week with a new feature on Toornament: Schedules!

This new tool allows you to create schedules with various purposes. Schedules can be set as public or private.

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Here are some examples of public schedules:

  • Opening and closing hours
  • Extra activities (autograph signings, special events)
  • Main stage schedule

And some examples of private schedules:

  • Admins time of arrival on site
  • Match process (when to go get the players, set-up the machines etc.)
  • Admins meeting

To
create a schedule, just go to the “Schedule” in your dashboard. From
there, you can create and edit pretty much everything you need. The
public schedules will be visible in the tournament widget.

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You can now start to test and use them, feel free to send us your feedbacks!

 

[Professionals] Video game studios : request our support for your game !

One of the main Toornament specifities is that it can adapt its features to each Esport discipline it supports.

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Because each game works its way, esport wise. Street Fighter IV means 1v1, counter picks and different characters. Starcraft means maps and races, Counter-Strike and LoL a team based.

We help tournament organizers by adapting our fields and settings to their games. Toornament now supports more than 70 Esport disciplines, but we know their more on the way.

Of course, our platform perfeclty works with every game (or any sport), it just comes in “vanilla” flavor. When your start a tournament on a game non supported by Toornament, just have to pick the “generic discipline“ setting.

The other way is to simply contact us : we’d be happy to help and add your game to our supported discipline pool !

This is what recently happened with Lightbulb Crew’s Games of Glory. We’re going even further with some games APIs, such as DotA and soon, League Of Legends…

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To contact us, just click on the blue “?” button on the lower right corner of your dashboard, or just tweet to us on twitter, toornament !

[Organizers] Get your customized  Toornament page

Our platform is getting quite famous for its embeddable widget, so we wanted to give your even more sharing option. This one is like a standalone widget !

“Custom Page” comes in very handy when you don’t have a dedicated website, or your own website is down for a reason. Setting up a Custom Page is matter of seconds and will generate a webpage with an unique, persistant URL and some customization options.

In your dashboard, go to your the “Share” menu and select “Custom Page”. From here, you can choose :

– Which information your widget will display by default.
“Navigator” is like a homepage
“Information” will display the tournament basic infos
“Schedule” for the next matches to be played
“Participants” to get an exhaustive list of the competitors
“Bracket” to get right into the action

– The background color can be picked through a color picker or html color codes.

– A background image.
Our tip : as our widget is center aligned, you can design a fitting picture, to display a frame aournd and your sponsors below for example.

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There, you have it : an independant, standalone webpage for your tournament !

[Organizers] Yes, you can (run your tournament from a smartphone)

Here’s a question we get on a regular basis : can my team and I run Toornament from mobile devices ?

Of course you can. And here are some tips to make the most of Toornament on the go :

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As for now, our dedicated mobile app is a consumer product, meaning it’s designed to bring up scores, results, streams links and schedules for all of our users. It’s not meant (yet) to admin a tournament.

We picked this path simply because our website is 100% responsive and totally mobile compliant. Running it from any mobile device will be a breeze. We used for example a single iPhone to enter on site all the scores and infos of the Redbull Kumite !

Here are a few tips before you jump in :

– Make sure your wifi doesn’t block any connection port

– Double check every action you make on the site

– Set up your device so that it doesn’t go into sleep mode too fast, mobile browsers are sometimes a bit harsh on cookies and can log you out.

– Going all mobile on your team can be a great time saver, as long as you’re organised enough so that everyone take care of a very precise matter (match score, editing participants etc.)

– Don’t fear for your battery life and data usage, Toornament behave as as simple web service, so no hidden tasks, geotagging pings or constant notifications !

Whether you run online leagues or offline tournaments, using mobile devices offers great flexibility admin-wise. Feel free to try Toornament on your regular smartphones and tablets !

[Organizers] How to run larger than 256 participants tournaments

Toornament max participants number currently tops at 256 players.

The main reasons behind this choice are to prevent a huge, unreadable structure with a visual footprint spanning over several web pages high and wide. For example, here how looks a 128 player single elimination bracket :

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Check the full resolution here.

Finally down there? You just scrolled through HALF of a 256 players simple bracket! It already is massive, and we didn’t even pick a double elimination structure!
But if you run a large scale tournament, there are still way to build them on Toornament, with a quite simple method : divide into sub tournaments.

Each one acts as a branch of the main tournament.

Let’s take for example a 1024 players Street Fighter IV tournament. You can split it into four 256 players tournaments where the top 32 players are qualified. You can even run these pre bracket to their finals, to get seedings in the final bracket.

In your Toornament dashboard, just create 4 tournaments named “My huge Street Fighter IV Cup – Sub Tournament A”, all the way to the letter D.

The top 32 players from each 4 sub-tournaments will qualify and thus, build a final 128 players bracket.

Here how the method looks :

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This method is as straighforward as flexible, allowing you to handle huge tournaments and leagues with a better organisation. Of course, keep in mind that large tournaments are timing nightmares, so always keep in mind if you’ve checked all the boxes to handle them, from time to admins and gaming stations!

A Toornament case study : ESWC COD 2015

Last week end, the ESWC held its first COD exclusive tournament at Le Zénith Paris. This top tier event was a great opportunity for us to showcase all the tools and new features recently released on Toornament.

We first worked with ESWC tournament director Sylvain Maillard to set up the formats, structures, seedings and the permissions for his admin and referees teams. The pools were generated from the initial manual seeding and all matches were played from three spots : the two gaming stations and the main stage.

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The ESWC COD 2015 is the first event using our new Toornament TV (see all details here). A Toornament TV display was put in the heart of the gaming zone, helping everyone (admins, players, medias) passing by to get all the necessary informations in the glimpse of an eye.
Later, Toornament TV was also used on the streams, to provide with in-between matches contents.

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Our mobile app is now out for iOS and Android and was used by admins, players and a few in the know spectators. As expected, the mobile app will bring great informations in real time for everyone, everywhere. It worked so well during the event that we’re about to build a solid score ticker offer in the next few days, bringing all the major tournaments and games results on Toornament !

Download Toornament for iOS (free)

Download Toornament for Android (free)

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All in all, we’re very happy with the way Toornament handled all the needs from ESWC. Our goal is to provide an exhaustive array of features, all tightly packed in a smooth experience, whatever the screen it’s used on.

At the time of writing, our team is now at Dreamhack France, another great Esport event using Toornament !

Here’s the new Toornament TV

Our public display and in-between match content solution has been updated !
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This new version embeds a live info strip, based on a Twitter feed and hashtag. Toornament TV is also customisable through its main elements :

  • Background picture
  • Main layout picture
  • Border color (CSS)
  • Text color

You can check it Live on this page.

The ESWC CoD 2015 starting this week end will be the first tournament to use the new Toornament TV.
Toornament TV is still underwork and thus, not directly available from your dashboard. If you’re interested, feel free to contact us !

Why you should add new games to your Esport event

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The incoming Nintendo shooter, “Splatoon”, is designed with competition in mind.

We all know Esport is nowadays driven by a few chosen games : League Of Legends, DotA, Counter Strike, Hearthstone, Call of Duty, Street Fighter and such. Those major disciplines are followed by a pack of underdogs : Smite, Super Smash Bros, EA Sports games, World of Tanks etc.

But their numerous Esport compliant games with a little, but active community. We recently saw a huge “Arma 3” match and Nintendo is driving it’s newest IP “Splatoon” as a friendly, but highly competitive shooter.

As a tournament organizer, should focus your ressources on popular and known games, or give their chance to new  one ?

We support the later, for 5 reasons :

1. Easier to get to the community and publisher

Getting support from a game community or publisher may be a hard task, as everyone are close to harrass them for some attention, support or money. New or minor but promising games are on the other begging for attention and events. Getting to them will then a much easier process.

2. Money

Working on a new game can also bring great opportunities, as the game publisher will have some budget to spend on adds (media) and special operations (you). Bring a well thought pitch deck and your “new game” tournament won’t take ressources aways from your “main games” tournaments. It may even earn you some money.

3. Variety
If your tournament boasts several games, it’s always a good thing throw heavy contenders and rookie in the mix. Variety is an underrated value in Esport tournaments and Olympics are a great example of how major and minor disciplines benefit each other – and ultimately, benefit the event awareness.

4. Room for innovation
Well established games often rhymes with conservative tournaments. Groupstages to simple/double elimination playoffs are the staple in Esport tournaments, with few alternative structures. Some games like Heartstone, have their own format but again (i.e “Conquest”), but it’s still hard to chose another path. Fresh games are the perfect playground for fresh tournament structures and scoring system. Grab the opportunity !

5. “Small risk / hi reward” bet
Trying to support a new game may be seen as a risk and in a way, it is. It’s up to you to limit that risky part of the bet. Don’t invest in money prize (or let the publisher / sponsor take care of this), invite a limited amount of participants and try to squeeze the logistics requirement into manageable volume by your admin team.

As Toornament already support more than 70 Esport disciplines, we hope you’ll request us to support more !