Here’s how our tournaments work:
- 9-10pm: registration. Come during this time to register for the tournament at the bar and your name will be added to our list, from which we will make competition brackets.
- As it’s your turn to play, we will call your name and set you up to compete against someone else. Match results are recorded and are later shared online through the Challonge website which is made for tracking game tournaments
- We seek to end tournaments around midnight, since it is a weeknight. In the case of a prize, we will give that to the winner, and in some cases there are free perks for participants like free beer.
- Winners are added to our Winner’s Circle
How We Select Games
Having played well over 100 games over the last two years, we have a general sense for what we think will work well in a tournament game. With that said, here are some general principles:
- Competitive. Ideally we are looking for simultaneous, local multiplayer for all tournaments. In some cases this is not possible, as with our NES World Championships tournament as this is a turn-based game. Simultaneous games are more fun to spectate, and the competition tends to be more intense.
- Recognition. We are looking for well known games which ideally have enough recognition to anchor an event. Very obscure games only make sense when they are truly exceptional (and there are some of those, like Cluster Puck). When possible, we try to stick to games which are recognizable by a wide audience.
- Accessibility. Games which have a very high skill ceiling are not necessarily a problem (like Smash Bros. or Street Fighter), however they must be accessible to newcomers. Our events are more for a casual audience in a social setting and less for hardcore, actual competition-level gamers.
- Fun. Diverse games which are fun to spectate. It’s not just about the people playing the game: which games work in a social setting is also a consideration.
We host all games on a Windows PC running Steam or emulators. For a list of which emulators we use, check our emulation page. Our standard controller arrangement is Xbox 360 wireless controllers. We play all games on a 120″ projected screen in Berlin Haus.
On Fairness & Participation
Over the course of hosting 22 tournaments, we have sought to include as many participants as possible, to create the most fun and competitive environment possible. In this spirit, we ourselves (Charlie & Austin, the CGF organizers) have participated in each tournament and won many of them.
In April of 2017 we finalized a deal with a local 3D printer named WikiFactory to produce custom CGF trophies for tournament winners. Immediately a new issue rose: what happens if tournament organizers win? It immediately created a problem wherein we were seemingly faced with two options:
- As organizers, abstain from competition entirely, or
- Participate in tournaments as we have, with specific considerations for fairness
After collecting feedback from half a dozen friends whose opinions we trust and value, we have decided to participate with some guidelines in mind. Those are:
- We will do nothing to increase our odds of success in the tournament. We realize that we are selecting the games and thereby necessarily have more experience with them than some participants. However, we will no longer practice or prepare for tournaments at all, as that might confer to us an unfair advantage.
- When appropriate, we will hinder ourselves to ensure that others have a chance to win. Some games have a high skill threshold in particular, like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. Beginners to these games are not going to be winning a tournament against people who have been playing these games for years, and nothing we can do will change that fact. However, we will not be competing as heavily advantaged participants when other skilled players are not present.
- During the 9-10pm tournament registration time, we will have one person on-hand to coach new players on how to play the game and answer questions. For those who know how to play, there is an hour for warm up.
- In the event that one of the organizers does win, we will not take a trophy for ourselves. We went through great effort to procure something special as a prize for participants, and we have gone through great effort to host and promote over 70 events, create this website, etc. We are not doing this to win our own tournaments but to create a fun and competitive event for the Chengdu community, where skilled and casual players can enjoy games together in a social setting.
Thanks for reading and we hope you join us at a tournament!