As eSports becomes more and more of a prominent thing within this day and age, you can probably already imagine not only how many offline leagues and circuits are beginning to pop up, but also online events as well. Truth be told, eSports Tournament Organizing is something that for the most part, is very accessible to almost anyone (at least small-scale wise,) and with many gamer’s looking to build their own tournament series and events, whether it’s for the love of the game, community, or just for the money that may come along the way; Tournament Organizing Services are beginning to play a much larger role now than ever when it comes to individuals ensuring they are able to run a smooth and successful eSports tournament.
Smash.gg is an online eSports tournament organization platform, and one of the more recent and successful ones to popup within the past few years. Originally starting out as a T.O service dedicated to the competitive Super Smash Bros. community back in 2015, the platform quickly found itself receiving much success and extremely convenient and easy to use. Not only that, but following it’s debut, Smash.gg began to work alongside larger-scale tournaments to help put on compendiums and other crowd funding options for players to directly support the prize pool of their favorite tournaments within the community.
Following the platforms success within the Super Smash Bros. community, Smash.gg has now opened up it’s services to over 20+ games, with many other tournament series non-Smash-Based also beginning to utilize the platform. And it’s with this wide compatibility and accessibility that has lead the service to it’s massive success today as well as it’s recently $11 million in Series A funding via Spark Capital.
All of this aside, the people at Smash.gg still have loads of plans for the service that they will be looking to implement within the next year, including monitization options for both players as well as tournament organizers. They’ve got a lot on their plate, but now with sufficient funding as well as with a crew that clearly knows how to deliver; I have no doubt that Smash.gg will continue to be the industry standard for Tournament Organizers as time goes on.
So where exactly does this leave other Tournament Organization platforms such as say, Challonge or Battlefy? Well, it’s kind of a tough call. They say “timing is everything,” and personally, I feel that is especially true within the rapidly growing eSports community. While Smash.gg started out fairly small, and pretty much only dedicated to one particular series – it ultimately found it’s niche, and was conveniently able to continue to build upon itself from there. The service alone worked so well for Super Smash Bros tournaments, especially online events; featuring features that you just could not find anywhere else such as stage strikes, calling an admin, built-in chat for your every match-up within the bracket, and more. With all of this, it’s really hard to tell exactly what direction other Tournament Organization platforms should take in order to receive similar success. But I do think there is one thing that can always be done – continue to innovate.
One thing I have personally noticed from other Tournament Organization platforms is that throughout the years, what they have to offer pretty much stays the same. Sure, a few minor features are implemented here and there but nothing really that truly benefits a particular game it’s community, or even the entire competitive gaming community as a whole. As we can see with Smash.gg, it provided the exact tools Smash T.O’s required in order to run a smooth event, and provided more tools than other platforms had to offer – there they found their success. While I’m not saying that your TO platform should re-brand themselves as say, “Hearth.GG” and focus solely on providing tools for HearthStone T.O’s; I do believe it would be an extremely wise idea to look at what other tools TO’s from other prominent eSports communities wish to see/have within online TO platforms, and then see if you and your team can implement them into your software. It’s really a matter of truly seeing what these TO’s need, and providing them with the tools in the convenient, accessible way as possible.
Needless to say, there are a lot of options out there. If you’re a T.O, don’t settle for less. Find a platform that fits your specific needs for whichever game you are looking to organize tournaments for, and stick with that platform until you find something that just works better. Looking to get into providing a T.O service? Communicating with T.O’s from various other eSports communities will obviously be the best feedback you could ever receive, and the more features you expand and offer, the more likely T.O’s will consider your platform a much better option.