Want to put on a tournament of your own for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch? Here’s what you’ll need for a basic setup:
- 1 Nintendo Switch
- 2-4 additional Pro controllers (The Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers, so a 1-on-1 tournament is possible with the default setup, but those are not ideal for play, and 4-player matches tend to be more inclusive) Note: Participants will often bring their own controllers.
- 1 copy of Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Signup sheet (Feel free to use attached file for a template)
- Prizes (Gift cards work well – $50 for 1st place and $25 for 2nd place is good, if you can afford it)
- Rule sheet for posting – Attached is a ruleset used for Library tournaments – feel free to modify it as desired.
Step 1: Ensure all characters are unlocked
Smash Bros. has a lot of characters – well over 70 at this point. Unfortunately, only eight are available at first, requiring tournament organizers to play the game a decent amount to unlock the rest. This guide can help you expedite the process a bit. https://www.polygon.com/super-smash-bros-ultimate-guide/2018/12/6/18123674/character-list-unlock-fast
Step 2: Determine which rules to use
Tournaments tend to use fairly restrictive rules – see https://evo.shoryuken.com/additional-rules/ for the rules used at the EVO series as a reference. Libraries, drawing as they do from the general public, will likely opt to do things differently. The rules attached here include the use of items and stage effects, both of which provide a randomizing influence to help less skilled players compete. You may also want to poll the group to determine, for example, whether more would prefer to play with “Stock” (a finite number of lives) or “Time” (kills vs. falls in a specified period of time).
Step 3: Signup
Post the signup sheet and encourage people to sign up for the first 15 minutes of the event, while participants take turns warming up. This gives people a chance to show up late and still participate. Once 15 minutes have passed, end the signup period and open “Tourney” mode in the “Smash” menu. Using the numbers corresponding to each player on the paper signup sheet as a guide, ask players which character they would like to use, with the caveat that they will be stuck with that character for the remainder of the tournament.
Note: Tourney Mode caps at 32 players. If more people sign up, run multiple tourneys back to back and have the winners of each face off in a final round.
Step 4: Play!
Call up players when their turn comes. Be prepared to disqualify people who do not show up after a reasonable time when their name is called.
It’s a good idea to film at least the final match for posting to social media.
When finished, make sure to celebrate the champion and runner up!
There’s a lot more you can do, of course. It’s nice, for instance, to have multiple stations where people can play while they wait for their turn. Food is also a good idea. You may also want to put out materials on video gaming or other topics that might appeal to the audience.