Screenshot of a completed Challonge tournament

Creating a Tournament Bracket

Organizing a tournament has benefits for both small and large LAN parties. At a large gathering it is a great way to get more players focused on the same game. It can also make for a good ice breaker. At a small gathering it can break up more casual game play and provide everyone with a break. They can eat/drink when it isn’t their round and still enjoy the show.

Having a tournament bracket can make the tournament more interesting and competitive. The addition is worth the bit of effort you need to put in before hand.

  1. Go to http://challonge.com/ and create a free account.
  2. Select Create a Tournament.
    • 2-9 players: Single Stage Tournament, Double Elimination, 1 Grand Final.
    • 10+ players: Two Stage Tournament and whatever preferences you like. Keep everyone engaged with something if the gameplay doesn’t lend itself to spectating.
  3. For a small LAN provide the list of participants yourself. For a large LAN you can host a sign-up page. The site will give you a URL to share.
  4. The Advance Options are good if you want to host a remote tournament. For a LAN party you should plan to do the tournament inputs yourself.
  5. If you chose to list participants yourself do so on the next page. Otherwise send the sign-up URL to your LAN party attendees.
  6. With participants listed go to the Bracket tab and check everyone’s start position. You can order them up yourself or do a “shuffle seeds” in the Participant tab. For a game where everyone’s experience is equal or unknown do a random shuffle. For a game where you know the skill range pair off players with similar experience together.
  7. At the LAN party you can start the tournament under the Bracket tab when ready.
  8. The bracket shows the match order with a number to the left of each set. Note if there is a losers round it will play before the next regular round.
  9. After reach round of play click on the Report Scores icon next to each pair. Add scores for each person, then select the winner. The bracket will update and show you the next round’s matches.

If you have the means, keep the bracket up on a separate system connected to a large display or TV. You’ll be able to make changes without disturbing players, and everyone can keep an eye on the results.

Challonge will keep a record of the tournament under your account. You or anyone with the URL can visit it and review the results.