Hey all, Crown of Gaming’s own DC here again with an article on how to prepare for tournaments. The information here is a mixture of my own observations and also helpful tips I’ve picked up from speaking with or reading about top players and their own techniques. Hopefully with this article’s help, you’ll be able to play at 100% (or close to it) when the time comes to clutch out a victory.

Outside of the normal routine of practicing in-game there are other tools that can be used to increase your skill, or at least prepare you for the competition. Money Matches, while somewhat popular are heavily underrated in the prep category. Putting money on the line not only gives you a chance to compete with high level players or specific match ups, but it also gives you experience with performance under pressure. Everyone knows a player or two who is “good at friendlies but bad in tournament”, and it’s because of the lack of practice under pressure. Tournament settings have an atmosphere filled with the energy of competition. If you’re not prepared for it, it will be difficult to succeed.

Let’s take a step outside of the game and look at something a bit more meta. Your mental state as a player is almost as important as your play, but players outside of the upper echelon often don’t invest enough time in preparing it. Take time to focus and set yourself into a winner’s mentality. For example, EG|PPMD mediates often throughout the week. C9|Mang0 steps outside to get fresh air and center himself. Find what sort of technique works for you so that you can get into a strong mental zone. But what will you focus on? What is a winner’s mindset?

Set a goal. If it’s your first time at a tournament or your 100th, you should always be aiming at something. Playing for experience is good, but aiming your focus is great. Why? Because it gives you drive. Rivalries produce the same effect because there’s a tension created that pushes the competitive spirit further. Keep your goals realistic and reach out to the players around you to find out what kind of short term and long term goals will help you to level up.

When competing in a tournament, goals in mind and all, the energy around you can tire you out rather quickly. You’re going to be playing a lot of matches (hopefully) and the schedule may not provide you a quick tournament experience. More often than not you’ll be playing or waiting for hours between matches, but you need to stay as fresh as possible. How? Build your stamina. Smash players around the world sit down with their friends and play for 8+ hours whenever they have the chance. Not only because it’s fun or because they need practice, but they need to be able to sit and play for hours at a time, just like at a tournament. You need to be aware of when your energy starts dipping and when you are playing your best. The longer you play, the more stamina you’ll have when it counts. But there’s one more thing that will help you out before you sit down to compete.

Get some rest. When it comes down to it, you need sleep and a meal in your stomach or you’re just going to burn out. Staying up until 4am when you have to wake up at 9am isn’t going to help your performance. Neither is playing on an empty stomach or being full of junk food. Get a decent 7-8 hours of sleep and eat something decent for breakfast, and you’ll see a big improvement in your energy throughout the day. Also bring a gallon of water? See Hax multi-shining the crap out of M2K? See that jug of water next to him? Evidence.zip. But seriously, being dehydrated is extremely common at tournaments, and drinking water will help to keep you from performing poorly. Don’t be a thirsty smasher.

These aren’t tips that will guarantee victories when battling it out at tournaments, but they have worked for me and many others. The factors outside of normal game play can be just as important as practicing. If you can do these things, give them a try and thank me later.