Next time you’ve got a small group of friends over to play Super Smash Bros (ideally Melee or Brawl), try out this tournament format. It’s a ton of fun and can get pretty competitive. Credit for the idea goes to my buddy Jimmy.
How to run your own…
SMASH DRAFT TOURNAMENT
– Need: A small group of friends. Works best with four people, but can work with 2-6 people.
– Take a look at the character selection screen for your Smash game of choice. This is the draft pool. For Brawl, include Zero Suit Samus and Sheik. Those with special hack-packs (like MasterLinkX’s) can also use all three Pokemon, in addition to Pokemon Trainer.
– Figure out a draft order, however you wish.
– Using that draft order, select characters that you will want to play as, as they will make up your own character pool. Draft procedure runs similarly to any sports draft. Picks are done one at a time in the specified draft order. Once a character is picked, no other player can select him.
– Continue the process until all characters are drafted OR until a remainder amount of characters remain. The goal is for each competitor to have as many characters as possible, while maintaining an equal number of characters for each competitor.
– Once each competitor has his own pool of characters, begin a 1v1 round-robin tournament process. For example, if you have four competitors (A, B, C, and D), play matches as follows.
A vs. B
C vs. D
A vs. C
B vs. D
A vs. D
B vs. C
– Determine your own rules for the matches (stock, stages, items, etc.). For Brawl, we normally play with 2-stock (so tournament doesn’t drag on as long), with the five starter stages (Battlefield, FD, Yoshi’s, Smashville, PS1 – random select), and no items.
– Once a character of yours is defeated, it is ELIMINATED from the competition. If a character of yours wins, you may not use it again until ALL OTHER CHARACTERS from your character pool have been played. For example, if you have Link, Meta Knight, and DeDeDe left in your character pool and you play as Meta Knight (assuming you win with him), you have to play as Link and DeDeDe before you play as Meta Knight again.
– Continue this round-robin, single-character-elimination process until all characters are defeated.
– BRAWL ONLY: If all of a competitor’s characters from his pool are defeated, the competitor gains one more character – RANDOM. If Random is defeated, the competitor is eliminated from competition.
– Continue this process until only one competitor is standing, with a playable character in his pool. He is declared the winner.
– A four-player Brawl tournament with two-stock matches should take roughly two hours to complete.
It may seem confusing at first, but it’s actually very straight-forward. Basically, you and your friends draft your own individual team of Smash Bros characters…and pit them against each other in a single-elimination, round-robin tournament. Please, give it a try at your next small smashfest and let me know if you have any questions. You’re ON THE CLOCK!!