Over this summer, I’ve thrown myself into the Smash Bros competitive scene. Naturally, this involves going to a lot of tournaments and spending a lot of time in cramped venues with a lot of other sweaty people. While they are a hell of a lot of fun, tournaments can be physically draining and require a bit of prep work if you want to get the most out of them/not annoying the hell of out of the TO that is running the event. So, here is a quick primer to help any future competitive players make their first tournament experience go as smoothly as possible. A lot of this will be common sense but you will be surprised by how many people forget these basic tips.

1. Read the event info

Before you even think about getting ready to go to the event, make sure to read all the information carefully. This means check where the nearest train stations are, if there is parking nearby, what time the brackets start and so on. You don’t want to have booked your train tickets to find out the bracket starts 10 minutes after you get off the platform and you still have a 20 minute Tube journey to go. Make sure to read absolutely everything on that event page and have a good grasp of what’s going on before you even start to get your stuff together. I know at Smash tournaments, they will have the rulesets posted way in advance so you can practice on the legal stages as well as with the correct stock and timer settings specific to that event. It is also very likely that your bracket or pools will be posted on the event page before the tournament day so keeping an eye on the event page can help you gather information about upcoming opponents. Like taking an exam, read all of the information given to you before you dive into the meat of things.

2. Pack the appropriate equipment

You’re definitely going to said tournament so time to get your stuff together. If it is a console based tournament, make sure you have your pad or arcade stick obviously. Maybe even bring a spare or at least some spare buttons just in case anything goes wrong mid bracket. If you’re going to a PC gaming tournament, bring all of your equipment with you. You don’t want to get to the LAN and realise you left your mouse back at home, two hours away. I would advise against bringing food, as most venues don’t like you bringing outside stuff in but a bottle of water is usually fine. Keeping properly hydrated is better than pounding a 3rd can of Monster to keep you going so try to only stick to good old fashioned water. Money is pretty obvious as well as your phone and maybe even a charger but one item you should definitely bring is deodorant. As mentioned earlier, you are most likely going to be in close proximity with a bunch of hot and sweaty gamers so bring some spray to keep you smelling fairly clean. This leads perfectly onto my next point.

3. Clean your damn self