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Tips for Attending Your First “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” Tournament

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Poppy has been a fan of Smash for a long time and loves to attend tournaments in Tokyo.

You've practiced with your main character, played some online tourneys, and are doing pretty well at battling and knocking your opponents off the stage. You've decided to enter your first local Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. Great!

The Super Smash Bros. series has become increasingly competitive over the years and the Nintendo Switch edition is no exception. Players from around the world are gathering to try their luck with the best of the best and fight their way to glory. If you're planning to check out a local tournament for this exciting battle game in your area, then read on.

Tournament Battle

Tournament Battle

What Are the Rules of a Tournament Battle?

Though the game varies wildly in its stages, rules, and things like items while playing casually online, tournaments generally have their own rules. In a tournament, you will typically find the following:

  • The allowing of "legal" stages only. These can include but are not limited to Final Destination, Lylat Cruise, Pokémon Stadium, Smashville, Yoshi's Story, Battlefield, and Kalos Pokémon League. These stages don't morph or have hazards that would be unfair to the players.
  • Stock battle, not timed battles. Three stocks are the standard, but it can vary.
  • No items or final smashes.
  • You must stick to one character the whole time. Generally, you choose your "main" at the beginning of the day and can only play as that main throughout the tournament. You can change it up during friendly matches, though.
  • Friendly Fire switched on for team battles. Part of winning a team match is knowing how to hit your opponents without damaging your teammate.

With this in mind, it is wise to use these rules when practicing. These rules are in place to rely on skill rather than luck.

What Should I Bring With Me?

Here is a list of things you should take with you to a Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament.

  • Your favorite controller. Check the rules of the tournament to see if there is a discount for taking your switch along. If you prefer using the GameCube controller, be sure to take your adapter for it as well.
  • A bottle of water. Tournaments can be long and venues can get hot. Be sure to write your name on the bottle so it doesn't get mixed up with any others.
  • A good attitude. Be graceful and kind when you win and congratulate others if they beat you. Tournaments aren't the time to be salty unless you want to be on rage highlights.
Tourney Time

Tourney Time

What Should I Wear?

Casual tournaments don't really have a dress code, but it's recommended you wear comfortable, cool clothes that you don't mind standing or sitting for hours in. Moreover, it's always good to wear a Smash shirt if you have one, either showcasing your main or sporting the Smash logo.

Some people enjoy dressing as their character, which is a nice touch if you're into cosplay.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Tournaments attract all sorts of people, from casual players looking to make new friends to seriously skilled tournament champions. Go to your tournament with zero expectations of winning, an open mind, and with a goal to have fun.

You can improve by attending tournaments, by watching others, getting advice, and learning about type match-ups. You might even get the chance to commentate if you'd like to, which is a lot of fun.

Where can one find a tourney?

Where can one find a tourney?

Where Can I Find Tournaments Near Me?

Eventbrite,, and Facebook are great places to start looking for local tournaments. Generally, weekly or monthly tournaments also have Discord rooms to chat with members and stay up to date on news or schedule changes.

Tournaments usually come with a fee. Be sure to check if they offer discounts for bringing your setup (usually includes a GameCube controller and adapter).

Playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is fun to play casually or online, but your skills can really be tested at a tournament. Although it's certainly nice to win, the goals of attending a tournament should be to meet people, hone your skills, make friends and sparring partners, and have a great time! These tips will ensure that you make the most of your first tournament and get as much out of it as possible.

© 2019 Poppy


Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on October 27, 2019:

I mained Peach.

Jeremy Gill from Louisiana on October 27, 2019:

Thanks for the tips, Poppy. Who do you main? I used to pick Sheik, but thanks to her nerfs in SSBU, I'm going R.O.B. for now.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on September 10, 2019:

Hi, Jason. I have in the past, but not anymore. Are you interested in joining one in Tokyo or nearby?

Jason Reid Capp from Myrtle Beach, SC USA on September 10, 2019:

Really cool article, Poppy! Have you participated in tournaments before?