Client Frequently Asked Questions
- I’ve never run an esports tournament before. Can you walk me through the process and what I can expect?
ANSWER: Your tournament process with us will run in 5 phases: Onboarding, Site Creation, Registration and Marketing, Tournament & Broadcast Execution. During the Onboarding phase, together we will select a tournament date, Mainline will create a timeline for you leading up to the event and we will collect school and sponsor assets and other information like what game title you’d like to play and what prizes will be offered. During the Site Creation phase our team will create your tournament site using the information and assets provided and get approval from you before taking the site live. Once the site is live, registration will open and you can begin marketing your event. Tournament Play usually runs over 2 days with the initial rounds of gameplay on day 1 and Broadcast on day 2 which covers semi-finals and finals.
- Which game title should we use for the tournament?
ANSWER: We typically recommend Rocket League mainly because it’s fun, easy to play, free, and available across all platforms. Other great options are Madden, Smash, FIFA and NBA2K. If you are putting the event on for a school, we recommend talking with your esports club because they will be able to make the best recommendation for what’s popular within their community. If this is a community based event, you likely have an idea of what game you’d like to choose and if not, our team is here to help!
- What are the different tournament formats you offer and what are the differences between them?
ANSWER: Our platform supports Single Elimination, Double Elimination and Swiss. Single Elimination means that once the bracket is created, the winner will advance and the loser will be eliminated. Double Elimination means that a participant is eliminated after losing two games. Swiss features a set number of rounds in the tournament, meaning that each participant or team has the same number of chances to progress and is most commonly used in Super Smash Bros.
- Who can participate in the tournaments?
ANSWER: That’s up to you! You get to choose who participates in the tournament. We can put restrictions on your site making signup available to students only, a specific age range like 18-23, or you can open it up regionally or even globally. We recommend keeping your registration open in order to gain a higher registration number but can set it up however you prefer.
- I am with a University. Should we coordinate with our esports club?
ANSWER: Absolutely! Above all, we have found that our most successful events have incorporated the property’s esports club from the beginning to coordinate what game title they prefer and what dates will work for their community. When schools collaborate with their esports community as a partner, the esports club will participate and help promote the event which is a win-win for everyone. We highly recommend prioritizing the development of a positive relationship with your club. If you aren’t sure about the best first step to take, reach out to Mainline and we are happy to make recommendations!
- Do tournaments have a player cap?
ANSWER: No, tournaments do not have a participant cap. Each bracket can accommodate up to 128 teams. If your event has more than 128 teams, Mainline’s Tournament Operations team will create more brackets to support the additional teams.
- How many players can I expect to sign up?
ANSWER: It depends on the game title. For endemic game titles like Rocket League, we typically see an average of anywhere from 30-50 players and for sport based game titles like Madden or NBA2K we typically see anywhere from 15-20 players.
- Are the tournaments all PC based and are there any game (title) limitations?
ANSWER: The tournaments are not strictly PC based. We are capable of accommodating any platform, including PC, console, and mobile games.
- Where can we watch the broadcast?
ANSWER: We broadcast the tournaments on Twitch and will provide you with the link where you can view it. If you have your own Twitch channel, we can broadcast on your channel as well.
- Can schools play each other?
ANSWER: Yes, Mainline supports both intra-collegiate and intercollegiate play.
- What are the most effective prizing options for players?
ANSWER: We have found the most effective prize package consists of having a participation prize and 1st-4th tiered prizing so that no matter the gamer’s skill level, there is an incentive for them to play. If you are at a university, cash is king! Food and gaming hardware are also popular prizes. All this being said, while prizing is key to a successful event, we cannot stress enough the importance of working with your esports club or community to ensure strong participation.
- What console should we use?
ANSWER: This depends on the game title. Sports games like Madden, FIFA, and NBA2K tend to be more popular on XBOX (due to EA’s relationship with Microsoft) however Playstation is more popular with gamers overall. We recommend connecting with your esports club or community to determine which console to use for your event.
- Will Mainline share the participant emails with us? Can we share them with our sponsor?
ANSWER: Yes, within a few days of the completion of your event, Mainline will send you a list of all participants and registration information including their full name, user name, and email address. You can share this information with your sponsor.
- What types of pictures/images/logos do you need from us to build out the website?
ANSWER: Please send all updated logos, brand guidelines, images for your property, and your sponsor’s assets. Our team will utilize these assets to create your tournament site so that both you and your sponsor’s branding is showcased throughout.
- Can I add a prize partner at the last minute? Can I add a logo and link for those prize partners?
ANSWER: Absolutely! While we prefer to meet our site creation deadlines, we do have the ability to make last minute changes to your site which gives you more time to find additional prize sponsors. Prizing should be confirmed prior to the site launch as it’s a strong motivating factor for players to register and participate in the event.
- Our sponsor dropped out, can you quickly adjust the artwork to remove them?
ANSWER: Yes, we will always do our very best to have a quick turnaround for time-sensitive changes like a sponsor dropping out at the last minute.
- Can we change the tournament URL?
ANSWER: Once we have created the site, we are unable to change the URL. Towards the beginning of your onboarding process, Mainline will confirm the tournament details with you, including the tournament URL, so we recommend letting us know during this phase if you prefer a different one.
REGISTRATION AND MARKETING
- What are some ideas for how best to market and promote the tournament?
ANSWER: Make a plan. Create a content calendar to map out your email campaign, social media marketing, and make a list of important contacts to reach out to like your esports club, Campus Rec, Greek Life, student housing, Student Affairs, influencers and gaming communities. In addition to your regular marketing channels like email, Twitter and Facebook, we also recommend posting about your tournament in Discord and Reddit as both are popular sites among gamers.
- Once we determine a game, would you be able to help identify influencers to promote the tournament?
ANSWER: Mainline does not assist with marketing your event. Your esports club or community is a great resource for identifying gaming influencers! This is another good example as to why collaborating with your esports club or community from the beginning will help create the most successful event.
- Can we open the registration window early?
ANSWER: It depends. We will always do our very best to meet your requests. To give you a peek into what’s happening behind the scenes, we typically like to have at least 1 month from the start of onboarding to the tournament date which gives us time to build the tournament site, receive feedback from you and your sponsor, implement any changes and have at least 2 weeks to market and promote the event. If we begin this process earlier or there are no changes that need to be made to the site and creative work, we can more easily move the registration to an earlier date.
- Can you send me a list of participants so I can confirm they are enrolled students in good standing at the university?
ANSWER: We’d be happy to! Registration usually closes about 24 hours before the start of the tournament so please let us know you’d like this list and once we close registration, we will send it over to you.
- How many participants have signed up for the tournament?
ANSWER: You can easily view the number of registered players by clicking the tab on your site that says “Participants”.
- What is a shoutcaster?
ANSWER: A shoutcaster is someone who runs the commentary of an esports match to keep the viewer both entertained and informed. We recommend having 2 casters and are happy to assist in finding them for you. If you would like our help sourcing them please let us know!
- Can you help me find qualified talent to participate in the tournament?
ANSWER: Yes! Simply let your Client Services Manager know that you would like help and we will be happy to source the casters for you.
- Can we watch early rounds of tournaments that are not being broadcast to better understand what this Esports thing is all about?
ANSWER: We do not have early tournament rounds available for view but can send you links to view previous broadcasts we’ve done to give you an idea of both how the tournament is run, an inside look at esports and also how our broadcasts run.
- If I send you a YouTube link to ads/videos to use during broadcast, can you pull those down and use them?
ANSWER: We can! Please send anything you’d like to have incorporated. Examples include specific ads, giveaways, mentions, live reads and commercials. For the most part, if there is something your sponsor would like to do, we have a lot of flexibility and can usually integrate it into your broadcast.
- Does Mainline create marketing assets for the tournament?
ANSWER: Technically, this isn’t in our scope of work but we like going above and beyond so our team creates social media graphics for you as a bonus to working with us. We also provide the source files so you or your team can create additional graphics and marketing assets for other marketing channels.
- What type of sponsor inventory exists on the tournament site?
ANSWER: There are five areas on the tournament site where we can showcase your sponsor. They include the hero banner, the tournament title, a sponsor area in the overview section, a sponsor box and a banner ad at the bottom of the website. The banner ad can have a width of 960 pixels and there are no height restrictions..
- How will the sponsor be integrated into the broadcast?
ANSWER: Your tournament’s broadcast is a great way to watch the action unfold, engage the players, and bring additional value to your sponsor. Mainline works to incorporate the event sponsor into the broadcast bybintegrating their marketing message, video ads, and branding throughout the entirety of the show. We have a lot of flexibility in what we can do so if you or your sponsor have an idea for the broadcast, let us know and we can most likely accommodate your request.