Getting good at playing in tournaments

Use the week before the tournament to prep for your pools

  • While figuring out people’s mains, you’ll realize that you don’t know the first thing about how a certain character works or how to play the matchup. If you look up someone’s character and think “Oh shit idk”, go look up some videos of that character matchup to see how it goes, and pay attention to which tools you’ll need to use more or less.
  • If you end up finding a player’s Twitter or Twitch, you’ll often be comforted to find that they’ve spent the last week a) playing a different fighting game, b) playing a gacha game, or c) RTing lewds. So you can feel more confident about your tournament prep, and hey, maybe you found some new artists to follow.
  • As you look through the other players’ tournament results, you’ll be reminded that most people in a pool go 2–2 or worse. If you’re the type to get nervous when you go to your pool and think “Wow, everyone around me seems so confident and good”, it might help you to know that statistically, most of the players there range from “pretty scrubby” to “kinda okay” and as such you have a chance against all of them.
  • If nothing else: Pay attention to how people deal with throws and invincible reversals. Those kinds of habits are often expressions of a player’s personality at a very fundamental level and often aren’t unlearned until a fairly advanced level. This is helpful for the tournament match itself — maybe you don’t have to spend game 1 learning that you should bait the DP — but it’s also just good practice tracking people’s habits whether you’re playing them or watching them.

Develop a comfortable day-of routine

Stay active when your pools start

Playing your best tournament game

Do this stuff, or don’t

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