I'll also make a blog entry on this too as recommendation for aspiring players. Now why should you go to tournaments? This thread is to give advice & to help those with the decision of going to an offline event or gatherings. This thread may also be merged with the "Tournament help thread" created by CyberEvil which will be posted at the end of this thread so you may want to keep a lookout there as well. Now why should you go to tournaments? First of all, this is NOT a post segregating online & offline, but simply to persuade & inform you that offline is a fun environment & great experience. Also, keep in mind you're going because YOU want to go, & no one else's decision. If you can't make it out, then it's completely understandable. Plus, it has a ton of benefits not for just you, but the game & community in general. You improve your skills! You do not have to go & be a hero on your 1st try. Every one is on a certain skill level when it comes to competition. Your mindset is to focus on winning as many matches, doing your best but you should also have the mindset of learning. Most new players have in their mind that you have to be a top notch player. This is far from true. This is mainly directing to those who feel that they're "not good enough". You're just missing out if that's your reasoning behind not going. The more that you go to an event or gathering, the faster you level up. This is from experience. You do not have to be a pro or a high level player just to go & compete. There are always people there that know the game & a character that you play inside & out that will help you improve your game. Sure, you're going to test your limits which is why a lot of competitors go, but you also want to see where you stand opposed to everyone else for the next go around so that you will be prepared. You will also want to play with your best character. Do what got you to this point. If you know that you're not to the point to where you can play another character & exploit things like match ups, the other character's tools, or play by the numbers in general (match up & frame data wise), then do not attempt to choose another character other than your main. Always go with your strongest character 1st & foremost, learn the game, everything about your main & THEN venture off to another character especially if it's your 1st tournament. You don't ever want to go to another character just to showcase or because you like them. This is tedious. You're in a competitive environment when it comes to tournament settings & you want to be at your strongest, meaning you use your best character & not worry about the other stuff until later on when you've reach the point that you can use more than 1 or 2 characters. You're actually doing yourself more harm than good, hindering your progression as a player. Some people can do that since everyone is at their own pace or skill level. Not everyone catches on as fast. Also keep in mind that you're not playing for other people. You're playing for your own benefit. So when it comes to stream chat or stream monsters, then frankly, in this scenario in a straight blunt matter, you have to say "fuck them!" Plain & simple. You have to focus on your match & play like you know how. Not worry about how well-received you will be to people on the stream chat. You're the one there playing, not them. Not everybody is going to take exception to your play let alone your games that you play so you have to get that out of your head. Furthermore, haters are going to hate & opinions are opinionated. At the end of the day, some of them may wish that they were they in your spot with a controller in hand playing while some may just watch & don't play at all. Again, this is not an attempt to discriminate against online at all. I have plenty of friends who play online that I play with. Even some who can't travel right now. This is just a persuasive & informative point that is factual. If it helps you concentrate, bring you some music & headphones (Ipod & Solo beats etc). Also, some in game headphones (Gamester Gear Ear muffs, etc). I play with some in my ears a lot of the times. You will also play very good players. Players that will exploit your habits & tell you what or why you're doing wrong. It's a learning experience since online & offline are different environments. Meet new friends! There is more to it than just going offline & competing. Some people don't go to compete but go to support their games, meet new people/friends, & show love. Everyone is chill offline. Even some of the best players are very chill. There is a difference in being a cool person & a competitive player. Big difference. Just because you're not a high level player or a sponsored player, that doesn't mean that a player that is will not speak to you. Just like you don't have to a great player to make friends. If that's the case, then obviously, that's wrong to do. I am telling you this by experience. I had the pleasure of speaking & playing some of the best of them in casuals. You even sit down in restaurants "as friends & as a crew" & eat some good food during or after the events. Justin Wong, Chris G, PR Balrog, Sorwah, Sweet Revenge, Shin Ryujin, Rikuto, Perfect Legend, Rabies, Chosen 1, Allan Paris, Something Unique, Shade Swifteye, Requiem, Mr.Kwiggle, 16 Bit, Pig of the Hut, Emann & Master to name a few. You could even be close friends enough to where you could house with them in future events, lending one another a helping hand. I'll be a guinea pig & use myself as an example: I am by no means a pro or high level player. Just a fighting game enthusiast who enjoys the fighting game community for what it's worth. I study games, my characters, go offline whenever I can, compete & hang out with people that I don't normally see everyday. That's just me. I'm myself. Just like I'll tell you that I don't know "every single detail about fighting games" but tell everything that I do know about. I speak to everyone, no matter who it is & they show me love back. That's all I need. I don't care about what happens online because it's "online". You don't know what goes on online, but you can tell about what goes on offline. That's how I see it. You also may have lots of things in common. It could be music, TV shows, or anything. Judging by a lot of people who responds to posts of Sailor Moon & Dragon ball Z, the music that I listen to, we have a lot in common. This is one of the beauties of traveling. You're in you're own sanctuary with a lot of people who have something in common with you: Gaming. Live Hype! One of the best things about this is the live crowd hype. You get to experience & live it. Why? Because you're there looking at it. The pop-offs, the epic comebacks, money/wager matches, the good matches. You're there looking dead at it. You will live to tell about it. I tell about it all the time through blog entries which I appreciate everybody reading & enjoying Even crowd chants go in the room of the top 8. As long as nothing disrespectful happens in the events, you can do anything you want. It's all apart of the fun. The tournament organizers even toy around & join in on the fun. That's what it's mainly about. What you mainly take away from the events is the overall good time that you had. You'll be happy you went, sad that it had to end. Then, you'll have clear view of what to look forward to when you go to another event. As long as you keep a clear mind of having a good time while competing, nothing bad will happen. No one will jump down each other's throats. There is trash talking, but it's all fun & love afterwards. It's just to add more hype & excitement to the game. You just have to have the mindset of having fun & learning. These are all of the things that we take away from online that we try to share with everyone. I hope that people take the time & put all of this into perspective when deciding whether or not go to an event. It's not bad at all! Tournament Newbie Thread: http://www.freestepdodge.com/threads/tournament-newbie-help-thread.2545/ Check this thread out for questions or help with registration or how to plan.