Why do fighting tournaments seem one dimensional?

I noticed something in fighting tournaments. Most of them have rules which encourage, and after a win, require playing the same character over and over, meaning you have the option to change when you lose a match.

It seems like those types of tournaments focus in on one character a person could use for total decimation, it also gives opponents whoever famous opponents a target they could train against.

What would happen if the rules are reversed? Let’s say when you sign up for the tournament you have to pick your main character by tournament law, and when you face someone that’s who your first character is and you know who your opponents first character is. But let’s say it’s 2 rounds out of three four matches to win but we at the stipulation that’s a one of the four matches must be with your main and be none of the four can repeat for a win in that series?

Is the purpose of the fighting tournament to crown the greatest character or to crown the greatest human player of the game? if there were such things as high school video game competitions for college scholarship, probably some Street Fighter 2 version would be a standard that people use. (I would have loved to play a high school video game team one of the few things I actually could have done at school.)

I guess in the end, professionally, it all comes down to benjamins. Whatever draws the most entry fee money is what is chosen.

I was wondering if a retro fighting game tournament would be more interesting if it had these reverse rules of “Jack of all Fighters” as opposed to “Master of One.” (Technically you could change if you lose and see match a problem but some people go through the whole tournament as one player at lower levels) when compared to a modern fighter with such rules.

More people have time to kick around the tires with Street Fighter 2 than they have with Street Fighter 5 so probably more people know more characters, in both being them as well as beating them, in 2 than 5.

Sort of like how the Indy Racing league is mostly about the cars, the tires, the other equipment that win Racing championships but NASCAR’s more about the person because the cars are closer to standardized. If everyone has the same characters and everyone is required to use enough of them enough times, things about knowing who is the favorite, and the strategy when you’re the favorite vs you as the underdog as well as different physical skills for each character will come into play.

It encourages more symmetry and more versatility.

Just to make sure I understand: you want to see a rule that forces people to use multiple characters per set?

Ads that’s the case, I think it could work as a novelty rule or something but not as standard practice. We want to see these characters and the players go head to head at max potential, not with forced handicaps.

It would be like the NBA forcing the Lakers to bench LeBron James every other game.


If everyone has the same restrictions, then it is just as fair as the rule as the rule that encourages same character.

Rules in encouraging one fighter shows one kind of fight game talent. It has more of a dedicated, practiced, disciplined art.

Rules requiring switches of a new fighter makes it more or a measure natural ad-lib fighting talent.

Just like there are professional comedy presenters that work off a funny script, as well as stand up comedians who write their own script, as well as quick witted improvisers who have no idea what’s coming. ( The Match Game and Whose Line is it Anyway are examples of good on-the-spot comedy). You can succeed in one and bomb in another. All are good talents, but rarely do they cross.

To win a decathlon you have dominate your main discipline and be world class in the other rest.

If the NBA was 1 one 1, Lebron James would win easily. Make it NBA Jam 2 on 2 and you could have dynamic duos that can overcome the superstar, but not likely. However, when 5 are on the court in each team at once, in all but 2 Heat seasons and 1 Cavs season, the teams James lead were defeated somewhere. Considering there are at least 30 teams competing for the same title, made of the best of the best individuals, being one of the 2 finalist teams for 9 years straight is awesome.

There are “team tournaments” in fighting games with multiple humans. This would be like a single human team of charactets tourney.

They all measure talent. They just measure different kinds of talent in different proportions.

and probably Classic tournaments would proportionately do better with this format versus the latest iteration. There is more time to be a student at it. That would probably be the “senior circuit tournaments” standard where my friend Jamal and other famous pre-Twitch fighting Gamers would do well.

Just this one type of tournament forces you learn one character well above all others, the other forces you to improvise more and be more general knowledge but have a wide breadth.

A ruleset like that can work, and I’ve ran a couple of smaller events that worked like that. It’s fun on occasion.

However, there are several severe drawbacks to running tournaments that way. Namely, if you needed to be proficient with multiple characters just to enter the tournament, you’d increase the barrier of entry for most tournaments. It also really de-emphasizes learning specialist characters, and rewards people for picking characters that you can do well with with as little time invested as possible, so you’d very likely see a more narrow character pool if this was standard.


You can tweak the rules so that you main id emphasized more. Instead of weak character. Start with a main vs main as a toss up. Winner goes on offense where you earn a point by beating their opponent’s main with a unique non main character. On defense you are your main to wrest it back to neutral. Games lasts 5 innings (one toss up and and many consecutive new guys). Most rubs wins. In case of a tie in “runs”,most main vs main matches won wins is the tiebreaker. If you can’t win a main vs main, there’s no opportunity for a run.

If the one thing you want to avoid is scrub vs scrub matches, this does it. Both mains can pitch shutouts, and the series will be determined by the main vs main matchup.

Since each inning is a toss up, you have to earn an offensive inning by winning your main vs main.

Also early rounds can be 3 innings, middle round can be 5 and late rounds can be 7 innings.

Matches are 2/3 rounds. Arcade time.

If a scoring round ends in a tie, a single round is replayed “divekick style” (first unblocked hit wins)

If a main vs main is tied, the inning ends with a draw and no runs. If the runs are tied and the head to heads are equal (split 2-2 with a tie) a tiebreaker main vs main determines the win. If that round ends in a tie, one main vs main first contact round determines the winner.

It avoids scrub vs scrub matches, yet has an incentive to learn others, but forces you to have the main “captain” your team.

I call this the baseball format.

I assume you’ve never ran a tournament before?

Because as someone who’s been running several large tournaments, I can tell you that enforcing rules that complicated would be a logistical nightmare. Hell, explaining those rules in a sense where half the people understand what’s going on, and finding a way to justify doing it that way, seems like a lost cause tbfh.


Most top level players aren’t just going to run their main no matter what. You run the character you’re proficient with that wins the MU.
That’s the whole point of loser gets to change if they want, winner has to stay the same character. The loser gets the chance to change to a character that has a better MU against whatever the opponent is running.

Look at knee. That guy is one of the greatest tekken players of all time because he can play so many characters so well and plays to the MUs.

If you’re making top 8, even at locals in larger cities, you probably have a secondary or a pocket character unless you’re playing with a totally OP chracter.


This is the answer.

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I guess that makes sense.

To be the man you have to beat the man. It kind of stimulates the arcade tradition where the one staying on is locked in place.

Maybe it’s just my bias towards my best friend, but most of the tournaments I’ve seen ended following are multi game tournaments. And in our personal home tournaments we have rules that encourage learning different characters in fighting games. Like for example in the beat fest where we play 24 hours a day beating games vs cpu, an open ended fighting game is not considered beat until a) every character is played to the end and b) one of them is done on a one-credit win (at default computer level)

I guess the tournaments go where the big Benjamins lie.

I guess my taste in tournaments is more about breadth than depth. Apparently

What are the correct that if something that has a non evolving form like an established classic like some version of Street Fighter 2, and has been around a long enough time and has been written about enough times and seen enough times where that kind of tournament would be a good candidate for being a “master of matchups” tournament? thinking either Street Fighter 2 new Challengers or Street Fighter 2 Grand Master challenge depending on if the “consumable” move is to be used or not.

I was thinking of King of the Hill ladder match or the object is to fill your dance card by being everybody in one win each first to advance from your group of five to 8 in a ladder advance to the next ladder. and the rule is newcomer gets a home field advantage of selecting character second. A single credit game against the highest level computer determines where you start on the ladder, and the number one gets the first point for winning vs CPUs.

They have low tier tournaments for MvC2 and stuff all the time. And we’d do fun tournaments like this all the time at locals, but

Besides, most people just wanna know who’s the best at a game. Doesn’t matter who you play, cause every single person that enters that tournament has the option to play the character that you play.

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