Preparing for Your First Tournament

Getting ready for that first tournament? Here is where to start!

Posted on  by Aaron "Better Actions" Knowles

Preparing for Your First Tournament

Getting ready for that first tournament? Here is where to start!

Posted on  by Aaron "Better Actions" Knowles

So, you’re feeling pretty confident in your Call of Duty skills and think that you are ready for your first tournament? There’s only one thing to do then...get your GameFace on.

But hold up. Where do you begin? What do you need? Is it a solo or team-based tournament? Have you played with your teammates before? How does your team do under pressure? All of these questions (and many more) are very important before your first tournament.

Let’s see if we can help prepare you for success!

Solo, Duos, Trios, or Quads?

First things first: what kind of tournament are you playing in? If you are a strong solo player, then pick a solos tournament! If you are used to playing with your friends online, then you might want to consider a duos, trios, or quads tournament.

Knowing the mode you are playing is the best way to plan ahead. This way, you can decide who and how you and/or your team will gather together. You can set aside time to practice and also make sure that your teammates are ready for when the time comes.

Another important tip when entering a tournament with friends is to know how to effectively communicate with your squad. We have some great tips to get you started!

Quick Tips on Communication

Know the map

If you know the map, you can call out to your teammates or make a mental note to yourself about where and how you can take out the enemy. Is there a bunker nearby? Is there a buy station? Is there a good placement for sniping or to heal a downed teammate? Will you have the cover necessary to replace your plates? Knowing the map will ensure that you know where you are going and when you need to get there.

You should always know the surrounding buildings and environment (to the best of your ability). A great way to practice on Verdansk (until it's nuked later this month) is in Plunder, as you can land and practice on various areas around the map!


Knowing the map will help you with the next steps if you are working with a squad or a team. Communication can make or break a team. Do you understand each other? Do you communicate well in a crisis? Can you count on them to be where they say that they are going to be?

First things first, it's important to have a good microphone. No one likes being yelled out and unable to tell what the person is even yelling. Also, we cannot stress this enough: always use pings. Pinging enemies, areas, and buildings will make or break the outcome in Warzone fights. Lastly, vocally strategize before and after an encounter to ensure that all of your team members are good to go on ammo, health, and armor. Check with your teammates and make sure they are good!

During my time in the military, we would always do squad checks after every encounter (even simulated ones). A squad leader would go to each of their squad members and ensure that they were green (good to go), amber (need resupply) or red (no movement until they are taken care of) before any other activities occurred.

Again, communication will make or break a team. Do not leave it until a tournament to learn how to communicate. Practice, practice, practice! Practice with each other, take notes, and learn from your friends. No one is an expert, but we can all learn from each other.

Preparing for Battle

Now that you (and hopefully your team) have all learned to communicate and you know the map like the back of your hand, it is time to prepare yourself before the tournament. If you have time, go back and check out our recent blog about healthy gaming habits, which you can find here. There are a lot of good tips that will help you prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally before the tournament.

Today is the Day!

The first thing you want to consider doing is showering. A good shower will refresh your mind and your body. It is a good way to reset yourself and wash away some superficial stress or anxiety that you might have before sitting down at your desk, console, or device.

Furthermore, put your favorite snacks and drinks nearby! Tournaments can last longer than you expect. Grab some healthy snacks (or some not so junky ones) because as stated in our recent blog your nutrition and what you put in your body can affect how you perform during important moments, even in gaming. Your body is a machine, you are an athlete, and your hands, mind, and muscles are your equipment.

That machine of yours--that equipment--needs to be taken care of, rested, hydrated, and fed to perform at top capacity to be quicker and more effective than your competitors.

Getting Your Gear Ready

If your gear is wireless, charge it the night before! Is your controller rechargeable? Headphones? Device? Can you plug it in while playing? Will that cord interfere with your performance? Are there distractions caused by your equipment?

These questions may seem like a lot but these are pre-mission checks, or PCC/PCI’s, that will ensure that your equipment is just as ready to perform and kick some butt as you are. For those of you that like RBG equipment, try turning off all of the extra flashing lights during the duration of the tournament to avoid any distractions from the screen. It's time to focus!

Furthermore, ask yourself: do you know your equipment? Did you just buy it? Is it calibrated, customized and/or ready to battle? All things you need to ensure so that you know that you did your best using the best equipment you have.

Enjoy the Process

Though this isn't really a tip, it's easy to forget: please enjoy the process. Now that you have started the tournament, it’s mostly mental. How you react to what happens next will determine how the rest of the tournament goes. Whether you win or lose, have fun and learn.

Did you win the first match? Good. Did you not? No problem. Try to adjust in the moment. 

DO NOT GET MAD AT YOURSELF OR YOUR TEAMMATES! If this is your first tournament, the stakes can put a lot of pressure on everyone involved.

It has been proven in many studies that the way that you speak to yourself can have immediate impacts on your performance in the moment. Every choice you make comes with a lesson. How you receive and enact that lesson can be positive or negative.

Talk to your teammates. Take notes. Learn on the fly. 

You are a team. When the tournament is over (good or bad), you have the opportunity to get better. If you are on your own, the same thing applies to you. Take notes, learn from your mistakes, and figure out how to not make them again.

After Actions Review

What did you do well? What can you improve on? What can you do the exact same next time?

After the tournament, take some time to evaluate the outcome. Good or bad, there is always an opportunity to improve. Much like coaches in football or basketball, they review the actions of every player after a game, to ensure that the next time they set foot on that field, court, whatever, they will be the best version of themselves.

Work together instead of against each other when it comes to discussing and improving. The enemy is not on your team. The enemy is out there, man. THEIR OUT THERE!

I hope that you have found some info here that may help you improve how you approach tournaments.

We here at GameFace host plenty of tournaments, some free, that you can test your skills out on and learn from and use to improve for your next paid tournament to win some cold-hard CASH!!!

And if you happen to have any tips and tricks on being better prepared for a tournament, feel free to share them with us over on Twitter HERE.

Last but not least, don’t forget to get your GameFace on!