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Official tournament support

For beatmapping contest support, see: Official beatmapping contest support.

The osu! team runs a program where they may opt to provide community-run tournaments that abide by a certain set of criteria and expectations with extra support, at their discretion.

This article was last updated on June 2, 2024. For the full changelog, check out the tournament support updates thread. For any queries or clarifications, please consult the #tournaments channel in the osu! Discord server or send an email to the account support team via tournaments@ppy.sh.

Benefits

Officially supported tournaments have access to:

Eligibility

Community-run tournaments which abide by the following hard criteria are eligible for support:

  • The tournament series must run no more than two times per year.
  • The tournament must operate on a Round of 16 double-elimination format at a minimum.
    • Larger formats, such as group stages and Swiss brackets, may also be used so long as they start with at least 16 teams and, if applicable and if starting with only 16 teams, break to a double-elimination bracket afterwards.
    • Alternative scales and formats may be permitted at the sole discretion of the tournament committee. Hosts should contact tournaments@ppy.sh if they are seeking to receive tournament support for a non-traditional tournament format or size.
  • The forum threads associated with the tournament — this includes forum threads for any preliminary events — MUST contain a clearly visible link in a normal-sized font to the tournament reports form as the very last content of the original post.
    • https://pif.ephemeral.ink/tournament-reports
    • This report form is overseen by the Tournament Committee. We encourage all users — players and staff alike — to make use of this form where necessary. Any breaches of expectations, other procedures, or eligibility requirements should prompt a report.
  • The tournament must only use beatmaps of songs which are cleared in terms of content usage permissions. Any usage of tracks which are explicitly disallowed will revoke a tournament's eligibility for support. See the ranking criteria for details regarding exceptions for artists or tracks which are listed as disallowed.
  • The tournament only allows players of exceptional skill to participate, disallowing players lower than the following ranks in each game mode:
    • osu!: 100,000
    • osu!taiko: 10,000
    • osu!catch: 5,000
    • osu!mania: 40,000
    • This does not apply to open rank tournaments.
  • The tournament must adhere to all expectations of officially supported tournaments.
    • Any tournaments held as preliminary events leading into a main competition must adhere to the same expectations as standalone tournaments.

Requesting support

To start with, the request for support must be made well before the tournament actually commences play. There are no specific timelines for this, but we recommend at least two to three weeks before play commences to account for delays in the screening process.

If your tournament satisfies the eligibility criteria, you can make a request for support by sending an email to the account support team via tournaments@ppy.sh with the following information:

  • A brief description of your tournament, including any applicable dates, game modes, and any other appropriate features
  • Any links to:
    • The forum thread located under the Tournaments forum that announces/details your tournament.
      • For regional tournaments, the thread may be created in the appropriate language subforum.
    • Public Discord servers or any other off-site chatrooms used for the event.
    • Previous iterations of the same tournament series (only where applicable).
  • A list of the users who have registered to participate in the tournament (see tournament screening), as a separate attachment.

Once we receive your request, the account support team will return a list of users who are ineligible to participate in tournaments. Please allow ample time for a response. We will try our best to handle all requests within a week, but we occasionally have large spikes in workload that can make this impossible.

Expectations

Tournament organisers are expected to monitor their tournament for anything that runs afoul of the expectations outlined below, and are single-handedly responsible for reporting such incidents to the account support team via tournaments@ppy.sh. Failure to adhere to this may result in withdrawal of official support.

Tournaments

Community-run tournaments receiving this support are expected to abide by the following general ideals:

  • Remain free and fair.
  • Be as transparent as possible.
  • Preserve competitive integrity.
  • Encourage good sportsmanship.

In addition, all promotional material or any services associated with a tournament receiving official support should adhere to the osu! community rules. This includes things like Twitter accounts, Discord servers, and so on.

The tournament must also abide by the following practices throughout:

  • All registrants must be screened by the account support team before play commences.1 See tournament screening for more details.
  • If a user satisfies the sign-up criteria (if any) and is not filtered out through other means, the tournament must not prevent those who pass the screening from participating without both ample evidence presented publicly against them and the approval of the account support team.
    • This includes preventing users who are perceived to be "sandbagging" from play. Should an organiser have valid concerns about the presence of such players affecting the competitive integrity of their tournament, they may raise the issue to the Tournament Committee for a case-by-case review using the tournament reports form.
  • A dedicated referee must be present during every match, or be available to be summoned with minimal delay (2–5 minutes) if appropriate permission for automated software has been granted and is being used for assistance. Players cannot "self-ref".
    • The use of bots is allowed on qualifier stage matches, provided that it is supervised by a staff member.
  • Every match within the same bracket or qualifier stage should be held in a consistent format. For example, in a tournament which uses a qualifier stage and a double-elimination bracket stage, bracket matches should all be played either synchronously or asynchronously, but not both.
  • All multiplayer matches relevant to the tournament must be created with the !mp make command, so that they do not expire. The results must be recorded and made publicly available on the original tournament forum post or an outside source linked on the forum post in a clear and accessible format.
  • All rule changes should be communicated clearly to all participants. Those should keep the expectations noted above.

Once the tournament has concluded, the tournament organisers will need to submit the following to the account support team:

  • A list of applicable badge recipients (a.k.a. the winners of your tournament).
  • An appropriately designed badge (see below).
  • A link to the publicly viewable catalogue of your tournament's match history.

Programs

Third-party programs designed to filter registrants, seed players, or automate the job of a referee must be open, transparent, and documented. Any third-party tool used for these purposes must:

  • Be made publicly and functionally available as an open-source repository.
  • Be completely documented in an easily readable and digestible format.

Currently, approval for the use of any such tool must be explicitly granted by the osu! support team. Additionally, this approval must be granted for every tournament where programs for registrant filtering, seeding, or automated refereeing are used. We expect to relax some of these requirements in the future as the technology surrounding these programs develops and experience with using them grows.

Registrant filtering and seeding

Registrant filtering, not to be confused with screening, is the process of using any program, algorithm, mathematical formula, or other objective means to remove otherwise good-standing players from a tournament. This is commonly used to reduce variance in skill within a tournament, e.g. with BWS.

In addition to the expectations for programs above, tools or systems used to filter registrants or seed players must also abide by the following practices:

  • If a dataset is used, it must be up to date, publicly available and downloadable. Documentation must be provided explaining how to recreate the dataset and reproduce the results using it — including code where applicable.
  • When doing qualifiers, the formula or method used to determine seeding must be included in the tournament's ruleset.

A third party should be able to get the same results without needing additional information. Manually filtering players or adjusting their seeds is strictly prohibited.

Automated refereeing

The use of automated refereeing tools are permitted with some caveats to reflect their cutting-edge nature. Automated refereeing tools, including bots, may receive approval for use in badged tournaments so long as certain requirements are met.

In addition to the expectations for programs above, automated refereeing tools must also adhere to the following expectations:

  • Potential bots must abide by the expectations laid out for bot accounts for general in-game use. Referee-related tools and software could alternatively be run directly from a user's own account.
  • A human referee must always be available to respond to calls for support from participants within a reasonable timeframe (2–5 minutes), and be able to be summoned remotely via the use of a !panic command inside the lobby itself. When this command is used, all automation should stop until resumed by the human referee.
  • Any ongoing lobbies should be able to be manually taken over by a human referee with minimal interference whilst also retaining any previous logs of play and chat.

Staff

Tournament organisers are expected to ensure that their tournaments run smoothly and with minimal disruption where possible.

With regards to staff roles, the following rules apply:

  • Streamers, commentators, and graphic designers may play in the tournament.
  • Eliminated players may be enlisted as referees, mappool playtesters, and/or replay creators.
  • Staff with any role not listed here, may not play in a badged tournament — if you have any doubts, please contact the account support team via tournaments@ppy.sh.
  • Any staff involved in the operation of a tournament in any capacity must not be currently restricted.

Users under an active tournament ban are expected to disclose their tournament ban status to any officially supported tournament they intend to help with. They may be enlisted as streamers, commentators, or graphic designers at the host's discretion, but we encourage careful consideration of such choices as said individuals have already infringed upon the rules once (or more). They may not act as any other staff role UNLESS the host requests an exemption for them when sending in their initial request for support. The account support team will then assess these on a case-by-case basis with the user's history in mind.

At the support team's discretion, staff members whose conduct directly results in a tournament losing its official support may not fulfil the same roles in, nor be the host or admin of, another badged tournament for at least 4 months. In the event this cooldown is applied to a user, they will be informed directly through the tournament team.

A list of all tournament staff must be publicly visible in an easily accessible location. This list may be contained within the tournament's forum post, website, or spreadsheet.

Players

Participants in officially supported tournaments are expected to adhere to the osu! community rules at all times, regardless of their rank, accomplishments, or other achievements. They are also expected to treat all volunteers involved in hosting a tournament with respect, and to not deliberately attempt to waste their time or otherwise excessively complicate the undertaking of a tournament with their actions.

Additionally, players are expected to have reasonably participated in a given tournament in order to qualify for any prizes it may award — simply qualifying as a member of a winning team is not enough.

At the account support team's discretion, offending players may be issued timed or permanent tournament bans depending on the severity of their behaviour. Repeat offenders may risk incurring a permanent tournament ban or a restriction.

Other procedures

Tournament screening

A major part of being an officially supported tournament is access to the screening process. Similar to the "security checks" undertaken by all World Cup players, screening helps prevent users with recent serious infringements or tournament bans from disrupting play.

Tournament organisers will be expected to provide a comma-separated list (or spreadsheet) including usernames and user IDs. If the tournament is team-based, this list must reflect the grouping of users in their teams of play, complete with any team name or other identifying marker.

The comma-separated list should look like this:

User1,1234567
User2,1234567
User3,1234567

For team-based tournaments, the expected format is:

User1,Team1,1234567
User2,Team1,1234567
User3,Team2,1234567
User4,Team2,1234567

Once screening concludes, the account support team will provide a list of any users who failed screening and are not considered eligible for tournament play, without providing specific reasoning. Individual users who are unhappy with their screening outcome should be told to consult accounts@ppy.sh via email.

Only players who are participating in the tournament or would be likely substitutes for a team made during the course of the tournament should be sent for screening. For example, in a country-based tournament using a tryouts system, organisers are encouraged to send only the players determined to be participating after the tryouts conclude, along with several substitutes for each team in the event they need to participate. For clarifications on which registrants are relevant for screening for a particular tournament, contact the Tournament Committee.

Allowing users that have failed screening to play in your tournament will result in an immediate withdrawal of support and will result in future requests for support to be denied.

Profile badges

Officially supported tournaments that satisfy the expectations above are eligible to request profile badge prizes following completion. Profile badge prizes must be requested at most two months after tournament completion. Badges will never be approved until after the conclusion of the tournament.

Profile badge images must adhere to the following standards:

  • The submitted file must be a PNG.
  • The dimensions must be 172x80px.
  • It must clearly display the logo, motif, or name of your tournament.
  • It must be cleanly designed and of reasonable visual quality.
  • It must not include any sort of sponsorship or promote anything besides the tournament.
  • Any assets must be specifically made for the tournament and adhere to the content usage guidelines.
    • This does not include assets that are open-source or public-use (i.e. fonts, icons, etc).
    • If assets that do not fall into the above category are used in a design, explicit approval from the original artist must be provided before approval.

Please consult the following examples of approved badge designs:

Badge images that do not meet these standards will be refused with given reasoning, and you may be asked to completely redesign your badge in some cases. This is fairly uncommon, but should be accounted for.

In exceptionally rare cases, a tournament may be granted the privilege of awarding badges to its top three finalists. A tournament that has received this distinction is recognised for attaining the highest level of production quality and organisation possible — this is given exclusively at the discretion of the osu! team. If you believe your tournament meets the expectations to receive this distinction, you may request it when submitting your initial badge request.

Note that badge prizes for the top three finalists will only be considered for tournaments without any restrictions in place for participation, such as being limited to a specific rank range or a specific geographic region.

Examples of exceptional tournaments that have met these expectations:

Requesting in-game banner and news post support

Long-running community tournaments may qualify for additional support to enhance their visibility to the playerbase, namely receiving main-menu banners in-game and publication via news posts on the osu! website.

The minimum requirements to request in-game or website advertising support are as follows:

  • The tournament has successfully run for at least two badged iterations in the past.
    • Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the osu! team and the Tournament Committee based on any number of factors, such as size, scope, reach, and supporting team size of a given tournament. A good example of this kind of exception would be an event like the Roundtable.
  • Your tournament streams or otherwise shares its results in clear and legible English.

If you satisfy the above criteria, you may request this support by sending an email to tournaments@ppy.sh. This request should include a base-level history of your tournament and its impact upon the community if you have not received this type of support before. Please also note that this additional support is not guaranteed under any circumstances, and is awarded at the osu! team's sole discretion.

We recommend sending any such requests as early as possible to allow time for consideration. News post requests should ideally be sent at least a month in advance.

Tournaments seeking to be featured on the main menu must also meet the following requirements:

  • The livestreams of your current tournament average a reasonable viewership for any game modes featured in them. More popular modes (such as osu!) will be expected to have higher average viewership in order to qualify.
  • Your tournament is nearing its conclusion (e.g. your tournament is at Quarterfinals or above and it started on Round of 32).
  • You are able to provide the schedule of the matches and livestreams ahead of time.

All main-menu banner images must adhere to the following standards:

  • The submitted file must be a PNG.
  • Width must be no larger than 1000px. Using smaller widths is fine.
  • Height must always be 180px. Other values are NOT fine.
  • All banner images will be treated as 2x, meaning that they will be exported at 50% scale into a 1x image. Design your images appropriately to ensure things are legible at half size. Users will see either image depending on their chosen client resolution.
  • It must clearly display the logo, motif, AND name of your tournament, plus any information about the ongoing stage or section that is being advertised.
  • It must be cleanly designed with an emphasis on being mostly transparent and relatively unobtrusive visually.
  • It must not include any sort of sponsorship or promote anything besides the tournament.

Download a template image for main menu banners here.

Please consult the following examples of acceptable banner designs:

Please do not submit a main menu banner with your original request — you will be asked and pointed to this section if you are authorised to make use of one.

News posts

While support for advertising and sharing the outcome of your tournament is available via news posts, there are additional requirements that must be considered:

  • Tournaments will be expected to provide both one news post for advertising registrations and one for recapping final results. Additional news posts are presently not permitted.
    • If a news post advertising registrations is denied but all other requirements are met, a tournament may still be given permission for a conclusionary news post. Hosts and organisers interested in doing so should send in a new request after the tournament has concluded.
  • If your tournament is limited to a specific region, it is only eligible to receive news post support if it involves a LAN (a.k.a. an in-person meetup).

Requests for news support will be reviewed by both the Tournament Committee and the osu! news team for suitability.

FAQ

If a user has not yet played any matches, can they join the staff?

A registrant who has passed screening but has not been scheduled for any matches AND has not participated in any gameplay (including qualifiers) is not yet considered a player/participant of the tournament, and may therefore still be enlisted as staff.

What should I do if a player in my tournament gets restricted?

In the unlikely event that a player becomes restricted during the course of the tournament, you may need to replay certain matches where they were involved in order to preserve the competitive integrity of the tournament. Tournament organisers should contact the account support team to receive information and guidance on these (hopefully rare) cases.

Why can't badges be awarded to recurring monthly (or weekly) tournaments?

Flooding the game with profile badges dilutes the prestige of the prize for everybody else. We do not want profile badges to be something that people 'farm' from a few sets of regular, recurring tournaments.

Can I request a badge for a beatmap contest or other type of competition?

Yes! See Official beatmapping contest support for details.

Notes

  1. Play "commences" once any seedings or brackets have been determined. Therefore, qualifiers may be exempt from this.