Please read this article to learn how to set up a ladder before choosing to run one.
An important thing to be aware of is that players do not register for offline event ladders. Any player that is listed as an Attendee in your event, even if they just paid venue fee only, is able to join the ladder once the queue has been opened.
Players do have to register for online event ladders, the process of which operates like any normal event registration.
What are ladders?
Ladders are a live matchmaking experience that allow players at an event to continuously queue against new opponents, similar to how open matchmaking commonly works for online games.
- Players click a button on their phone (or other device) to queue up and find a match
- Players report their match, earn points, and queue again
- Players obtain different ranks based on points earned
1. Report results in the Match Dashboard. This is where all the matches will appear.
2. Matches will appear in the match display as one of the following:
- Waiting on Station - A check box icon will be displayed next to the match
- The players have not received their station assignment
- Stations will be auto-assigned by smash.gg once the check mark on the match is clicked
- Selecting the check mark on the match will confirm on each player's device
- Game Setup - A lightning icon will be displayed next to the match
- The players have received their station assignment and are now playing their set
- Match can now be reported by clicking the lightning icon on the match
3. Assign a station as follows:
Selecting the check mark will assign an available station to the two confirmed participants. They cannot view the station until you have assigned it via the Match Dashboard.
To add stations for the event, you can go to Stations & Streams in the Tournament Admin.
The number of stations that can be assigned at once can be edited via Matchmaking Settings under Brackets in the Tournament Admin.
4. Report a match is as follows:
Once a match has an assigned station, it can be quick reported by clicking on the lightning icon. Matches can also be reported normally by clicking "Edit Match" and entering scores in the pop-up modal.
Once a match is reported, it will remove itself from the display of the Match Dashboard unless Completed Matches is specifically viewed.
As soon as a match has been reported, both players are free to queue up for the ladder again.
- Players use their phones or mobile devices to play in the ladder.
- Players queue up on the Ladder page of the tournament.
- Players get matched up and check-in. Clicking check-in tells the software the player is aware of the pairing.
- Players will follow on-screen instructions to get station assignment from tournament organizers.
- Once player finishes match, report results to tournament organizer (or self report if online tournament).
- Player is now free to queue again!
In Person Event Best Practices
- Two staff running ladders
- This person should have a conspicuous line in front of them.
- One staff member available to answer questions and to call players/assign stations.
- One staff member for reporting results.
- Designated meeting area
- Whichever area you choose to set up ladders should not be a location that is already expecting heavy foot traffic.
- Players will congregate around the location you dictate in the matchmaking settings.
- Clearly notate ladder stations
- It can awkward for people to ask others to get up so they can play ladders, and also detracts from the tournament experience of the person being asked to move.
- It should be clear to your attendees which stations are for ladders and which are for casuals or bracket matches.
- If stations are not clearly notated you will encounter people playing casuals on ladder stations.
- Station counts
- The ideal station count for ladders is one setup for every two participants. This comes with the shortest wait times.
- More realistically you can aim for one setup for every four participants.
- Your goal should be to keep wait times below 5 minutes. Longer waits can take away from the player's experience.
- Ensure players know:
- Clicking the match in the match dashboard provides you the ability to check players in for the ladder.
- They must click "Check In" when it appears on their screen. If they don't, and if the match expires before they realize it, they have to re-queue and wait again.
- If they are having issues clicking "Check In" you can assist them.