Tabletop tournaments are a largely undiscovered niche of the strategy games category, but within this small industry rests a dedicated and hardcore fan base of intelligent and strategic adults, young and old, who enjoy sitting down with their friends to duke it out in their pursuit of world domination or economic prosperity. This has spawned fierce competition, which always brings along tournaments and prize money. As this field grows, so do the prize pools and participants.
Here are the top five biggest tabletop tournaments:
Unrivaled Tournament Series
The largest tabletop gaming event takes place over the course of 13 regional locations across the United States at Unrivaled sanctioned stores. The final tournament, pitting the best-of-the-best players against each other, doles out prizes of up to $10,000 for the first place winner. The fact that this has been going on for so many years is a testament to the popularity and growing fan base of a unique and interesting trend.
Unrivaled, the biggest tabletop tournament in the world, is powered by Oomba, which explains why it’s the most popular tournament!
Oomba is a specialized social media company that is creating an interactive social network for tournaments, leagues, and teams, revolutionizing how people organize sports and games by melding software as a service with a social network.
Warhammer 40,000 Throne of Skulls: Dark Imperium
This tabletop game event takes place in Nottingham at the Games Workshop: Warhammer World every year on September 2. The tournament brings together casual and serious Warhammer tabletop gamers together in an opportunity to game, network, enjoy food, and spend time competing against each other for awards.
DreamHack $10,000 Magic: The Gathering Battle
Cascade Games, along with DreamHack, has built a huge opportunity for Magic: The Gathering fans and enthusiasts to compete for a $10,000 prize pool. Winning four qualifier rounds moves you into the main tournament, where the tournament layout will work through a Swiss system of tournament style to filter people into the eight-person draft pools, where the top eight players will place into the finals bracket. The event takes place in Austin during late April of every year.
One of the largest of its kind, the Anime Expo features a four-day long exhibition of different tabletop games, including Dungeons & Dragons, Liar’s Dice and Settlers of Catan. There is also a selection of tournaments of the popular tabletop games for people to participate in. Unfortunately, the tournament has already come to a conclusion this year; the last tabletop game event took place on July 4. The festivities begin again next year at the same time, though.
The NOVA Open in Washington, DC brings together everything a great event features: charity, passionate fans, and an accepting atmosphere. After bringing in 1,300 people last year, the eighth annual event is expecting an even larger turnout this year. Events including Warhammer 40,000k GT, 256-player X-Wing Championship, and games for Malifaux to make the atmosphere competitive and fast-paced, with nice prize pools and awards given out by the non-profit organization. At the same time, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales is contributed to charity. Since the organization’s inception, they’ve donated over $100,000 to various foundations.