Throughout the three generations of this game, tournaments have been one of the most exciting (and often drama-filled) aspects of the game. The top three players at the end of a tournament win a prestigious gold, silver, and bronze cup, for first, second, and third place, respectively, which are permanently awarded to the winners' tanks (remaining on their tanks after the tournament ends), such that their accomplishments are known to other players whenever they play that cupped tank on the main map. Tournaments are held on average about three times per week, with the majority of tournaments typically lasting one hour, although occasionally, once or twice per month, longer-duration tournaments, such as ninety-minute or two-hour tournaments will be scheduled as well. (TankPit tournament schedule can be found here )
The only hard and true rule is to never intentionally die in a tournament (handing out a free kill), especially to one of your friends, because it penalizes other honest players who have worked hard for seeking out their kills fairly.
Quitting low to avoid being deactivated is not explicitly against the rules, but it is heavily frowned upon by experienced players, and similarly disrupts the dynamics of the tournament as handing out free kills.
Dynamics of Tournaments - Basics Edit
When a tournament begins, the tournament will appear as an option (next to "Practice" map and "World" map) to be chosen by players. In previous versions of the game, a player could pick his color, but in this iteration of the game (TankPit), to minimize the possibility of collusion and to make the tournament as fair as possible, colors are assigned randomly. At the start of a tournament, all players spawn on the tournament map as recruits with no equipment. Similar to the main map, during a tournament, fuel and equipment are dispersed randomly across the map and regenerate periodically as they are used up.
The point system and promotion requirements are identical to the main map (i.e. - a captain still needs to accumulate 30,000 points at captain and deactivate a lieutenant or higher, in order to be promoted to major). However, the inventory capacity in tournaments are augmented, compared to the main map:
- Recruits can hold 60 of each equipment (instead of 20)
- Privates can hold 68 of each (instead of 25)
- Corporals can hold 76 of each (instead of 30)
- Sergeants can hold 84 of each (instead of 35)
- Lieutenants can hold 92 of each (instead of 40)
- Captains can hold 100 of each (instead of 45)
- Majors can hold 108 of each (instead of 50)
- Colonels can hold 116 of each (instead of 55)
- Generals can hold 124 of each (instead of 60)
This augmented equipment capacity allows for players to fight for a longer period of time before needing to refill, resulting in more intense battles during tournaments.
A player's standing during a tournament will be determined first and foremost by his rank (majors above captain, captains above lieutenant, etc), and then within the same rank, total points (from the start of the tournament, regardless of which rank they are accumulated) will be the deciding factor (a captain with more total points than other captains will place the highest among captains, but never outplace majors). Therefore, the winner of the tournament who receives the gold cup will be the player with the most points at the highest rank, and silver and bronze will be awarded to those at the same highest rank (but less points), or if no other players have achieved the rank of the gold-cup-winner, silver and bronze will go to the players at the next rank down with the most points.
In most one-hour tournaments, there are very few majors (sometimes none, and in rare cases, three or four majors), typically the cups are first awarded to any majors, and if there are two or less majors, the top captains will receive the remaining cups. If there are no majors, the captain with the most points receives gold. In two-hour tournaments, during this iteration of the game (TankPit), there are typically several majors, and occasionally one or two colonels. (Back in the days of Battlefield, two-hour tournaments would yield several colonels and occasionally one or two generals).
Examples of how the ranking system works in tournaments:
- TankPit (version 2) first tournament was on Nov 16, 2012 and the "FIRE" was the gold cup winner because he was the only player to achieve major rank (the highest rank of all players that tournament). "Krusty the Clown" received silver because among the captains, he had the most points, and "VALOR" received bronze because among the captains, he had the second most points 
- Dec 16, 2012 scheduled a two-hour tournament in Levels. The gold cup winner was "perfection10n-1" because he was the only player to achieve colonel (the highest rank of all players that tournament), and silver and bronze went to the two majors with the most points. 
- In some cases during one-hour tournaments, no player achieves the rank of major, and all three cups will be awarded to captains, such as during the Nov 17, 2012 tournament in Foundry 
Strategies for winning tournaments Edit
Generally, a player who wants to a tournament needs to seek to
- Maximize both his total points (maximize the number of shots that he hits high rank enemies, minimize the amount of time he spends picking up fuel and equipment)
- Maximize his chances of deactivating an enemy that will promote him to the next rank (hunt down less experienced players who are low on fuel and equipment)
These two objectives often conflict with each other, because (A) a target that you seek to deactivate often moves around and teleports a lot, decreasing the number of shots you can take, and (B) spending time shooting at another player 1v1 will accumulate points quickly, but lower your chances of being present when a target dies in a large mob. Experienced players consistently balance these two objectives and lower the amount of friction they experience (time wasted searching for equipment in dry areas, time wasted on targets who don't die, time wasted driving around insufficient on fuel, etc)
Sigma's Detailed Written and Video Guides on Winning Tournaments Edit
Sigma has published a highly detailed blog post (with written guide and annotated videos) on how to win tournaments here: