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Tournament Arc

 Tournament Arc
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Plot arc consisting of the character in direct competition with other characters in a generally organized fashion rather than a "fight of the week" situation. The fighting can be whatever relevant competition exists for the show, whether it be martial arts or bread making. It can even be The Tourney, the original tournament. If the tournament sponsors are up to something sinister, then this is Not Just a Tournament.
From a broadcaster's point of view, tournaments are extremely useful as filler to avoid catching up to the source material and can be used to give Character Development to otherwise underused characters. They can also allow a writer to introduce a substantial number of new characters very quickly, some of which potentially may become regulars if they gain a sufficient fandom. Another benefit is that it can be used to showcase otherwise impossible fights (such as ones between two members of the same team).
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })However, because they are easy to make filler with, tournament arcs can get stretched dangerously long for quite arbitrary reasons. If other plot-points are put on hold too long or too much in favor of tournaments, it could upset the show's pacing and alienate what attracted people to the story in the first place. Also, when used as filler it tends to get the butt-end of the budget, and tourney episodes will suffer from really obvious camera tricks and costcutting in an attempt at balance along with its time stretching. Usually not the case in a manga though, as the reader still enjoys incredibly detailed and attractive fight scenes and character development.
Tournaments are almost always single-elimination; the characters will not face the same opponent more than once. Proper seeding will be entirely ignored, and yet even so the hero will always find himself facing tougher and tougher opponents every round. His final opponent will probably be The Rival or a Big Bad (Possibly even the tournament sponsor himself after his plan is revealed) or his Dragon (in case the work is in the fantasy genre, it might even be an actual one, perhaps even in both senses of the word). Sometimes, other characters will get A Day in the Limelight to focus on their fights; in which case they're probably in a Plot Tailored to the Party. Often this will be an ally of the main protagonist but it may also be The Rival or a sympathetic Anti-Villain.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })If the hero is the only focus of the Tournament Arc he will often be distinguished by his unwillingness to seriously hurt his opponent or violate Flexible Tourney Rules, and sympathy for his opponent's situation no matter how violent or nasty they may seem to be. The hero's final opponent, on the other hand, may actually kill opponents, often "by accident", even if the tournament is not supposed to be to the death. On the other hand, it may be an anything-goes, Bloodsport type of deal, and the hero may be a Combat Pragmatist who kills if it improves the odds of him living.
If the tournament is a sub-plot in a video game and not the focus of the story it is the Inevitable Tournament.
See also Rescue Arc, War Arc, Not Just a Tournament. Compare The Big Race.
Examples:
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In Shin Megami Tensei IV:
The RxW Smacktacular has human hunters challenging demons on live TV.
The Hunter tournaments have you confront enemy summoners and/or demons. You have the option of sparing them or executing them on the spot when you win over them. Sparing them makes the crowd very angry at you.
The Neutral path has the biggest Tournament Arc in the game: The Champion Tournament. You and other Hunters compete to become the top Hunter in Tokyo by completing Challenge Quests. Completing the necessary quests brings you to the top position, bringing hope to the people of Tokyo as part of your quest to resurrect Masakado at his full power.
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The larger Mexican promotions such as longest runner CMLL get a whole lot of mileage out of tournaments. From Tournaments in tribute to "the father of Lucha Libre" Salvador Lutteroth, tributes to El Santo, to tournaments that pair rudos with tecnicos, to tournaments for legacy wrestlers, to tournaments for new stars, a large amount of their shows revolve around tournaments and mask/hair wagers, with challenges for a championship belts being a close third. Then there is CMLL's Universal Championship, a tournament only champions can enter to determine just who is the best.
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The company held the Cruiserweight Classic tournament on their WWE Network as a way to jumpstart their revival of their cruiserweight division, as well as lead into their WWE network exclusive cruiserweight show 205 Live. It was won by T.J. Perkins.
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 WWE Cruiserweight Classic (Wrestling)
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In the Golden Age and Wonder Woman (1987) Wonder Woman earns the right to be the champion and ambassador of the Amazons and their Technical Pacifist accepting and loving ideology through a tournament where she proves herself against the other Amazons competing for the position.
The Origin of Wonder Woman: The first full telling of the contest involves Diana hiding her identiy behind her entry number (7) and a Domino Mask, fighting a series of quirky Amazons and then facing off against her friendly rival Mala for the right to become the Amazon Champion.
Wonder Woman: Earth One also involves it, with Hippolyta outright refusing to let Diana take part because her demi-goddess nature means she'd easily win. Diana enters anyway, in disguise.
The Contest details a tournament organized by Hippolyta to find the best Amazon to act as Wonder Woman after she had a premonition that seemed to foretell her daughter's death, which Artemis wins.
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 Wonder Woman (1942) (Comic Book)
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One arc of Marvel Comics' Immortal Iron Fist revolves around a contest between the Seven Cities Of Heaven and their "immortal weapons" (the individual weapons, such as Iron Fist, Fat Cobra, and the Prince of Orphans are not immortal, but the position is). They don't compete for the prize; they compete not to lose, each city only appearing on Earth once every ten years...while the loser of the tournament's city can only appear once every fifty. The tournament ends up being played very differently than you might expect - starting with The Hero losing in the first round, and to a completely new character rather than his rival Davos.
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 MarvelComics
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Danball Senki features several LBX tournament, most prominently Artemis.
 Tournament Arc / int_16b16f1d
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1.0
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 Danball Senki (Video Game)
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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning features the House of Valor faction, in which you join to participate in its annual gladiator tournament as team leader of the Crows, a team of fighters made up of the last surviving members of former teams that must fight with a severe handicap of only ever fielding two members in a fight (one of which must be you). In addition to the main storyline quests, you also have the option of participating in smaller fights against large groups of enemies, often with some sort of restriction like a time limit or not being allowed to get hit if you want to win.
 Tournament Arc / int_19df8aa2
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Tournament Arc
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Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has the World Duel Carnival, which covers about 2/3 of the first half of the series.
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 Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL
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High School DXD has one constantly simmering in the background throughout the series, as Ratings Games are how Devil Kings sort out their pecking order and as heir to the house of Gremory, Rias is obligated to participate and keep her ratings up, bringing her Peerage along for the ride. A more straight example is the Young Devil's Festival, an organized round-robin of Ratings Games that takes a few volumes to complete, thanks to Diodora and the rest of the Khaos Brigade.
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 High School D×D
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Sluggy Freelance did this as part of its parody of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
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 Sluggy Freelance (Webcomic)
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The webcomic Achewood ran a Tournament Arc about a competition called The Great Outdoor Fight, which was not so much a tournament as a gigantic brawl. The competition's tagline was "3 Days, 3 Acres, 3,000 Men." A wiki was created around the same time, which reports the rules and history of the Fight in ludicrously comprehensive detail.
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 Achewood (Webcomic)
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Pro Wrestling Guerilla's biggest event is its annual Battle Of Los Angeles Tournament.
 Tournament Arc / int_24d74e86
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 Pro Wrestling Guerilla (Wrestling)
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Attack No. 1 (volleyball)
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 Attack No. 1 (Manga)
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The second Ninja Turtles series did this at the end of its second season with its "The Big Brawl" four-parter—one of the more concise examples of this trope.
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 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
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The 1998 and 2015 editions of Survivor Series held one to determine who will win the vacant WWF/E Championship. It was respectively won by The Rock and Roman Reigns, who ironically are cousinsnote not biologically, as their respective grandfathers were blood brothers who also happened to defeat celebrated Garbage Wrestlers in the finals (Mankind and Dean Ambrose, respectively). Unfortunately, in the latter instance, Roman lost the belt in a screw-job at the hands of the Authority and Sheamus, rending the tournament all for nothing.
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 Survivor Series (Wrestling)
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The Chuunin Examination arc of Naruto was a formal Tournament Arc that is actually cut short. In a variation, the prize, promotion to chunin, doesn't necessarily goes to the winner, as the very fact they got in the finals proved they had the physical requirements for the promotions, but to the ones who proved they had the leadership and smarts to hold the higher rank. Indeed, the only one to get promoted is Shikamaru, who surrendered in his first and only match as he was about to win, as both the way he fought an objectively superior opponent and his surrender because he was tired proved his skills.
 Tournament Arc / int_30a5ebfd
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 Naruto (Manga)
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The first Guilty Gear game uses this.
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 Guilty Gear (Video Game)
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The final season of Monster Rancher has Genki and the others go through one of these in order to win a magic stone they need to free Holly's father and seal Mou's soul away once and for all.
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 Monster Rancher
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Tournament Arc
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RWBY has the Vytal Tournament, which is mentioned in Volume One and actually shown in Volume Three. Team RWBY and Team JNPR participate in the tournament for Beacon Academy. RWBY is disqualified when Yang Xiao Long is accused of breaking Mercury Black's leg in a fit of unsportsmanlike conduct, not knowing that Emerald Sustrai's hallucination powers made Yang see Mercury attack her and she reacted to that. Then the entire thing is pretty much cancelled when Pyrrha accidentally destroys Penny’s body with her magnetism Semblance, allowing for an all-out invasion by the White Fang and Grimm.
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 RWBY (Web Animation)
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Tournament Arc
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In Subaru, the tournament arc involves preparation for and participation in Prix de Lausanne.
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1.0
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 Subaru
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Dragon Ball is well-known for its Tournaments, having several over the years:
The most famous is the Tenkaichi Budokai,note Translated: The Strongest Under the Heavens or the World Martial Arts Tournament in the anime dub, and is one of the earliest examples. They are unique in that they are built directly into the storyline; characters often meet up for it after time skips, and for a good while the format was to alternate between a "normal" arc and a Tournament arc. All are important to the series as they teach the characters that there are always stronger opponents than them, which remains into the Z portion even after the Tournament format is dropped.
The second Tournament that appears are the Cell Games, however the format is rather different; each opponent takes on the founder, Cell, and if they are all defeated he destroys the Earth. It turns out to be a farce however, as Cell uses it more to flaunt his seemingly bottomless power to the heroes and later destroys the ring when he's put in a bind.
The Other World Tournament provided filler between the Cell Arc and the Buu Arc, although it was basically the Tenkaichi Budokai in heaven, where Goku fights the best dead fighters in history from across the universe.
The Tenkaichi Budokai returns for the Buu arc in Dragon Ball Z, however it gets interrupted and half the combatants leave to take on the newest villain, so the format is changed on the fly to a battle royale for the title. At the very end of the story, Goku similarly bugs out with his opponent Oob, taking him in as a student. The tournament appears twice more in Dragon Ball GT, once as part of a Breather Episode, and again for the Generation Xerox Distant Finale that mirrors the end of the manga.
Dragon Ball Super resurrects it with the Champa Saga where Universes 6 and 7 fight it out. Right after that tournament ends, the Top God of all 12 universes announces that he would held another tournament soon which involves all 12 universes... except not really. The Tournament of Power he and his future self would hold only includes eight of twelve universes, and like the Cell Games, it has a very different format: it's a single battle royale between 80 participants, with each team having 10 people.
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Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President portrays the American presidential election in the style of one, to the point where it's basically a shonen fighting manga for grownups. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
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 Eagle The Making Of An Asian American President (Manga)
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Tournament Arc
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The "Fall Classic" in Food Wars! features an initial "preliminary" bracket of two groups of 30 specifically selected students with the top four students in each group scoring the highest out of 100 for their dishes advance to the main tournament, which is played straight in the elimination style. In a twist, no winner could be declared in a semi-final match-up, thus a three-way final was determined between the protagonist and two others.
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 Food Wars! (Manga)
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Dungeon Dynamite Invokes this in Episode 5 with the city of Tournament *Ark*, a lawless, fight-happy desert city marked by the presence of a large, broken boat. Needless to say, the plot demands that the protagonists fight in a tournament to obtain 1 million gold pieces of the local currency for the sake of getting Five out of her magical contract. Also, the King’s Knight, Rook, and Bishop are all taking place for the chance to kill the protagonists as well....
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All sports and games anime, such as the aforementioned Prince of Tennis and Hikaru no Go, tend to rely on a tournament structure. Given that this is the way *real* sports are organized, this is unsurprising. Most such anime does not suffer from the negative effects often attributed to a Tournament Arc.
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 Hikaru no Go (Manga)
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The Seven Deadly Sins: Meliodas, Ban, King and other characters participate in a tournament to regain Diane's weapon.
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 The Seven Deadly Sins (Manga)
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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has the Arena faction, which rather than having the plotlines of the other factions, consists of nothing more than a long string of fights (to the death, naturally) the player can participate in for gold, before finally facing off against Agronak gro-Malog, the "Grey Prince" and reigning Grand Champion for his title. After becoming Grand Champion, the regular fights cease, but the player has the option of continuing to fight in weekly exhibition matches against monsters scaled to the player's level. In addition to this, there's also Boethiah's Daedric Quest, which has the player participating in his/her "Tournament of Ten Bloods" where they must traverse a circular arena fighting nine other combatants, drawn from the game's playable races (with the player taking the tenth slot). The reward for winning Boethiah's tournament is his Daedric artifact, the enchanted katana Goldbrand, which is one of the strongest weapons in the game.
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 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Video Game)
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About half of the Yu-Gi-Oh! arcs: Duelist Kingdom, Battle City, Battle City Finals, KC Grand Prix. The main parts of Duelist Kingdom and Battle City, despite being technically set at tournaments, were really more unorganized fight-of-the-week events by the nature of the rules, rather than being bracketed tournaments. The final tournament mainly served as promotion for Kaibaland and Kaiba had no ulterior motive this time, and the winner of the final match is allowed to duel Yugi in the grand finals.
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The Origin of Wonder Woman: The first full telling of the contest involves Diana hiding her identiy behind her entry number (7) and a Domino Mask, fighting a series of quirky Amazons and then facing off against her friendly rival Mala for the right to become the Amazon Champion.
 Tournament Arc / int_4474edb2
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 Wonder Woman Number One (Comic Book)
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Chapter six of Super Paper Mario had another tournament arc, then it gets subverted, less than a quarter of the way through the 100 fights you run out of time and the void destroys the world, leaving an empty, white void. However, once you restored the world, you can continue the rest of the fights.
 Tournament Arc / int_455ede40
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Near the end of Planetes, Hachimaki goes through a series of tournament style tests, in order to join the first mission to Jupiter on the new fusion powered ship, Von Braun. He becomes one of the 18 finalists out of some 20,000 people, and sets out for Jupiter during the conclusion along with his dad.
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Tournament Arc
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While not so much an "arc" as a "two-parter", Hayate the Combat Butler has one of these. As you can probably guess, it was a Battle Butler tournament, which was just as silly as it sounds. Klaus and Tama don a Paper-Thin Disguise, only to lose when Hayate catches Klaus' necktie (removing a butler's necktie means defeat), after Klaus shows off his power.
 Tournament Arc / int_495f277f
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_495f277f
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Tournament Arc
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Dreaming of Sunshine: In addition to the canonical Chuunin Exams, the Konoha Genin who did not get promoted then are sent to the next exams, in the Land of Grass. For the most part, the contestants are who make it to the tournament section of the exam treat it as what it is—a chance to show off their skills and potentially earn a promotion, rather than a series of life and death fights or something that has to be won at all costs. The exceptions are Mubi and Oboro, for whom It's Personal. Konoha dominates the exams, with more of their genin making it to the finals than any other two villages combined and all of them making it to the second round. But the finals end up being between Gaara and Haku, which is portrayed as the best thing that could have happened—Gaara needs to win the tournament to establish his reputation, and Haku needs to stay in the tournament as long as possible because he's the only Hidden Mist contestant left in the exam.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_4abebc06
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Tournament Arc
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Golden Sun features Colosso, a tournament that takes place annually in a town you pass through. Obviously, you take part in it. What makes Colosso unusual is that, while you are forced to partake, actually winning it is optional. If you lose, someone else is declared champion and the plot just moves on.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_4be1bdd0
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Tournament Arc
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The latter portion of Flame of Recca is a tournament arc.
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1.0
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 Flame of Recca (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_4ddcf970
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Tournament Arc
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When the Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI, he ended up holding the World and Intercontinental championships at the same time. The WWE's rules at the time said that the same wrestler couldn't hold both belts at once. Warrior kept the World championship, but the Intercontinental championship became up for grabs in a tournament. The eventual winner was Curt Hennig, AKA Mr. Perfect.
 Tournament Arc / int_4ebd9372
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_4ebd9372
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Tournament Arc
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Knights of the Old Republic has this as an early sidequest on Taris.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_526d4c5c
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Tournament Arc
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Gold Coin Comics has an entire chapter that is pretty much based on a championship tournament.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_54de4a00
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Tournament Arc
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The Camoa Cup in The Tainted Grimoire, with the twist that Clan Gully faces Acidwire during the first round after the preliminaries have finished. Also much shorter then expected.
 Tournament Arc / int_55428e7d
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_55428e7d
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Tournament Arc
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Season 1 and Season 3 of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade are each one giant tournament arc. The second season was largely devoid of it, but the last eleven episodes returned to that format. The manga, from which the three seasons are derived, is a single tournament arc, but with other stuff happening in-between that makes it less obvious. Rising represents another tournament arc, which is more akin to how the anime handles it.
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Tournament Arc / int_5889b359
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Tournament Arc
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Strangely out of place, but one does pop up in The Answer of Persona 3. Wherein Aigis and her sister proceed to beat the living crap out of the rest of the cast over a Plot Coupon.
 Tournament Arc / int_5921531a
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_5921531a
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Tournament Arc
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The G1 Climax is a grueling round-robin style tournament which takes place over the course of several weeks. 20 wrestlers are evenly split between two blocks and wrestle everyone else inside their respective blocks once to earn points; 2 points are gained for each win, 1 point goes to both competitors in a draw, and no points are earned for a loss. The top ranked competitors of each block then fight each other in the tournament's final night to crown a champion. Since Kazuchika Okada won the 2012 iteration, he implemented a new rule: the winner would be granted a shot at the next Wrestle Kingdom for the IWGP Heavyweight Champioship against whoever the title holder is at the time, but must defend their contract as if it were a title until then; should they lose, the contract is transferred to whoever manages to beat the previous holder. Notably, the champion himself participates in the tournament, and potentially winning it is more of a statement of how dominant he is than anything else.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_5a239a58
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Tournament Arc
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Wrestling Superstars Uncensored had an annual tag team tournament called "King And Queen Of The Ring", which became "Queen And King Of The Ring" after it became a women's promotion.
 Tournament Arc / int_5ae0be5a
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_5ae0be5a
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Tournament Arc
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To promote the expansion and heightened focus on their Women's Division, WWE also held the first-ever Mae Young Classic in 2017. Kairi Sane was crowned the inaugural winner, while Toni Storm won the second. Both were subsequently called up to WWE NXT later in the respective years they won.
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Tournament Arc / int_5ae0bec6
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Tournament Arc
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Black Butler has a cricket match happen smack in the middle of the Weston College Arc, which is treated as Serious Business by everyone involved.
 Tournament Arc / int_5ce2f08b
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_5ce2f08b
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Tournament Arc
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Black Clover has the Royal Knights Arc. The Wizard King hosts a competition between randomly assigned teams of Magic Knights to decide which among them are worthy to become the Royal Knights, a special task force to deal with the Big Bad's group.
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Tournament Arc / int_5e16d550
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Tournament Arc
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Kujibiki Unbalance has the Kujibiki tournament to determine the next student council.
 Tournament Arc / int_5f47ffa9
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_5f47ffa9
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Tournament Arc
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Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid has the Dimensional Sports Activity Association's Inter-Middle Championship that Vivio, Einhart, Lutecia, Rio, and Corona join. In something of a twist on the usual formula, all of them get defeated before even reaching the City Finals, since, after all, they're still rookies and going up against opponents with years more training and experience. Einhart in particular gets the truly nasty luck to meet the returning, undefeated champion Sieglinde Jeremiah in her fourth match of the elite class, which goes about as you would expect such a matchup to go. Also, Rio is the only one of the other three who fought against a tournament veteran and one of the favorite participants, Harry Tribeca, so Rio ended up losing in the third match. Corona lost in the third match against Einhart (well, she is more experienced than her). However, Vivio, our Handicapped Badass Clone Jesus and the daughter of the original heroines Nanoha and Fate, ended up losing against the underdog newcomer Miura Rinaldi in the third match, who also defeated another favorite tournament veteran Micaiah Chevelle in the first match. While at least five participants (including Vivio, Einhart and Sieglinde) have ancestral connections to the Ancient Belkan Era, Miura hasn't shown to have something like that, she even started to learn Striker Arts after Vivio. Miura just happens to be one of the most talented disciples of the Wolkenritter. As a whole, the entire season is a big Tournament Arc, that makes the loss of the main characters even more shocking.
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Tournament Arc / int_6348f5cf
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Tournament Arc
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Yu-Gi-Oh! East Academy has one right off the bat.
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Tournament Arc / int_63495904
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Tournament Arc
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Avengers Arena was a Battle Royale-like survival game orchestrated by Arcade, putting teen heroes against each other.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_637e942e
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Tournament Arc
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Mortal Kombat was once like this until 3, onwards (and even II actually operates under Not Just a Tournament). Mortal Kombat 9 revisits the original Tournament Arc but since it covers everything between the first and third games, it only dwells on this for the first third and a portion of the second. Mortal Kombat X drops it yet again.
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Tournament Arc / int_6b85085e
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Tournament Arc
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The choral competitions in All The Small Things.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_6f7a9b5
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Tournament Arc
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Shows up with regularity in the Apprentice Adept series. Games of skill, strength, and chance are used to decide serious matters rather than forcing the issue into bloodshed (though blood is also regularly shed).
 Tournament Arc / int_7013cf88
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_7013cf88
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Tournament Arc
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Quest for Glory V:
The Rites of Rulership are something like this, consisting of a competition between four claimants to the throne of Silmaria ( eventually whittled down to just the player character and Elsa von Spielberg when the other two competitors are murdered to further the goals of the Big Bad). The player must investigate the assassination of the previous king and solve a number of other puzzles connected to both the Rites and other problems, such as the drugging attacks against the city's resident wizards.
The arena is where the player character can watch fights or participate themselves. Strangely, each competitor in the arena, most of whom are conveniently ( or not, if they're killed during the Rites of Rulership as this can prevent 100% completion for the fighter) competitors in the Rites of Rulership, each take turns as "champion" of the arena for the week, and must fight each of the other competitors, rather than one character becoming champion and maintaining the title until defeated.
 Tournament Arc / int_7406f8bf
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_7406f8bf
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Tournament Arc
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Marvel did this twice with its Contest of Champions miniseries. Each of them involved cosmic players fighting through teams of superheroes.
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_743f1a7b
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Tournament Arc
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Wonder Woman: Earth One also involves it, with Hippolyta outright refusing to let Diana take part because her demi-goddess nature means she'd easily win. Diana enters anyway, in disguise.
 Tournament Arc / int_74613fc7
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_74613fc7
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Tournament Arc
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The "Phantom Bullet" arc of Sword Art Online — volumes 5 and 6 — much like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is framed by a tournament arc, specifically the Bullet of Bullets. Unlike most examples, it fulfills this trope in only the most basic description, as the entire tournament factors into the story. Kirito himself specifically enters a shooting tournament within the new game "Gun Gale Online" to investigate a mysterious case of shootings within a game killing people in real life. You can never have fun, can you Kirito?
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_7700a651
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Tournament Arc
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The Shaman Fight in Shaman King, to determine who will get to channel God (basically).
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_797793b1
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Tournament Arc
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The whole Second Arc of Nectar of the Gods is one big bartending Tournament Arc, which in actuality is a big revealer of secrets to many character pasts.
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Tournament Arc / int_7a44afe1
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Tournament Arc
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Initially played straight with the Shogun Tournament in Samurai Deeper Kyo, but then subverted when it gets to be Kyo's turn and he decides to hell with the one-on-one setup, he'd rather fight everyone at once. He does, and then wins. End of tournament.
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Tournament Arc / int_7afc24b0
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Tournament Arc
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'Tag League The Best' was the premier tournament of Zenjo, due to their first big, non foreign stars being the Beauty Pair, as well as due to the legacy of the Crush Gals and Jumping Bomb Angels. After Zenjo's closing in 2005 JWP continued it.
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 All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (Wrestling)
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Tournament Arc / int_7ccb54d
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Tournament Arc
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Assassin's Creed: Odyssey has two examples:
The Battle of a Hundred Hands, which the Eagle Bearer can enter with a potential love interest. At the end, the Eagle Bearer has the choice of killing her, or convincing her to turn on the competition's manager.
The decidedly much less serious Trials of the Minotaur in Pephka, which is both ineptly run and staggeringly corrupt (and an example of Not Just a Tournament).
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Tournament Arc / int_7cda381e
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Tournament Arc
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Outside the main plot, the second half of Super Powereds: Year 4 is dominated by the intramurals between the five colleges with a Hero Certification Program. Each school nominates three competitors, except for the hosting school, which gets an extra competitor to even out the numbers. Anybody who's anybody in the Hero world wants to see the intramurals, since it's the best of each school fighting it out in elimination tournament only a few weeks before graduation, but few are able to get in due to the secrecy and the security concerns. Competitors are allowed to observe other fights, which is how they can learn what the other students' powers and capabilities are, although it's common for students to hold back in the first couple rounds in order to keep an ace or two up their sleeve. The biggest shock is Chad losing in his second round without even throwing a punch. On the other hand, the guy who beats him is the best in his school, and he then proceeds to beat Alice as well, although it takes him a lot more effort. In the end, it's up to Vince, who advances to the final round by beating Shane, to take him down. This is also where Lander's competitors demonstrate why they're already nicknamed the Class of Nightmares: partly it's because they're an unusually strong class, but they're also the most determined as well, such as when Alice blows out her own eardrums in order to neutralize her opponent's debilitating sonic attack, or when Vince leaps through a wall of fire in order to deliver a blow on his opponent (it helps that everyone gets healed up in-between fights.
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All Pro Wrestling has had two tournaments successful enough to be spun off into their own promotions, King Of Indies and ChickFight. Though the later would eventually go back to APW, Dave Prazak cites its success as one of the motivations for SHIMMER, which ended up hosting "the ChickFight" itself. King Of Indies would meanwhile find a home on WWN live.
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Shows up in the second Fable game in the form of The Crucible.
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In the cartoon Garfield and Friends, one of the episodes in the second season (entitled "Basket Brawl") featured the cast playing basketball with foods such as seven-layer cakes, each attempting to either eat the food (Garfield's goal) or to get it in the picnic basket (everyone else's goal). Naturally, Garfield got all the food.
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EDENS ZERO has the Mildian Arc, though it's more along the lines of a gauntlet of challenges where each of the four main fighters must defeat an opponent in exchange for information from the oracle Xiaomei. The "tournament" barely lasts more than two chapters, with Shiki taking out his opponent a single page from the word go, Rebecca and Weisz's battles making up both halves of the following chapter, and Homura concluding it with a full-chapter swordfight against a robot copying her Badass Teacher. It's later revealed that Xiaomei arranged each battle to foreshadow the events of the following arc and offer hints for Rebecca that help her awaken her Ether Gear.
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Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has the Maiami Championship (MCS), which runs three sub-tournaments silmutaneously: there is the Youth Championship, the Junior Youth Championship and the Junior Championship. Later, we get the Friendship Cup which is held in the Synchro Dimension. In the end, we get another the recreation of the MCS's Junior Youth Championship which is mostly the continuation of the one that was cancelled earlier.
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Final Fantasy IX: There are 2 Breather Episodes disguised as these.
First, the Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum, where monsters are let loose on the streets; whoever kills the most wins. A fun competition in between the tense action leaving Dali and the onset of Cerebus Syndrome after leaving Lindblum for Burmecia, and an opportunity to receive a prize of your choice (win as Zidane for money, let Freya win for a useful Accessory).
The second is at the beginning of Disc 3; after the emotionally draining events of Disc 2's climax, your whole party (sans Steiner and Dagger - who have to deal with Alexandria in the wake of Brahne's death) takes a vacation in Treno, with Zidane partaking in a card-game tournament against players from all over the continent. Once again, winning nets you a useful accessory: the Rebirth Ring.
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Tournament Arc / int_86814cd2
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The King of Fighters, in which almost every tournament is run by somebody planning something shady. In '94, it was Rugal Bernstein and his desire to defeat powerful fighters (dipping them in liquid metal if they proved unable to beat him). In '95, Rugal was at it again as a cyborg. '96 and 97 were the exceptions, both organized by Kagura Chizuru with the intent of finding warriors powerful enough to help her contain the Orochi threat...so of course that same threat interfered. In '96 it was Goenitz, and in '97 it was the remaining Heavenly Kings and Orochi itself, both times with humanity's continued existence at stake. In '99, 2000, and 2001 it was NESTS and its CEO Igniz, who wanted to become a god. In 2003-XIII it was the mysterious group "Those From the Past" who were involved, brainwashing people into hosting the tournaments for them (Chizuru in 2003 and Rose in XI & XIII). Another exception was in XIV whose host, Antonov, was just hosting the tournament out of love for the series and to show the world how tough he is, so of course the next threat (Verse) shows up and causes havoc. Later on in the Maximum Impact series, certain characters comment on how everybody hosting KOF is somebody with an axe to grind, and how it would be nice to fight in a tournament in which the fate of the world didn't hang in the balance every year.
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 The King of Fighters (Video Game)
hasFeature
Tournament Arc / int_88fce462
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Tournament Arc
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The Prince of Tennis is basically a huge tournament.
 Tournament Arc / int_8b2d4580
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1.0
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1.0
 The Prince of Tennis (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_8b2d4580
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Tournament Arc
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comment
Deconstructed in Muteki Kanban Musume: at last year's District Sumo Contest Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Miki won leaving fifty people wounded, including a professional wrestler, with one still missing. This year they simply change it to a non-violent competition.
 Tournament Arc / int_8c9cd7dc
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1.0
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1.0
 Muteki Kanban Musume (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_8c9cd7dc
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Tournament Arc
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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is framed by the Triwizard Tournament. In The Film of the Book it is basically the whole story because it cuts out most of the side plots.
 Tournament Arc / int_8cb3a247
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1.0
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 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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Tournament Arc / int_8cb3a247
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Tournament Arc
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The Show Choir Tournaments happening in every season of Glee.
 Tournament Arc / int_8d7f29ec
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1.0
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1.0
 Glee
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Tournament Arc / int_8d7f29ec
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Tournament Arc
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Bro-Rangers is currently in a tournament arc which was admitted to be filler by the author from the get-go. Unlike a lot of big tournament arcs in other series, the tournament is just a regular old tournament, and holds no real significance to the plot besides character interaction and development.
 Tournament Arc / int_8d907ab6
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_8d907ab6
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Tournament Arc
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Progress Wrestling has The Natural Progression Series which is a tournament done throughout the year to showcase new talents and The Super Strong Style 16.
 Tournament Arc / int_8dc24b15
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1.0
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 Progress Wrestling (Wrestling)
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Tournament Arc / int_8dc24b15
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Tournament Arc
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Dramatic Dream Team: DDT48 and King of DDT are two of their big annual events.
 Tournament Arc / int_8df4eb7a
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_8df4eb7a
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1.0
 Dramatic Dream Team (Wrestling)
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Tournament Arc / int_8df4eb7a
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Tournament Arc
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Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo has a tournament arc, but it's just as crazy and silly as the rest of the series, including the fight against Sambaman. It ends up getting interrupted after only a few battles, though, due to the new Big Bad launching their assault.
 Tournament Arc / int_8f422dc7
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1.0
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1.0
 Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_8f422dc7
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Tournament Arc
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Super Smash Bros. Brawl's story mode, The Subspace Emissary begins with Mario and Kirby fighting each other in the final round of some sort of tournament. The player can choose which one they play as with the other serving as the game's first Smash battle; but regardless of who wins, the tournament gets interrupted by the Subspace Army. Princesses Peach and Zelda are present in the audience but it isn't known if they also competed in the tournament or not and no other competitors are shown.
 Tournament Arc / int_935a39be
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1.0
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1.0
 Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Video Game)
hasFeature
Tournament Arc / int_935a39be
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Tournament Arc
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Way of Choices gives us this in the Grand Examination Arc, which also contains demonstration duels during the Ivy Banquet before the Tournament.
 Tournament Arc / int_95b94d79
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_95b94d79
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Tournament Arc
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The Mahou Sensei Negima! manga has the Mahora Budokai tournament during the school festival super-arc. It's basically the point at which the genre balance tips from Harem Comedy to shounen action, and also manages to finally kick off the previously stagnant Myth Arc. (Fun fact: The author determined the initial matchups for it by rolling dice; this explains how some of the first round matches are where the quarter-finals or semi-finals fight would be in other series. Namely who Negi fights in the first round.)
There's another tournament later on during the Magic World arc, though few of the matches are shown in any detail. Until the final battle against Jack Rakan.
Averted during the sports festival. Despite coverage of the contests being the main attraction, Kotarou thinks they are so powerful at this point that they should sit on their hands and let someone else have a chance for a change.
The sequel UQ Holder! has the Mahora Martial Arts Tournament Preliminaries, which is a tournament arc where the winners gain entry to the main tournament for free.
 Tournament Arc / int_95e58696
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 Tournament Arc / int_95e58696
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_95e58696
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Tournament Arc
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The sports festival of My Hero Academia features a tournament made up of the top sixteen first years from the earlier events to give them a chance to show their stuff in front of the pro heroes. In an unusual twist compared to most tournament arcs, the main character Izuku Midoriya loses in the quarterfinals, where most arcs feature the protagonist losing in the finals if not winning; the final match ends up being between Todoroki and Bakugo, with the latter winning.
 Tournament Arc / int_960062b7
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1.0
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1.0
 My Hero Academia (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_960062b7
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Tournament Arc
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Revolutionary Girl Utena bases most of its 39-episode plotline around a single grand tournament with three distinct phases or sub-tournaments. It was less formally-structured than usual, so the show's first Recap Episode is used to organize them explicitly to the audience.
 Tournament Arc / int_967347ea
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_967347ea
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1.0
 Revolutionary Girl Utena
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Tournament Arc / int_967347ea
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Tournament Arc
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Dragon Ball Super resurrects it with the Champa Saga where Universes 6 and 7 fight it out. Right after that tournament ends, the Top God of all 12 universes announces that he would held another tournament soon which involves all 12 universes... except not really. The Tournament of Power he and his future self would hold only includes eight of twelve universes, and like the Cell Games, it has a very different format: it's a single battle royale between 80 participants, with each team having 10 people.
 Tournament Arc / int_985ad25d
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1.0
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1.0
 Dragon Ball Super
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Tournament Arc / int_985ad25d
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Tournament Arc
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The entire The Law of Ueki anime is a tournament arc, wherein candidates to become God bestow powers upon High School students and have them fight in order to determine the next god.
 Tournament Arc / int_989c6002
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_989c6002
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1.0
 The Law of Ueki (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_989c6002
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Tournament Arc
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The central focus of Poppy O'Possum's second chapter is one of these, where Poppy gets to abuse her Super Strength a little bit to work off some debts.
 Tournament Arc / int_9b3d0b23
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1.0
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 Poppy O'Possum (Webcomic)
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Tournament Arc / int_9b3d0b23
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Tournament Arc
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The sequel Yu-Gi-Oh! GX didn't pick up this trope until its second season, despite that said tournament was named after the series. And was more treated as a side plot in the end of the season.
 Tournament Arc / int_9bb5aad4
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1.0
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 Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
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Tournament Arc / int_9bb5aad4
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Tournament Arc
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Dragon Ball Multiverse: So far, the whole comic (excluding the special chapters).
 Tournament Arc / int_9c652ce5
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_9c652ce5
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1.0
 Dragon Ball Multiverse (Webcomic)
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Tournament Arc / int_9c652ce5
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Tournament Arc
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Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has the Desperate Fight of the Disciples tournament. Of course, his masters destroy the infrastructure of the entire thing.
 Tournament Arc / int_9e202b7b
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_9e202b7b
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 Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_9e202b7b
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Tournament Arc
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In One Piece:
'Davy Back Fight' arc, which was completely set up in the villains' favor. However, the heroes still won.
The Dressrosa arc becomes one of these as Luffy enters a tournament to win his deceased brother's former Devil Fruit.
 Tournament Arc / int_9e2f90f4
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_9e2f90f4
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 One Piece (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_9e2f90f4
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Tournament Arc
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Ironically, outside of the real-life metagame, actual tournaments are only present three times in the Pokémon series: the Battle Dome in Pokémon Emerald, the Pokémon World Tournament in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, and as a replacement for the Elite Four in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
 Tournament Arc / int_9f89a5f0
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1.0
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1.0
 Pokémon (Franchise)
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Tournament Arc / int_9f89a5f0
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Tournament Arc
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Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! has several tournaments, most notably in Tsubame's route. Paired team battle, where the 1st fighter to lose, loses for the whole team. The prize? A chance to fight Momoyo, who isn't participating, because that'd be unfair. But Yamato is! In Wanko's route, she also enters a tournament for the same purpose.
 Tournament Arc / int_a2fef019
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_a2fef019
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1.0
 Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! (Visual Novel)
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Tournament Arc / int_a2fef019
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Tournament Arc
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Ghost Sweeper Mikami has one early on for the purpose of identifying the next crop of spiritualists fit to be deemed Ghost Sweepers. The main reason Mikami and Yokoshima get involved is that Shouryuuki needs someone to infiltrate the tournament and find Medusa's moles, lest she end up with agents inside the Ghost Sweeper community. As for secondary reasons, suffice to say that this is the beginning of Yokoshima's own spiritual powers manifesting and ramping up...
 Tournament Arc / int_a7e8b9c4
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1.0
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1.0
 Ghost Sweeper Mikami
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Tournament Arc / int_a7e8b9c4
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Tournament Arc
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Kurogane (2011) being a sports manga usually features these although so far they normally breeze through tournaments save one particular match due to losing that match or via Offscreen Moment of Awesome Montages..
 Tournament Arc / int_a855f162
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_a855f162
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1.0
 Kurogane 2011 (Manga)
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Tournament Arc / int_a855f162
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Tournament Arc
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New Japan Pro-Wrestling:
The G1 Climax is a grueling round-robin style tournament which takes place over the course of several weeks. 20 wrestlers are evenly split between two blocks and wrestle everyone else inside their respective blocks once to earn points; 2 points are gained for each win, 1 point goes to both competitors in a draw, and no points are earned for a loss. The top ranked competitors of each block then fight each other in the tournament's final night to crown a champion. Since Kazuchika Okada won the 2012 iteration, he implemented a new rule: the winner would be granted a shot at the next Wrestle Kingdom for the IWGP Heavyweight Champioship against whoever the title holder is at the time, but must defend their contract as if it were a title until then; should they lose, the contract is transferred to whoever manages to beat the previous holder. Notably, the champion himself participates in the tournament, and potentially winning it is more of a statement of how dominant he is than anything else.
There's the aformentioned World Tag League for heavyweight teams, the Best of Super Juniors for junior heavyweights and the Super Junior Tag League for junior heavyweight tag teams. While they don't have the briefcase set-up as the G1, they also usually supply the winner with a title shot against the title holders of their respective divisions. Because of the tournament's timing, the title shot for the World Tag League winners usually lands on the next Wrestle Kingdom as well.
The New Japan Cup is a simpler single-elimination 16-man tournament where the winner gets a shot at either the IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight titles depending on their personal choice. Unlike the previous examples, the titleholders of those belts do not participate in this tournament. Changed its format in the 2019 iteration, where the winner of the 32-man field now challenges for the IWGP Heavyweight championship directly.
Then there is the irregularly held Super J Cup, which features super juniors from all over the world.
 Tournament Arc / int_a9fdd959
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Tournament Arc / int_a9fdd959
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Tournament Arc
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Nwain has a tournament arc that starts with fighting on day 1, then moves on to chess on day 2 and go-carting on day 3.
 Tournament Arc / int_aa5482e6
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_aa5482e6
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 Nwain (Webcomic)
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Tournament Arc / int_aa5482e6
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Tournament Arc
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Weiss Reacts has had two of these, one per volume, although the first one was a chapter-long parody of the concept. The second, however, was played straight.
 Tournament Arc / int_ab854ebe
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_ab854ebe
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Tournament Arc / int_ab854ebe
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Tournament Arc
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The entire plot of The Boy Who Fell revolves around competing in the Hell Tournament, which our protagonist Atsushi Ren needs to win if he wants to go home.
 Tournament Arc / int_abe0964b
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_abe0964b
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 The Boy Who Fell (Webcomic)
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Tournament Arc / int_abe0964b
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Tournament Arc
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Deltora Quest has the protagonists take part in a gladiatorial-style one of these when they're dead broke, in the belief that after everything they've fought their way through they can win the much-needed prize. Lief and Jasmine even talk about how to arrange who wins if they have to face each other. Unfortunately the whole thing is a scam.
 Tournament Arc / int_ace263fa
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1.0
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1.0
 Deltora Quest
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Tournament Arc / int_ace263fa
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Tournament Arc
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Queen's Blade introduces the characters in "fight of the week" fashion in the first season. The Tournament Arc is the premise, and takes up the second season.
 Tournament Arc / int_ad97c383
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_ad97c383
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 Queen's Blade
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Tournament Arc / int_ad97c383
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Tournament Arc
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Gundam Build Fighters has its series based around the 7th Gunpla World Tournament, which pits Gunpla Battlers across the world against each other.
 Tournament Arc / int_b09be8
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_b09be8
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 Gundam Build Fighters
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Tournament Arc / int_b09be8
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Tournament Arc
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Jade Empire has this as one of the possible paths you can take in the Imperial capital to attract the attention of the Lotus Assassins, formatted similarly to the KotOR example.
 Tournament Arc / int_b0b4e8ff
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_b0b4e8ff
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Tournament Arc / int_b0b4e8ff
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Tournament Arc
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Sakura Wars (2019) has the Combat Revue World Games, a biennial tournament between the Combat Revues of the world. The Imperial Combat Revue, facing the possibility of dissolution unless they can reverse their fortunes, is determined to win the games to remain in service.
 Tournament Arc / int_b15e4a4b
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_b15e4a4b
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Tournament Arc
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Kino's Journey has a two-episode tournament storyline about halfway through in which Kino unknowingly travels to a country that forces newcomers to participate in a series of battles: whether they win or lose, travelers either become permanent citizens of the country (and, unbelievably, make up a new law of their choice) or lowly slaves. While an excellent fighter (who is matched only by Shizu, her sword-wielding male counterpart), Kino doesn't seem entirely too pleased by how the tournament works.
 Tournament Arc / int_b1c573a4
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1.0
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 Kino's Journey
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Tournament Arc / int_b1c573a4
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Tournament Arc
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Baki the Grappler has the Maximum Tournament, that it's not about who is the strongest. At most, it's kinda about who is the strongest after Hanma Yuujiro. Out of the tournament, the Underground Arena is also used for other arranged fights. There's also the Raitai arc, the Chinese tournament to choice their next Grand Kaioh.
 Tournament Arc / int_b67b702b
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_b67b702b
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Tournament Arc / int_b67b702b
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Tournament Arc
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A tournament was held towards the end of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena to crown who will be the House of Batiatus' champion. Crixus won.
 Tournament Arc / int_b86b5220
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1.0
 Tournament Arc / int_b86b5220
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 Spartacus: Blood and Sand
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Tournament Arc / int_b86b5220
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Tournament Arc
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The fourth season of Ninjago is centered around the titular "Tournament of Elements", where the mysterious Master Chen invites all the Elemental Masters to his island to compete against each other. It turns out Chen is stealing the losers's powers in order to use a spell that will turn him and his cultists into Anacondrai.
 Tournament Arc / int_b89bf586
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 Ninjago
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Tournament Arc / int_b89bf586
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Tournament Arc
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Fairy Tail:
The S-Class trials are an elimination-style tournament devised to advance one of a group of candidates to the highest rank in the guild. It's not entirely clear if other guilds have a similar trial process, but Fairy Tail's own trial takes place on their sacred island, which boosts the power of anyone wearing the Fairy Tail mark, and ensures that they can't die. The trials aren't necessarily combat-based, either, as while some fights involve the chosen teams fighting each other, others involve facing off against wizards who are already S-Class or just avoiding fights completely. In the end, the trials get interrupted when Grimoire Heart attacks the island, and are canceled entirely without any member chosen.
The Grand Magic Games, which are an official point-based tournament held yearly by the royal family of Fiore to determine the strongest guild in the country. The rounds alternate between random tests of skill and classic battles between organizer-selected contestants, wrapping with an all-out battle royale, with their ranking in each round determining the total number of points they earn for their guild. Fairy Tail decides to enter after being reduced to the laughstock of the kingdom so they can restore their reputation. This time, the tournament proceeds to its conclusion, but there also turns out to be a government conspiracy behind the tournament, which overtakes the focus of the arc after the victor is declared.
 Tournament Arc / int_b962c879
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1.0
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Tournament Arc / int_b962c879
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Tournament Arc
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Fate/stay night. The entire plot IS a tournament. However, while there are rules, and one person functions as a referee, no one actually follows the rules, including said referee, who's also participating. It's more of a free-for-all in practice.
 Tournament Arc / int_b9b796cf
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1.0
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 Fate/stay night (Visual Novel)
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Tournament Arc / int_b9b796cf
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Tournament Arc
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The "A Thousand Reasons" event in Granblue Fantasy focuses on the melee-oriented tournament set in Albion. As such, a special quest requires a party made up of only melee proficiency characters, against other melee proficiency contestants.
 Tournament Arc / int_ba6cc3a1
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1.0
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 Granblue Fantasy (Video Game)
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Tournament Arc / int_ba6cc3a1
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Tournament Arc
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The basic structure of the first arc of Wizards of Mickey with the second arc being Mickey's fights against the Blot after winning the tourney.
 Tournament Arc / int_bbf7765b
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1.0
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 Wizards of Mickey (Comic Book)
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Tournament Arc / int_bbf7765b
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Tournament Arc
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Pokémon basically revolves around the protagonist trying to earn the right to enter a region's championship tournament with the actual tournament capping the Story Arc. Later with the introduction of a new type of competition called Pokémon Contests, the female protagonist has her own separate quest that leads up to a separate tournament. The tournament arcs, ironically, are extremely short when compared to similar shonen storylines, going for as little as six episodes. Considering that other anime have tournaments as side stories that can drag on for 20 episodes or more, one has to wonder why Pokémon limits the point of its show to only six episodes per every three years. There's also Hearthome Tag Battle tournament during the Sinnoh saga and the Club Battle, Clubsplosion and Junior Cup tournaments during the Unova saga.
A sad trend with these, however, with the exception of a select few, is that Ash and his companions always lose them. This changed with the Alola League, where Ash outright became Alola's first champion.
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Son of the Sannin has the Chunin Exams as in canon. Unlike in the anime, the finals go on without a hitch until the end (since the presence of the Raikage and Kazekage at the finals forced Orochimaru to push his invasion plans back by several weeks), and Naruto, Sasuke, Hinata and Tenten receive promotions.
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Parodied by Sonic X in a two-episode tournament. Most of the matches were rather short or took place mostly off-screen and were played for laughs. Only the last two matches were played straight, and only the final one was fully shown.
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Football Frontier and Football Frontier International in Inazuma Eleven, befitting a game about (magical) football. Holy Road in GO!
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Ring of Honor's Field Of Honor and Round Robin Challenge events were inspired by the many round robins done by All Japan Pro Wrestling. On a related note, ROH itself was modeled after KOI, building itself on the first two tournament winners Christopher Daniels and Bryan Danielson, as well as second King Of Indies runner up Low Ki.
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The plot of the Future GPX Cyber Formula series revolves around the Cyber Formula Grand Prix, where they have the chance to be the world champion.
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The Hunter Exam and the Heaven's Arena arcs from Hunter × Hunter. However, the final stage of this exam is a subversion of the more typical Tournament Arc is several ways: the winners don't advance to see who is the only one to pass, the losers advance to see who is the only one who doesn't, you can't just beat up or kill your opponent, you have to convince/coerce/force them to surrender without killing them (or you're disqualified and everyone else passes), and it's ended only five matches through when Killua kills one of the other contests (it isn't even his fight).
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One-Punch Man has a martial arts tournament which ends up being crashed by monsters after the finals.
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And there's another tournament in Saint Seiya Omega. Following the classic's spirit, it went to hell before the finals even began.
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Yakitate!! Japan is literally one Tournament Arc after another. On the other hand, besides Cooking Duels, you can't do that much with bread.
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Dragon Half uses an at-times slapstick tournament as an opportunity for Mink to meet her idol, Dick Saucer.
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Tales of Dunk and Egg:
In The Hedge Knight, the plot revolves around an old-fashioned knightley tourney, until the Genre Shift comes to play. In the main series, the Hand's tourney, while not a Story Arc, is used to introduce several important characters and the chivalric tradition of Westeros.
Another story, The Mystery Knight, also centers around a tournament.
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The Contest details a tournament organized by Hippolyta to find the best Amazon to act as Wonder Woman after she had a premonition that seemed to foretell her daughter's death, which Artemis wins.
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The second book of the Tough Magic series, Trenus, has a tournament arc for a while, and the third, Magithral is actually two tournaments one right after the other.
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Unusually, TNA began experimenting with this with their Bound for Glory series. Not an actual tournament, per se, but more like an actual league with points for wins and with matches on TV and at house shows counting towards each wrestler's standing. The eventual winner receives a title shot at the Bound for Glory Pay-Per-View. Additionally, TNA tried this before with their contendership ranking, though they made the mistake of allowing fan voting. Predictably, the IWC voted up Internet favourite Desmond Wolfe and others instead of the supposedly more popular wrestlers they were pushing at the time. Kurt Angle, notably, pulled himself out of the rankings, declaring that he had not earned his place and vowed to defeat the entire top ten, one by one until he reached number one or he would retire making this a good example of this trope.
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The Deadmen in Deadman Wonderland hold deathmatches called Carnival Corpse for the amusement of bettors and to keep themselves occupied. While not a Story Arc per se, they're very important to the plot.
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Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has the storyline "Champions", which adapts Sonic the Fighters in the middle of its Sonic Unleashed storyline.
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Chapter 3 of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door involves fighting in a tournament while trying to find the Crystal Star.
Chapter six of Super Paper Mario had another tournament arc, then it gets subverted, less than a quarter of the way through the 100 fights you run out of time and the void destroys the world, leaving an empty, white void. However, once you restored the world, you can continue the rest of the fights.
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The first Summon Night Swordcraft Story game is set in a tournament arc.
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Tournament Arc
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Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has its first and last major arcs as tournament arcs: the Fortune Cup and the World Riding Grand Prix (W.R.G.P.).
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A Mage's Power: A brief example is the New Scepter Competition. It's opened and closed in a couple chapters. It has the traditional "characters fighting each other" aspect in addition to other forms of competition, like magical thread weaving and flashy magician stuff.
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Tournament Arc
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In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash and company compete in a tournament organized in the Battle Dome in Lavender Town, with Ash making it to the finals and ranking second place after losing to Red, and later in a Tag Tournament in Fuchsia City to enter the Safari Zone where he's partnered with Red and wins, though not before he and Red end up at each others' throats.
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Hand Command is a webcomic about a Rock–Paper–Scissors Tournament.
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Tournament Arc / int_dc615905
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Tournament Arc
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Bits Fair has the Autumn Fair, which, among other things, features something that looks and mostly functions like a tournament, though it's not the usual single-elimination tournament, and one can request extra fights.
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Tournament Arc / int_de6fbca1
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Tournament Arc
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The King of the Ring, originally held in June, was once one of the company's main pay per view events. It fizzled out after 2003.
 Tournament Arc / int_de83ae94
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Tournament Arc
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The sequel UQ Holder! has the Mahora Martial Arts Tournament Preliminaries, which is a tournament arc where the winners gain entry to the main tournament for free.
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Tournament Arc
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A Darker Shade of Magic: The bulk of the plot of the second book of the series,A Gathering of Shadows, centers on the Essen Tach (Element Games) a gladiatorial-style tournament for magicians, meant to entertain and keep healthy relations among the participating countries. Participants are required to wear masks and armor that breaks off in 28 pieces - the participant that loses 10 pieces of armor loses the round. In the finale, the armor is made up of 38 pieces, and all pieces must be broken off by the winner. Of the main characters, Kell, Lila and Alucard participate. Kell and Lila do face each other, Kell throws the fight in order to avoid being unmasked. Lila loses at a later round however. Alucard makes it to the finale round and wins.
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Tekken centers on "The King of Iron Fist Tournament" with the current iteration being reflected by the game's numerical title. Follows a straightforward "win the tournament, win the company, host the next one" format (although 5 has some weirdness there). The whole shebang is just one big stage for the Mishima family to air their Big, Screwed-Up Family laundry and rope about 40 or so other characters into it for whatever reason they find to show up.
 Tournament Arc / int_e26905cd
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There's a very strange one in The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night in which Spyro is captured by pirates and forced to compete in tournaments for their entertainment. It serves no real purpose to the plot other than giving an excuse for Spyro to be lost and alone at the White Isle later, and yet that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the tournament and subsequent escape from the pirate fleet is one of the most excellent parts of the game.
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Nearly two-thirds of MÄR is focused on a twisted version of this. After terrorizing most of the planet MÄR, the evil Chess Piece group organizes a War Game where the remaining good guys may team up and fight their most skilled members from each rank. To the higher-ranking members of the Chess, it's nothing more than entertainment, until Ginta defeats their team captain, Phantom, in the final battle of said War Games. They've apparently let the protagonists grow in strength, and it ends up biting them back in the ass, big time.
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Tournament Arc
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There are several instances of the eponymous tournament in The God of High School with changing rules each time.
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Tournament Arc
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Mega Man Battle Network 4's has no less than three tournaments, which get so much focus that the actual plot of the game - a potentially world-ending asteroid hurtling toward Earth - has almost no screentime.
Parts 3 and 6 have Tournaments of their own, but at least they didn't take up the whole game.
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Rank wars from World Trigger consist of multiple rounds of three or four way fights between Border B-ranked teams to reset team ranks and to train. The top two teams will obtain the right to take the test to become A-ranked teams. This arc is used to introduce B-ranked teams that will become the rivals of the main characters as well as fine details in weapon mechanics.
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The Tenkaichi Budokai returns for the Buu arc in Dragon Ball Z, however it gets interrupted and half the combatants leave to take on the newest villain, so the format is changed on the fly to a battle royale for the title. At the very end of the story, Goku similarly bugs out with his opponent Oob, taking him in as a student. The tournament appears twice more in Dragon Ball GT, once as part of a Breather Episode, and again for the Generation Xerox Distant Finale that mirrors the end of the manga.
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 Dragon Ball Z
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Dr. Stone has a tournament arc for the hand of the village priestess, and more importantly for the heroes, a gigantic stash of alcohol. Unusually, the main character enters for the sole purpose of stacking the deck in their odds, having no intent of actually winning.
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In Jewelpet Twinkle, the main characters work their way to being eligible to participate in the Jewel Star Grand Prix, the winner of which is granted three wishes. Said competition starts in episode 42 and lasts until the end, with matches taking on such forms as handball, needlework, etc. The last few matches are full-blown fights, however, with the last one putting the world in jeopardy.
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MegaMan NT Warrior, the anime of Mega Man Battle Network, had the N1 Grand Prix netbattling tournament.
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All but one of the Street Fighter sub-series is set in a tournament run the the final boss of the game. The original Street Fighter tournament was organised by Sagat, Street Fighter II by M.Bison, Street Fighter III by Gill, and Seth was running the show in Street Fighter IV. Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter V are the exceptions (none of the Alpha games depict an ongoing tournament, nor does V).
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Mobile Fighter G Gundam revolved around a fighting tournament with giant robots where the winner's nation was awarded political control of the Earth.
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BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has “Fight Night,” an underground tournament held at the Battle Arena during the events of Chapter 4. It’s actually an optional and easily missed sidequest, since you’re being told to go explore in the opposite direction. But if you do participate, then you get to fight in seven back-to-back matches against new, unique opponents, some of which have gimmicks not seen anywhere else in the game.
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Kinnikuman has had multiple tournament arcs, the first being the 20th Choujin Olympics. Then there was the American Tag Tournament, the 21st Choujin Olympics, the Dream Tag tournament, and finally the Scramble for the Throne survivor series. Being a wrestling spoof and one of the two trope-making examples of the Shōnen Fighting Series, this isn't too surprising.
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The Fall Tournament in Eyeshield 21, which makes up the bulk of the plot, actually making most things not in the Tournament Arc to be filler. And before that, of course, was the Spring Tournament, where the Devil Bats only played two games before losing. The White Knights, the Gunmen, and the Nagas were still introduced in this tournament, and the loss played a very important part to Sena.
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Tournament Arc
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Some of the games in the Kingdom Hearts series have battle tournaments. Usually, only a short tournament is required by the plot, but there are many more that open up throughout the game that the player can pause the plot to go partake.
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Yu Yu Hakusho
The Dark Tournament Arc is probably the most well known in the show, and introduces a lot of minor characters who come back later.
There is an early short arc that determined who would get to train with Genkai, and managed to ignite Kuwabara's Spirit Sword.
The final tournament to decide who would rule the demon world (heavily abbreviated in the manga). The anime version of this final tournament subverts the usual formula. The main characters and villains aren't placed on opposite sides of the bracket and end up facing each other in the second round of the tournament. The Big Bad Yomi defeats Yusuke, but expends so much energy doing so that he loses to some no-name in the next round, allowing a minor character to come from behind to take the win. This tendency was Lampshaded in Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged by Koenma.
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Season 4 of Minilife TV involves Chris's friend, Abel, competing in the 28th Legondo World Martial Arts Tournament so he could use the prize money to save Minilife Studios from debt.
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comment
Saint Seiya:
The series kicked off with the Galaxian Wars, a tournament sponsored by the Kido Foundation, in which fighters from across the globe battled for the right to earn the legendary Gold Cloth. In reality, this tournament was part of Mitsumasa Kido's plot to create a new generation of Bronze Saints loyal to Athena, and have the strongest among them inherit the Sagittarius Cloth he had been entrusted with. It went straight to hell when Phoenix Saint Ikki stole the Cloth for his own motives, its origins and purpose were explained, and the tournament was never finished.
To make things more complicated, in the manga Hyooga was actually there as a hitman for the Sanctuary, ready to murder everyone as soon as it was convenient, and only joined the rest of the group due Ikki's interference making the Sanctuary think he has defected. The anime solved that by making Ikki the Sanctuary's hitman.
At the start of the series Seiya, to just earn the right to be a Saint in the first place, is fighting in a tournament-or what should have been one, as, of over a hundred candidates, most have been killed or otherwise incapacitated by the tasks to earn the right to try out for Sainthood, leaving Seiya to fight (and defeat) a single opponent.
And there's another tournament in Saint Seiya Omega. Following the classic's spirit, it went to hell before the finals even began.
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Tournament Arc / int_fe83990a

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