is a very advanced program, and unfortunately the user guide hasn't quite kept pace with development. Add to this the fact that most people don't even READ user guides, and suddenly we have hundreds of tournament hosts around the world who use tio at their events without being aware of some of its more useful features. Here are five pro tips from nealdt, the man who made tio and uses it to its full potential:
- Use the keyboard: the mouse is great, but much of the time a keyboard is significantly faster. There's a ton of keyboard shortcuts hidden throughout tio to make navigation and management extremely fast. Press Control and the 1, 2, 3, or 4 keys to move between the Tournament, Events, Players, and Stations tab; from the Events tab, use Control and D, E, B, or R to switch between the Details, Events, Bracket, and Results screens respectively.
The arrow keys can be used to navigate elimination and round robin brackets. Use up/down/left/right to move the current match selection, and then double press the following keys to act on that match: 1 will set the first player as the winner of the match (in round robins, the first player is the player whose ROW you are in); 2 will set the second player as the winner; C will clear the result of the match; and I will set the match In Progress and assign it to a station.
Finally, most "Add" or "Enter" or "Done" buttons can be triggered with the Enter key. So don't click the Add button each time you're ready to enter a new player; simply type their name in the Nickname field and press Enter to speed up the process! When adding entrants to an event this way, tio will save the entry amount you saved from the previous entrant, so you won't need to keep adding an amount for each new entrant.
- Use the station manager: this one is IMPORTANT!! Tournaments of all sizes can benefit from tio's station manager, which keeps track of which TVs/stations are currently in use. You'll always know which matches are currently running and can easily monitor your efficiency by watching what percentage of matches that CAN be run ARE being run.
- Always break ties in round robins: tio doesn't know what criteria you use when breaking round robin ties, so be sure to always tell tio (via the Results screen) which player to rank above the other. Otherwise tio will pick for you and you might not agree with the results!
- Use manual swap: tio's double elimination brackets are designed to avoid double jeopardy (two players facing each other twice) in most situations, but it can't fix everything by itself. Make sure you're aware of the Swap Position option: on the bracket viewer, right click on the second player position of any losers bracket match that has a letter next to it (matches where one player is coming directly from winners bracket). Click Swap Position and then choose another position in the same round of the bracket; the bracket will be rearranged so the two positions selected will be swapped, sending players to different spots. Use this whenever you see a double jeopardy opportunity that can be avoided with a prudent swap. You can also use it to swap crew mates, best friends, etc., but always at YOUR discretion and not theirs.
- Track entry fees: you might not be very good at math; tio is. Always track how much money each entrant paid when signing up. Be ACCURATE: don't put any money for yourself if you didn't pay to enter. Use the payouts calculator to determine how much money to give to each finalist, then double-check that amount with your money box. tio can mix and match percentage and dollar-amount payouts, giving you great flexibility in assigning prizes. (Example: give 4th place $50, then of the remaining money give 3rd place 10%, 2nd place 30%; 1st place 60%).