Over the past decade, I have hosted a bunch of video game tournaments. I have spent a long time figuring out just the right formula to give a Kart tournament the perfect feel. No one wants to get thrown into a night of VS mode shenanigans because, more often than not, you’re going to feel robbed of numerous victories because items are so unfairly weighted in that mode.
BUT, I have a solution! And it is so easy! Everyone is familiar with the way that points are allocated to racers in Grand Prix mode: 9-6-3-1 for 1st through 4th. First, you adopt that format for 4-player modes. Second, organize everyone into pools. In each pool, they will play a certain number of VS mode races. Then, you shuffle the pools and do the same thing with Battle mode. Battle mode is often forgotten during tournaments because people just go straight to racing, but Battle is a legit aspect of the game that should be taken into account when doing a tournament. Finally, you do the same with Time Trials and have everyone race their fastest time on a given course for either a single lap (easiest for time constraints) or a full course (if you have more time to burn).
After you allocate points to everyone based on their performances, you tally up the point totals and seed everyone into a bracket. The bracket should be set up so it is a 1v1. Each pairing will be a 2-player Grand Prix race, with the winner moving on. I like to do a Top 16 so that it gives you four rounds of bracket and allows you to do all four cups, but you can do it however you like.
The number of races/battles you do in each round is up to you! But it will give everyone a chance to compete at their favorite modes. Some people like Battle the most, but might struggle at Time Trials. This format gives them a chance to qualify for the elimination rounds! I, personally, am not very good at Battle, but I am very good at Time Trials. So this gives people a chance to catch up. This is the format I have used in the past and it was very well received!