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The Gauntlet 2024


After the success of our work designing the finale round of The Gauntlet 2023, I was invited to come aboard the Gamers Engaged team and help run the 2024 edition of Seattle’s premiere annual charity board gaming tournament.

Since I love to make things difficult for myself, I decided I didn’t want to just help run this year’s Gauntlet event, but rather create a repeatable, streamlined structure that can be used to run and re-run the event in future years as the Gauntlet grows. While a lot of this work amounted to careful documentation and formalization of existing processes, I also wanted to make sure the structure of the tournament was as fun and fresh as possible.

Expanding upon our approach to the previous year’s finale round, I designed a new “metagame” that spanned the duration of the entire tournament. Rather than having teams earn points by winning games throughout the tournament, I instead rewarded them with tickets that they could spend to purchase game pieces for the metagame. These pieces were magnetic tiles that they could place on a huge game board to take over territory. The team with the most valuable at the end of the day won the tournament and the right to take the Gauntlet itself home with them!

I wanted to achieve the follow goals with the metagame:

  • Tie together the various rounds of the Gauntlet into a cohesive whole
  • Create the opportunity for surprising upsets and come-from-behind victories throughout the day
  • Provide a compelling visual that players and stream viewers could check to gauge how each of the teams were doing at a glance
  • Make a fun game that feels unique to the event!

After all, what’s better than a board game tournament that is itself a board game?

The Gauntlet 2024 earned $112,808 for charity, and the whole day was streamed on the GenConTV Twitch channel. You can view the VOD of the event itself here.