Hello! Feel free to call me Vash– I’ve been participating in OCTs for over a decade (since 2011). Summer Leagues is the 2nd OCT I’ve created & hosted– 3rd (technically 4th now) time also acting as a judge. 


Feel free to check out my Substack for my perspective & advice on OCTs– it may help you on your OCT journey! Any additional questions you may have on OCTs, I don’t mind answering on the Summer Leagues server. I really want everyone to have a good experience and make new connections in this tournament! We had a good run in 2021, so I’m looking forward to a great 2023!


Preffered medium: Comics

Best way to contact: Discord @vashle

Timezone: EST (GMT-5)


What do I look for when I judge?

  • Character: I absolutely adore character interactions and believe good characterization to be vital in rounds. Chiifu is bringing in interesting characters to entertain herself, afterall!
  • Details, details, details: I’m one of those crazy artists who strives to keep all details accounted for and put in references here and there. I look for neat details & tie-ins (both visually and/or story-wise) in entries– clever details & compositions are how you can keep a place occupied in my memory.
  •  Story & Execution: A solid story structure and plot is key for a good foundation to execute off of. I want to be engaged in your plot, and characterization goes hand-in-hand to this. Also, execution is super important– how effectively you communicate with your audience determines whether your work succeeds or fails.






Hey again, Summer Leagues, it’s Minty! I’ve been working in and around OCTs since middle school. I’ve judged, co-hosted, and competed, so I know my way around them pretty well. I’m an avid reader, and have an obsession with pretty long haired men (I’m a lesbian) (Sephiroth hmu).


I’m currently working as an educator, so I love to help out, and want everyone to have a good time! Please feel free to reach out to me for any questions, I’m usually online! I don’t bite, promise :3


Preffered medium: writing

Best way to contact: Discord @vitamint

Timezone: EST (GMT-5)


What do I look for when I judge?

  • Clarity! It can be easy to get bogged down in hyper detailed, flowery language–but remember, sometimes the simplest sentence is the best! I like to know what’s going on to get a clear image of the scene, and a smooth reading flow. This doesn’t mean I don’t like details, though–foreshadowing and symbolism can bring out the best of a story!
  • Engaging plot! Plot with a hook, a twist–draw me in! What is your character’s motivation for a wish? Revenge? A new car? I want to be invested in your characters! Tell me their backstory, I wanna know it all!
  • Interaction! Character interactions between your OC, NPCs, and other contestants will bring humor and life into your work. It will bring take your character off of the page and bring them to life! I adore banter–don’t be afraid of dialogue!


special thanks

Beta‘s contributions of time, art & assets to Summer Leagues OCT have been greatly appreciated! She created the templates on our wiki, reimagined our logos, and designed our new NPC for 2023– Tenki.

Everyone that participated in our first season (2021)! Without your participation & feedback, we wouldn’t have had such a success and chance to run this tournament again. Thank you so much!

Cassadiller‘s run as an organizer in 2021, along with her contributions of time, art & assets have been greatly appreciated! She created the NPC Saki for 2021.



What is Summer Leagues?


Summer Leagues is an Original Character Tournament (abbreviated to “OCT”). It is a storytelling tournament between creators, using their original characters. 

Learn more about OCTs here.

3 rounds, max

Plan your character’s arc for 4 major chapters! Introduce them in the audition and take full advantage of 3 round maximum to write to a 3-act structure.


One tournament, multiple brackets. Each bracket consists of 8 competitor teams (1-2 people). Grouped based on skill level and medium. Mediums stay within their own bracket.

Accepted mediums: writing, comics, & animation.


One loss and you’re out– of this season’s tournament run! Judgements are made using our rubric, developed with 10+ years of OCT experience, learn more here.

Who is this for?

Summer Leagues OCT was created for competitors that–

  • Find 5+ round OCTs too long or too much of a time commitment
  • Feel like they can’t break into the usual “bubble” of OCT communities
  • Feel like they aren’t competing against peers of similar skill
  • Want to practice writing tournaments in a standard, straightforward format
  • Enjoy OCTs!

The format of “Neo-Leagues” was created by Vashle, a fellow OCT competitor that grew up on participating in tournaments outside of school. The difficulty of juggling OCTs with college and full-time work led her to think outside of the box and re-think the entire competitor experience. It was designed to help streamline the competition process and the judging process, allowing everyone to get more out of the community they’re giving to.

Thought Process


What is the best number of rounds to tell a story? Why do 5 round OCTs usually peak during round 3? When does burnout really hit in an OCT? What if we limited it to 3 rounds to solve burnout? Limiting it to 8 competitor teams would be hard to run… unless we ran multiple groups of 8.

Writing should be easier for story structure since it’s only 3 rounds, and it’s easier to incorporate other characters since there can only be 7 other teams that will be directly interacted with. What if the brackets were set after auditions, so that creators had more knowledge to help pre-write future rounds?

What if we had a specific medium per bracket, allowing for a multi-medium tournament but without the apples-to-oranges judging issues of comparing different mediums? We could even separate competitors based on skill level, giving competitors fairer challenge in going against their peers. Having different brackets also allows us to have different deadlines, giving competitors more flexibility based on their group and giving the more time-intensive mediums the time they need, while allowing the quicker mediums to speed along.

Staggering deadlines also gives the judges a more steady stream of content to judge, so that they’re not slammed at each deadline. Staggering deadlines makes it hard to have per-round prompts since the prompts would be the same (so later deadlines would have more time for prewriting), but having no prompts allows for everyone to prewrite to a predictable bracket.

This idea scales very well, but can get unwieldy– will we need additional helper judges to juggle the workload? Would that be a good experience for new or experienced judges? Taking multiples of 8, rather than a power of 2, in reference to the number of competitors allows us to not need to cut a drastic amount of auditioners. Although giving out prizes is much more difficult with a scaling tournament…

There’s a lot to love with this format if you’re a fan of traditional fighting tournaments. We had a great run in 2021, and hopefully we’ll have many more in the future!

Vashle’s only regret is that she can’t participate in the competition while she’s a host, haha.


how do neo-Leagues work?



We require auditions to participate in Summer Leagues’ Cross Tournament for several reasons:

  1. Establish your chosen medium
  2. Qualify your skill level
    1. This is regardless of your past OCT performance & previous work. We are only considering the skill level demonstrated in the audition entry.
  3. Demonstrate your interest in competing
  4. Establish your character(s) & introduce them to Crossroads

Mediums are separated so that judging is more fair. While judging different mediums together is possible, it is not ideal– there’s a reason movie adaptations are different from their comic or novel origins! Each medium has inherent strengths, and playing one medium’s strengths against another leads to difficult judgement decisions.

When you audition for your medium, you are competing against other peers using the same medium. We group competitors by 8s within a medium– this means that, per medium, we can run non-power of 2 amounts of competitors (8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80, 88, 96, 104, 112, etc…).

Example breakdown


So if there are 64 competitors with:

  • 17 written auditions
  • 32 comic auditions
  • 15 animation auditions

We divide the medium’s number of auditions by 8 to get the number of individual leagues.

  • Writing: 17 –> 8 + 8 + 1
    • 2 groups of 8, thus we have 2 Writer’s Leagues.
    • The remaining 1 person is cut
  • Comic: 32 –> 8 + 8 + 8 + 8
    • 4 groups of 8, thus we have 4 Comic Leagues.
  • Animation: 15 –> 8 + 7
    • 1 group of 8, thus we have 1 Animation League.
    • The remaining 7 people are cut

At worst, the most amount of auditioners cut per medium is 7. (Provided we don’t receive multiple hundreds of audition entries that make it difficult to operate! However, that is why we allow people to apply as helper judges to ease the workload for all involved.)

Invite your friends for the best chance at running a league!


Skill-based ranking

So we now have our competitors separated by medium– how do we decide the groups? We decide based on the skill level of the audition entries. How do we score the skill level of the entries? With this rubric.

The top 8 in a medium are the highest-ranked audition entries for that medium. The next 9-16 become the group of second-highest-ranked audition entries, and so on. Please keep in mind that audition performance does not determine performance in the rounds, and vice versa. 

Why do we rank the auditions and determine the groups based on rank? To attempt to keep peers of similar skill level grouped together, so that competition is more fair and interesting. We want to see everyone be challenged, and to grow and improve their skills.

Our 2023+ leagues are named after flowers. They are as follows: Sakura, Camellia, Iris, Lily, Rose, Plum, Peach, Snowbell, Wisteria, and Cherry; if we exceed 10 leagues, more names will be determined in the future.

For this example we have audition entries as follows:

16 Writers => 2 Writer’s Leagues

13 Comics => 1 Comic League

9 Animations => 1 Animation League

Each group of 8 will be put into a bracket.

The brackets are randomized, and matchups are not determined by rank. The brackets will stay consistent throughout the tournament’s duration.


how do I write for a neo-League?

Writing for Summer Leagues’ Neo-Leagues is like writing for any other OCT, however the restrictions present in Summer Leagues (only 3 rounds, groups of 8, determined brackets, and lack of round prompts) allow for more pre-writing and opponent setup compared to larger, completely randomized tournaments. Not to mention the decreased workload on us judges & organizers between rounds, which keeps Summer Leagues running smoothly!

Here’s some tips for how to get the most out of Summer Leagues’ unique format!


Plan Character(s) Arc

Introduce your Character(s)

Hey there– welcome! We want to meet your character(s) and learn what they’re about! Where they come from, who they are, what they want out of life– etc. etc.! Feel free to pace this information throughout your run in the season, but give us at least something to chew on while we anticipate more.

Whether your character is new or old, feel free to plan out how you want their arc to progress– but keep it flexible! While you can anticipate future opponents with a fair amount of accuracy, nothing is guaranteed.


Rounds 1 & 2

Setup Future Potential Opponent for Rounds 2 & 3

No Round Prompts to Consider

Develop your Character(s)

With each league being a group of 8– you only have 7 other character teams to consider in your writing! This makes it significantly easier to setup potential future opponents, and limits how many characters may become active in your story!

Feel free to cameo characters from other leagues– but keep the focus on your own league!

We also do not use round prompts— you have enough going on with handling your character(s) & your opponent(s) without us adding to the mix! Feel confident in your prewriting & planning, knowing that the organizers aren’t going to pop up with new story beats out of nowhere.



Prewriting with a Bracket

During Round 1, you’ll have one direct opponent to focus on. There are 6 other character teams present– but based on your bracket, you will know the 2 potential character teams you can have in Round 2.

During Round 2, you will know the 2 potential character teams you can have in Round 3.

Tips for writing to the bracket–

Round 1: Allude to the opposite side of your bracket. Introduce the other matchup on your side of the bracket. Focus on your opponent.

Round 2: Introduce the other matchup on the opposite side of the bracket. Focus on your opponent.

Round 3: Focus on your opponent.

This will help you build the world of your league, make the story & characters feel more connected, and help build momentum.

And of course, remember to continue your character(s)’s story arc!

round 3, final

Include God Eater’s Wish

Conclude Character(s) Arc

You’ve put in a lot of work thus far– good job for making it here!

While dealing with your final opponent, make sure you conclude your character(s) arc, tie up some of those story beats (if they weren’t already), and include the anticipated finale of the Cross Tournament– the wish granted by the God Eater!

This is the end of your season’s run in Crossroads, so try to give yourself and the audience some closure with your work.

Tab 3

Contact us

Reach out

Questions? Check our Discord’s #question channel & see if it’s already been asked– if not, ask it!

Need help? Check out our Discord’s #support-tickets & a mod will respond!





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