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THE 2023 DrMC rules

The 2023 Dr Mario Vs Championship




In 1990, Nintendo capitalized on the runaway success of Tetris by releasing a new puzzle game, Dr. Mario.  The two games were similar in that randomized puzzle pieces fell from the top of a narrow playfield and had to be strategically placed by the player to succeed.  But Dr. Mario changed the focus from player vs the inevitable to player vs player.  The goal in Dr. Mario is to be the first player to clear their playfield of dancing viruses while your opponent can slow your progress by pulling off combination chains.  THE DrMC wants to bring together the best Dr. Mario players around and determine who is the best!




The 2023 DrMC will take place on Saturday, November 11th and Sunday, November 12th at the TORG Gaming Expo in Columbus, Ohio.  The qualifying rounds will take place on Saturday, November 11th from around 11am through 5pm, and the playoffs will take place on Sunday, November 12th.


Qualifying Round (Pool System)


The qualifying rounds will be made up of pools of 8 players each, where players will compete in a round robin format.  The player with the best winning percentage within the pool will be declared the winner of the pool and earn an automatic berth in the playoffs. 


A Dr. Mario match usually consists of a best 3-out-of-5 game format, but due to time constraints, the qualifying rounds of THE DrMC will be single game matches.  The qualifying rounds of THE DrMC will use Level 11/MED Speed (48 viruses) settings.


Pool Winners


Once all matches in a pool have been completed, the player with the top winning percentage will automatically earn a spot in the playoff bracket.  In case of a tie at the top of a pool’s standings, here is the tie-breaker protocol:


1 - Head-to-head match results among players with the best winning percentage

2 - Higher seeding point total (see next section) in all matches

3 - Higher seeding point total in matches among pool winners

4 - Sudden death match (level 0/fast speed)


  • In the event of a 3-way (or greater) tie, once a player is eliminated via the tie-breaker protocol, the protocol starts over again with the remaining players until a single winner is determined




At the conclusion of the final pool on Saturday, all pool winners and immunity pool qualifiers will be guaranteed a slot in the 48-player championship bracket.  Any slots remaining will be awarded to players with the highest winning percentages who did not win their pools (seeding points will be used to break ties if necessary)

Seeding points


There will likely be several ties in winning percentage across the pools when determining the at-large players and determining the seeds for the playoff bracket.  To break ties in the formation of the bracket, THE DrMC will use a simple point system based on the number of viruses remaining at the end of each match.


At the end of each match, the players will inform the judge the winner of the match, as well as the number of viruses the winning player and losing player have remaining on their playfield.  The winning player will earn 2 points for every virus they destroy and 1 point for every virus remaining on their opponent’s playfield while the losing player will earn 1 point for every virus they destroy.  Failure to report this information to the judge will result in both players losing seeding points for that match as the score will be recorded as 48/48, the same score we use to record forfeits. 

While far from perfect, the seeding point system used over the course of several matches should do a good job of determining which players are finishing their playfields the fastest while giving partial credit to players who lose a match with only a handful of viruses left on their playfield.


Bracket Seeding


Once the bracket has been filled with 48 players, the seeding process begins.  Players who qualified in the immunity pool will be given the top overall seeds (as few as 1, as many as 7). Players who win regular pools are not given any special considerations for seeding, the only advantage a pool winner is given is a place in the bracket.  A pool winner with a low winning percentage will likely receive a low seed. 


All players in the playoffs (beyond immunity pool top seeds) will be ranked by their winning percentage first, then players with the same winning percentage will be ranked by seeding points per match.  In case of a tie in both categories, the player who participated in the earlier pool will be given the reward of the higher seed.  Once every player has been seeded, the top 16 seeds will receive a bye in the opening round (round 0) and the bracket will be filled by a standard 17 vs 48, 18 vs 47, etc bracket format.



The final bracket will be announced at the conclusion of the qualifying period around 5pm on Saturday, November 11th.  The championship bracket will be played on Sunday, November 12th.  The 48 player bracket will be divided into four 12 player quadrants.  Players in each quadrant will be given a call time for Sunday, and each quadrant will play their round 0, round 1, and round 2 matches consecutively.  At the conclusion of each quadrant, 2 players will remain.  At the conclusion of the 4th quadrant the DrMC final 8 will be decided.  The top 8 will be given a call time around 2pm, Sunday and the final 3 rounds will be played to decide the championship.


The championship bracket will be a single elimination format in traditional Dr. Mario best-3-out-of-5 matches, and will be played at Level 14/HI speed. 



There will be no entry fee for THE DrMC. To encourage more play in the qualifying rounds, players may re-enter the tournament in a new pool, but they may only earn one slot in the playoff bracket.  In the case where a player wins multiple pools, his or her best performance will be used for playoff seeding. Organizers will do their best to accommodate players to play in as many pools as they would like, but preference will be given to players who have yet to qualify earlier in the day.

The TORG Gaming Expo has graciously sponsored the $1,000 prize pool for THE DrMC.


1st place - $500

2nd place - $250

Semi Finalists - $125



THE DrMC tournament organizers will provide consoles, cartridges, and monitors for the tournament.  Players may bring their own standard-issue first-party NES controllers to use in the tournament if they wish.  If a player does not bring their own controller, THE DrMC will bring plenty for players to use. 


Stand-up Tournament Stations


THE DrMC can trace its origins and legacy back to the Nintendo World Championships. Players at the NWC in 1990, 1994, 2015 and 2017 stood while qualifying and also stood  while competing on stage during their respective grand finals in front of large audiences.  We strongly encourage our players to follow the example of the players of the past and stand while playing their matches.  If a player must sit, the DrMC will have stools available on request.  This seating option will keep players above the height of the audience.  TORG expo will provide folding chairs for the audience, these chairs are not permitted in the tournament area.




Tournament organizers have the final say on any disputes that may come up during the competition.  Tournament organizers may also modify this ruleset to fix unforeseen issues that may arise during the competition.  Players who cheat, misbehave, or break any rule of The TORG Gaming Expo or the venue may be disqualified at the discretion of tournament organizers or TORG staff.

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