9 Giveaways for Video Game Competitions

  1. Drawstring bags or tote bags
  2. Snapback hats
  3. Game bundles
  4. Restaurant gift cards
  5. Stress balls
  6. T-shirts
  7. Mouse pads
  8. Hoodies
  9. Lanyards

Learn More About Lanyards

The world of competitive gaming is serious business. Case in point, 16-year-old Kyle Giesdorf won $3 million playing Fortnite in 2019. This isn’t even the only instance of someone throwing down and winning big.There are over 2.5 billion video gamers in the world, and they’re competing in everything from eSports to Call of Duty.

Tensions can be high at these events, but something everyone loves? Free swag and giveaways! These items are a great way to remind the participants that gaming is fun and also attract future players to the competition.

Are you hosting a video game tournament? Here are some promotional items you should offer in the entry goodie bags or as a grand prize.

#1: Drawstring or Tote Bags

You need a place to store that video game swag, right? A tote bag or drawstring bag with your tournament’s name and logo are a no-brainer. Your participants will reuse these bags after the event is over, whether they win or lose.

Take the Chicago Video Game Summit for example where attendees received a colorful tote bag upon entry. These bags were invaluable as people could use them to shop with the present vendors and also keep their hands free to take part in the Super Smash Brothers Melee and Mortal Kombat competitions held at the back of the expo.

#2: Snapback Hats

Nintendo Switch snapback hat

Think of Dustin’s trucker cap from Stranger Things. A cool hat is as retro as a Nintendo Entertainment System and is perfect for gamers.

According to the Pew Research Center, 6 in 10 Americans age 18 to 29 play video games frequently. This is an age demographic that will gravitate toward cool baseball caps like Princess Peach gravitates toward Mario.

#3: Game Bundles

It should come as no surprise – gamers like video games. Free controllers, games, and even consoles like the XBOX should be part of your tournament in some capacity, even if it’s part of a sweepstakes or the consolation prize for whoever comes in 2nd place.

Xbox game bundle

Consider the newest release, a limited edition console, or some kind of themed bundle. Nielsen, a data measurement firm, concluded that roughly 162 million people in the United States own a video game console. That means your gift will not be unused or unappreciated by the crowd.

#4: Restaurant Gift Cards

You can work up a serious appetite playing video games, which means competitors are going to be hungry during a tournament.

Mountain Dew video game sponsorship
Source: propakistani.pk

Offer gift cards or coupons to local pizza or burger restaurants in the swag bags. As a bonus, you may just get sponsorship deals from these places. You should also consider making Mountain Dew part of the package. The fizzy drink is spending 40% of its marketing budget targeting gamers in 2019.

#5: Stress Balls

video game controller shaped stress ball

Playing a video game can be incredibly stressful. Anyone who’s ever played the Resident Evil gamesknows exactly what I mean! That’s why a custom stress ball will get a ton of use.

Aside from alleviating stress, these squishies can also help with hand cramps during the tournament. An article in Lifewire mentioned gaming can lead to pain, numbness in the hands, and even carpal tunnel. Stress balls help participants take off the pressure between rounds.

#6: T-Shirts

A cool tee is like a walking billboard for your tournament or competition. The person wearing it will get asked a ton of questions, and you may just get more people interested in gaming on a competitive level.

Call of Duty Championship
Source: @Drift0r, Twitter

The participants at the Call of Duty Championship in 2015 received a bunch of cool gear in their swag bags. This included a promotional t-shirt, jacket, and even a foam finger! These mementos are a cool reminder for the participants that they were good enough to make it to the big leagues.

7: Mouse Pads

World of Warcraft mouse pad

Many gamers play on not only consoles, but also on PCs. It’s why games like World of Warcraft release multiple versions that are accessible on the computer and on systems like the PlayStation.

About 35% of Americans are PC gamers according to PC Games. With that in mind, it’s smart to offer colorful mouse pads in every participant’s swag bag.

#8: Hoodies

Most people have their game consoles set up in the basement, and it can get really cold down there. A cozy hoodie with your competition’s name and logo will be worn as the participants are practicing for next year.

Fortnite tournament hoodies
Source: merch.fortnite.com, epicgames.com

Just look at the Fortnite World Cup. Fans and players could purchase exclusive hoodies in the signature purple color of the game. These were produced by an online store called Retail Row and made their debut in line with the 2019 tournament.

#9:  Lanyards

You see custom lanyards all the time at game stores like Disc Replay and GameStop. They’re loved by gamers since they are printed with their favorite characters. They’re also a great way to keep a player’s badge or name tag on display during your competition or tournament.

League of Legends swag
Source: oce.leagueoflegends.com

The League of Legends Championship offers a grand prize of millions and an exclusive trophy, but they also take pride in their swag bags. In 2018, they had it all – stress balls, a drawstring bag, a cool hat, and of course, a lanyard with a full color imprint.

Final Thoughts

Next time you jump on the Nintendo Switch, or fire up your PlayStation, remember that gaming can be serious business. You can be a fanatic about one particular game, enter a global tournament, rake in a ton of money, and get your fair share of cool swag out of the deal!

For those who are hosting a new competition, don’t forget to have goodie bags at the ready for the winners and losers. Every player will appreciate the keepsakes and prizes and will use them time and time again.


WJDX. (2019, July 29). These Kids Won Millions Playing Fortnite. Retrieved August 27, 2019, from https://www.wdjx.com/these-kids-won-millions-playing-fortnite/

We PC. (2019 June). 2019 Video Game Industry Statistics, Trends, & Data. Retrieved August 28, 2019, from https://www.wepc.com/news/video-game-statistics/

Jensen, K., Cohen, J. (2019, June 4). The Greatest Gaming Tournaments in the World. Retrieved August 28, 2019, from https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-greatest-gaming-tournaments-in-the-world

Brown, A. (2017, September 11). Younger Men Play Video Games, But So Do a Diverse Group of Other Americans. Retrieved August 28, 2019, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/11/younger-men-play-video-games-but-so-do-a-diverse-group-of-other-americans/

Monllos, K. (2019, April 30). ‘Opportunity as a First-Mover’: Mountain Dew is Spending 40% of its Marketing Dollars Targeting Gamers. Retrieved August 28, 2019, from https://digiday.com/marketing/opportunity-first-mover-mountain-dew-spending-40-marketing-dollars-targeting-gamers/

Bailey, D. (2018). 35% of Americans are PC Gamers. Retrieved August 29, 2019, from https://www.pcgamesn.com/pc-gamers-vs-console-gamers-numbers

Herold, C. (2019, May 14). Coping with Video Game Related Repetitive Stress Injuries. Retrieved August 29, 2019, from https://www.lifewire.com/game-play-and-streaming-4781449

Zeulaukas, A. (2019, July 27). Epic Games Drop Fortnite World Cup-Themed Merch. Retrieved August 29, 2019, from https://www.fortniteintel.com/epic-games-drop-fortnite-world-cup-themed-merch/22767/

Marketing Charts. (2018, February 15). How Many People Own Video Game Consoles? Retrieved August 30, 2019, from https://www.marketingcharts.com/cross-media-and-traditional/videogames-traditional-and-cross-channel-82362

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