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An Original Character Tournament, often abbreviated OCT, is a type of competition that is popular on art websites like Deviant ART. Basically, it's just what it sounds like: A tournament between artists where they battle their completely original characters through artistic expression. Usually, this is through comics, but occasionally has included animation and literature.

The usual progression of events goes something like this... Somebody figures they have a great idea for a tournament, and they decide they're going to host one. They find other people willing to judge, create prizes (it helps to either have artistic talent or to have good friends who possess same), and hammer out the setting, the Story Arc, maybe an NPC or two. Either during and/or after this stage, they hold auditions. Auditioners are usually expected to create a character, a reference sheet for said character, and an audition to introduce the character and explain why they've become involved in the tournament. Once the judges have filled all slots in the tournament, auditions are closed, and the actual tournament begins. Characters are matched up against each other randomly, and the artists have until the first round deadline to create an entry for the first round. At the end of the round, the judges decide which artist continue to the next round. This process continues until only one artist is left. That last artist's plotline then become canon, and he or she is named the winner.

Entries are usually in comic style; there have been exceptions, but it's difficult to progress far using other mediums. There are several variations on the basic round that have been used to spice things up: themes for individual rounds, boss rounds, etc.

These tournaments, like everything else on the internet, may vary in quality, but some of the more notable ones have yielded stories one could indeed label awesome.

An attempt to collect all of the Deviant ART tournaments in one place can be found here.

Common tropes include:

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