An Original Character Tournament, often abbreviated OCT, is a type of competition that is popular on art websites like Website/DeviantArt. Basically, it's [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin just what it sounds like]]: A tournament between artists where they battle their completely [[OriginalCharacter 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 StoryArc, 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, [[SturgeonsLaw 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 Website/DeviantArt tournaments in one place can be found [[http://octfollowers.deviantart.com/ here]].

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!!Common tropes include:

* ArtShift - between different artists' interpretations of the characters.
* BonusMaterial - Usually in the form of Spectator or Special Entries that occur outside of the rounds.
* BreakoutCharacter - Most tournaments have at least one or two, and some have a fandom that even extend outside the OCT community.
* CanonDisContinuity - Although some eliminated artists try to finish their story or work their character into the overall tournament plot, many [[AbortedArc just let the story drop as soon as they lose]].
* ClimacticBattleResurrection - very likely, since some finalists tend to [[DefeatMeansFriendship gather a group of defeated contestants (known as tagalongs)]] during the course of the tournament.
* CookingDuel - Strictly speaking, an OCT needs not neccessarily be a ''fighting'' tournament. Also seen tourneys that allow more creativity, where fighting is not neccessarily the only way to win. When done badly pretty much anything (up to and including "I sprayed mud on him while driving by" and similar nonsensical victories) can become a win. There are usually limitations in the rules to avoid this, eg. stating that the opponent must be incapacitated or otherwise unable to continue the battle.
* DeletedScene: Non-canonical entries might be treated like this.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Happens at the end of most Tournaments with very powerful {{Big Bad}}s.
* {{Elseworld}} - Competitors often use characters that first appeared in their other works, so characters are adjusted to better fit the setting without compromising the main story. That's how you can have a [[http://concentrationmoon.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d1ioknv street urchin from Victorian London]] fighting a [[http://zeurel.deviantart.com/gallery/?4483564#/d1lrq3h futuristic bipolar cyborg]] in a [[{{Law of Talos}} crazy steampunk city]].
* FollowTheLeader - There are exceptions, but about half the tournaments use this tried-and-true premise: you have your character [[TrappedInAnotherWorld transported to]] [[MagicalLand a strange and possibly supernatural realm]] where you [[LetsYouAndHimFight fight each other]] to win [[MakeAWish some sort of wish]]. (JustifiedTrope in that this can fit pretty much any type of character: even those who aren't natural fighters [[YouCantGoHomeAgain can not leave]] [[ClosedCircle until the tournament is finished]].)
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters...but ThereCanBeOnlyOne
* NewMedia
* ScheduleSlip - Though rounds have a set deadline, most tournament managers don't mind giving a little extra time when competitors run behind.
* SequelHook - some of the better tournaments find a way to start a second tournament, [[MyGreatestSecondChance and may even let previous competitors return for that contest]].
* SturgeonsLaw - [=OCTs=] that do not filter their auditioners usually end up with lots of subpar auditions full of [[{{MarySue}} mary sues]] and generally weaker art.
* StoryArc - Each OCT either has one to start out or develops one during its run with rare exceptions.
* TournamentArc - Many of them are actual tournament settings.
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny - Many [=OCTs=] fall into this, especially if its more of an IntercontinuityCrossover rather than a {{Elseworld}}.
* UnnecessaryRoughness - It's not uncommon for a friendly round of competition to end with a horrific death.

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!!Examples:
[[index]]
* {{Alabaster-OCT}}
* WebOriginal/ArtistsAtTheReady
* {{Break}}
* BattleOfLimbah
* Battle Frontier Ohana Islands
* BloodOCT
* WebOriginal/TheBookOfStoriesOCT
* WebOriginal/BurningAvalon
* WebOriginal/CarnageCarnivalOCT
* WebOriginal/TheChannelsOCT
** Formerly known as WebOriginal/ChannelVirusOCT
* WebOriginal/ChernobylCurs
* CivilWarOCT
* WebOriginal/TheCityOCT
* WebOriginal/ColoringMedium
* TheColosseum
* CookingWars
* CorruptedCore
* ChildsPlayOCT
* WebOriginal/ChromaticaOCT
* TheCureOCT
* WebOriginal/TheCursedOCT
* DesireTheWritingOCT
* DeadlineOCT
* WebOriginal/DeviantDead
* DogEatDogWorld
* DualityOCT
* EbonSpire
* WebOriginal/EdenOCT
* EmotionalRealm
* EndRun
* {{Endzone}}
* {{Entervoid}}
* EscapeFromNevara
* TheExchange
* ExitStrategyOCT
* WebOriginal/TheFarsideOfAtmos
* {{Firewind}}
* WebOriginal/FutureBattlesOCT
* Roleplay/TheGrandBattle
* TheGrandCircus
* WebOriginal/TheGamesOCT
* Godfall
* GwangiGoldRushOCT
* HandsOfChaos
* HenshinScramble
* HotelHaven
* WebOriginal/HousematesOCT
* WebOriginal/HungerGamesOCT
* Hyperion Conference
* WebOriginal/IdrisfallOCT
* InfractusFatality
* WebOriginal/InkOCT
* {{Inter-Dimensional Derby}}
* LawOfTalos
* WebOriginal/LostAndFoundOCT
* ManlyMens
* ManyWorlds
* {{Masque}}
* NetworkJail
* OberonsGarden
* OlympiaLost
* OneTruePairingOCT
* OriginalCharacterBattleZone
* PanelPunk
* ProjectMinotaur
** Its spiritual successor, ProjectHades
* Weboriginal/ThePublisherOCT
* RaceOfAleria
* WebOriginal/ResetOCT
* {{Rise}}
* Rock Hard Gladiators on ''Website/{{Fluidanims}}''
* RogueSkies
* RouletteCityOCT
* RumbleFest
* {{S-OCT}}
* SamuraiDuelersLeague
* {{WebOriginal/SanctumOCT}}
* {{Sanguine}}
* TheSilverRose
* SixfoldLeague
* Webcomic/{{SMOCT}}
* SovereignCity
* SurvivorDeviantart
* TheSwitchOCT
* TakingUtopia
* TapestryOfHorror
* TheSwitchOCT
* TheTechnicolorOCT
* WebOriginal/TouristTrap
* TheTournamentOfRings
* TheTowerTournament
* WebOriginal/ToxicOCT
* Trailblazers Challenge
* WebOriginal/TrinityTourneyOCT
* TumblrRumblr
** WebOriginal/TumblrRumblr2
* WebOriginal/UnsightlyOCT
* WebOriginal/VitalSparkOCT
* WebOriginal/WalkingCityOCT
* WarForArcadia
* WebOriginal/WillowHill Asylum
* WebOriginal/WispOCT
* {{Wonderlust}}
* WorkingMansOCT
* YeahSwingIt
* WebOriginal/ZombieSpreeOct
[[/index]]
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