Proxies and Beer! - If you want to include a playmat it would be cool to get something that rotates with the reigning champ. Have it signed and then pass it along to whoever takes first at the next event (if it's someone from out of town just get their signature and/or doodle).
@H. Yeah, I'm not personally a big fan of playmats as prizes. I know a lot of people like them, but you can really only use one, and it has to be pretty dramatic to make your random tournament playmat be the one a player chooses to use over all of their other options. I have a custom Brass Man playmat, and any playmat prizes I get just go into a closet, never to be looked at again.
For gear-as-swag, I feel like I prefer stuff you want a lot of ... Dice, Sleeves, Tokens ...
One option that I think people really get a kick out of is the "prize table" ... get a few prize options and let the winners pick one ... let them draft them in winning order, etc. That's a great way to say, make a few relevant vintage tokens and proxies, and make sure the people get something they can actually use in their decks. Make sure "I'll buy you a beer" is one of the options
Custome made Trophy/ token card for the winner or top placing player, would be nice (in case of a split), in addition to other prize(s).
I forget whom, in Europe, used to give out the Demonic Hordes Trophy card at their tournaments ...
It could be as simple as an altered Beta Island with "... <insert tournament name and year here>Vintage Champ.." hand painted somewhere on it. Even better if it's an artist alter and signed.
Beer would be better enjoyed with everyone, rather than as a prize, i believe. During or after is fine.
I agree with the prize table idea, also. Since it's an eternal format, i would always be ok with eternal format cards as prizes. ( yes, Legacy and Modern counts, lol)
Then again, i would be happy just participating in a vintage tourney soon, so, hopefully I make the 1.5 hr drive out there one of these days.