I've won peoples choice(pulled pork) 2014 smoke on the square, kcbs hoosier cup. Also placed 4th in chicken at the same event. That was the first time I used my WSM at a event. The only reason why I used it was the event was 10min from my house and I wanted to play with it for peoples choice. After doing comps for a few yrs. I've learned it doesn't really matter what you have. it's the cook and execution.
As for charcoal, I've seen all types used with the WSM at competitions. Many use Kingsford blue bag because it's very affordable when purchased in bulk around Memorial Day and July 4. I've seen some using Kingsford competition briquets. I've seen Royal Oak briquettes and Royal Oak lump. I've seen Big Green Egg lump.
If you get a chance to attend a local BBQ competition, by all mean do so. You are in for a treat. Pitmasters, their families, judges... actually everyone is very interested in talking BBQ and helping those just starting their BBQ journey. They are also some of the friendliest people you will meet.
You will also see how many WSMs are out there... and they are very common !
Nothing better than Great Friends, Great BBQ and Great Times.
btw... Wishing Everyone BBQ Excellence this year !
If you want my advice don't go into competition Q with hopes of winning right away - go with hopes of pulling off your plan and having a good time with your pals, and if you place in any category or in the GC race then that's pure bonus and there ain't much better than that.
Spoken like someone who never sniffed GC But I do sniff my cookers