Where to start? I’m now fallen ill, and have been tired the whole week, a fate shared by many of the FGC here, at least the older ones. We are wiped out. Here a few thoughts about WGC13, just past week (1-4 March). I’ve probably missed something but can’t leave this any longer. If there’s more, I’ll add comments later.
Great staff, all NASA (Nice And Safe Attitude), Wael was very cool and calm in dealing with problems, Asenka was busy on main stage, running around and keeping everyone informed. No problems here. Shout outs to the SBR and MM team for taking a lot of responsibility for KOF at WGC, and of course the WGC staff.
While seeding points seemed to be put into effect to spread countrymen around, the question still remains, why were 3 of my 4 matches against Brits and even my room mate? Wth? Fingers were pointed at the EVO system, as WGC had to use it to be part of the Road to Evo system. Watching them try to follow this insane graph on paper was quite worrying. It seemed to me that this needed to be run on a computer at least. But then, that’s more equipment and with 5 staff running around, perhaps not logistically viable. Then again, one staff on a laptop directing others to gopher might have been better. But who will supply the laptop? People often jump to say the organisers should provide, or pay, or sponsors should, let’s quickly explain that sponsorship may well only come in the shape of prizes and the rest is run on the generosity of FGC members. Do people realise that venue hire has to be paid for months before while many players don’t even confirm attendance and then pay at the last minute? It’s best not to assume that sponsorship means money is flowing around like milk and honey – also note that MCZ sponsorship came in at a late stage, as far as I could see. After what happened, frankly, there is no way in hell I’m ever relying on a cpu to decide brackets. The brackets need to be checked by somebody who knows the community. IMO, shuffle em then separate the players based on country and celebrity status. If you are some sort of hardass, and you’re running double elimination, it doesn’t matter about celebs meeting early on. However, if you want your stream to be hype, you need big names, which is why you want to keep the big names apart until they reach the stream.
And this is where every TO (Tournament Organiser) silently screams. Normally you DQ players for no show, playing other games or not. If you want to be nice, you simply delay their match and run others. The problem arrives when you start getting behind schedule and no other matches are possible. The opponent is present, sitting around, getting annoyed, while the celeb is either asleep, or pwning on another game. What do you do? Simple, if you want your stream or even recordings to get lots of hits, which means more attention for your event, you wait. You have NO CHOICE. If you want to run an event that is for real players, then run one game, and see who bothers to travel around the world just for that. However, while players being busy in another tournament is fair, players being asleep or out of the building is unacceptable, and I have been in talks with other TOs to implement a new system to name and shame high profile players- after all, they represent a brand. As for higher profile players who don’t have a brand, well, the shame might affect their prospects to be sponsored.
It’s quite simple, if you don’t want to worry about empty button presses and your opponent listening out for your preparation to super or watching out the corner of their eye for your shoulder movements, you play versus, using a HDMI splitter. The only problem with this is that it takes two screens, one of which could be better used for free play. Finals are all versus but what shocked me is that some players WANTED side by side, including the rather famous Tokido. He is REAL ghetto, he will use every tactic in the book to murder his opponents even though in my opinion he doesn’t even need em! So what do you do with players who are known to exploit empty button presses? I believe they should be put on versus, immediately. Unfortunately that means firstly, players may argue that they are being labelled and secondly, a huge delay for the versus setups and thirdly and perhaps most importantly, less setups for everyone else. The cost of running a fair tournament is now even more expensive.
I believe there should always be a freeplay area. In their efforts to ensure everyone had their match, organisers waited for players, which meant there were a few setups sitting around free while players were standing around hungry for a game. Not cool. When I run tournaments, a setup can be used by anyone, and when time is pressing, they get kicked off immediately. IMMEDIATELY. Of course you can be nice and let them finish, but not when running late, most players I have encountered understand that the tournament goes first.
Between the staff, great, obviously they were all on the same page. The problem lay with communicating to the players. In my experience, explaining a change in schedule to players is much more difficult a) because they can’t hear you or b) they aren’t listening. The same happened at WGC. On Saturday after the tournament segment, players were told they could move back to the freeplay area. As staff shut down and took away machines, many players got the impression the day was over! I can’t really recommend a solution in this case, apart from telling everyone and checking they comprehend – and that would take too much time. It would be best to have one area and stick to it, but there wasn’t enough space at WGC – the KOF area was too small to run the brackets, so they had to move to use a larger tournament area for half a day. Players just need to be aware of the areas before the event begins. Logistics is tough to organise, but not in a venue which has been repeatedly used. That’s the theory anyway. As long as this is clearly stated next time, shouldn’t be any problems. Perhaps big informative posters – of course it’s easy to say that in retrospect. All of these things cost money, and I’m going to write (cough) a guide for people thinking about becoming a TO, and how crazy it all is.
Speaking of communication, WGC was obviously on the right page when understanding who to contact and who to keep in touch with in order to make sure the communities knew what was happening. If you saw the flyers and the website, communities were all showcased alongside commercial companies. Community managers were very happy with this – happy managers work harder for free lol and community members feel more valued.
Yes TOs need it but it also destroys the partisan nature of events. I wanted to run a showdown between the new Razr and Hori sticks but MCZ was sponsoring so I had to keep my mouth shut on stream…
Getting to the hotel was a bit helter skelter, little did I know that 3 buses ran directly from the rail station to the hotel, passing by the WGC venue, 1 euro a pop, but more importantly, these buses stopped after 9.30pm. WHAT! You could walk to the hotel but 30 mins is a bit much. Note that taxis charge for every piece of baggage they store in the boot. There are hotels that are closer to the venue but of course Pierre Vacances Beach is where all the action is at. I remember being at the last SuperVersusBattle, thinking, wow, look at this venue, it’s incredible, this is Europe’s EVO! Now I’m going to explain why going to remote place is a far better idea than a central big city. Or let’s just put it this way, hotel room sessions FTW. After a day at a tournament, players go home. In Cannes or Rennes or anywhere where players have no choice but to go to the same hotel, things get crazy!!!! Imagine a room full of the greatest players in the world, all playing casuals. Imagine several rooms! Imagine playing till the sun comes up! Imagine security coming in because of complaints with the noise and then running away because they are blatantly outnumbered. Imagine going out onto the balcony to see the beach and the city? It’s too sick. Too much (shoutouts to the Marvel Community and check photos below)!!! We are going to race for that room next time hehe. Anyway, my point is that the sessions in the hotel is where the real fun is. I’ll make a quick point about people reserving rooms for other players – take money upfront. I reserved a room for 5 people which equates to something like 52 euros each for 4 nights (thursday – check out monday), which is crazy cheap. However, one person didn’t show and another ran off because they offered free stay with a mate. Not good when you’ve paid in advance. Some people crazily turned up Cannes without any friends or room reservations, crazy and lucky (to have bumped into me lol).
Blud! So many games! It was even more crazy that the event was part of the Festival of Games, lots of people coming past to see us play, which is always good for exposure. Lots of random games there too, lots of fun and variety. And distracting girls playing dancing games…. anywayyyyy…
Got to meet lots of players, lots of celebs, played a little KOF and ran myself to the ground even though I wasn’t actually officially doing anything apart from English commentary. Shoutouts to Worstgiefever, Youssef, Pharaon, Rickyo, Laurent, Vermine, Zirkys, Yamato, Wael and all the other guys who helped run things to make this a great event. Shoutouts to the UK boys for making the trip, sorry we had to knock each other out… I hope that next time we can work to fix these problems, which happen at every event, to make it better for everyone. With the retirement of Youssef, Wael and Asenka, I hope WGC management will still be able to carry on the great work and keep up the standard. I think everyone will agree that they will be going again. See you next time!