Evo2005!


#1

Dear EVO,

If anyone had anything less than a great time, I’m not happy about that, but the general contours of the complaints I’m seeing seem not just unfair, but almost funny from my perspective as an organizer. This was, with almost no real question, the best EVO ever. This doesn’t mean any particular person had the best time ever, or that everything ran flawlessly, or that all our dreams came true. That said, an honest evaluation will show that this really was the best event so far:

Location: This location is hands down better than all other EVO locations. In terms of food, entertainment, convenience, and overall facilities, GVR blows everything else away. If you disagree and are not insane, you probably live near Pomona. If I lived in Pomona, I’d wish EVO was back there too, but I wouldn’t be stupid enough to post about how selfish and shortsighted I was, or how I think everyone else’s experience should suffer to save me some time.

Registration: This was a massive improvement over last year, but obviously there’s still room for improvement. The good news is that we cut the average wait by over 4 hours from last year, despite increasing numbers of players showing up. A copier died unexpectedly, which slowed things down, but this will continue to improve and we think we can finally slay this monster entirely next time.

Event: The main complaints this year seem to be about pools running slow, going to one match, etc. These are all a direct result of the fact that we had basically 2x as many people as registered online show up to play. I love tournaments and want as many competitors as there can be, but it’s a little silly to tell us “you didn’t plan well enough for us being there!” when we asked you (for months!) to tell us you were coming, and you couldn’t be bothered. Online registration was open until 3 days before the event. If you can buy a plane ticket, you can register.

Simply put, we cannot make good plans to accommodate everyone when you do not tell us you are coming. Registering online is great, but registering and PAYING online is what counts, because it’s a much better indicator of who’s really showing up. 98% of people that pay in advance show up. Around 50-70% of people that just register without paying actually show up, making it a total crapshoot. Because our event fee is so dirt-cheap low (please compare it to the MLG’s own entrance fees, or comic or anime cons, or even ECC and MWC. Do you know what those 12yr olds playing Halo pay to enter a tourney? 200$/team. Blizzcon is 120$/person. Even random comic cons, which have thousands of sponsors that PAY to be there, charge attendees 65+$, or 25$/day. Now tell me again how mostly grown people think 20$ is an outlandish, impossible amount for a one-of-a-kind weekend?), we can’t afford to have a lot of extra stations, games, and the room to run them, beyond accommodating the players we expect to show up. When you collectively suprise us with 50% more people, we are sometimes forced to “surprise” you back with correspondingly slower starts and less matches. I hope this is not hard to understand, because it really is that simple at its heart. Please tell us you are coming early, and mean it.

It’s sweet that you compare us to the organization of anime conferences, but frankly they’re about 1.21 million times easier to run in many ways. The organizer’s main concern is to do is set up the exhibitors (all of whom pay a lot to be there), and then let people go pretty much where they want, when they want. EVO, on the other hand, has to get every single person there to specific places at specific times, to do something complicated, record the results, and repeat that operation many times over for everyone that’s advancing. We need to have each and every one of our attendees at specific places during specific times, to do specific things. If any one of them isn’t in place, it holds up the whole operation. This isn’t a complaint, but it’s silly to overlook this and pretend like any large group of people together presents the same challenges. Tournaments are HARD, and the more people you’ve got, the harder it gets. That’s a tall order- about a million times taller than “set up the hall and let people go wherever they want.”

This is no one player’s fault, so I’m not yelling at anyone in particular, but a big part of the responsibility really does lay with the players. We need you to be where you’re supposed to be on time, and we need you to tell us that you’re coming in the first place. EVO this year was essentially like a dinner party with assigned seats where 50% more people just sort of showed up. Obviously that’s going to cause problems, because even if you’ve planned on some extras, you don’t want to pay for and cook a lot of extra food that no one eats. We never want to turn away anyone who wants to play, but registering in advance is not just convenient for you, it’s becoming essential to our being able to run things efficiently.

Overall:

EVO attendees saw some new names rise up, some old names return, a lot of great matches, some classic upsets, and history being made.

Ultimately, the fact that you compare us to other professional events is really the most enduring compliment you could make. Even the most angry complainers compares our event to those put on by groups with 10-20x bigger budgets and tens or hundeds more volunteers. I encourage each and every one of you to run a tournament of your own. This may sound sarcastic, but I’m being dead serious. More tournaments = better scene, and there’s no faster way to realize how ludicrous and impossible many of the seemingly reasonable suggestions made here really are until you try them yourself in practice.

I know that there are problems, and each year we make progress on them. I think anyone being honest can agree that EVO has improved significantly each year, and improved in exactly the ways that you (the players) asked us to work on. I certainly know that not every aspect of every year gets better, and there are a million things I’d love to do if we had the time and money, but I think honest evaluations will recognize that the event really does continue to improve. That doesn’t mean any specific individual is guaranteed a better time, but even as much as everyone enjoys hating on SRK and the EVO staff, I know there were more people stopping in hallways to say “this was the most fun I’ve had all year” than I’ve ever seen.

I won’t risk looking like an ass by trying to name names and letting my sleep-deprived brain forget someone, but (as always) a lot of special people went above and beyond to make this a great event. 11 years ago, I headed out to a dive arcade in the heart of New York City. I was on my way to one of the first internet meetups with other SF players. There’d been a lot of talk online, and we’d decide to meet up and settle a few things. I had a great time and met a lot of interesting people (and of course I also dominated everyone), but if you’d told me then that that crappy meeting would eventually lead to thousands of players cheering each other against the best players from around the entire world, in Las Vegas, I’d have laughed in your face, afraid to imagine the possibilities. Thanks to each and every one of you that has played and continues to play, for making this scene the amazing thing that it has become today.

I hope to see everybody again soon.

PS- a special nod to DSP’s mention of Tee Carter. I met Tee for the first time years ago at a MWC, and after we got done beating the crap out of each other, I came to know him as a friend. He was the rare combination of a dedicated, fierce competitor and pure sunshine as a person. He left too soon, but I’d like to think he’d be happy to see all of us playing on. GGPO Tee.

–Seth


#2

Evolution 2005 was the best tournament I ever attended. Thank you srk staff for pulling another one off. Time to save money for evo 2k6

Another shoutout to my man Campbell Tran for putting a ton of his own money to accomodate the foreign players. It’s because of individuals like him that the number of foreign players keep on increasing with each evo.


#3

Yeah doods let’s pay a little earlier. And get VF on the docketz. gogogoood job. Thanx!


#4

i got to play nitto and mov pretty much all sunday night/monday morning evo = success far as i’m concerned


#5

really good post seth. i agree.

yea hthere were problems that sucked obviously, but at the same time, i understand why certain things were done, like the game format change and such.

location was definitely better. granted i spend a lot more money cuz its vegas, but its just more fun, more stuff to do, plus got places to eat too that is really convenient.

i was gonna make a recomendation and force people to online register and just eliminate on site registration, but i thought about that and i think that just might weaken the attendance cuz of all the lazy people. but at the same time, it would be really nice to know, accurately, how many people will be there, so neccessary steps can be taken.

the one improvement where action can be taken no matter what IMO, was just the blocking off the stations from spectators. i think thats universally agreed. I can handle playing on consoles, it just sucks when its so crowded that people bump into you or block the corner of the screen when they are trying to navigate thru the crowds. really distracting, but this is all stuff that is well known, and im sure will be fixed next year to help improve again.

but yeah, i had a blast, all of us hanging out at the cab playing ST and such was just a lot of fun. reminded me of old times. and just seeing all the old faces and meeting new ones to match the personas online is a lot of fun. even if evo was horribly ran, it cant take that factor away, which really makes evo fun, tourney is just the icing, to me atleast.

if you guys need help, lemme know.


#6

Seth, thank you for mentioning your meeting with Tee. The sad fact is, after his death I blocked off a lot of stuff concerning him because it just hurt too much. But after EVO it all just came flooding back and it was a lot to bear. It’s great to see that other people met him and felt the same way that I did…he was just such a fucking awesome guy.

I’m not going to complain about EVO in any way because after running tournaments myself and helping out at ECC for a bunch of years, I know how much crap can go down and how unexpected circumstances can totally change a situation. A crapload of people showed up…unexpected and NOT pre-registered…which is exactly what I predicted would happen. Is this the fault of EVO staff? NO. HOWEVER, to say that this can’t be learned from, is pretty ignorant. Knowing that the majority of gamers are last-minute decision makers, understand that that at least 2 to 3 times the number of people who register and pay online, are more than likely to show up at EVO. I said this way ahead of time but nobody seemed to heed my warning…it’s just to be expected since the majority of SF players 1. are very young and 2. dont have major Credit cards they’re going to pre-charge their registrations to.

Also know that the “middle-school” players like me are always willing to lend their time to help run the tournament more smoothly. Yes, I’m not truly OG, but I’ve been around long enough and helped run enough tournaments to know that having a few helping hands to run pools, watch POSTERS AND STICKS AND OTHER VALUABLE ITEMS, really REALLY helps in the long-run. It was great to be able to play on Cigarbob’s cabinet all weekend, but if my services could have been more useful elsewhere, I would have been more than happy to help out.

Anyways GREAT FUCKING TOURNAMENT and I look forward to seeing everybody next year.


#7

Just an idea, but how about a red rope or cones or anything thats blocks people from getting in to where the players play there matches, so they can jump and do whatever they want while spectating so they dont interrupt the players matches.

Great fucking evo, best tourny ive ever been too, wiz, cannons, mark, and all evo staff outdone themselves this year.

tourny name : Bedtime for mvc2 :slight_smile:


#8

EVO was nice this year. GVR was a good choice. I don’t mind having it there again next year.


#9

You guys did a great job all in all… you guys worked well with what you were given…

I’ll be there next year if it’s in vegas… just to spectate and to hang out with more people. :tup:

You guys are standing up and taking charge… and Evo always astounds me.

Keep up the good work.


#10

Tekken Player here

I wholeheartedly appreciate these EVO tournaments. They’re the one time of the year I can tell work I’m leaving for “a world tournament” and they don’t bother me. I actually didn’t know so many people showed up unannounced.

But addressing how the tournaments are run… It is great that you guys provide registration to all people up until the day before; doing what you can to allow everyone in the community to participate. The caveat of this is the analogy to “surprise guests” that you already mentioned.

Another problem exists when judges who are running brackets know the players who are running late and wait for them to show up; showing preference over unknowns who are immediately d-d-d-isqualified; contributing to the overall latency of tournament progression this year.

The need to satisfy the community is a double edged sword which showed its ability to cut this year. Having twice the amount of people who registered show up to “dinner” is a serious problem. Even though the motive to allow everyone to participate is of genuine good will, the very inaccurate head count beforehand was way off; and this caused you guys to drop the ball by cutting matches down to 2/3 games for finals; heard some games were even dropped to 1 match during the finals. At the same time… turning people away from “dinner” is a prickly pear of a different kind.

Perhaps it’s time to move away from running these tournaments as a grassroots activity:

  1. RSVP and pre-pay manditory before showing up to tournament - Sunday (finals day) was a farce IMO. As a customer at Evo, it was unnacceptible to have finals day run like that. I would not be very interested in travelling to another Evo tourney if anything like that happens again. I’m almost certain the Japanese, Korean and other players who travelled from all over the world would not feel inclined to show up to another tournament run like that; where the expected # of matches is not played. If you provide alternatives to credit cards that people can use to register (PO Box for cash registration), this would alleviate the problem. This year showed that Evo falls apart when you don’t have an accurate head count; as would any event where a head count is off by that much.

  2. No more “good ol’ boy’s club” mentality. Judges should not wait longer for a friend/well known than they should for the person they don’t know.

If we as a community accept the fact that Evo cannot be run smoothly without an enforced prepay RSVP; and also enforce strict guidelines for how long you wait for someone to show up for a match - things will run much better.

There’s plenty of other stuff mentioned in TZ’s Evo2k5 comments thread. I won’t rehash them, but one important one is clear signs that show what games and pools are being played where.

I told Wizard already, but I’ll say it here. I offer my software developer skills to help out with notification/tournament tools for future Evo tournaments. I have plenty of experience with standalone Java tools as well as web based Java Servlet tools.

  • Sugarfoot

#11

A mailing address was provided, didn’t seem to help.

I think it’s a little different than that, if i’m waiting for a known player, i at least know people that know them and i know they actually are there. But if i see some name I don’t recognize, they could be sitting at home sleeping while i look for them.

The mentality wasn’t to help out friends, it was that if we stuck to the rules, half the tourney would be DQ’ed because all the pools were off schedule and they didn’t know when to show up. It just became a balancing act and everyone just tried to juggle the interests of the players and the schedule the best they could.

When we have a system in 2k6 that ensures we stay somewhat on schedule, then we have more leverage to stick to the DQ rules.

It would make things easier, but I am very hesitant to lock people out of in-person registration, since friends will bring friends and a lot of people can just decide to drive up at the last minute. We really would have to look at why people didn’t pre-pay and what impact there is on saying they can’t pay in person.


#12

Oh really? I never knew there was one available. Where was it in the registration process?

Maybe because we’re allowed to :slight_smile: I know I waited till 9 o’clock on the cutoff date to register… but I knew not to wait anymore after that cutoff. Just an idea… most people (myself included) will procrastinate, but won’t miss a registration deadline.

Off the top of my head as I think; Vegas made it hard to find people cause the place was so big. Yes Cal Poly ran smoother than this year, but it was also much much smaller than Vegas.

Some of the software I write at work involves auto-notification features; where you receive a page/text message on your phone if a significant event happens. Every party, if not almost every person, that shows up to Evo has a cell phone among at least one of them. If people could receive emails on their phones and pagers when their pools/matches are [on deck/about to be played/in progress]; that be a pretty cool idea. Also allow multiple people to be assigned to one notification phone email address in the Evo registration process. That way the person in the car with the cell phone knows the status of his matches, and he has a great chance of being able to hunt down the other members who drove with him if he/she gets the page that their friend’s match is coming up. Just food for thought.

  • Sugarfoot

#13

On-site registration should cost more. The extra amount should go into paying for tournament costs (i.e. the amount that goes into the pot will be the same as the amount for pre-registering). This should keep the pot size consistent but yet also encourage preregistration. There are still going to be lots of people deciding to register at the last minute, but at least this should help reduce the amount of onsite registrations.


#14

When you went to the pay screen you had the option of continuing onto paypal or using the address below the link to mail payments in.

That works for you, but how many people didn’t want to pay because they weren’t sure if they had off work/school or had the money? how many were convinced by friends to go at the last minute? I’m not saying that these are important or not, just that if we agree that these people are expendable, then it makes sense to go forward and make all registration online, if not, then we have to provide for them somehow.

I’m not so sure that onsite registration would have been a problem if there wasn’t that new waiver everyone had to sign. I agree with making the cost difference higher than this year to discourage people from doing it.

I like the ideas, and there was a spot to put your mobile email in the registration, it just didn’t get around to being used.

I tend to stick to the lowest common denominator with bells and whistles. It’s nice to have all that, but i don’t think we can rely on it as a solution.

IMO we should still make the priority to have a schedule where we don’t NEED to find everyone individually at all. Then secondarily, if people want updates on their friends or other people it can come through messenging. Right now there are a ton of ideas on the cuttng room floor that i hope we can pick up next year, but we’ll have to see how it goes.


#15

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I did not go to EVO this year, I got married the weekend before, but I plan on attending next year. I have helped run several athletic events, triathlons, bike races, etc and we have always done this sort of thing. It greatly encourages pre-registration, lets us know our numbers better, and still allows people to decide to compete the morning of. We also always plan on double the number of people to show up as pre-registered, it is always better to be over as opposed to under prepared. I also know of several large athletic events that only allow pre-registration, they have enough of a following that the people who will pre-register is enough for them to get by. After a few years of doing this people will adapt.

I do want to say though that I have a great deal of respect for what all of you folks do, just wanted to share some ideas.


#16

the truth shall come to the light, so everyone put your shades on cause Seth is that bright.

=)


#17

I think a lot of people are confusing the overall fun they had attending EVO 2005 with the fact that they were in Vegas. I personally had a great time during the week I was there (moreso than any other EVO), but almost none of it was attributed to the actual EVO 2005 tournament.

One of the main factors of EVO 2005 was the venue. Green Valley Ranch proved to be a beautiful restort with a very classy location (ballroom) for our tournament. Players had a great time visiting the pool, and those of age could kick back and play table games at any hour of the day (or night). While the price of a room per night was very expensive (and probably too expensive for many of the younger players), the 24-hour cafe and FatBurger made a lot of people happy.

Tournament-wise, there were a lot less “wow” moments this year. The highlights (for me at least) were: Duc winning Marvel, Potter’s 5-pixel comeback in Marvel, Yipes eliminating Justin in Marvel, COMBOFIEND doing exceptionally well in CVS2, and maybe 1 or 2 close 3S matches (Justin/Raou again etc).

On a game-by-game basis, EVO 2005 was a letdown. I’m not talking about anything other than the level of play. There were a great deal of Japanese 3S and GG players present, but in most of the cases, the matches were slaughters.

Both of the 5on5 tournaments started well, but in the end they had sour notes attached to them. That isn’t anyone’s fault, I’m just saying that they didn’t deliver on the big thrills I anticipated they would.

While the mystique of Daigo has worn down a bit, having him there and especially seeing him lose (to an American or a Japanese) is exciting. This year just did not have that same level of excitement. Justin had already lost his invincible Marvel title thanks to Sanford (twice), and even Sanford didn’t show up.

Having the MLG over our heads the entire time was another element that put a sour taste in my mouth. I completely understand why we included them this year (as an experiment and the opportunity to host EVO in Vegas) but many of their demands took the breath out of many aspects of the tournament. I’m not going to point out specific instances, but the majority of the staff know the effect that MLG had on “our” tournament, and the lack of respect/recognition they gave us overall.

Like every tournament we do, EVO 2005 served as yet another testing bed for new ideas. We gained a lot of new information on where we can improve, and I feel that the next tournament will be a great deal better. I compare EVO 2005 to EVO 2002 in terms of the new/experimental factor. We learned a ton of stuff at EVO 2002 which translated to awesome tournaments for 2003 and 2004. I still believe 2003 and 2004 were by far the best EVO tournaments we’ve done, and if we take what we’ve learned from 2005, then 2006 may just be right off the charts.

Now, for those reading this, do not take this post as any type of complaint. I think the staff did a great job with what they had to work with. I think Wizard (with the help of s-kill) did a swell job for his first time out. I think Harry Chang did a great job getting other companies to show up and give us even more “clout” etc. I think all of the staff (ink, ponder, toohec, chen, castel, sirlin, pip, omni, fmj), and all of the volunteers did their very best to make sure that EVO 2005 was a solid tournament.

Since we now know what Vegas (and co-habitation w/ another major group like MLG) entails, I believe the next tournament will have a lot of the details ironed out, and we can get back to the overall quality of EVO 2003 and 2004.

All that being said, the trip was well worth it.

EVO 2005 was good.

Vegas 2005 was great.


#18

IT wouldn’t be a solution for everyone… but it would be a solution for many. And if you guys like… I can write the software for notification of upcoming pools and queues… etc. I work with this kind of stuff all the time. So if you would like that in next year’s Evo… let me know and I can start working on it now.

  • Sugarfoot

#19

Yes, mad props to Harry Chang, IMO he did a lot.

:applause:


#20

Marketing 107: Charge more, cause your price is just 1/20th of the overall expenses (plane, hotel, whatever).

Marketin 101: Dont blame the clients.

Ive written a pretty long message going into further detail about it, but somehow it got erased. Weird shit