Yes, I know Im late to the party but I hadnt listened to Wake up #84 until a few days ago. I didnt want to post this there because comments on that episode appear to have ended a week ago.
First, I would like to state for the record that I am relatively new to this community. Ive only been on this site for 8 months and Ive only been playing SF and only for the past year. I have never entered or even attended a video game tournament of any genre. So I like to think that my perspective on this subject comes from the position of an "outsider" Knowing nothing of fighting game tournaments beyond what Ive seen on the streams I must say that when I heard Wake Up Srk the other day my emotions ran from confused to astonished, with a bit of disgust thrown in. How is it that there could be any opposition to raising entry fees to $20 (astonished to see that they were that low in the first place) and at the same time have complaints about the small size of prize pools. I realize that this topic has indeed been argued ad naseum among the community insiders and hard core fans but I thought it necessary to inject the opinions of an outsider. This means that the argument contained within is my opinion supported by facts from the outside. While I welcome comments and will answer direct questions, I have no intention of debating trolls. This is all merely informative to aid in your decision as to where you fall on the subject of entry fees. As I mentioned, I was completely unaware of the cost of entry so I found it ridiculous to hear that the majors have to think long and hard about raising the fee to $20. In the outside world of established self-financing competitions $20 would be a steal. Three examples: I used to play a lot of chess 7-8 years ago. There was one annual tournament I was sure to make it to in Philadelphia, even though most of the time I had no hotel room and had to sleep in my car. The tournament is called the World Open. It brings in thousands of players of all skill levels from around the world to compete. Grandmasters specifically come because even then the prize pool was $200,000+, with first, second and third place, in multiple categories, getting 5 figure awards and even 30th place finishers getting their entry fee back. That entry fee was $300 and Im sure that it has gone up since then. There was no complaining. Yes the chess community, in terms of numbers of players world wide, dwarfs damn near every other community on the planet, so it can be said that there is enough variety of financial means within the group that there are enough players at all income levels to populate any tournament no matter the entry fee, but there were and are children that enter. They seem to be able to come up with the money for entry, hotel, food (thousands dammit) and we can't? Are all chess tournaments this expensive? Of course not. We are talking about majors here. Second we are all well aware of the astronomical prize pools for the main event of WSoP, and we all also know that the only way that it is able to reach the millions is because the entry fee is $10,000. I dont think those guys are complaining. Some might say that they play poker, they win big so they have money for ludicrous buy-ins. But the fact is, that all the way up the ladder, there has to be big money in circulation to then put it into pools of bigger money. These guys are gambling big even at the local level and the winnings fund the next tier of bigger pots. Third, to get away from "me vs. you" direct competitions. I am an artist. An oil painter of the realism genre ([www.derekofbaltimore.com](http://www.derekofbaltimore.com)). I enter about 5-6 "competitions" per year. I use competition in quotes because art is obviously subjective. The average cost of entry is $45 with some going as high as $90. The only thing that $45 grants me is the ability to submit 3 images of my work to be judged. The first round of "competition" is merely some staff member looking over thousands of entries and picking the ones he/she like best. If you get past this round, then you pay to have your art crated and shipped to the gallery where the show takes place. Then in person, a second honored judge (usually a prominent member of the community) will pick the first, second, third, place standings. The art is then on view for 30 days at the gallery where it may be bought by gallery patrons, if not then you pay to have the art reshipped back to you. The total could amount to hundreds especially if you decided to fly out to attend the show's opening night. Im not complaining and by the looks of hundreds of thousands of artists entering these competitions annually, it would appear that they are not complaining either. I have one competition that I've entered every year for the past 4 years and Ive never gotten past the first judging. I have every intention of entering it this year. Entry fee $45, prize fund $50,000. Personally, I just dont get it. Where do people expect the award money to come from? Can it be generated outside of entry fees? Absolutely, but that will involve sponsors, advertising and such, which in a word (e-sports, ahem) doesnt seem to be the path the community wants to take. But if you want big pots, then you only have those two choices. I like the self-financed route, but you guys need to quit crying over 20 bucks. If it were up to me, entry fees on majors would start at $50 and EVO would be $100. Im sure many EVO attendees gamble that much in side bets, much more in their own money matches. Come on guys, $20 from an outsider's perspective is a joke. Its time to put your money where your mouth is and up the ante.