Old-School gamers are the backbone of the Street Fighter community. People who have been around since Street Fighter 2, competing and travelling for tournaments, THESE are the people who truly have kept the community together and deserve respect.
But look at EVO this year…
We have Hyper Street Fighter Anniversary Edition, with the LOWEST payout of any of the fighting games, with no justification whatsoever from SRK staff besides “it usually gets the lowest turnout.” When the point is brought up that Dead or Alive 4 tournaments at 3 fighting game majors over the past 6 months have never had more than 15 players in attendance, it was mentioned that EVO staff would be “re-evaluating the prize structure” but that nothing was set in stone to change. This was over a week ago, and still no word of anything.
The one saving grace for old-school gamers this year was CigarBob. The promise of Neil showing up at EVO Vegas and bringing multiple homemade cabinets, donating them for the duration of the tournament, and then running several unofficial events such as ST singles, ST teams, Hyper Fighting, XSF, possibly 3s, and others. This was going to be the REASON for old-schoolers to travel to Vegas and enjoy their stay. One could argue that outside of HSF you could always gamble and treat your trip to EVO like a vacation, but let’s face facts: not everyone likes to piss their money away gambling, and not everybody HAS money to piss away gambling, so this is an invalid argument. People travelling to EVO should be entertained enough by just going to EVO, and shouldn’t have to seek something to do outside of the tournament to make their trip worthwhile.
WELL, now it has finally leaked that Cigarbob is probably not going to be attending EVO this year, because he is between jobs and short on cash. I can definitely feel for him, because I JUST started my new job on Monday after losing my previous one over an ECC-related issue, for which I am still in court proceedings trying to resolve. It’s fucking tough when real-life issues mix in with your personal hobbies/passions and you have to make a choice. I’m sure I’m not the only person in a position this year, trying to weigh two sides of an argument and decide whether or not to go to EVO Vegas or not.
There will probably no longer be ANY of the old-school side events that I was planning on going to EVO Vegas for, since CigarBob will not be attending. This leaves HSF as the only reason to go to EVO. If I WIN the ENTIRE THING, I only get $1250 due to the fucked payout, which probably will not even be enough to pay for my entire trip, once you factor in airfaire, hotel cost, food cost, and tournament entry cost. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who is in this position.
SO, with no casual play for old-school games available, and an unfairly skewed, unjustified low payout for HSF ONLY, I’m wondering what exactly is the motivation for old-school gamers to attend EVO this year? Being the BACKBONE of the fucking Street Fighter community, you would think there would be more respect and attention paid to these people. At the very least, the old-schoolers deserve a valid reason why 1. they should attend and 2. they are the only ones getting the shaft with the least money of any other fighting game.
By the way, as a final note, congrats on adding Mario Kart DS and getting next to no pre-registrations for it, nobody is probably going to play that besides Triforce Game Master because it’s a broken piece of crap. But if you had asked the gamers first and added Tetris DS instead, you would probably have more registrations for that than all the fighting games combined. The lesson here is, don’t assume you know everything without asking the people attending your event first