The EVO Crisis for Old-School Gamers

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 :rofl:

Eh, being the BACKBONE, they probably figure y’all will show up anyway.

So even if Neil can’t make it, everything is still gonna happen hopefully. won’t be the same without him though.

um what (3 Majors)

are you talking about for DOA4.

All I see is FR9 and ECC, and as I said before FR9 kept getting cancelled and cancelled and cancelled.

ECC there is no excuse, but don’t try to make it seem like more than it is, and if you want to really look at DOA4 tournament history look at tournaments that weren’t just put in saying “Oh DOA 4 is in”.

You’re putting FAR too much faith in that guy. He only has 1 cabinet (if he even has it, from what I’ve heard Neil made only 1 for Hydra and then he stopped making cabinets because of the issues with work and the labor problems involved). How do you plan on having all of those old-school side events on 1 cabinet? And do you really think that guy, who I’ve never really heard of, is going to let us play whatever we want on his cab all weekend? He already listed he wanted to do all those extra side-events, which will be impossible on only 1 cab. If you read the rest of that thread, you’ll see that most people are extremely skeptical and worried because it will be impossible to do what CigarBob had proposed if he doesn’t show up with multiple cabinets.

Also Perfect Legend, please go check out the results of Texas Showdown. It was HIGHLY advertised on SRK and on DOACentral that there would be an entire ROOM for DOA4, and it ended up only FIVE real DOA players showed up. So that’s three attmepts - Texas Showdown in March, Final Round in April, and then topping off with ECC in May, where all three tournaments had extremely low turnout (or didn’t even happen). Not a good track record for a tournament season with EVO regionals around the corner.

What I’m proposing is that instead of just giving these flat-rate prizes to games with no explanation, EVO use a calculator to decide what game gets what. If HSF indeed does have the lowest amount of attendees, then it should have the lowest prizes; but if DOA gets the least, then THAT should get the least prizes and more money should be distributed throughout the other games. By this formula, probably 3s will have the largest prizes, which is appropriate.

HSF is in jeopardy of not having many players, and it’s not because of the game, but because EVO staff have decided to give it only 1/4 the prizes of the other games. Would you rather spend your time practicing on a game that could possibly give you a major profit if you spent money to fly out to Vegas, or a game that would barely let you break even IF YOU WON THE WHOLE THING? Would you rather practice HSF, or DOA4 which will probably have the same amount of players, less overall comp, and 4 times the prizes? It just doesn’t make sense and it’s detrimental to the old-schoolers who are ready and willing to play HSF, and to anybody who wanted to learn the game, but is now throwing out that idea since the prizes are so tiny in comparison to the other games.

Hey Phil i have a suggestion.

Why don’t you get all the old school players to each chip in a little bit to help Neil get there. If enough people chipped in it wouldnt be that much and pretty much everyone is chill with him.

Phil, While I am sympathetic to your concerns, I am not sympathetic to your tone or the places you’re just trying to be a dick. This is particularly ridiculous since you are also now a tourney organizer, and frankly should know better. Though it’s tough sometimes, I’m going to try and take you seriously. If you believe your own complaints, what reason was there for old schoolers (or anyone) to attend your ECC tournament this year?

  1. The payouts, even if you win, don’t cover the cost of the trip for many travellers.
  2. There are no CigarBob cabs (and the cabs that were there, and were used in the tournament, had bad problems with both screen and controls).


And this isn’t true of just ECC–you could say the same thing about every other tourney as well, which is silly.

As for EVO, although the payout situation is under review, the current prize offering is already higher than it HAS EVER BEEN. There are also payouts for the top 8, instead of just the top 3. There is more money than ever for the “old school,” and it’s paid out to more people. This situation is better in every way than it was last year, when no one complained. The SRK forums are a truly magical place where–even when people were happy with what they had–you can give them more in every way and have them bitch about it.

As for CigarBob–the situation wasn’t “leaked.” I found out about it by reading it here. Neil might not have posted himself because he was upset and wanted to have all his details solid before he announced anything. While I love those cabinets (and Neil too–I’ll never forget our ‘special’ times together), it’s just silly to think that there won’t still be a ton of old school real ST, XSF, etc. action. EVO talked to Bob earlier about helping him transport the cabinets to the BYOC, and that’s something we’d still like to do. While Neil himself will be sorely missed if he can’t make it, there’s still going to be a ton of BYOC, and it’s going to be great either way.


First, we’re not comparing ECC to EVO, because that would be like comparing apples to oranges. The situation at the Break is greatly affected by the fact that ECC is STUCK at the Break. If I had my own personal way, it would not have been there, and not been on those sub-par arcade cabinets, and not had spacing/time issues, etc. But I was personally told by multiple people that ECC and the Break go hand in hand, and so there was nothing I could do about that. Not to say that something isn’t in the works to have an EVO-level event on the East Coast next year that WON’T be limited to the Break, but that’s another matter entirely.

So to answer your pretty incorrect argument, ECC has nothing to do with the scope of EVO and has pretty much 10000000 limitations put on it that EVO doesn’t. A.K.A. your argument is moot, GGPO to you, sir.

Also, saying that the EVO prize structure is HIGHER THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN is true, but that’s just a really pathetic fucking cop-out. If you raised the prize structure of ST by 1 dollar from last year, but then raised the prizes for every other game by 10k each, you could STILL say that “the prize structure is higher than it has ever been.” I can make silly statements too and they sound just as silly as ever before. However, it’s not going to make the situation any more fair to the people who only got the 1 dollar bonus.

All I’m asking for, and I think I’m not alone in doing this since I already made a thread about changing the prize structure and had LOTS of support, is a prize structure that makes sense. Throwing 5k at games that are going to get a lot of attendance, GUARANTEED, makes a lot of sense. Throwing 5k at games like Dead or Alive 4 that, at MOST, have had about 25 people at a regional, and have had several failed attempts at tournament play, does NOT make sense. Unless there is some behind-the-scenes justification for this (like for example if a sponsor is DEMANDING that Dead or Alive 4 get that size of a prize) then I really don’t understand what’s going on here.

Again, I’m still waiting for a reason why a variable prize structure, based off of actual attendance for each tournament, cannot be used. It makes the most sense, it rewards those who play through the most matches with the most money, and NOBODY CAN COMPLAIN because it’s 100% completely fair. We have never gotten an answer about this, instead we get cop-outs like “stop complaining, you are still getting more money.”

While I am extremely grateful that after 5+ years, the EVO/SRK staff have finally gotten their act together and finally gotten some kind of major sponsorship, and also that there are regional qualifiers, I am still dismayed that for the 1000000000000000000th time, nobody in the community at all was consulted besides “the clique” of SRK staff and friends that seems to dictate everything that happens at every major West Coast-sponsored event. I’m pretty sure that the rest of the world, outside of the 12 people you probably consult on matters like this, would have agreed that having a tiered-reward prize system based on attendance is an exponentially better idea than throwing money at games like DOA4 that we’re not even sure deserve it.

Why am I really pissed off? To be honest, it’s not because I’m going to waste money going to EVO, because chances are I will play all the Capcom games anyway and have a good time. My issue is that we have a game like HSF that is worthy of being played like any other, but the game gets absolutely NO love at any fucking level. Finally, it is determined that the game will be played competitively at EVO, but then it’s announced that the prizes are smaller than everything else. THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS DOES TO POTENTIAL NEW GAMERS who are thinking about adopting a new game: should I cross over into HSF, where I know I will probably be running the gauntlet of OG Street Fighter players to place; OR, should I try to learn Dead or Alive 4, which has arguably one of the smallest offline communities of any game EVER in the US (like I said, the highest attendance at a tournament was about 20 players) and has FOUR TIMES the prizes of HSF?

The answer is a no-brainer. If you think I’m exaggerating, I have a real-life example.

Last week, I drove to Southern Connecticut to play with a few gamers down in that area. We played CvS2 and HSF all night, and after we were done, the gamers basically said to me “well that was fun, but why are we practicing HSF when we could be playing DOA4 and win big money at EVO? It’s too bad none of us have an Xbox 360.” When I told them I actually had a 360, they almost did a backflip and said I was stupid for playing HSF all night when we could have all been playing DOA4.

Do you see my point?

Because of your prize system, which you consulted nobody on and which makes no sense (and has had no justification provided after numerous inquiries), you are actually dissuading new gamers from getting into old-school games like HSF and attracting them to DOA4. Is this fair? Should PRIZES be the determining factor in deciding what games you should learn and play? Of course not, but that’s exactly what’s happening right now all around the country, whether you realize it or not.

EDIT: One more thing, I would love to hear if SRK staff could possibly contact Neil and try to help him get to EVO, that would be absolutely lovely considering he did so much for that tournament last year (his cabinet was pretty much the only casual play anybody got for half the weekend) and he’s trying to be so supportive. And updating us, the gamers who are actually planning to come to EVO, on the status of that would be great. Thanks :lovin:

Uh, ECC and EVO are both fighting game tournaments, not apples and oranges. I know it would be nice for you if they could not be compared, because then it would be less embarrassing for you to have it pointed out that the stuff you demand from EVO was not stuff you actually did with your OWN tournament.

Hey, I know running a tournament is tough and there are lots of compromises that you wish you didn’t have to make. Don’t tell me about it, just remember that yourself before you complain. EVO, like every tournament (ECC included), is in the same boat. You have no idea about the limitations on EVO, just as I don’t understand those on ECC. That’s also why I go out of my way not to criticize tournament organizers, even when things go really wrong. In the case of EVO2K6, things are going RIGHT, but not RIGHT ENOUGH, according to you. So even though things are better in every category, it seems sad that you still cannot refrain from this bitter, faintly ridiculous style of “I’ve been screwed!” complaining.

Good job coming up with a wacky made-up example of us increasing the prize money by 1 dollar. That could be important except for a pesky thing called reality. You see, in reality, prizes weren’t increased by a dollar, they were increased by thousands, which will be going to a larger number of winners than ever before. That’s more money (lots more) for more people. But I know: NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

I happen to agree that the HSF payout is unduly low. That said, acting like you’ve been treated unfairly is the most ridiculous and counterproductive way to approach it. Someone is offering you better prizes in exchange for your doing nothing at all extra. If you get a nice ice cream cone for no reason, then immediately start complaining that some other kid got a BIGGER ice cream cone, your mom should bitchslap your punk ass on the spot.

Gee Phil, I don’t remember you consulting me about all of your ECC decisions. Do I get to whine about how I am “still dismayed that for the 1000000000000000th time” this didn’t happen? No, because I understand that super obvious point that I was not consulted about running ECC because I DO NOT RUN ECC. It is someone else’s tournament. So when the meany-pants ECC “clique” didn’t call me to talk things over, it really wasn’t very confusing.

It is beyond question that EVO staff listens to concerns from players everywhere and changes course as a direct result. That doesn’t mean we can make everyone happy all the time, and sometimes we make decisions that would clearly lose a popular vote. Decisions like including Versus games in the lineup, including 3d games, etc. These are “crazy!” decisions that would have been completely destroyed if we had taken a forum poll about whether or not it was a good idea.

And yes, SRK has a staff. Calling it a “clique” doesn’t somehow make it evil. People making decisions is how things get done. Sometimes, on top of our regular jobs, running EVO, and the rest of our lives, we don’t have time to explain 100% of every decision made, especially to openly hostile people. We’re also disappointed and less inclined to sit around and chat when we work hard to push things to the next level and are met with round after round of bitter complaint, even though everyone basically agrees that everything is better. Hard to imagine, huh?

PS- and thanks for acknowledging that we have (just now!) “gotten our act together”! Because as well all know, running tournaments and getting major sponsorships are EASY, which is why all the other fighting game tournaments on 5 and 10+ year old games have them too, of course. Oh, wait…

No. I agree that the HSF payout should be higher, but that doesn’t mean you have a point about this silliness. Currently, anyone practicing fighting games for cash instead of their love of the game and competition is a r-e-t-a-r-d. That means you, or some nameless guys you were playing in S. Conn, or anybody else doing something similar around the country. Although EVO is doing it’s best to change the situation, you’d earn a LOT more with a job at McDonald’s than you would practicing fighters. EVO is working hard to get enough prize money to allow people to make a living playing these great games, but love is what brought everyone this far. If someone wants to make a decision about what game to play as an investment, they need a math lesson, or maybe just a slap.

We’ve already talked to Neil (even before the recent events) about helping him get to EVO. It sounds like there are a lot of issues involved, but I hope we can find a way to get him there. In any event, for the record, this year will have vastly more freeplay than last year, because we are not sharing the space.



EVO and ECC are apples and oranges. EVO is a tournament where the staff own the event and have complete creative control over it. ECC is a “name” that is stuck permanently at the Break, with the Break’s resources. I had no control over putting ST on cabs, MvC2 on cabs, these decisions were made by Chris Cotty. I even got a ridiculous amount of shit for putting 3s on console instead of cabs…even though everybody knows the cabs at the Break are sub-par. I had no ability to move the location of ECC from the Break. EVO staff doesn’t have to put up with those issues because they actually own the tournament. I just put my money and resources into keeping an already established tournament alive…ECC was NOT my tournament by any means. That is why EVO is different from ECC…EVO staff have the power to control everything at their own event, I did not, and it was the things I couldn’t control that were the shortcomings with ECC.

You’re saying I didn’t consult you about ECC? Are you insane? Did you not see the 10 polls I ran concerning games, dates, versions (console or arcade), team tournaments, types of sticks, and numerous other things? If anything, ECC this year was the result of the community speaking out about what they wanted to see, and for the most part, they got what they wanted. I even changed around dates of games when I absolutely didn’t want to…would the staff of EVO move the day that Guilty Gear was being played if the players demanded it? I don’t think so. You are totally out of line here and theres no chance of you having any facts to back yourself up in this one, so just drop it.

I’m tired of people saying that I should be so super-grateful to the Cannons and EVO staff, just because they run EVO. Give me a break. That’s like saying, be grateful that your government fixes your roads and keeps you safe, so never question them…it is the people that step up and have the balls to question and point out wrongs that basically created America and have made this country what it is today. We have a right called freedom of speech to question EVERYTHING, up to and including our government…why should EVO staff be exempt? YES we are grateful of the effort they put into this, but at the same time, we have the ability to criticise them when unfair and unjust shit happens. NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ANYONE IN THE UNITED STATES OF A MERICA.

YES, I feel that the decisions about prize structure at EVO this year are ridiculously unfair, and I feel slighted that, as usual, nobody in the community was consulted. I think the major problem with EVO is that the staff, although well-intentioned, dont’ realize what they are…they are pretty much like the GOVERNMENT of the fighting game community. EVO is undoubtedly the biggest fighting game event…and you would be a retard to say that it doesn’t matter and that EVO staff have no authority over things that govern the entire fighting game community. We’re not stupid. When you give the lowest prizes to a certain game with no reason for it, the GOVERNMENT of fighting games is basically saying that game is not as good as all the others at the tournament…it’s that simple.

But unlike the US government, we didn’t get to elect our officials who would “lead the fighting game community.” We didn’t get senators who would listen to the common SF gamer, instead we get a panel of people, with money, who got to where they are because they had the money to run EVO-level tournaments and keep the SRK website alive. But they are anything but democratic: EVO staff act as a dictatorship who basically have an attitude that “it’s our money, it’s our event, we do what we want and tough shit to anybody else who doesn’t like it.” If you don’t like their prize structure, the games they choose, the fact it’s all console, or anything else, your cries for change get a single reply: “Too bad, if you don’t like it, don’t come.”

See, thats the difference between me and you. While I may say some crazy shit and sometimes I lose self control and step over the line, I ALWAYS have the best interests of the fighting game community in mind. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have spent so much money out of my pocket, LOST MY FUCKING JOB, and listened to so many people’s opinions when running ECC. I could have run that shit like a dictatorship too…if I did, there would only have been the Big Four Capcom games and a lot of other things that people wouldn’t have liked, and I would have just said IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, DONT COME TO ECC!

But I didn’t, because I’m bigger than that and I know that ECC and the fighting game community are much bigger than just myself and what I want.

It’s pretty cheesy, but it needs to be said: with great power, comes great responsibility. EVO staff have gotten great power by throwing money around for years and making themselves THE premier gaming tournament. People come back to EVO NOT because they agree with the decisions and mistakes that the Cannons have made, but because they know that EVO has the biggest venue, will have the most players, and have the biggest payout…which are ALL results of the money the Cannons have put up to finance the event, and make no mistake, money is the ONLY reason that EVO is the premier event in the fighting game community right now.

But responsibility? I don’t call dictating rules that make no sense without consulting anybody (no wireless controllers in DOA4 even though they have no probs if you use play n charge and take the battery out, and are actually BETTER controllers for DOA than wired); listening to your buddies about things that could basically determine the outcome of an entire tournament in rare cases (using Judgement in 3s because SIRLIN says it’s ok!); having an assinine prize structure that has no explanation or justification besides “stop complaining, its more than last year”; and then telling us when numerous people raise points about having issues with things at EVO, that we should just be grateful and have no right to say anything!

That’s not fucking responsibility, and that’s sure as hell not leadership. That’s not the response that a group of people who CARE about the community give to the players that will be attending their event, that’s the response of an uncaring group of people who are only running EVO to give themself a sense of self-worth and to change the event into a business that will make money. It’s that kind of uncaring attitude that will KILL the fucking community if you keep it up.

For now, the power is in your hands. But mark my words: the more you choose to ignore those who are putting the money in your pockets, the deeper you will dig your own graves. The only reason people keep coming back to EVO is because it is the ONLY event for fighting games of that magnitude…the SECOND that another event that big comes out, an event where the staff actually listen and want to be true just leaders of the community instead of dictators…people will stop coming to EVO and go to that instead. It’s only a matter of time.


Just making sure everybody is aware, DOA is the ONLY fighter that has made it to tournaments like the WCG and has had prior national prizes (let alone world prizes) of 2000 first place several years running.

So regardless of what you all think of SRK’s decision. To throw a DOA tournament and expect that community to take it seriously (given that it’s not from one of the international power leagues and that’s not an knock at EVO but WCG is the fucking WCG) and then pay less, would be pretty damn stupid.

I think sometimes you need to look at what other games have outside of this community before you pass judgement on just what the situation is with them. When DOA has the WCG can you blame them for not taking other events as seriously?


This year DOA4’s NATIONAL champ gets 3,500 and a free trip to the world finals in Italy where the prize money will be MUCH larger. I think people need to look into DOA4 and where the community is at in terms of prize money before you flame people for the prizes they have at evo.
Maybe I’m biased (and I hate DOA) but honestly the game does have a track record of fairly large payouts, and I’m sure any DOA player worth anything is well aware of this.

You make it pretty easy to see why you’re out of line. I’m sure that if s-kill has more time to spare, he’ll give you some more rope to play with.

WCG is a horrible example of an event run by retards. They banned two characters who aren’t even close to being top tier, and they’re enforcing first to win 5 rounds when the game has no setting that lets you play a match that long…it makes absolutely no sense. Just like my argument about EVO, the only people going to WCG to play DOA are people looking for money, not a quality tournament. If WCG didn’t have that kind of money to throw around, nobody would be attending.

That’s a weak argument as well, if you have to throw money around to get anybody to attend a tournament, that’s pretty stupid.

EDIT: In response to Ziggy, it’s great you feel that way, but maybe next time explain your statements so they actually have merit. Thanks, n00b.

Phil I’m sorry but you’re just wrong. I work for a large gaming league and there is a concept you have to grasp, it’s called standards. If the standard prize for one event is xxx cash you have to come close to it (or beat it) for people to take you semi seriously.

The fact is DOA commands a hefty pay out. Bullshit rules or not, bad game or not, that’s the standard. Regardless of your issues with WCG (and I don’t agree with them either they are RTS biased and have their own share of issues) they have set the “gold standard” for DOA4 prize money.

as for throwing money around, who cares? You’re getting paid to play a game. I’ve been in competitive gaming for a while, and while it pays like shit (unless you just happen to be one of the to 100 fps/rts players in the world) it’s about having fun. Any prize hike that gives you take home money over the cost of your trip is a good one.

Also FYI, the only people goint to WCG regardless of game, are looking for money.

All really boring and insomnia-curing essays from you aside; DSP, don’t you think calling someone a n00b is pretty inane? It isn’t exactly a statement that screams “Respect me!”, especially since it looks like he’s been here before you.

Is this what we want? A world where everything is dominated by money, and quality means nothing? Or do we want a community run by intelligent people who understand the games, and the people that play them?

I’m really not understanding your argument here, if you’re saying the only way anybody could ever run a DOA4 tournament ever again would be to have a 1st prize in the thousands, then there aren’t going to be many/any DOA4 tournaments in the future. By that reasoning, nobody should ever have bothered to run any fighting game tournaments BUT EVO, since EVO is the biggest and has the biggest prizes, setting the “standard” as you’ve said…

I think I’m missing the point, can you clarify?

Welcome to Planet Earth!

I’d prefer a combination of both, but since that pooch has already been screwed, I’ll pick money and mainstream appeal.

WCG’s pricing of DOA has pretty much set in stone what the community should be paid from any major competitive organization, or at the bare minimum what the community expects. If you walked into it with a lan and said “hey only 1grand” it wouldn’t look good.

Likewise I’d wager this years EVO will set a standard of what prizes the community realizes are possible and what other leagues will consider, and if the community gets enough of them a year, they will consider it a standard. Now gamers know they can expect 5k.

Ever wonder why other progaming events keep paying out more and more?

Again, I’m not sure what SRK/EVO’s buisness is, and frankly it’s something I shouldn’t know. But I’m also not blind to how big organizations work.