The weekend of January 13th was a whirlwind. Being the first time I have organized and ran a major tournament as the main organizer was nerve racking to say the least. I have ran events in the past but not to the scale of what I was offering to the players and delivering a quality experience was my top priority. We had a few bumps in the road getting there though.
After our primary sponsor, and the reason we produced this event in Atlantic City in the first place, dropped out 2 days before the event, we had to scramble to find a new venue. We were very fortunate to still have contacts at Showboat hotel down the road and they had a ballroom large enough for us. The sponsor, Platinum Shows, pulled out without any warning and it seems that they had been making false promises from the get go. We learned our lessons about working with these types of organizations and won’t ever make that mistake again. With one issue handled then came the fun part of completely resetting our floor layout with one day of looking at the space.
The layout came together quickly thanks to the help of our Producer and guidance of Big E. Power became our next hurdle after we found out we needed to bring in external power distribution supplies that we had never handled before. My friend Andres (aka CrashTag) came through in a huge way helping us troubleshoot the rented power distribution hardware at the last minute. It came down to the wire, finishing our set up at 4AM the night before. With a $15,000 prize pot split between three games, I wanted to make sure that none of the stress of the changes showed to the players that came out to support. And support us they did!
When we opened registration at 8am, I already had guys from Long Island asking me how they can help with the events. Guys who I only met once this past year came out to show their support, which to me was just truly amazing and what I love about this scene. After securing some great volunteers for brackets it was time to get the event started. Pools ran smooth for the most part. Only major hiccup came from having our Marvel stream down due to technical issues (that would have been fixed had Andres not had to spend hours hooking up power at midnight. Andres was truly the event hero).
Andres, yet again, was able to adapt quickly and pull an audible. Pushing marvel back was not something I intended, but the players who were there understood the issues and were very accomodating. After pushing pools back two hours, we were able to get top 8 streamed for them and they were happy.
I couldn’t begin to tell you how great it was for me to see a lot of old and new faces come out for my first real major. After all the problems that came before the start of the day, it became clear that everything was worth it. I had nearly everyone come up and say how great everything was from a player experience. It definitely took a big weight off my shoulders hearing that.
Seeing some of the takeaways from this event, the next event in Chicago I want it to be bigger and better. Being apart of the NSG Championship series means more eyes on our scene. The FGC has always been home to great personalities and hype moments. Our Chicago event will build on the lessons we learned from Atlantic City and will serve to start new memories for people to come out and find that same atmosphere that I fell in love with over 13 years ago.
Thank you to everyone who came out as a spectator, player, or volunteer! Y’all make these events what they are!
If you haven’t seen it already, check out our event recap video here