A little over three months ago when I was dreaming about running a huge North American LAN for a game I felt extremely passionate about I was thinking about potential names. “Gwentadelphia? No that’s not right.” I thought. My girlfriend Rachel looked at me and said, “What kind of card are you playing?” We looked at each other and I realized I had the name I wanted. Wild Hunt.
Flake interviews AlwaysTurtle
I approached N3rd Street Gamers with a tournament in mind but was unsure initially how I wanted to execute it. I conferred with some people in community and we decided to try to keep it as similar to paper card games as possible. It was the known best way to do things and to stray from that on our first run would of been foolish. Once we had a date and a detailed plan on lock, the talent was easy to come by. The community was beyond eager to go to the first tournament of its kind.
The Wild Hunt Championship Belt
Fast forward to today, and the first North American Gwent LAN is in the books. Fifty four competitors battled it out over fifteen hours to be crowned champion. In the end, it was Tyler “Trynet” Nolan, the expert Yu-Gi-Oh player who took it down. He was awarded the Wild Hunt Championship belt and the lion’s share of the $1,040 prize pool.
Now I have never run a tournament before, so the learning curve was rather steep. I was lucky enough to have some of the best casting and hosting talent not just in North America but the world come down to assist in their respective fields. From Flake, the most upbeat energetic host any tournament organizer would be blessed to have to casters JoeSn0w, Swim, Mcbeard, Lockin, and Shoe who all did a fantastic job keeping the crowd in it.
Shoeplays playing on stage
This event would not of happened without N3rd Street Gamer’s infrastructure. Between the invaluable production value provided by Rob and the space we were provided, I could not thank them enough.I was taught how to run the main stage where broadcasted games were being held by Cheeseadelphia’s Joe Loguidice. By round six I was running stage as well as still acting as head judge and admin. I’d like to thank my other admins Thrilling and Gio for doing a great job as well.
In the beginning, we ran into a few issues. The accounts provided to me by CD Projekt Red for console players were not connecting to people who were using their standard accounts. I was able to reach out to my contacts there and troubleshoot the issue effectively. I also did not realize that the scale of running a swiss tournament with fifty two people would be as tough as it was. Way too much time was taken in the first round seating people. From the second round onward after talking to my other admins, the tournament ran much smoother. There was also the issue in round four of two players not completing their match, but that is definitely something that should of been prevented. In hindsight, it might of been a blessing in disguise. It gave the competitors time to eat and rest their brains after hours of calculations. For the next tournament, we will very likely add a break to give people time to eat and rest.
Running this event has made me hungry to do more. I am glad that overall we received positive reviews, and I am looking forward to bringing everyone together for a second run.
Last, I would like to thank the competitors, all of you viewers on Twitch that came by, and Mogwai for the huge host early in the stream. The Wild Hunt will ride once more.
Editors Note: Thank you to Mike Ragusa who graciously allowed us to use his photographs