By Joe “NSGJoe” LoGuidice
The dust has settled and the post event afterglow has begun to wear off, so it’s time to continue the time honored tradition of looking looking back at the event and breaking down the good the bad and the ugly about Cheesadelphia.
The preparation for the event exemplifies the idea of “practice makes perfect”. This is the third Cheesadelphia event we’ve run so far and we’re beginning to get the setup down to a science. A couple hiccups aside nearly everything went smoothly from the get go and our team was able to get a decent night’s sleep the night before the event started which was crucial. I look forward to continuing to improve in this area, but I think we’ve reached a point where our team operates as a well oiled machine.
There’s a couple of issues we certainly we do need to address for the next event. Many of our audio extender cables began having issues part way through day one and continued to have issues throughout the event. The only big mistake I can think of from an admin perspective is for most of the event we were having the streamed players do vetoes after they had set up on the mainstage. We realized how inefficient that was and began conducting vetoes while they were waiting towards the end of the event. If we’d been doing that from the start we could have significantly reduced downtime.
From a production standpoint nearly everything went flawlessly. The biggest issue was the amount of time between games on day one of the event, but we’ve already have plans to help manage and mitigate that for our next event. Big improvements here included switching completely to real cameras instead of hybrid mixture of cameras and webcams, and offering a one to one feed straight from the mixing board at the venue instead of showing the Twitch stream. We also switched to a projector screen setup instead of the big screen TV we used at previous events, and I think this was a big improvement!
Cheesadelphia is continuing to look like a financially sustainable and profitable event. I’m not going to dive too deep into the finances, but suffice to say this was a very solid step forward for us, in no small part thanks to our awesome sponsors: WizeCrax, PsiStorm Gaming, Team Ascencion, Sloth E-Sports, and Jarvus.
Other miscellaneous notes
It’s no secret that we were scheduled over by other events on both days. I worked with players to ensure they could participate in the Dreamhack Montreal qualifiers as well as the Shoutcraft King’s tournament, but day one definitely had a lot of downtime caused by the conflicts, and we were even forced to give Kelazhur and Bails walk overs during the Swiss stage of the bracket. Shoutcraft Kings was not at all disruptive to our player schedule, Olimoley (the administrator of ShoutCraft Kings) and I were able to coordinate to ensure that players had downtime in Cheesadelphia when they were playing in ShoutCraft Kings and vice versa, so a big thanks to her for providing that flexibility and accommodation.
A HUGE thanks to Totalbiscuit and Feardragon \ BaseTradeTV who hosted us at the end of their broadcasts and really helped to mitigate some of the damage that being scheduled over caused our viewership. Thanks to those hosts our viewership was the best it had ever been at any Cheesadelphia, but I still would like to see better coordination on the back end between tournament organizers. I’d made every effort to deconflict, including reaching out to Blizzard as early as April to ask if this weekend was free. I have some ideas for things like global event calendars that can help event organizers coordinate and avoid accidentally cannibalizing our scene and viewership. I have some ideas in the works and am already talking to other tournament organizers about ideas for how to avoid this situation in the future.
We’re still learning and improving as we go, as there isn’t really a handbook for how to run a LAN tournament, but this was by far the smoothest StarCraft event we’ve ever ran and we look forward to continuing to grow and improve in the future.
Finally a giant thanks to DrennoC and Temp0 for casting, Apophis for observing, Wob for handling all the production, and the players that jumped in to help cast and observer: Raze, Pokebunny, xKawaiian, and Tesla! Finally I want to give a big shoutout to our admin Kyle who ran the brackets flawlessly! Thanks everyone and I can’t wait to see you at Cheesadelphia 4!
If you have feedback\questions\comments\concerns feel free to contact me at joe at n3rdstreetgamers dot com or DM me on Twitter.