What a ripoff.

Ladies and gents, I’ve just been a part of the most horribly organized tournaments in arrow-smash history: Gamerzlounge 1 at EA. Just to give you an idea of what sort of problems this thing has had – and we’re only three hours in:

1) When the organizer first decided to run the tournament, he came to me and asked if he could use my Handicap Challenge idea for his tournament. I politely accepted, with the suggestion to try to change things as much as he could so that the two didn’t seem too close together. A week later, he posts his rules for the tournament – and they’re the exact same rules as EAT 4. He even used my exact words when advising people to find transportation ahead of time. After many complaints, he finally decides to change some stuff. But I don’t forget this kind of stuff.

2) On top of Expert PA, he includes an Intermediate PA event with Hard-level songs. Sounds like a good idea… until you find out that people can enter both Expert and Intermediate. So the very purpose of an Intermediate event – to allow people who are OK at the game but intimidated by the level of skill displayed by elite players to compete and possibly win something – gets totally ruined as almost everyone in Expert enters Intermediate and basically pushes all the people who were supposed to play the Intermediate event down to the lower seeds. They’re just as much the sacrificial lamb as they would’ve been if they had entered Expert.

3) The actual tournament doesn’t start until 1:00 – a full hour later than the posted time. Now, the prospect of a tournament starting late is not a surprise, but one hour late makes one believe that the host has no control over the situation.

4) 20 people sign up for Expert PA. The rules state that the top 24 scores go into the brackets (top 8 seeds get byes). So everyone qualifies, right? Wrong. Because of the lower-than-expected turnout, the organizer decides to condense the brackets to 16 people instead of 24. So now, four people who were originally going to be able to play a couple more songs now get shown the door, having player $15 for one song. (BTW, guess who qualified #17.)

5) After being confronted about this sudden change in the brackets, the organizer says that the rules stipulated that there were only 16 spots in the qualifying round. And indeed, it does – but it’s buried on page 14 of a 22-page long thread on the tournament. Nowhere on the original post – where most people get the majority of their information about an event – does it mention anything about it. It took me over 20 minutes after the fact to search through the thread and find it. If you’re going to have stipulations like that, you need to put them in a place where people will be able to actually find them.

6) The potential qualifying songs were: Zodiac, Kagami, Remember December, D-Code, Fleadh Uncut, and Temple of Boom. The three songs chosen were Zodiac, December, and Fleadh. All but about 4 people play Fleadh; the others play Zodiac. Fleadh is a song in which even the local players have high scores well above 99%. And of course, the qualifying score gets inflated because of it.

7) The machine we’re using is neither on Event Mode, nor did they bother to turn off the timer. I bet the semifinalists will love hoving to play 4 or 5 songs in quick succession with very little rest in between.

8) Pad misses, way offs, and dropped freezes are part of the game, and all the organizer can do about it is correct the score in case they happen. I had one dropped freeze on Zodiac that may or may not have been on account of pads. But if it was, then it would’ve taken a lot more than 0.05% to even the score out. According to other entrants’ accounts, pad errors were granted only about 0.1% extra – and no attempt was made to find a calculator which may have made the scores more accurate.

9) Let’s go back to Intermediate PA for a second. It’s already been made a charade by the fact that 95% of the Expert players are in it, but the organizer screws it up even more by completely botching the brackets. If you have 16 people in the brackets, then it sort of makes sense to have the #1 seed play against the #16 seed, right? Well, apparently, #1 went up against #14. In fact, one entrant mentioned that at some point, the organizer basically abandoned all of the rules to the Intermediate event. Most likely because he knew that everyone in contention cared more about the Expert event and so it didn’t make a difference how the Intermediate event was handled.

10) The only reason I haven’t left EA already is because I signed up to do a Freestyle routine which is supposed to be done later in the day. But originally, it was scheduled as the last event of the tournament. After running two tournaments where we had Freestyle last, I can attest to how that’s a bad idea – once the PA event is over, most people head home, leaving about 3 spectators for freestyle. Luckily, someone convinced him to bump it up to between the Intermediate event and the Expert matches.

11) He entered his own tournament. Yup, no conflict of interest there at all.

Now I know this person is running is first tournament, so he’s learning the ropes as to what to do and what not to do, but I can’t say that I didn’t see much of this coming. Only thing is, I don’t know how much of this can be attributed to inexperience, and how much is out of just total apathy for the people who’ve entered.


4 thoughts on “What a ripoff.

  1. usasatsui

    Sheesh. That’s the problem with “intermediate-level” events. Even if you couldn’t enter both, I’m sure an “expert” or two would have entered just to claim an easy prize.

    Honestly, most of that seems to be either inexperience or very poor planning. Changing the rules, however, is VERY uncool, since people paid to be in one type of event and ended up in another. So is entering your own tournament. And when I say “uncool”, I mean “People’s Court” uncool.


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