The Good, The Bad and Final Round 18

The Good, The Bad and Final Round 18

Written by: King DX on May 05, 2015.
Wait! That shit happened awhile ago. Yeah it did. So why are we talking about it now? The simple answer is that several things happened at FR18 that made me so upset I was worried about a bias in my recap of the events. I decided I would need a fair amount of time to go over my photos, videos and notes trying to remove the frustration I was feeling in the moment. It was my attention by waiting before writing this article that I showed you what it was like to be at the event without seeming like I just wanted to flame the whole thing. With that said let's not waste any time and get directly to the issues. FR18 was a train wreck and I hope the tournament organizer a.k.a Shin Blanka knows it.

"This is the worst case scenario"
My tournament life this year was very rocky. The end of February I was told my presence would be needed in London on the dates FR18 would be taking place. So as I had to tend to business first I decided not to register for the event. That Monday I was told the trip would no longer happen and with a open schedule I was free to participate. So Thursday I wait for emergency registration and show up around noon. Standing right next to me was ChrisG who is signing up for every single game but guilty gear(thank god). I speak with him for a sec and begin to register. I fill out my paperwork and hand over my card... "OH, Yeah you have to go downstairs and use the ATM" sigh... here I was thinking it was 2015, off my ass goes downstairs to the ATM. The ATM is packed with new tournament players vocalizing their fears and concerns. While normally I engage in these conversations and shamelessly plug my site, I opted to stay out of it as I was in a hurry to go my way. Finally I get to the front of the line and pay the ridiculous "this ain't your ATM" fee and run back upstairs. By the time I reach the desk there must be 13-16 people waiting. Since I had filled out my papers I went to the front of the line and the one overly stressed out person takes my paper and my cash. I ask is that it? And he goes yeah I got you down, schedule should be up on the site Friday. With nothing left to do I speak to a few people I know really quick and head out of the door. Friday I am still a bit busy so I watch the various streams which seemed to have pretty reliable connections(YAY Airport Hilton). The tournament seems to be running well thus far and I am anxious to get home and prep for Saturday. I start checking the site for the updated roster and it still isn't up yet although I had been told it would be up by Friday. At this point I don't know what pools I'm in or what time to be at the venue.

"The Guilty Gear players are getting screwed"
What if I had the 10am guilty gear pool and didn't show up? I didn't want that to happen so I decided I would get there at 9am. I show up to the front desk and ask for the schedule. Nobody has the updated schedule and it's still being worked on but oh there's another problem as well. I don't have an armband to get inside of the tournament area. Why don't I have an wristband? Because I was never given one when I signed up and the best part is that Friday night FR started to send out tweets saying you would not be allowed in without your wristband and you would need to buy another one if it's lost. Now this isn't some hospital band with fancy lamination and protection from liquid. Oh no, this is one of those I'm over 21 please let me drink bands that fall off if you wipe sweat off of your forehead. I'm sure that the switch from neckbands to wristband was more "cost effective" but it was the dumbest thing I've ever seen and someone's lack in judgement created a huge issue for everyone. It's almost like they wanted to promote not having the participants wash for the entire weekend. Here is a picture of my band only worn Saturday and half of Sunday. Hope you didn't get it Thursday or you were fucked.

I sit around waiting for the guy who took my money to not only confirm I wasn't given a band but also give me a pool number. Slowly but surely a special complaints line starts to form behind me. Where is the guy who can stop this waiting game for me? He is in his hotel room taking a shower, his word basically is the only thing that will get me in the tournament at this point and stop me from channeling my inner 17 year old and flying off the handle on everyone there. Finally this guy comes down computer in hand and he is pelted with a slew of request. I explain the situation and finally I get my armband. Luckily it only took from 9am until 11:45am to get this shit sorted out and hell I love waiting. So he's able to give me my schedule for Marvel vs. Capcom which starts around 3 pm but what about Guilty Gear that was currently going on? Well funny you should ask because while waiting idly by I heard three referees make some unsettling comments. The first was "we had like 40 late sign ups for guilty gear and that's why the schedule still isn't done yet" followed shortly with "the guilty gear players are getting screwed" the last quote I'll leave you with is "it's just too big" FR was massive this year but the amount of staff was around the same. Staff couldn't keep up with the emergency registrations and dropped the ball.

Now I'm not blaming the staff, well except for jason/justin the guy who never gave me a band, but I am pointing the finger at the leadership. If they couldn't handle extra people signing up then they shouldn't have opened up late registration. I'm sorry but even though I would not have been able to play, it would have been a better experience for everyone else involved. Even the staff seemed visibly upset and one staff member actually lost his cool and started a scene right in front of me about the current state of the event. He stated that this was "the worst case scenario". Things had obviously hit it's limit and with it only being early Saturday morning you know things will get worse. Finally the schedule for Guilty Gear is completed and I ask what pool I'm in. Now this is where I almost flipped my shit. The guy who had me waiting for nearly 3 hours gives the papers to the referees, looks at me and says anything Guilty Gear you need to go fucking talking to them.... Excuse me motherfucker!? I need to go fucking talk to them you say? Not sure who the fuck you thought you were but you most certainly weren't aware of how high you already were on my possibly worth catching a charge ass whopping list for already having me wait around for 3 hours. Before I lost my cool I just went ahead and followed the staff. It just wasn't worth causing a scene over and honestly I was here to have fun and not a bunch of drama.

The staff is in front of me and they enter the tournament area with the updated pools in hand. I ask to see what time my pool will start and I'm told to be back around 3pm. Now this doesn't work because my Marvel pools are supposed to happen at around 3pm. I tell the guys my situation and they tell me to come back at around 4pm instead and they will take care of me. With that problem solved I need to prepare for my matches. Truthfully I am tired at the moment after jumping up at 8am and standing for 3 hours straight just waiting on my information. This isn't me being physically tired but more of a mental drain. At this point I haven't ate or warmed up. I take a trip down the street and grab some food. When I return to the venue around 2 o'clock I sit down and eat surrounded by a few local tournament players that I have met over the years. Once done I head into the main room to support my fellow local players and to mentally prep for my matches. At 3pm I head over to my pool. The problem is my pool isn't being played. I'm in pool 7 and guess what time it starts? 4 pm. That's right. I show up to my pool at 3 pm only to be told that my pool is actually starting at 4pm. 4pm is the same time that my Guilty Gear pool got pushed to because I was told my Marvel pool was at 3 originally. Now I have to try managing playing 2 games at once and avoiding getting disqualified as a result of it.

4pm hits and I have explained to both my Marvel and GG ref that I have this very awkward problem and they do their best to accommodate. I jump into my first game of Marvel to be meet with Zero, Dante, Vergil or as some people will recognize them as Zero May Cry. Zero gets the first hit and the rest of the match sounds like zoop, zoop zoop zoop, ching, zoop zoop, zoop zoop, zoop zoop zoop, DOWN!, ahhhhhhhhhh, assistance, "no more games", zeng, zoop zoop, zoop zoop, zoop zoop zoop, DOWN!, etc. Next match I fair a bit better but Dante's Jam session stops me from killing Zero. Zero gets a hit and I guess you know the story by now. I get sent to losers and face Morrigan, Doom, Vergil. Soul Fist, Soul Fist, Hidden Missiles. For the love of god somebody shoot me now. There are over 40 characters on the game. I beg for some originality. The funny thing is this wasn't some day one I don't know how to space my fireballs type of stuff. Oh no that shit was very legit and showed me what I knew was coming since last years event. Marvel will never be updated and certain teams are just flat out leaps and bounds above the rest. You either play a top tier team or get wrecked. This maybe part of the reason that once my UMvC3 run ended I stated I would no longer be playing the game. More on my decision will be covered in an upcoming article.

With my Marvel dreams extinguished I head to my GG station. The ref is still waiting for more people to show and allows us to play some casuals for the next 15 minutes or so. The guy I go up against is a Leo player and guess who still hasn't download Leo? *raises hand*. That's right people, I'm signed up for a tournament in which I haven't even learned the basics of every character yet. In a lot of ways that's a huge mistake but as a completely new player in the Guilty Gear world I didn't really expect to go that far anyway. This was more of me trying to gauge the scene so I would know what to expect rather then aiming for gold. The first few matches I get destroyed. Normally I am playing on a PS4 but GG was being held on the PS3 version of the game. Performance wise there wasn't an issue but visual I was seeing a bunch of blurry textures and it was a bit odd. It didn't have any type of impact on my gameplay but it was weird playing arguably a worst version of the game you own. I do a bit of sparring and by the last few games of our session I am finally able to take a few wins. The guy is even nice enough to explain Leo's character which made me feel a bit more comfortable about the match up. Our pools start and I fight against a Millia and in losers I fight a Venom. Both matches are actually pretty close but I lose them both. So here I sit out of the tournament, 0-2 in both games and incredibly tired still. I stick around for the top 32 later that night and head out to rest up for Sunday.

Sunday was a bit hard for me to deal with. I woke up late, got horrible seating and pretty much was watching my watch the whole time waiting to go. The crowd was hyped, the matches were good but I think the day before had put such a damper on things for me that I decided that I would rather watch the stream then actually be there. I stay until the start of the Ultra finals and head home. My overall experience was just bad. While my performance was underwhelming, it wasn't the main factor in why my experience was poor. It reminded me of EVO 2013 where my 8am Marvel pools were 2 out of 3 and the pools then after were 3 out of 5. I felt somehow cheated in a way. It was like my fun had been killed when my information wasn't in order and that feeling just stayed with me throughout the weekend.

I know what you are probably thinking at this point, get over it. You lost and now you want to put the blame elsewhere. Well no that isn't the case. I'm not the type of person that lies to himself about his downfalls and makes excuses for his short comings. I played poorly but I have been to several tournaments. I've won a few but I have lost many more and losing isn't something that gets me down. This was a very different feeling. I think the feeling was distrust. I trusted the tournament organizer to have things running smoothly and they weren't. To some that might seem trivial but to me it's a very serious problem. No one knows me for being a overly trusting person and to feel like my trust was in someway broken really got to me. While there are a few other minor details here and there I could go into I'm deciding not to. The experience as a whole was just horrible FOR ME (I can only speak for myself) and currently I am still dealing with the repercussions of the event. All in all this was a step backwards for FR and I am hopeful the same mistakes won't be made for FR19.
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