So you have found 8WAYRUN.com, and you are starting to like the people, conversations, and atmosphere of the place. You’ve maybe heard of tournament players or have already considered the idea of entering a tournament, but the idea of traveling anywhere farther than a few hours can be a scary prospect.
In this article we’ll demystify traveling and reveal some options what will make getting to the big leagues a lot easier.
WHY SHOULD I BOTHER?
Before getting to the technical aspects of travel and planning, you might be left wondering if these events are even worth going to. It depends on the type of person you are, really. If you’re anti social or argumentative, then tournaments probably aren’t the best place to hang out at. Even if you aren’t extremely competitive, the fighting game community can be a very altruistic and rewarding experience as well. Events like these can give you a chance to build on your social skills, too. Yes, it’s based around competition, but teamwork and cooperation are just as important. There’s something very exciting knowing that you can make friends all over the world and be a part of a group of strong likeminded people.
If you aren’t looking to make friends just yet, then maybe you’re looking to test your reflexes, memory, and instinct. Tournaments give you a chance to forge your mind in fire and duel with the smartest players. Tournament experience offers skills that go beyond gaming—skills that you can take into the workforce, college, or even to your own personal projects in the future.
MAP OUT YOUR ROUTE
Before anything, use googlemaps or mapquest to map your route and get an idea of the location and distance from your starting point. You can also get a sense of the time it will take to arrive at your destination. You can use satellite view to actually look around in first person mode so that you can recognize landmarks when you get there.
TRAVELING VIA CAR
The most essential device necessary for DIY transit is a GPS. That Garmin GPS runs about $122 at the time of writing this. You can also find GPS apps for your phone that can work well too. There is something extremely relieving about entering in the destination and having a voice guide you there. The stress and hassle of wondering where you are going is almost completely removed, aside from strange bends or turns in large roadway systems that can be initially confusing until you reach them en route where they’ll make more sense.
Traveling for the first time can be pretty scary. If you’re able to convince a friend to “go on a road trip” for the weekend, a scary experience can be turned into a lot of fun. Driving longer than four hours can be very tiring as well, so having friends take turns driving can break up the monotony of it. If your friends aren’t interested in tournaments or fighting games then you can always entice them by finding some cool places worth visiting around the tournament venue.
TRAVELING VIA BUS
Megabus is extremely cheap and direct. Transport fromCincinatti,OhiotoAtlanta,Georgiais about $45-$50. Duration is about 9 Hours. Try to arrive as early as possible when boarding and make sure to bring something to entertain yourself with.
· Cheaper and more direct/faster.
· Upper deck makes more space than a normal bus.
· Sometimes megabus runs deals at certain times so be sure to keep an eye out for them.
Megabus is very simple. That’s pretty much all there is to it!
TRAVELING VIA PLANE
The most expensive option, but depending on your distance from the event, sometimes flying makes the most sense or is the only available option. Most west coast players will have to fly to Final Round, unless you want to take a several-day road trip across country.
Reserving a ticket months in advance can make the flight much cheaper. Sometimes, if the flight isn’t popular, the prices will come down over time. Prices tend to increase over time though. Keep checking prices every Tuesday night to see if they are dropping. Book a plane ticket about three weeks before the event.
Airports can be a rough place. If possible, travel with one carry-on bag to avoid a lengthy bag-check process. Try to get there about an hour to 1 ½ hours earlier than you should because bag checking and security can give you trouble. Don’t be surprised if you get profiled or stereotyped by security, either. The worst that can happen though is that you receive some dirty looks and they waste some of your time.
After that process is done you can relax and wait for your plane to become available.
Reserve your tickets online when you preregister online for the event. Remember to preregister to let the Tournament Organizer(TO) know exactly how many players there will be. That will let them plan the event better. Remember to print out the email confirmation for both and keep them on hand when you arrive.
Parking costs money. The hotel uses their own parking lot with an attendant who will let you in. Remember to bring a credit card or about $20 or so.
Most times, major tournaments are held in the main floor of a hotel. In the case of NEC 12, the main floor branched off in to many different side rooms; each room was dedicated to a particular game. Seasons Beatings took place in a large open ballroom and all of the stations were located along the perimeter of the wall.
Final Round is being held at in theHiltonAtlantaAirporthotel. FR is being organized by Shin Blanka. March 29th -31st Atlanta, Georgia.
If you can't make it to FR you can still watch the stream at these links.
Team Spooky-- http://www.twitch.tv/teamsp00ky
There are two ways to get them: A long process that takes longer than a month, and an express way that costs more but you get it quicker. If anyone knows more about how passports work, let us know.
Hopefully this article has been helpful at revealing some of the uncertainties of travel and what you can expect before arriving at a tournament. I remember, before I started traveling, I had no idea what to expect-- I had something to prove and in the end it was a very humbling experience that I am really grateful to have. Anyway, good luck!
We hope to see you there!For more information about tournaments check out this thread.