Planning for Soulcalibur V Nationals 2012...

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This is just a preliminary plan. Nothing has been decided yet and we don't even know if Namco-Bandai is planning anything. But if they are not, we need to have our own.

I have not had much discussion with others interested in running Nationals; but I was hoping to get support from Idlemind, AkazukinChaCha, Hates, and Neorussel. In efforts of transparency though, I'm posting my ideas publicly and hoping for approval, criticism or ideas from the tournament community.

So these are my initial ideas... Most have been determined based on past history...
  • 8 regional events, open to NORTH AMERICAN players only!
    • North East America
    • South East America
    • North Central America
    • South Central America
    • North West America
    • South West America
    • Canada
    • Mexico + Caribbean
  • We're only doing 8 because when we tried to do 16 in 2009, it was way too much; there were tournaments very close together while other regions had nothing close. The idea for this was to split the regions based on population; this time we are splitting straight geographically.
  • Any North American player can attend any regional; so Caribbean players could enter the South East tournament if it's easier for them to get to. The same goes for Canadian players and Northern tournaments, or Mexico and South West tournaments.
  • The top TWO players from each regional tournament will qualify for nationals.
  • Players who have qualified at a regional, may defer their position to the next ranked player of that event. So if the player got 2nd at a regional and can't make it to Nationals; they can give their position up to the person ranked 3rd. No one below 4th may earn a deferred qualifier position.
  • Once a player has earned a qualifier position (even if they deferred their position), they may not enter anymore regional qualifier events. For instance, if a player gets 1st at an event, and then defers their right to the 3rd; even though they are no longer qualified for nationals, they may not enter another event. This rule is specifically in place to prevent bracket rigging.
Each regional tournament has to charge $25 per player... All $25 goes to the National Funds.
  • $15 of that $25 is reserved strictly for the Nationals pot and will not be used for anything else.
  • The remaining $10 will be reserved for helping ALL Nationals qualifiers with their travel expenses. This does not mean it will FULLY pay for travel expenses; if this $10/25 fund reaches it's limit, qualifiers will be required to pay for the rest. If the $10/25 covers all travel expenses in full and money is left over; the excess will be added to the $15/25.
  • Regional tournament organizers MUST use TIO to run their event... no paper brackets!
  • Regional tournament organizers must send their funds to the National committee by cashier's check / money order within 1 week of the event, as well as send in their TIO file.
There will be a minimum of 2 months between the last qualifier and the Nationals exhibition; which will most likely be at Summer Jam 2012; in order to help qualifiers better schedule their travel situations. There will still be a regular tournament at Summer Jam open to all players, but the National exhibition will be open to qualifiers only; there will be no last chance qualifier. Obviously, during the minimum of 2 months layover, there will be EVO.

At After the Nationals exhibition; I would like to have an International Exhibition.
  • The International Exhibition will be the best North American player, versus the best player from other regions. I don't care how the other regions come up with their best player; if they want to run their own Nationals series, they can; but that will have nothing to do with ours. Hell, if Europe wants to pick their "best" player randomly from a raffle out of hat... they can.
 
Jason Axelrod

Jason Axelrod

Owner and Operator of 8WAYRUN
The only problem (well not the only one) with throwing it at PAX is if I remember right they mostly supply 360's there. There are a few PS3s of course but the majority of the consoles you find will be Xbox360. The guy who used to run the SC tournaments at PAX (Zig21, I'm sure some of you know him) will run a hell of a bracket, but I don't know if he's even interested in getting back into 3D fighters.

The main problem though is the location. Seattle is in bum fuck nowhere. There is no way it's practical to have everyone who would need to be there fly all the way out here. As much as I would love it, it just isn't going to work. Now a regional...maybe. Depending on how much love is shown for this game when it comes out (trust me I'm doing my best to hype the shit up) it could go right and I would do my best as far as housing and all that. But as much as it pains me to say it, it might be more beneficial to run qualifiers in NoCal and SoCal instead of Seattle. Like I said we'll see how the shit goes when the game comes out, but our regional thread hasn't really been popping with new people yet so I don't know how the shit is gonna be out here.
 
Then there's the whole "there's a buttload of things to do at (EVENT)" thing. I swear, if semis are scheduled during the Hey, Ash panel, I know where my priorities are. :p
 
A regional was held in Oklahoma for SC4 and as far as i heard form the travelers that attended it wasn't bad at all, I think OKGamers should go at it again for South/Central.
 
No offense, but after the shit that was pulled at Dev this last year, I can't support those guys doing anything. As much as I love Phoenix and the venue, and the fact that it's a hell of a lot closer to me I still can't support that. Those guys promised us the world and regardless of whatever ANY excuse they or anyone else can come up with they failed to show us any respect. We were an after thought. Granted we are a smaller community and there were larger things afoot but what was told to us and how they represented themselves beforehand, came up a lot better than how they actually treated us there. I am just of a mind that if someone tells you they're going to do this or that and promise you the world, when they fail to even show you any semblance of respect they're not to be trusted.

um...lol? not to beat a dead horse or derail here, but rather than moving the original posts, this needs a transparent reply here.

first of all, of course i am going to take offense to that glib, flippant riff-raff.

the bracket dilemma sucked. it sucked, but it was a legitimate human error by a novice, volunteer staff member. a word got written on the wrong line and nobody was there to speak up and correct it until it was too late. shit happens. RTD wasn't happy. lolo and NFK weren't happy. robb and staff weren't happy. you weren't happy and nor was i. to make matters worse, while it was happening i was being made to throw away my hot wings due to the convention center's outside food policy and a nosy ass security bitch. it was a lame 45 minutes, for sure. it happened, though, and they did what was the best solution given the circumstances and moved on. we all make mistakes.

is it because of the 2/3 at the end? if anything, that is our own fault just as much as the novice TO that was running the brackets. between all of us physically present and all the monsters watching the stream, not one person pointed out that the set was a match short. not one. not even the people playing in it. sure, the main organizers couldn't designate the weekend to babysitting our portion of the event, but jesus christ, they had shit to do. we said nothing. the faults that happened were just mistakes. they happen.

NFK had stepped out and didn't notice he got skipped or say anything until more than half an hour had passed and the tournament had gone from round one to literally one set away from ending. nobody but RTD said a damn thing about it, and even he let it go after a one second affirmation from the TO that NFK was out. would you blame them? i didn't notice and point out that finals and semi finals were 2/3 instead of 3/5. neither did you. neither did the two people playing in them. we ALL let things slip over our heads that we should have been on top of. hell, maybe it is my fault for drinking beer and watching MK finals (which were awesome) instead of paying attention to SC top 8. i'll own that. blaming the organizers for mishaps by a noob volunteer staff member that we all sat by and were copacetic about until after the fact is childish.

these aren't excuses; they are reality. it isn't like it was swept under a rug or lied about or hidden in any way. there was a mistake and it was fixed and in the future we will all be a bit more diligent about preventing such things. i am curious as to how you would have magically unfucked the situation if given the authority to do so at the time, and where your suggestions were when it all happened.

was it the absence of a playable sc5 build? it fell through. it was out of the TO's hands completely. it was never confirmed, guaranteed or promised in the first place; only hinted at as a very likely possibility, which it was. i don't know what you mean with your repetition of "promised us the world", but as far as i can tell we got everything we were promised, and i had a blast as always.

how were we disrespected? how were we an afterthought? i'm not sure what event you went to, but at the one i attended we got a sponsored pot that was higher than anything SC has seen in the states in a couple years, an entire corner of the massive venue filled with more than ample stations, and much more. hell, we even got to play out the majority of our tournament on the main screen, and on the main stream (to more viewers than any SC event that i know of since our last EVO) - in spite of vastly more popular and profitable options, and much to the chagrin of hundreds of 2d fans and players there and thousands on stream.

remember how 90% of everyone got up and walked out of the venue when we put SC on the main screen? remember how many viewers left the stream? remember how, in spite of the obvious detriment to the viewership of the event, we still got every bit of our promised time to have center stage, during prime viewing time on saturday evening? that was long before the top 8 stuff happened. certainly, you must have forgotten.

you are looking a beautiful gift horse in the mouth because it stumbled a little bit when you jumped on.

how can you say that the TOs can't be trusted? i have yet to see anyone go back on their word on anything. we were treated extremely well, in spite of being a niche crowd and playing a 3 year+ old game. to accuse the TOs of disrespecting us or being untrustworthy because of these documented, witnessed, and fixed-as-well-as-possible mishaps, after everything that they DID do to promote SC and our community is not justified and pretty damn low. were you expecting a red carpet and a bottle of dom on ice or what?

a simple bracket error says nothing compared to the consistent professional quality of the event staff and venue, the thousands of spectators, the amount of time and money and space given to us...that said, let's please divert further discussion of it to PM's or the appropriate thread.

DEV 2k12 will most likely fall in autumn again, perfect timing after a couple month hiatus post-evo, and it will also be big enough and hype enough and packed enough to draw thousands of people to see our game. a headlining event like SC5 Nats would be perfect there.

that said, i do agree with pretty much everything KDZ brought up, minus the american-centric patriotic parts.

if we eliminate the central american and canadian qualifiers, which i think is a good idea, would players from those areas still be allowed to enter US regionals? while i do think the qualifiers should be limited to the states, i'd like to see anybody and everybody willing to travel and play in them be eligible to compete. we let foreigners play in almost all of our professional and college level sports to boost skill and hype. i hope that this is no different.

NATS is just a tournament title. i don't know about you guys, but i don't want it to be a "let's see who is best in the USA" event. i want it to be a "lets hold some big qualifiers and stack a small bracket with amazing players and throw the definitive, most bad-ass invitational SC5 tournament in the world" event! telling great players that we don't want them to compete/are scared of them beating us on our own turf/can't win a title reserved for americans only doesn't sound to me like a good thing.

as for the money...we are not rich, nor are we largely sponsored. we can be adults and pay for our own shit. designating a portion of the regional proceeds as a grant of sorts to help with travel expenses is sufficient. people shouldn't be expecting a free ride out of it. if you can't pay for a trip with months of notice, then you should probably be re-thinking the amount of time you play video games anyway. throwing charity at competitors rather than the winners or the event is lame. i'd like to see 20/$25 go to the pot. throw more of the money toward the champs!

finally...no last chance qualifier? why not? it is not only hype as hell, but it gives us another awesome calibur event for the weekend, whenever it turns out to be. it will also draw more players and make a bigger margin for awesome upsets. not to mention that if NATS ends up being held at another major, it will draw in tons of cross-gaming players to fluff our pot for the invitational.

i'd divide regions like this:

  • North East America (philly/NY)
  • South East America (ATL)
  • North Central America (chi-town)
  • South Central America (TX)
  • North West America (norcal)
  • South West America (socal/PHX)
  • Last Chance (top 4)
idk about having 4 from last chance, but i couldn't think of another region...


/end winded epistle
 
Here's another thought:

instead of 'National Championship', it could be called 'North American Championship', which, consequentially means a whole lot more braggin rights
 
I myself like the idea of SC having a nationals at an event that's all about SC. Similar to how MK nationals was just about MK. I understand that MK had developer support, still an event like FSAK is proof that there can be an awesome event dedicated to just SC. And that event took place when SC had all but lost all of its hype. Just imagine what could take place if nationals was thrown next year, especially with the hype around SCV.

I do however see regionals as something that could coordinate with majors. This would create more incentive for going to a regional. Perhaps someone who couldn't make it to their regional wants to qualify but doesn't feel like flying across the country for a chance to go to nationals. If you attach a major to it the incentive goes way up.

One other thing though is that I don't see the need for the journey to nationals to be too long. I think May/June is late enough. There doesn't have to be this insanely long period of time. A couple months into the games lifespan seems quite all right. The reason I bring this up is that with SC4 nationals taking so long time to come a lot of issues came up. With the Hilde debate and the community split down the middle and all that was ever said was "wait until after Nationals". Clearly that was too long for a lot of people to wait and they just out right left. Plus it would be nice if someone could hold the title for a little bit. If Evo comes up so soon after nationals and the national champ doesn't win it's kind of like they are dethrowned merely a month or a few weeks after earning the title.

Lastly I don't see the need to exclude the canada, mexico, dominican republic etc.
 
I agree Nationals should be its own event, just like FSAK. Don't make it part of another event.

As for outsiders being part of it, that's hard to say. Vote.
 
Atlanta should definately be the spot for the southeast regional, as Atlanta will have the best players.

I think it'd be fine if the Mexicans, DR, and Canada wanna come, just call it the SC5 North American Nationals.
 
On second thought, keeping it USA only makes the most sense to me. Sometimes USA finds themselves arguing with France that USA is a big country, and the players don't have enough of an opportunity to gather together to determine the best. Now's your chance. Thus making top 2 at regionals a solid rule.

Plus, keeping it USA only makes a better reference for tourney results. Leave the international majors for the international majors. Mixing us in there confuses the perception.
 
In summary of my opinion:

1. Make this an event just for SoulCalibur, not part of another event.
2. Make this a USA only event.
3. Top 2 qualify at regionals.


That's my outsider's perspective. Good luck.
 
If it's only top 2 who qualify, and only 8 regionals, making it 16 people at Nationals, that's sorta a lame event, even if it's the best of the best, it's cooler when there's more people than that. Top 4 should go imo.
As a compromise, since it's supposed to be an sc5 exclusive event anyways, maybe have a preliminary tourney at Nationals among the players that placed 3rd and 4th, having the top 5 players from there be able to compete in the main event.
So, that's 21 people, with 11 spectators.
 
Thing is, if you want top 4, then the 3rd and 4th placers are less likely to get their travel arrangements sorted out (this was proven in previous years). Plus, if 3rd and 4th placers cancel, then it loses meaning when 5th and 6th placers swap seats.

Quality over quantity should take priority.
 
I haven't decided if top 2 or top 4 would be a better call. There are clear pros and cons for each way:
Top 2 you put more importance on regionals, make those events more meaningful, plus you have an easier time convincing/helping your placers to attend nationals. The audience turn out will be low, but I'd expect when it is a tourney of the top 16 players only, it will be a very highly viewed stream, if organizers play their cards right, could be a huge exposure for this community. Plus a top 16 leaves more time for exhibition matches and special events after/before the main event.
If you do top 4, you have a larger national finals pool of 32, which may make the final event better attended, but you also are telling the 3rd and 4th seed they will receive no support on travel expense, and history has shown that those players often drop out (even more often last minute) leaving coordinators and 5th-6th place finishers from their events scrambling to see if they can come... simply put it creates more opportunities for things to be done wrong. No one wants to see bye rounds in a national finals either, this only increases those odds.

So right now i'd lean toward top 2 only, but once we settle a bunch of other details, it will probably impact this decision.

I think the Nats itself should be USA only, and then we do an international exhibition vs other top players from other countries after.

Locations is always gonna be hardest to determine, but also most vital to have solidified early so you can set dates and hype those events as often as possible for as long as possible.

National rules should be set from the get go, however you have to make them subject to change as the game MAY be patched in between regionals, and we have to have contingencies in place for if the patch effects game balance. No characters should be banned on "potential" for being broke, we MUST let tournament results speak for themselves and have clear reasons to ban them ect.

anyways, I gotta go to work, more thoughts later.
 
I haven't decided if top 2 or top 4 would be a better call. There are clear pros and cons for each way:
Top 2 you put more importance on regionals, make those events more meaningful, plus you have an easier time convincing/helping your placers to attend nationals. The audience turn out will be low, but I'd expect when it is a tourney of the top 16 players only, it will be a very highly viewed stream, if organizers play their cards right, could be a huge exposure for this community. Plus a top 16 leaves more time for exhibition matches and special events after/before the main event.
If you do top 4, you have a larger national finals pool of 32, which may make the final event better attended, but you also are telling the 3rd and 4th seed they will receive no support on travel expense, and history has shown that those players often drop out (even more often last minute) leaving coordinators and 5th-6th place finishers from their events scrambling to see if they can come... simply put it creates more opportunities for things to be done wrong. No one wants to see bye rounds in a national finals either, this only increases those odds.

So right now i'd lean toward top 2 only, but once we settle a bunch of other details, it will probably impact this decision.

I think the Nats itself should be USA only, and then we do an international exhibition vs other top players from other countries after.

Locations is always gonna be hardest to determine, but also most vital to have solidified early so you can set dates and hype those events as often as possible for as long as possible.

National rules should be set from the get go, however you have to make them subject to change as the game MAY be patched in between regionals, and we have to have contingencies in place for if the patch effects game balance. No characters should be banned on "potential" for being broke, we MUST let tournament results speak for themselves and have clear reasons to ban them ect.

anyways, I gotta go to work, more thoughts later.

I have solved all of these problems already- which is why I think we (the potential organizers) need to talk at NEC and not on the front page.
 
Well, if the 3rd and 4th competed in a preliminary tourney at the event, that would basically solve the issue. If none of the 3rd and 4th show up, that would be fine, and if enough of them showed up, that would be fine also, then they could do the prelim tourney. If not as many as expected of the 3rd and 4th folks show up, the prelim tourney could still happen, but have less people move to the main event, like have 3 people move on instead of 5.
 
As Bibulus mentioned the number of entrants should impact to some extent the number of qualifiers. If one regional has 80 people and another only has 30 does it really make sense to have the same number of qualifiers?

It's debatable I guess you could have 30 truly skilled players at one regional and then 65 scrubs and 15 legitimate players at the other. Also we obviously don't know for sure where more players will show up and if it will be that much of a margin of difference.

But suppose SC really does hit it off and we get something like 100+ at a regional. If that were to take place it makes no sense to have 2 qualifiers. If we do get the usual 40 entrants than 2 qualifiers works but I believe SCV will do better than SCIV did.

We do need to try aim high with this game. We shouldn't be happy with doing slightly better than in the past. It's possible for us to have really great numbers at all tournaments including regionals. Even if the developers don't support nationals(although I really think they will) nationals can be a truly epic event. With all they've done with the game many new players will be attracted to it. We actually have to advertise tournaments. Hardcore fans shouldn't have to go searching for tournaments. With nationals especially, many would come out for the honor of being titled the SCV national champ.
 
But suppose SC really does hit it off and we get something like 100+ at a regional. If that were to take place it makes no sense to have 2 qualifiers. If we do get the usual 40 entrants than 2 qualifiers works but I believe SCV will do better than SCIV did.
This kind of thing just happens. There are always tournaments where there are 50+ players and only a small amount of good ones. All it means is that SC is popular in that region. But also, if there are indeed 8 regionals, that means you have 8 chances if you really care. And Nationals itself could have a last chance qualifier, which would be perfect so that there's a large group of people to spectate after most of them don't qualify.

Bottom line: Attendance/popularity shouldn't determine skill.