Whenever a huge tournaments is about to happen, there's always a strange sense of calmness before it starts. Preparations have been made for weeks, sometimes months, and you feel like you've prepared everything to a tee. No stone left unturned, no hole to cover up, nothing can go wrong. As always, it's just the calm before the storm. Let's talk about what happened.
The day started as any other hectic tournament normally starts - with chaos. The minute we said go, the tournament bracket homepage went offline. A few minutes later, we got the sad news that
GT had to forfeit the tournament citing real life reasons. Throw some server issues into the mix and you've got yourself a normal start to a massive and hectic tournament. But, once the problems were resolved, the tournament moved very smoothly, much thanks to the awesome QuakeCon staff member FreAk who helped direct players to servers while managing the bracket at the same time. He used four monitors - one for the stream, discord, bracket, and an enormous list that I had provided him with including every player's location, every server that was to be used for any potential matchup, and even from which part of the US American players were playing from - and had to work hard to keep up with the intense pace of the tournament. What a trooper. I'm sure nobody could have guessed that this was actually his first time in a role like that. He truly did a splendid job.
The stream was also hard pressed to manage things. Game commentary was lacking quite a bit due to having to manage rulings, rematches, and answering several other questions that always get asked when players don't read the rule book properly before entering a tournament. It's easy to forget that information being out there does not equal all players taking part of that information. This is not an isolated QuakeWorld thing. The ESL mails out physical rule books that participants are required to read through if they are to participate in an event. One can understand that this is the boring part of signing up for a tournament - you just want to play some games - but it does put organizers in a difficult position. It becomes a whack-a-mole of answering questions that are already answered in the rule book that players are expected to read, and in a relatively small scene, it's not like you can start punishing players for not reading the information that is available to them. But, I personally was and to some extent still am a player, and I can understand signing up for tournaments without necessarily reading every single word in a rule book.