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Topics - Ziggy

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Community News / OHN Community Input - Round 1
« on: August 06, 2011, 05:24:44 PM »

With EVO behind us, OzHadou is starting to look towards the next OzHadou Nationals (OHN) tournament. Right now planning is in the very early stages, with Goswu, Gamogo, FaYd, Final Atomic Buster and myself just starting to discuss what we'd like to do with the next OHN.

As OHN has always been a tournament by the community, for the community, we'd like to ask some questions regarding what direction(s) you'd like to see OHN head towards in the future. We've compiled a series of questions for people to answer. Each week for the next few weeks I'll put up a new OHN Community Input thread. The more feedback we get, the better we will understand what the community would like us to try and achieve with OHN.

This week's poll is on the subject of the location (and frequency) of OHN. Please take a moment to vote in the poll. You only have 1 week to vote, after which the poll will be closed, so please have your say while you can! We also welcome additional input on the subject via posts in this thread.

Community News / Street Fighter Documentaries
« on: July 30, 2011, 08:02:57 PM »
Looking for something to fill your evenings after EVO wraps up? Why not check out some of the great SF documentaries that are being screened at EVO 2011.

King of Chinatown
This documentary focuses on Justin Wong's tournament career around the time of EVO 2009. The film is as much about the player himself as it is about the environment that was supporting him in the lead up to his epic grand final showdown with Daigo in SF4 at EVO.

The film is available for direct download at a cost of $12 USD. It provides a lot of insight into Empire Arcadia and some of what goes on with sponsorship in the competitive SF scene.

Do you believe in Mike Ross?

This is the story of one of the most popular SF4 players in the US. There's a lot of personal history in here that many people wouldn't know about. (I certainly didn't.) You'll also get a closer look at the the atmosphere that exists on the stage at EVO.

Covering Mike's impressive performance at EVO 2010, find out what motivates Mike and how he's become one of the most well-known SF4 players in the world.

Be sure to watch closely for a brief cameo by our own hebretto!

Once you've watched either film feel free to post your thoughts and/or reviews below.

Community News / Bracketed blog series - Feedback thread
« on: July 17, 2011, 12:09:36 PM »
I've been inspired to start a series of blog articles - called Bracketed - on the subject of tournament organisation. This is a topic that doesn't get talked about a lot around the internet, and since OzHadou is all about "Australian tournaments" I thought it might make for some interesting reading.

I'm going to talk about a range of tournament organisation topics, with the odd soapbox moment thrown in. I'd like to focus on topics that interest people the most, so if you have any topic requests, feedback on entries to date, or anything else relevant to share please post it in here.

The first entry in the Bracketed series is now available, with more to follow on a (roughly) weekly basis. FWIW I'll try to keep the text lean in future (aiming for 500 words or less, though I broke that rule already).

Community News / SS2011: Bracket Analysis for AE and MvC3
« on: July 16, 2011, 05:36:15 PM »
At any tournament people will always have something to say about the brackets. This is because people care about what's going on at tournaments, and that's a great thing. :)

SS2011 is the biggest fighting game tournament ever held in Australia. The brackets for the headline games - SSF4:AE and MvC3 - were both massive (245 and 116 respectively according to the full results), and the bigger the brackets the more divided people will be about them, especially in the heat of the competition. So in the aftermath of the tournament I thought I'd take some time to analyse the SS2011 brackets for AE and MvC3 and see how the seeding panned out.

To start with, you can find photos of the pools for AE and MvC3 via this link. Many thanks to the people who snapped these for me (you know who you are). I'm making these images available because I don't want people to just take my word about the breakdowns, and I welcome and corrections or alternative views on the matter.

To help with the names and regions I've relied on information made available by Shadowloo. This was a combination of the sign-ups list and the full results, both of which are available online courtesy of Shadowloo.

Below is a dump of the seeds into an Excel spreadsheet, with some numbers and highlights which I'll discuss in a couple of posts below. I'll also provide HTML versions in each additional post.

Link to Excel analysis file.

You knew this was coming. ;)

These bracket photos are not the final versions of the pools that actually took place. Some changes were definitely made as the results do not perfectly match the player lists implied by these photos. A good example of this is that I can't find Xian in the MvC3 pools, yet he placed top 16 so he must have been added in there at some point. :P Given the size of the event and the fact that brackets appeared to be made on-the-fly during SS I suspect these aren't too far removed from what was run.

The objectives here are to dispel some of the myths around the SS2011 seeding, and also highlight opportunities for improvements in the future which all tournament organisers can consider.

See the posts below for my thoughts around the numbers, and feel free to add your own observations and feedback.

Tournament Announcements / OHN9 - Attendee DIY/BYO Plans
« on: April 09, 2011, 09:50:42 AM »
If you're bringing along gear to qualify for any of the venue entry refunds at OHN9 please post your intentions in this thread. It will greatly assist us with gauging how much gear we'll have relative to the number of sign-ups, and hopefully mean the refund process will be as smooth as possible on the day.

DIY Tournaments
Further to this, if you're going to set up a DIY please bring it to our attention by posting here. We're always happy to help promote relevant DIY events via the OHN9 website so please keep us informed and we'll do our best to help you out.

Random Discussion / The Trouble with GGS - an Open Letter
« on: March 19, 2011, 01:40:54 PM »
After reading this GGS tournament thread during the week, and also reading this community building blog entry on SRK, I spent some time thinking about how things at GGS have unfolded over the last few years. Everyone knows I'm an opinionated and long-winded fellow, but I'm hesitant to talk about this topic because I've long since retired from the competitive scene as a player. Then it occurred to me I could just write it off as "my opinion" and leave everybody else to ignore it if they wished. :)

Disclaimer: My thoughts here are my own, based on personal experience, a bit of reading and talking to numerous people. This isn't about asking for change - I won't become a GGS regular regardless of the response to this thread, so it's absurd to think this is about making me happy. I'm just sharing my point of view, and people can dislike it or ignore it at their leisure.

GGS has been a bastion for the Sydney competitive fighting scene since its opening. It provided a home for the 3S community after Playtime closed and has been at the centre of tournaments great and small ever since then, enjoying strong support with new titles such as SF4 and Tekken 6, and even expanding to provide on-site consoles for titles like SSF4 and MvC3. However video games are not the core focus of the GGS business, and their integration has not been executed in the most efficient manner. There are four aspects of the GGS fighting game situation that warrant review: the timing of gatherings, frequency of tournaments, customer service and the long-term view of the business model.

Friday Nights
Everybody that visits this website knows that if you want to play fighting games with top/keen Sydney players, you should visit GGS on just about any Friday night and you'll find a challenger at the least, and often a tournament to join. What they might not know is that they'll be sharing the room with a small army of MTG players, as Friday night is when GGS runs its weekly Friday Night Magic (FNM) fixture - a mainstay of their core business.

A Friday night at GGS makes one thing abundantly clear - GGS is not an arcade or a console lounge. GGS is a gaming store of the card/miniatures/board games/etc variety. The video games are there to use up spare capacity. When you go to GGS to play fighting games, you are not the primary customer for the business.

Friday nights have been favoured because they suit the people running things and/or some of the attendees who are in the city on a Friday night anyway. These numbers are always going to be constrained because of the lack of physical space when running things alongside FNM. This has been the situation for a very long time now.

If people are serious about weekly organised gatherings at GGS, then the Friday night model cannot be sustained. It doesn't offer room for growth, it conflicts with GGS core business, and it doesn't suit the growing number of people who face a long, late night commute to even get to and from GGS on a Friday.

Walk-in casuals on a Friday make perfect sense. You can always do that in any arcade, and the forums allow people to confirm attendance in advance. It's more about convenience in that case anyway so it doesn't matter if you pop in after school/work on a Friday and nobody is there since it wasn't out of your way to begin with. But making the core local tournament/planned casual play scene revolve around a cramped Friday night is never going to work.

If people are keen then weeklies should continue, but they need to run during GGS off-peak times because doing it any other way is only hurting the people you are trying to retain.

Too Many Tournaments
Weekly gatherings are definitely a good idea for a scene that is keen to play, improve and grow. They should be as regular as possible (i.e. same time and day every week) and be no more frequent than weekly to avoid dividing people's time between too many gatherings.

The weekly GGS gatherings have always revolved around tournaments. This was likely inspired by weekly RanBats in Japan and the US, where the major local  scenes are very much larger than the humble, widely spread Sydney scene.

In a smaller scene like Sydney, weekly tournaments are overkill. Many people can only gather to play once a week, and if every time you gather to play it's "tournament time" then when exactly do you get your offline casual training matches? The answer for some is "you don't". That means you fail to help people level up because there's not enough time between brackets for reflection and analysis. People need a chance to just get together and try/share ideas in a relaxed setting. Tournaments are great things for measuring your progress, but they sap the will from those who are struggling to understand the game and derive fun from just sharing with other keen players.

Local tournaments should be monthly in a scene as small as Sydney, meaning the other 3 weekly meets are a chance to train and learn. By making tournaments monthly you provide a regular goal for people to target each month, and those who want to avoid tournaments can still come and play without feeling too much pressure. It also gives the organisers more time to just relax and play games themselves!

Service with a Smile
Sydney has a long history of being unfriendly that has nothing to do with our scene. Playing online is also a minefield of hate messages that can take the shine off what is supposed to be a fun, yet intellectual, pass-time. Not everyone in any scene is going to become best friends with everyone else, and for the most part the Sydney community has a lot of respect for each other. However at GGS the players aren't always put first. Reasonable expectations are not being met and it will continue to turn people away.

We all accept that video games are not part of the GGS core business. I believe everybody is cool with that. What's not acceptable is when our scene tries to work with GGS to minimise our impact on their core business only to be treated like we're not welcome at all.

To give a basic example, events like S3 and Saturday team tournaments were negotiated with GGS management to be held during off-peak periods. OzHadou would pay for floor space that was exclusively for video game activities over a given time frame, with the understanding that space would also be left for GGS core business that might walk in off the street. Time after time GGS has chosen to break terms and favour last-minute core business arriving in off-peak times over OzHadou. This includes Sunday morning CCG tournaments that weren't supposed to happen, and casual CCG/wargaming being run in OzHadou-allocated space when a weekend tournament was supposed to start.

This sort of disrespect for the video game customers is a major source of discontent. People work around it, but the frustration builds over time when organisers give up their personal time and travel 1+ hours just to have their (paid and booked) plans interfered with. GGS management need to realise they are going to lose the video game income (such that it is) if they treat these players like 2nd rate customers (at best). Keep making the fighting game players feel unwanted and sure enough they won't bother coming back. This extends to the GGS staff, some of whom seem to think their job doesn't extend to servicing the video game players at GGS.

In it for the Long Haul
Arcade games are expensive. Consoles are not as expensive, but still cost a fair bit money in large quantities, especially when monitors and sticks are thrown in. Rome wasn't built in a day, and no arcade or console lounge will pay off their investments overnight.

If business is slow, jacking up the prices isn't going to help with the bottom line. GGS' advantage lies in directly servicing the community, not undercutting the competition. People will pay if they are being given the community experience they expect, but poor conditions and/or service at premium prices isn't going to work.

GGS already offers a lot of flexibility and freedom that the city arcades can't/won't offer. But the walk-in traffic of those arcades cannot be rivaled by GGS. What GGS needs to do is leverage community features better to maximise participation during well-timed weekly gatherings. This means things like wall-mounted viewing TVs for spectators, in-house direct feed video capture equipment and live streams for monthly tournaments need to be serious priorities, not much-promised undelivered pipe-dreams. These things cost money too, but investments have already been made in these directions by GGS associates and OzHadou, and the community is able to pitch in too if given evidence that GGS will support and justify their contributions (i.e. through well run tournaments and regular gatherings).

A healthy GGS video game business with a long-term view on customer service and revenue forms the foundations for Sydney major tournaments like OHN, not to mention justifying the very existence of the OzHadou website itself. So long as long-term goals go unrealised at GGS the foundation of OHN will be undermined, and is in danger of being eroded to the point of no return.

Since shortly after the close of Playtime, GGS has been the mecca for the Sydney competitive fighting game scene. Organised casual play and tournaments would never have existed for the current generation of fighting games - SF4, MvC3 and Tekken 6 - if not for the open support GGS has provided for the fighting game community. GGS has faced criticism on numerous occasions over the years. Support waxes and wanes not just because of what games are available or how keen the local players are, but also because of the way GGS and its partners (business and community) handle the video game component of its business.

Weekly gatherings are the best way to go if a scene of keen players exists. Since video games are non-core business for GGS, the weekly gatherings need to tie-in to fixed off-peak periods and leave the players to commit to making themselves available at that time. Without these planned meets, walk-in traffic will be all that remains, and the cabinets and consoles at GGS cannot survive on walk-in traffic. The tournament frequency needs to be scaled back to monthly so that players have more gatherings where they can just focus on education and fun rather than competition in a bracket.

The GGS staff need to show that they welcome the video gamers instead of treating them like second-class customers, with management demonstrating that they value the revenue from these people by holding to their promises on resources reserved for fighting games during off-peak hours. Growth and sustainability of the video games needs to be structured on a long-term business model where updates to new games are a matter-of-course, and upgrading services to the community (e.g. comfort, hardware, maintenance, etc) is consistently delivered over time.

There will always be room for improvement, and everyone understands that improvement takes time and money. It also takes a commitment to change and the will to see it through. Many of the things mentioned here have been static at GGS for a very long time, to the point where many would doubt that they'll ever change, or that there exists players in the wider Sydney area worth changing for. The proof will be in what comes next.

This is simply the opinion of one person who has come and gone. If you chose to read it I hope it inspired rather than offended. Don't get mad - get better. :D

Tournament Announcements / OHN9, Sydney: 28th-29th May, 2011
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:19:39 PM »

It's been a while coming, but OHN9 is on the way!

OHN9 will be held at 99 on York on the weekend of 28th - 29th May, 2011. This new OHN venue is located in the Sydney CBD between Town Hall and Wynyard stations. In the coming weeks we'll be bringing you the OHN9 website, which will contain full details concerning the tournament games, schedule of activities and of course online registration.

The tournament games will be SSF4, MvC3 and T6:BR.

Register online by visiting the OHN9 website:


What about SSF4:AE (and other games)?
OHN9 cannot afford to hire AE cabinets, and since the AE DLC comes out after OHN9 we'll have to go with SSF4.

Tekken 6: BR is part of the official line-up, and some DIY events may also take place.

Will there be regional qualifiers for SSF4 and MvC3 like the OH APAC tournaments last year?
Yes, the OHR series has already started, and is going to run into mid-May. Check Tournament Announcements for details on an OHR in your region (if any).

That's all we have to share right now. I invite people to use this thread to discuss OHN9, and to ask any questions you might have. Please let us know what you'd like to see in terms of official tournaments, prizes, etc.

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