NJ Midseason Showdown – Recap

First, let me thank everyone for their support over the past few months. We all really appreciate everyone who has come to our Premier Challenges and watched our stream. We started Liberty Garden to show the best of what the New York and New Jersey VGC community has to offer to the rest of the country and the world. So when the Midseason Showdowns were announced, we knew we wanted to put on a show, both for those at home and players/spectators at the event.

The Midseason Showdown, as most of you know, is a new undertaking for Organized Play. We started planning for it months ago, but you never know how things are going to go until you’re in the thick of it. We were as prepared as we could be for our first large event – in retrospect though there are some things we definitely could have prepared a little better and those are the areas that we let everyone down.

The stream – we did a bit of testing before hand to figure out how to make some things work (multiple mics, multiple cams, added graphics, etc) and thought we had it all nailed down. Between the terrible bandwidth at the hotel and the added processing-sapping graphics, our stream computer collapsed. Thanks to Tommy Cooleen’s hard work and Casey Bennink’s MiFi, as well as advice from several people, we were able to recover, reinstall OBS, and finish out the day without the troublesome graphics. We’ve already been analyzing what happened and how we can do better in the future. On a positive note, the hotel refunded us the costs for access to their ethernet – anyone who donated to this and would like those donations back can DM me on Twitter. All donations that we did receive for the stream will be applied to the cameras and accessories that we purchased for the stream. Bottom line, we let you guys down. No one feels worse about it than us. We set the bar really high and are humbled at our missteps. We’ll keep working to bring quality streams and content.

The live projection – at Florida Regionals, TJ DiGiacomo (PsyJVGC) had their projector hooked to a laptop to stream the live Twitch feed instead of using the projector as a separate display. The idea grew on us and we decided to use it for our Midseason. Unfortunately, with all of the issues with the stream itself and the terrible internet in the ballroom, we were unable to get that setup. We did project Top Cut but by that time, most of the attendees had left. Thanks to those who stuck with us and watched along.

Pokken Tournament – when Pokken was announced for release on the Saturday before the Midseason, we knew that we wanted to have it setup for everyone to try. When the competitive circuit for Pokken World Championships was revealed, it was even more important to us to have a great setup. We secured equipment and learned as much as we could about the games before they were released. On Sunday morning during setup, it became clear to us that we missed a crucial piece needed to run the WiiU’s with the monitors we had. Luckily, we had planned on projecting one game so we were able to salvage at least 1 machine. We were unable, though, to run the tournament we announced.

Things we did right (at least we hope we did) – even though the first round started about a half hour later than scheduled, we were able to get through 7 Best of 3 rounds (with 74 Masters), plus all Top 8 matches by 7:30 p.m. We kept the rounds running smoothly and had ample staff / judges on hand to keep things orderly. Our TOM operators kept it moving and we were able to do 3-4 tables of hack checks each round with minimal delays. The large projector with Pokken kept everyone entertained and the lunch portions were great.

Overall, we are our harshest critics, so it pains us to have things crash as badly as they did. We’ve all reflected on what went wrong so we can come back strong and continue to bring great content and commentary at every future event we stream.

Lastly, thanks to our event staff, commentary team, and everyone for coming out to our first major event – and congratulations to our winners: Junior Zach L., Senior Jason C. and Master Chris Danzo! We hope TPCi renews Midseason Showdowns so we can bring you more of these next season.


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