Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about throwing a fighting game event. Something that’s similar to the exhibition matches and bar fights they throw on the west coast. You know, something that happens on a rare occasion where good people can come together and have a fun tournament without all the pressure of a real one.
What I had in mind was similar to a bar fight, but with a lot more flare and excitement than what the current guys have done. I want the event to be something where if you saw it live, you would instantly fall in love with the atmosphere the most. I want it to be amazing in every since of the word and be something that puts North Carolina on the map in terms of fighting game events.
For example, picture a nice club with enough space for a big crowd. When you walk in, you hear live music (not too loud) and see dancers in various places around the venue. Fog machines are filling the room with light smoke (not too much again) and people are in mass quantity with drinks in hand and eagerness for the match worn on their sleeves. The tournament area would be the center of attention with a setup designed for two teams. Playing would be for a rivalry of sorts brawling it out in the middle of all the action. Girls dancing, people cheering, fog rolling in and possibly low-level lights in the background to set it off.
Putting this into play would take some careful planning. Firstly, a venue would need to be established. With the amount of people attending (i.e.: a lot of people), it shouldn’t be too hard to find a good location. Secondly, getting the elements needed to make this happen outside of the venue would be the difficult part. Things like entertainers to commentators may be a bit difficult on top of the planning. For example, if I do the fog machine then I would need a damn fog machine. They are cheap to rent if you have a couple G’s to drop, but not so much if they are out of pocket. The same applies for say the dancers. I’m sure to make that happen, someone will want to get paid.
However, this is nothing I’ve not ran into in the past. I’ve planned parties with huge budgets and small budgets in the past. I’ve done everything from throwing a event in another state to another country. The same applies to tournaments for various games, but nothing for the fighting game community in general. Nonetheless, I have good faith in my ability to execute the vision and make it a pretty epic event for NC.
Promoting the event shouldn’t be that complicated. Luckily for me, the FGC is pretty close all over. I mean, if you’re reading this, you’re likely seeing this from the FGC in NC alone. That should tell you that reaching you is easily done via social media channels or even word-of-mouth. Outside of that, promoting the event for gamers in general would need to be in order too. I don’t want to just target fighting game fans with an event like this one. I want to target gamers who may be tempted to swing over to the game too. I think it’s important that gamers in general see how awesome the FGC and their events can be firsthand. That way the segment of people we can target with this event is enough to really fill out the show if it should happen.
Other areas of promotion would have to be media. Having a lot of friends who do professional film making will pay off in this area. I’ve already received conformation that I could get a film crew out there to short a short promotional video for the first event. Something that we could put together highlighting the awesomeness of the event that can be used to promote the second event. That way when the event is successful, we have an awesome promotional trailer to show off to the world and to build some rep for the state in terms of FG events.
As mentioned previously, I’m looking to do something with teams. I don’t want to do a big single player double elimination tournament for multiple games. That would take a very long time to complete. I would instead like to do a team event for maybe one to three games like Street Fighter, Marvel and King of Fighters. But, that depends on the teams and who can play. Ideally, team based tournaments work if there are enough teams. I’m only looking for two major teams per game for a good rivalry style match. I think we have enough around here to make that happen.
Commentation wise, the standard still applies. One commentator for the crowd and two for the stream. That way we cover all ends in terms of recording what we do and setting the tone for the show with a great commentator calling the match for the spectators who show up.
The Pay Out
To start, the payout will likely be based on entries and spectators at the event. As it’s more of an exhibition match, the money is not really the key factor either. But, that does not mean it’s not important later down the road. My gut feeling is that something will need to be worked out where spectators will need to pay a small fee to see the show ($3 to $5 per person). Teams will need to shell out something too ($25 to $50). Spectators pay for the event (i.e.: venue fees, equipment, dancers, whatever) and teams will pay each other (i.e.: the pot). That way all ends are covered in terms of being able to run the event where my wife doesn’t divorce me and the players are happy with the possibility of making double their money back if they win the tournament on top of bragging rights for the area.
In the long run, sponsors will be the long term target. I don’t suspect I will land some for the first event, but the second one has high possibilities. For example, if the event is a hit, then I have something to sell to sponsors. As we will have a video made from the first event, it will become one of the main pieces of media we can sell for the second event. If sponsors can get a good look into how the show was ran, then they are more likely to toss money our way for the second show. That way we can use what they give as part of the show for both running and payouts. Ideally, I will shoot for about 2k sponsorship to start. 1k for the show fees and 1k for the payouts. Thus, if there is just one game, that’s 1k to the winning team split X ways.
(Note: Sponsorship will be split between two needs. Needs to pay for the show and needs to pay the players who make the show.)
The End Result
Hopefully, if everything comes together, we can have a pretty epic event for NC. You know, something that really puts the state on the map in terms of the fighting games. Something that has a lot of hype and something that really highlights the skill in the area once or twice a year. Nothing would make me happier than doing something that makes everyone else around the world jealous because what we have is NC grown.