Hey guys! I hosted a grassroots VGC tournament and I thought I'd give you a small, casual warstory report style post of how things went down. This is my first time ever hosting a tournament, but I had an absolute blast and wanted to share the experiance to encourage you all to check out your own local tourneys! Pre-Tournament So, what the hell is GT Gamefest anyway? GT Gamefest is a reasonably sized grass roots tournament that Georgia Tech students host every semester to play a bunch of games both competitively and just for free play for one last hoorah right before dead week. Big games at the tournament include big players like LOL, DOTA2, Starcraft, Smash, and Halo. The whole thing is free if you want to just free play, but you can also pay $15 bucks and get access to all tournaments, a t-shirt, and nearly as much pizza and soda as Monster and Dominoes can throw at us. Prior to this semester, I had actually only participated in the tournament once back in 2011 for smash, but remember it being a pretty great time. So, in late February, someone who was vaguely familiar with my presence in the Pokemon community got into contact with me and told me that GT Gamefest was holding a pilot Pokemon tournament to see if they wanted to add it to the roster for future semesters and wanted me to be the admin and organizer of it. I had no idea what I was really getting into, but it sounded awesome getting invited to host something I had heard of and had fun with before, so I jumped at the opportunity. I opted going for VGC style rules since they're slightly better optimized for quicker tournament play, though that did not stop everyone from playing a host of different rule sets during free play. The Big Day So, then there's the big day of the tournament. I end up waking up at the crack of 10:30am, frantically getting dressed so I could get to the campus's computing building by 11:00pm as requested by the tournament's higher ups. Our tournament was actually scheduled to be in a farther away building closer to the center of campus, but when I arrived, I was told there was a change of plans. Originally, Smite was scheduled to be hosted in the building's atrium, but Hi Res had canceled the little set up they were planning for the event at midnight the night before. This was a bummer for the handful of smite players that came, but it meant that Halo and Pokemon got to invade the atrium and be much closer to the other tournaments of the day. Registration opened at 12:00pm as I set up a table to work as my little home base and our defacto charging station. Good friend and cool dude Harrison and his girlfriend Emma were among the first to arrive right as registration began. We shot the breeze for nearly two hours straight about Pokemon, VGC, and other cool things. I swear it's always the weirdest and coolest experience talking about internet things irl. People trickled in throughout the day, we even got a little boost in our participant numbers thanks to the tournament being relocated to a much more convenient location. Come 2pm, registration had closed and it was time for the tournament to begin. But first, let me take you on a tour of the competition... Competitor Profiles So, with such a small tournament, I ended up learning (and mispronouncing) everyone's names fairly quickly, so I figured I'd give you guys the inside user profiles of our stellar contestants. This is some insider information that might require one of those fancy ESPN accounts no one buys, but hey, it was Easter weekend and 420 weekend. It's my treat. Last names were dropped for privacy reasons, except for one obvious one most of the vgc community knows well enough already (though if any of you participants happen to read this and are uncomfortable with your mention here, lemme know and I'll redact it). Harrison "Crow350" Saylor Former Southeast Regional Champion and two time nats top 8 player, Harrison Saylor is a beast to behold. Today, instead of busting out the super serious regs team though, he opted for the mighty Miltank to attempt to seize the crown. Many battlers made the wise decision to moooove over. Emma Emma and Harrison were a powerful Pokemon pro couple striking fear into the hearts of the competition inbetween just being too cute in each other's presence. She was also the winner of the "last name I butchered the most over the course of the day" award which was weird since A) it was a simple last name and B) my name is goddamn Roarke Tholen, I should be taking extra effort to not mispronounce names since hardly anyone can seem to say mine right on the first try. Sorry Emma! Tim "DocOctillery" (I'm sure you have a Smogon account but that doesn't seem to be a user :( ) Ho boy, Tim and I go way back. We met each other a the 2010 Georgia Governor's Honors Program and became reasonable rivals at SSBB. We both ended up going to GT and since have kept in lose communication with one another. He was actually one of two fellows who was multi-tasking and competiting in the Smash and Pokemon tournaments. Hunter And hunter would be the other dual tournament goer! Hunter ended up getting first in the Brawl tournament so he was truly one of the day's fiercest competitors Jeadu Here was something really surprising, Jeadu was in the same top four Harrison and I got two years ago in athens! He actually hadn't played much at all of the season and had to borrow a friends 3ds to play, but he was a very, very quick learner. Jay Decked out in a pretty awesome slowbro shirt, Jay was a newcomer to competitive Pokemon with the release of X&Y. However, that didn't stop him from having a pretty good performance as you'll soon read. Nathaniel Nathaniel was among one of our first competitors to arrive and one of the cooler dudes to hang around with in free play. Unfortunately, he was on board with Emma on the"name I constantly mispronounced throughout the day" train, but it seemed like overall he had some good fun. Eric Not too much is known (by me) about the mysterious Eric Carl (so I forgot to talk to him much over the day). All that is certain is that he's pretty wicked at Pokemon and was a pleasure to talk to during the tournament. Jared Jared was our youngest competitor at the age of 14, but that didn't scare him. He put up a good performance and had a lot of courage to go find a grass roots tournament with so many older combatants. Glen Glen actually hadn't played the game since he bought it the day it came out and was really at the tournament for League, but he jumped in anyway with his mighty in game team. Victory was hard to come by for Glen, but his iron spirit weathered the storm. I actually ended up giving him a little gift to help him pilot through the rest of the game during free play since he seemed like a pretty cool guy! The Tournament The tournament got underway first as a few swiss rounds among the 10 participants, all best of one. After those rounds though, we used the results to seed a 10 man bracket to build up a best 2 out of 3 single elimination tournament for the grand prize. Speaking of which, I guess I should elaborate on the prizes This was a pilot tournament so we only had a budget of 75$ to go off of. First prize got a copy of Bravely Default and the runner up got a spiffy 3DS carrying case. The stakes weren't high, but they were there and everyone was ready to fight for their chance at them. The swiss rounds went by fairly quickly, only delayed just slightly by cross tournament players completing matches elsewhere (still nothing of bother). Four swiss rounds saw Eric going strong with the only undefeated swiss record in the tournament. The bottom four clawed their way for the last spot in the eight man bracket to stay in the game. Eventually, a pretty miraculous comeback took place as #9 seed Jeadu ran the gaunlet to take first in the whole tournament! Hunter clocked in at second with Harrison and Jay at 3rd and 4th respectively. We ended up getting 10 people on board for the tournament which had me really happy. That sounds small and not particularly exciting, but the GT Gamefest rules say that a tournament needs to have at least 8 participants to come back next year. We broke the number we needed and get to keep the tournament next semester to bug the halo players with my shouting all over again! Hooray! Post Tournament And this is where some of the most fun of the event was had. Tim is actually orchestrating this campus wide gym leader challenge so we had a decent amount of people there to challenge him and I think one or two others that showed up at the event. I decided to play him for fun and made a mono-ghost team to combat his own mono-ghost team. The process of EV training a Driblim for the team, I ended up finding a shiny cubchoo and screaming very loudly at the site, resulting in a mess of people huddled around my DS. Ended up catching it for a make shift prize for our 4th place contestant since 3rd had already left. After that, a few battles, and a few trades, I ended up packing up the pokemon stuff and played in the smash room until like 11 at night. Ended up having some cool sets with tim and others, especially when fueled by all the Dominoes and Coca-Cola we had a seemingly unlimited supply of. Pictures And what's a warstory without pictures? Me in a special Admin T-shirt for the event. Yeah, it seems I was much more interested in the wall than my actual shirt. Harrison and Emma super strongth couple People bunched around my set up enjoying free play before the event starts. You can see the Halo booth in the background. They had some really spiffy breifcase-like things that were also Xboxes and monitors Round 1 of swiss! Round 1 of swiss again. We had an awkward situation where we didn't have enough idle tables next to my little ground control set up so we had one on the other side of the atrium. Round 2 of swiss. We got our tables this time! Round 3 of swiss as seen from my little base. Hunter takes second! He also took first in the brawl tournament with I think his Diddy Kong. Jeadu takes first after rocketing back from a 1-3 start and a #9 seed! ----- And that's it! I had a lot of fun running this shindig and hope to see even more faces there next semester!