Reflecting my weekend: Syndicate 2017 💭

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U at Syndicate 2017 was the largest Smash4 event in the history of Europe. With the trust we’ve build up these years with the Syndicate TO’s it was a no-brainer that they’ve picked us (BYOC) to stream Smash4 at Syndicate. Together we would make sure the event would run smooth and streams looks top-notch.

Here are my thoughts on this weekend. With all the ups an downs 🎮

Counterpick 45

It’s the start of a tradition: Counterpick and Syndicate both are located in the same city and it would be a shame not utilising the fact that a lot of foreign players are near. So for the second time we’ve decided to host Counterpick the day before Syndicate. This time was a bit more complicated though.

My Binkie is Ready.

We had to build up for Syndicate on the same day. So that would mean we needed to have 2 streams on the ready. I’ve dropped Binkie at the Syndicate venue with all equipment so he could build up the main stream and we would use ZantG’s computer to stream Counterpick with a lesser quality setup.

Gijsbeer did a great job as TO, finishing the 64 man bracket in 4.5 hours with a Top8 Bo5. Things like dedicated commentary really help to speed things up. The only thing wat really was a shame was the fact our speakers weren’t working properly, making it somewhat unclear who is playing where (especially when 80 people are talking and making noise). I quickly said to Gijs to communicate clearly, slowly and repeat the callouts several times.
I believe the bracket could be ran faster if there was a proper speaker setup. Congratulations to Ho for winning Counterpick 45!

Day 1

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare due to hosting Counterpick 45, there were a few problems.

We had walkie-talkie’s! Communication is key.

Binkie noticed some presets were set wrong. Screwing our recordings of the first 10 or so matches. It doesn’t mean that these matches are totally screwed since the output to Twitch is fine, we’ll be exporting these matches from Twitch. There is one match who did suffer from framedrops so we’re currently in discussion if we will upload this particular match to our Youtube Channel.

My job was to fetch stream matches, it wasn’t easy since every bracket was being ran on paper by pool captains. Most of the time they were rushing winners which didn’t gave me much freedom of selection (I called a captain and looked at their bracket and told them which one to sent to stream). And because of an one-hour delay there were additional factors I had to keep in mind while assigning stream-matches (Yes, it’s partially TO-ing the bunch).
I would like to see a dedicated TO-team who know how to use someday. #TheDream

At one point one of the representatives came by and suggested to put a streamed bo5 with top-player-x on stream as there was NO scheduling for that. This made the stream very incosistent: there were even moments where the BYOC-team anticipated the so-said exhibition match and we waited for 30–40 minutes until both competitors sat down.

Doubles and Crews went great, Liva made an amazing overlay for Crews and there was a lot of fun moments during the recorded sets.

One of theeeeeese 🤙

There was a moment where I (as stage manager) should’ve paid attention at: we’ve started off Crews with 2 stocks 6 minutes. During the set I signaled Miller that the settings were wrong but he said to me “We keep playing”.
I called a representative and we all agreed to a 1 stock rematch after the game concluded. It did kill a lot of momentum though.

Day 2

We’ve started off a bit rusty which resulted in another delay. The commentators in the schedule sometimes were missing and the morning was just.. one giant mess.

Since I promised Liva to make a Top8 intro video for GGS channel, I was absent for huge parts of that day. There was NO communication between the TO’s and the Streamers as the TO’s kept rushing singles bracket which was a shame. Binkie constantly had to switch streaming between Singles and Doubles matches and.. the viewers were constant asking about what was going on. I’ve learned that a Stage Manager is a must-have on these kinds of events — sticking to the schedule is important and it won’t happen again.

Top64 was streamed off-stage. And because we were almost through with the bracket at the time doubles ended we did not have much to show left. A shame. As top64 would’ve been the highlight of our channel and this resulted in less high-profile matches being showcased.

Credit to Loading… for this amazing photo!

Top8 went great. Ramses is a wonderful commentator, nurtured by Papa Lonpos. I have the feeling he will flourish very soon (if he gets the chance to go to the USA) to be a well-known commentator. They grow up so fast!
I , partially, did the camerawork during Top8 and vouched for ZantG to MC on stage. I AM SO GLAD I DID THAT BECAUSE HE STOLE THE SHOW. There was this perfect synchronisation going on between commentator and mc, it was am-a-zing! This, however, is still an area untouched by EU standards and people need to train for this. For example, commentary didn’t really got the time to round up the match since the ZantG was standing there already eager to do his thing. While normally they are being heard all the time.
Let’s hope people will notice these two talented guys and give them the opportunities they deserve 🙏🏻

Boom goes the dynamite

Last but not least, the aftermath. We had to bring back some rented stuff and then we would go back to the — how we like to call it — After-Grind (titling VODs, visuals for twitch vods, metadata, tags, dates, description, porting to SSBworld, roundup post in our groupchat etc)

But before we all could start on this my partner in crime called me saying that the beloved Streaming Computer gave a bang. Here is to hoping that there isn’t much damage, that the files are saved and that we can continue streaming on our next event! #Pray4Binkie

Aside some minor issues, I think the event went pretty well. There were ups and downs ofcourse and I’m sure the staff has learned from this. Lots of people to shout out, including Marc, Uttoh, Gregs, iStudying, Liva, Chirou, Snake Eater, The Wageningen PM Crew, Virgil, Seo, and anybody else that stepped up over the course of the tournament.