This blog post might come off vague, but while reading, I want you to REALLY think about what it is I'm trying to say and try to piece together the puzzle... Enjoy.
Like my last blog post, I talked about how I don't like to travel too often to "Majors" anymore and I gave some insight as to why. I want to dig just a little deeper on the subject. I'm just going to come out and say it... I think most of the big name Tournament Organizers are crooks and use Fighting Game Tournaments as an outlet to gain finance from their smaller "Majors" and then their big yearly event.
Yea, they'll tell you how much money they DON'T make from their events and play The "I do it for the Community aka My Second Family" Card, but I'm someone who isn't easily persuaded and like to ask questions. You mean to tell me that some T.O who hosts multiple "Majors" a year, for many years, isn't making a profit? Though I do have information on this subject, I don't want to throw anyone or any sponsors under the bus. Instead, I want to get y'all thinking by just using logic and common sense, a task that will already be hard enough because the FGC is pretty adamant about most things...
The FGC is brainwashed: Convinced that certain clothing companies are hot, made to believe that wearing two headphones is the way to go, (Not even talking about the person who started that trend) some of the rinky-dink FGC catch phrases, etc. The players out there already donate ridiculous amounts of money to "Professional" Fighting Game Players so those players can travel even more than they already do, and they have no problem with doing that... So what makes you think that T.Os aren't on the same hustle? Normally I don't like to knock another person's hustle, but *knock* *knock*.
Let's look at one of the few things that has actually changed in Grassroots Tournaments.... THE VENUE FEE! I've been competing in games since 2006. (Before 2009) Venue Fees used to run around $20 for each tournament, sometimes less. Now Venue Fees go from $35-$90. (Early, Late, and On-Site Registration) Now keep in mind, these are the same old dusty, cramped, smelly, hotel ballrooms we always go to for all these years. Not much has changed other than the price of admission. Are you starting to see where I'm going with this? Well let me continue.
Most "Majors" are held in hotel ballrooms. It costs money to rent these ballrooms out. The players also like to stay at the same hotel that the tournament is being held at, makes for a convenient Player Village, so the tournament usually offers discount rates for these rooms. Now this is where some logic comes in... If you are hosting a tournament at a hotel and you are guaranteed to pack all their rooms with players from across the country, making the hotel itself A LOT of money, would it make sense for the hotel to charge the T.O full price to rent out the ballroom? Especially when you build that relationship with the hotel, it could wind up costing less over time.
Now let's look at "The Sponsors" for the tournaments. I personally know that sponsors put in quite a hefty sum of money into each tournament they are sponsoring. Game companies sometimes put up money for their own game for pot bonuses and then some more money in general for the event. So even if I'm completely wrong about a discounted ballroom rental; between this New Generation Venue Fee that the mass amount of players pay and all the money that all the sponsors dump into the event, does every single one of those dollars actually go into renting out the venue? Where does the rest of the money go to?
Let me make this perfectly clear. I'm not mad that the big time T.Os make money from their events, a business is a business. What I am mad about is the trash product that we wind up getting and the low prize payouts. Tournaments are late, poorly ran, falsely advertised, etc. I'm starting to see why a lot of these T.Os want to keep things exactly the same. If they tried to make it into a legit eSports spectacle, then they know they would be losing money at first and not thinking about the long run. When MLG first started, they were losing money. It wasn't until around 2009 when they started making a profit. So why should these T.O's fix something that is not broken? Hell, most of y'all see no problems with these Grassroots Tournaments or don't ask enough of the right questions. That's because they can easily say, "I don't make anything at these events" and y'all just take their word for it.
I can go to one of my LOCAL tournaments, they charge a flat rate of $25 to enter the venue AND ENTER EVERY GAME YOU WANT TO WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY THE EXTRA $10 FOR EACH GAME, and play in all of the games and some of the games come with a guaranteed prize payout where first place can range from $75-$600.... Whenever I win or place, the money is in my account 2-3 days later, never had a problem. You want to know the funny thing? This particular T.O is blacklisted in the FGC... Coincidence?
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