I’m going to start by talking about the event itself. Overall it was one of our higher sign up events. We had a total of 54 players as well as great spectator attendance! There were a few North American pros that were unable to attend but we ended up with a pretty spectacular bracket! Top players like: Neeb, Future, puCK, SpeCial, MCanning, MaSa and more made the bracket a joy to behold. I’ll talk more about that later, but the quality of play was unreal!
Operationally the event ran quite well! This was in large part thanks to the incredible work of the Gexcon crew who acted as support for: setup, breakdown, tournament check in, and administration! Our core N3rd Street team on site was slim, and without the Gexcon folks this event would not have been possible.
During the tournament we managed to stay within 30 minutes of schedule targets throughout the entire event, while simultaneously keeping stream downtime to an absolute maximum of 15 minutes per series. This largely comes down to event running experience. I’ve been privileged to run enough LAN tournaments that I’ve been able to meaningfully streamline and improve our workflows to near optimum levels. As we continue to tighten up our execution I see nowhere to go but up on this front! We were fortunate that the only significant issues had relatively little effect on the tournament: the stream briefly crashed towards the end of day one, and the computers had an unusual blue screen of death issue that did not occur during games.
The stream was absolutely phenomenal, and for that I have a few people to thank. Our producer Griffin made the stream look fantastic, and our casting team of feardragon, Temp0, and NanMan provided amazing commentary that helped to bring the games to life for fans at the venue and at home.
Our stream numbers were solid for the event, but I do think scheduling issues prevented them from performing at their absolute best. Throughout the tournament we were overlapping with (in no particular order)
- 2018 Has Left the Game
- TING Open Season 5
- TeSPA Collegiate series
The December “dead time” between WCS seasons is generally jam packed with major non-WCS content, and some overlap is essentially unavoidable. Minor overlap can even potentially be beneficial, as our overlap with 2018HLTG was fairly minimal, and Wardi was gracious enough to host us after his event wrapped! That all being said it’s tough to avoid the feeling that viewership split cannibalizes audiences and TOs should try their best to avoid it, or at least mitigate the impact by working with eachother to handoff viewers and keep them within the StarCraft ecosystem. I always try my best to reach out to Blizzards and other TOs months in advance and will continue to do so, and I encourage others to do the same!
Finally I want to talk about the storyline of the event itself. It is all we could have asked for and more! Seeing a young and incredibly promising player like Future break his limits and slay his way through the bracket was amazing. I was in awe watching him defeat SpeCial, the tension in the room was palpable during his final push, and I could feel nerd chills running down my spine. Seeing MCanning beat Neeb in a best of five at LAN was also a pretty incredible experience (shoutout to feardragon for pegging that as THE SERIES in the Ro16 to put on mainstage). What happens in the bracket is obviously out of our control, but I would love for Cheeseadelphia to continue being a place up and coming players look to as a way to break into the mainstream consciousness of the scene.
Before I wrap this thing up I want to briefly talk about the entire year of 2018. Putting Cheeseadelphia on the N3rd Street Eastern Conference was the most ambitious esports project I’ve ever been involved with, and I’m proud to say that the project was broadly successful. Our Chicago Cheeseadelphia LAN taught us a lot of lessons that I think we were able to incorporate into Cheeseadelphia 8, and the player and spectator experience felt much more refined because of it. There are still a lot of wrinkles to iron out, but we’ve taken notes on what went right, and what went wrong, and will carry these lessons and momentum with us as we move into 2019!
Last but not least here’s a list of special thanks to all the people that made this event possible, you should follow them on Twitter and send them some love!
@N3rdStGamers - Making the event possible!
@TheRealNanMAN - Caster
@ChesleaFanSC2 - Observer
@Griffin_Griffin - Producer
@feardragon64 - Caster
@TeamTemp0 - Caster
@GEXDCAE - A little bit of everything!
@Wheva - Stage Admin
@Joe_LoGuidice - Me! (Organizer)
Thank you all so much for watching supporting, and making it to the bottom of this wall of text! I don’t think I have anymore esports this year, so I’ll be hibernating till 2019, see you then!