Vayseth Verbatim – The Value of a Circuit Point

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, SMASHERS of all ages, this is Alex “Vayseth” Varga, the head tournament organizer (TO) for Super Smash Brothers at Gamer’s Gauntlet since SSB for Wii U’s (Smash 4) release late last year. Although that seems like a short amount of time, I have been hosting Smash Brothers tournaments in southeast Michigan since 2003. In 2009 I went to Japan to live for five years and therefore am not well-known among the latest generation of SMASHERS.

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“I want people who attend SMASH tournaments at Gamer’s Gauntlet to experience something they cannot get anywhere else.”

I am glad to be back and TO’ing again in Michigan. It has been a wild ride, and reminds me a lot of what it was like trying to develop MI’s Brawl scene back in 2008. There are more SMASH tournaments in a month in southeast Michigan now than there were in a year back when I started in 2003. And the turnouts? I think we filled a 32-player bracket once. Now I have to run pools at a local tournament to cut people down to a single 32-player bracket. Unreal.

There are more SMASHERS and more tournaments than ever before. This means competition between TOs is fierce. TOs need to do something the others do not or cannot offer to attract players to their tournaments. We at Gamer’s Gauntlet were lucky as we were the first organization to host large-scale Smash 4 tournaments in MI but that is not good enough for me. I want people who attend SMASH tournaments at Gamer’s Gauntlet to experience something they cannot get anywhere else.

That was my main inspiration behind creating the Gamer’s Gauntlet Circuit Series. I wanted to offer players something they could not get anywhere else however, somewhere the message has gotten lost. I think I am the only person who actually knows how our circuit works. My attempts to set the Gamer’s Gauntlet Smash Series (GGSS) apart from others means nothing if no one knows what I am trying to accomplish. In this article I hope to clarify that. It is a long read, so prepare yourself.

For Fun, For Glory: The Gamer’s Gauntlet Circuit Series is Born

Top 3 of the first circuit event: Left - Pulse | LOE1; Center - Rayquaza; Right -Boreal Ally

Stiff competition here at the Gauntet: 2nd Pulse | LOE1 (left); 1st Rayquaza (center); 3rd Boreal Ally (right)

Before I arrived, Gamer’s Gauntlet held SMASH tournaments with Kyle “Gifts” Ellingham at the helm. It is my understanding that while there have been tournaments for Melee and Brawl, PM had been the most popular game to host. This meant that although I had intended on going all in on Smash 4, I could not ignore what had been done before me. PM had to be involved no matter what. This is why there has been a PM event and a Smash 4 event at every tournament Gifts and I have hosted together.

I will be the first to admit my bias towards Smash 4. I missed PM’s entire lifecycle while I was abroad and I knew very little about the game and the scene when I started hosting with Gifts last fall. All I knew about it was all of the big tournaments and most well-known streamers were dropping PM due to fear of an impending cease and desist from Nintendo. It was also hard to ignore the difference in numbers between the two games. Smash 4 on average brings in twice as many players as PM. Numbers do not lie.

When Gifts and I made the transition from our normal tournaments to the Gamer’s Gauntlet Circuit Series we had months of data to work with. PM numbers were low. Very low. PM Doubles consistently either didn’t have enough teams to host a bracket or could not fire at all due to lack of entrants. We decided it was best if PM stayed singles only because there was just not enough interest. This meant fundraising events for the Circuit Series would be Smash 4 only. This has been a fundamental flaw in our hastily planned circuit we are rectifying now.

Left - Smasher1001; RIght - Nom

Nom (right) defeats Smasher1001 (left) in our first fundraiser, taking home a white Smash controller exclusive to Japan.

Since May 2015, the fundraising events have been extremely successful. They truly have blended the lines between For Fun and For Glory. Gamer’s Gauntlet is in the unique position to advertise to people outside of the regular channels and get many players that have never been to tournaments before. This means the environment must be fun for casual players while still scratching the competitive itch for the tournament grinder. That is why we have items tournaments. That is why we have wacky side events.

For those unaware of our fundraising events, they have been mostly tournaments with items on or crazy rule sets that lock you into certain characters, certain stages or other new and exciting ways to play SMASH. Players are awarded prizes for winning. Prizes include rare GameCube controllers from my collection that are unavailable in North America, Wii U Adapters or various Amiibo including a guaranteed “Unicorn” at each event. All money raised contributes solely to fund the championship.

Players have responded positively for these tournaments and it shows. We have raised $450 for our championship event in December in only three months! I am so happy with the success of these events and it is only through these events that the championship is possible. However, every single fundraiser has been on Wii U. I have never given PM a chance to raise their own money. Both communities deserve a chance to raise money for their game’s championship.

We have $450 in the championship pot right now. I feel like it is only fair to split that money between the two games because while the events have been mostly Smash 4 players, PM players have entered the fundraising events too. As of right now consider each game to have a championship pot of $225 each. From August 2015 on, money raised at each Circuit Event’s fundraiser will contribute towards that game’s championship only. But what exactly are we raising money for?

The 2015 GGSS Championship: What we’ve all been working towards

Unfortunately at this time I cannot divulge everything we are planning for the event in December. However, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. The Gamer’s Gauntlet Championship will be only one event of many. If you do not qualify for the championship there will still be tons of events for you to participate in come December. I hope that players are not discouraged from entering our events due to being unable to attend some in the past. There are still four more events and anything can happen!

Here’s a basic outline of what to expect come December:

(left to right) $w@gnemite, Ksev, Swanky and Chris showing off their Smash-4-All winnings.

(left to right) $w@gnemite, Ksev, Swanky and Chris showing off their Smash-4-All winnings.

– Smash 4 Singles ($10 per player)
– Smash 4 Doubles ($10 per team)
– The Smash 4 Championship Event
(Top 16 ranked players invited)

– PM Singles ($10 per player)
– PM Doubles ($10 per team)
– The PM Championship Event
(Top 8 ranked players invited)
– “Side Events” (this is the part I can’t talk about just yet. Stay tuned!)

“Wait what? Vayseth!! You said you weren’t going to neglect the PM community anymore! Why is Smash 4 getting a top 16 and PM only getting a top 8???”

To date there have been exactly 44 different people who have signed up for at least one of the three PM Circuit events. There have been exactly different 90 people who have signed up for Smash 4’s events. Since I have to run tournaments in multiples of 8 and any more than a top 16 is not ideal for a championship I have decided it only makes sense to do it this way. I do not want it to stay this way.

Under the old system I concede that the environment was not great for PM players. This is almost certainly why turnout for PM has been low. Under the new system if we get enough players from August through November I would love to expand the PM Circuit Championship to top 16. I will review both the total funds raised and total number of unique entrants after each event and reevaluate whether the championship will be top 8 or top 16 for PM in December.

smash wario

“We need to take the top 3 picture in front of the bathroom this time because I just s#!& on Mikey with Wario.” ~ LOE1 on his latest circuit event win.

Players who qualify for the championship will be competing at no cost for… I cannot say what exactly just yet. There are multiple factors like how much money we have raised for the championship that limits what I can promise you now. Know that if you win the championship you will be walking away with something much more than just your average trophy and a percentage of the championship pot. Every player who qualifies will walk out with at least something. The more we raise the more I can offer.

 

 

The Road to the 2015 GGSS Championship

So how do we determine the qualifying players in each game? These details are available on Smash Boards under “What are the “Circuit Events”?” but I will explain them here as well.

Here’s how points are awarded at each circuit event:

2 Points for Entering the Tournament
1 Point per Set Win in Pools
3 Points for 25th in Bracket
6 Points for 17th in Bracket
9 Points for 13th in Bracket
12 Points for 9th in Bracket
15 Points for 7th in Bracket
18 Points for 5th in Bracket
21 Points for 4th in Bracket
24 Points for 3rd in Bracket
27 Points for 2nd in Bracket
30 Points for 1st in Bracket

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Our Pokemon Masters! West MI (left), Runes (center) and Stroheim (right) showing off their prizes in our Pokemon-themed Smash-4-All.

This means for any circuit event (PM or Smash 4) you get 2 points automatically just for signing up! If there are 40 or more players we do pools and cut down to a 32 player bracket. When pools happen you will be awarded 1 point for each set win. Whether pools happen or not you are guaranteed points as long as you place 25th or better. The points are scaled this way so it rewards players who come to multiple events and prevents someone from spiking only one event yet qualifying.

To get an idea for how this works let’s assume the minimum 40 players to qualify for pools. You will receive 2 points for just entering. If you 4-0 your pool you will get an additional 4 points. If you go on to win the tournament you will get an additional 30 points. That means with 40 players the most points you can get is 36. If we have 64 players you can potentially go 7-0 in pools resulting in a potential maximum of 39 points in one event.

We have yet to get over 64 players for either game but if we did we would shift to 16 pools and wins would be worth 2 points each. If we filled 16 pools (over 128 entrants) I would have to run bracket pools and award points differently. I am not sure exactly how but I would love to have that problem one day.

Seeding will be done by rank. Players will be seeded exactly as they are ranked in the circuit series. That means 1v16, 2v15, 3v14 etc for Smash 4 and 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 etc for PM (for now). This means once the November 2015 Circuit Event is over we will know exactly who will be playing who in round one and what the bracket will look like. I hope this will generate hype for the event and I want it to be something we can all get together to watch the top players at Gamer’s Gauntlet battle it out.

The New Circuit Series Schedule:

Due to tons of feedback we have decided to alter how we schedule the circuit events. Effective immediately, PM and Smash 4 will no longer be held on the same day. The PM Circuit will be joined by melee going forward as there is more cross over between those games than PM and Smash 4. People have been begging for Melee to come back to Gamer’s Gauntlet and this is the only way I can come up with that allows us to do so without disrupting the Circuit Series in progress. Therefore, the PM Circuit Event schedule from August 2015 through November 2015 will be as follows:

10 AM: Venue Opens; Registration for all events
12 PM: PM Doubles ($10 per team) and Melee ($5)
2 PM: PM Circuit Event ($10)
4 PM: PM ALL-STAR MODE ($5, fundraising for the PM Circuit)
10 PM: Venue Closes (tear down at approximately 9:30 PM)

The Smash 4 Circuit Event schedule from August 2015 through November 2015 will be as follows:

10 AM: Venue Opens; Registration for all events
12 PM: Smash 4 Doubles ($10 per team)
2 PM: Smash 4 Circuit Event ($10)
4 PM: SMASH-4-ALL ($5, fundraising for the Smash 4 Circuit)
10 PM: Venue Closes (tear down at approximately 9:30 PM)

The term “Smash 4 All” refers to the rotating wacky side events that happen every month. They will be different each month and I am looking forward to bringing you some crazy new ways to play the game.

Please stay updated on which events are coming next on Facebook, our permanent post on Smashboards, or on Twitter @GG_Vayseth. What prizes are being given out for each fundraiser tournament, what the tournament format is, etc will all be uploaded to those sites and will change from event to event.

Thanks for sticking with me till the end and I hope to see you all at the next Gamer’s Gauntlet Circuit Event!

{Editor’s Note: “Vayseth Verbatim” will appear periodically on our site with the purpose of keeping the Smash community updated and entertained with the latest in local Smash news and tournament reports.} 

Event Schedule:

August: August 2nd (Smash 4 Circuit) and August 16th (PM Circuit)

September: September 6th (Smash 4 Circuit) and September 20th (PM Circuit)

October: October 11th (Smash 4 Circuit) and October 18th (PM Circuit)

November and December: TBD