Thanks so much to everyone who attended! An extra-special thanks to everyone who took the risk and traveled really far, despite it being the first time we'd been to Revo so we didn't know for sure how good the event would be.
I went into this tournament with the same mindset that I've had for locals over the past few years: that hardly anyone was going to turn up unless I kept asking or reminding them to do so, that we would hardly have any setups unless I brought them myself, and that I'd have to help out and act as an unofficial semi-TO to make sure things run smoothly.
Instead, you guys managed to hit my initial optimistic estimate of 30 entrants without me having to beg anyone to attend, and that was despite a bunch of UK players not being able to make it that weekend and the venue hitting max capacity before a load of other players could register. You brought a bunch of PS4/laptop setups for the BYOC area too, and we even had way more official setups than I expected on Saturday. It really sucks that the pools had to be remade at the last minute because of so many people registering or canceling on the day, and I'm really sorry that happened, but aside from that, the actual tournament seemed to run smoothly too. Thanks to you guys and the TOs, I didn't have to do anything other than turn up and play. It's a good feeling.
It was great to meet all of you, of course! I'm not going to list everyone because I'd end up with a post as long as CoolCab's and I'm way too lazy for that, but you're all awesome. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy hanging out with the EU community because I don't spend a huge amount of time talking to the rest of you about things other than the game, especially over the last couple of months when I've been busy with work, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The overall skill level was a huge surprise too. I expected heavy tournament nerves from the whole community but everyone played super well in top 8, from bigbandpro69's parry streak
to zeknife's H divekick trade onto L George to continue the combo
to the way everyone dealt with Double despite the EU only having one or two players to practice the matchup against over here. Pool play was super solid too; I hadn't even seen Serenade play before this weekend and assumed he would have trouble beating an oldschool London vanilla SG player in round 1 of pools, but not only did he destroy him, he then went on to take a bunch of rounds off me and lots of other players over the next couple of days. I ended up placing lower in the tournament than I hoped for, not because I played much worse than I thought I would, but because everyone else played so well. If this is how strong the community is with almost no offline onstage tournament experience, I can't wait to see EU tournament sets a year from now.
Speaking of which, Revo will be back next year with a bigger venue, and we were the 4th biggest game at the event in terms of numbers so I'm sure we'll be on the lineup again! In the meantime, now that we've finally broken the cycle of not being able to run SG at EU events because there was no proof that the community would turn up to an offline tournament, let's try and get some other events to include us! It sounds like there's a good chance that Yuzutaku in Paris next February will run SG, so I'll try my best to make it down there if it happens. The train from London to Paris only takes two and half hours, so hopefully I won't be the only UK representative.
The other benefit of SG being at a big multi-game event like Revo is that a bunch of other local players got to see that our community exists. Way more BB/GG players entered SG as a side game than what I expected, and so many people came up on Sunday to learn about the game. I think a few of them have already joined the discord by now, and I saw at least a couple of players at the event who had been inactive in SG recently but got back the drive to improve after watching the tournament and playing casuals. If this happens at other events, the community should keep growing and growing.
And I got a trophy! Holy crap. I didn't see that coming at all, and I'll try to live up to the expectations that come with it.
Time for me to go back to trying to grow the London monthlies and biweeklies, and I'll see you at the next tournament!