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eSports in Your Backyard

By Jason Stewart, Web Content Developer for Evil Geniuses

When I personally started showing more interest in eSports, I wanted to go to events but there were none in my area. I couldn’t afford to fly anywhere, either. We’ve all talked with our friends about doing our own events and thought how neat it may be to do it, but usually don’t go through with it. Why not? Planning and organizing an event doesn’t have to be at the TI4 level to be a great time and build a community. It’s now been four years since I began hosting events, and I’ll never stop doing it.

One of the biggest and most time consuming parts of an event is the preplanning phase. What games do you want to feature? Who do you want your audience to be? Where will it be? How do you plan on paying for the event? Will you have sponsors? Can you afford to take a loss on the event should it not get enough people? How will it be streamed? These are just a few of the questions that you have to ask when organizing an eSports event.

For me personally, I work with three other people to run two big fighting game tournaments a year: one in May called Cinderslam, and another in September called Red September. Let’s answer the above questions for based on the evens that I run. Since we’re catering towards fighting games, we obviously want to feature those. Specifically, we want Ultra Street Fighter 4, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Tekken Tag Tournament, and then the fourth game is something we rotate out depending on popularity. Due to the event being run by four people, we split the cost of the venue between all of us. Once the event is over, we split the revenue evenly. Due to the date we booked our event, we should not be operating at a loss this time. We’re more than willing to operate at a loss should that happen. Our event will be streamed by some local people from Mobile, AL. We need consoles and monitors to let people play, right? In order to get more game setups at our events, we waive the venue fee to people who support us by providing setups. Lastly, we run the entire event using the bracket software Tio Pro. It is free software that lets you do an entire event on it.

If you build it, they will come. Right? As long as you heavily promote on Social Media, yes. You need to find every possible Facebook page, forum, Twitter, reddit, and even local colleges to get the word out about your event. In your first event, you most likely won’t get a large amount of attendees. This has nothing to do with your ability to run an event. People are very wary of new events, and need a reason to want to attend your event. As long as you make a genuine effort and stay transparent about how you plan to do the next event, people will always give you another chance to succeed. One of the most important things I personally can tell you is to stay humble. No matter how successful your event is there is always going to be a way to do it better for the next time. Growth keeps eSports alive. Now it’s your turn to be that growth. No matter how small it may be, make your mark on eSports by hosting an event. It’s the most fun you can have.

Follow Jason on twitter @itsvandole

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