These are extremely kind words. We learned a lot from last year. I'm going to thank a bunch of people here, because the result is the product of a lot of past criticism, near nameless volunteers, and passionate people willing to give up a weekend to play a 25 year old video game. If I screw up and fail to mention someone give me a proverbial cross check. The order isn't particular, so don't take any of these mentions as a rank.
Since he's top of mind, @angryjay93, the first ever player of elite skill and long standing member of this community to make the journey. He's been coming since the first tournament, won the first two, placed 2nd in Genesis last year and this, as well as took his first ever SNES championship this year. His continual and authentic praise opened the doors to more traveling players.
While this one may sound surprising, @CoachMac is very much credited in the end result of this tournament. To put it plainly, despite having some pretty neat things happen last year,(Arda Ocal, and Dan the organist) our first attempt at integrating SNES, coupled with some venue challenges, and some extended delays(people leaving for food) truly diminished the Genesis experience for everyone who traveled. Coach let me have it vocally before the event last year, privately in the message system of this board, and publicly earlier in this thread. While I was initially livid, I learned to grow a thicker skin and become better at doing this because of him, and for that I thank you Coach.
Let's be honest, without @kingraph being there, the Genesis would certainly be heavily slanted in Angryjay's favor. These two have done tremendous battle in multiple tournaments, and every time they do special things happen. The fact that Raph took a chance with us now means that we have a world championship feel at the top of each bracket.
Nick Wautier(The Ref) was able to help with the 1st two tournaments, and while they were much smaller in number than the last two, his unavoidable absence last year was felt. I made it a priority to involve him. Now I know the score reporting took some adjusting to, but once people got into the rhythm, games were being played with little waiting. His spreadsheet(once it was working correctly haha) quickly provided the results of group play very quickly, something that took about an hour or longer last time, as everything had been tabulated manually after group play last year. Nick was also able to provide some fill in stream commentary, and keep the logos/names most of the time. While his 94 knowledge isn't very deep, his personality and vocal delivery are solid, and and enough to keep people engaged.
Ryan and all of the extremely talented SNES Chicago guys have changed the face of this tournament for as long as they continue coming to it. Charlie from Chicago was able to make an immediate impact on the color commentator role, helping us buy time as the other semi final took place on the RSG stream. Thanks to all of them for making the journey.
Speaking of RSG, Tom couldn't make it due to some family conflicts, but made sure to send most of his regular players(Mort, DPS, Green Majik, Phil, if Sean wasn't sick, he would have made it too). Mort did a great job keeping the RSG stream going. There are many good games on there, some with Mort's commentary, some without. It's lower tech, less fuss, and to that point, they can literally go anywhere and stream a tournament. We get double the coverage thanks to them, and I couldn't be more pleased with them. Also props to Green Majik for filling in on the mic on the TGFN stream.
Although TGFN folks couldn't be there, their impact has been felt since last year. Our audio and streaming equipment is thanks to their generous support. They also assisted in getting some of the SNES clone equipment we purchased last year.
Michael Joyce from Player 2 Arcade Bar donated a Bill Romanowski jersey complete with signature and authentication for the Tecmo Super Bowl. @kingraph needs to put that on and take a selfie!
Evan from Venture Wisconsin was there most of the weekend, and grabbed a ton of footage for a special they are doing on us. I can't wait to see how it turned out.
Nelson79 who couldn't play NHL94 Saturday, did play Tecmo Friday, and was instrumental in getting me on the Game N Culture show, as well as getting a WFRV Local 5 news crew to the event. We may be given raw footage to that as the story was never put on air unfortunately.
The Edge VR Arcade stepped up their game this year, doubling in size, and expanding our space by nearly 100%. While we recognize the traffic in certain areas became an issue, everyone had room to find a system and play on. Next year we will be better as far as foot traffic is concerned. They are a great venue and we will continue to work with them as long as the tournament doesn't outgrow the space.
Koz Realty paid for our pizza on Saturday, and the guys at Titletown Financial not only paid for pizza Friday, but also brought in a bunch of players for Tecmo, so that was awesome, being that we had some late cancellations.
Tony(Darth Sevious) brought his nephew, and had a good time, even if he wasn't stellar at the game. He has a signed Roenick card for me, so that's amazing!
Moe Man listens to my tournament ideas literally year round, and gives me his opinions on the matter. He also defends Lord Manly's Cup from any and all intruders, ensuring its safe arrival to the tournament every year.
Charlie Bravo is the maker of Lord Manly's Cup every year. He was one of my groomsmen at my wedding. This guy is special with his talents, and puts a lot of hard work to help put out what I think to be the coolest trophy in all of retro sports. I'll debate anyone on that topic.
@MikeGartner22 made the first ever jersey and did great. I'm so glad you were able to take a chance on us. We hope you weren't disappointed.
@LeifErikson and Darik Aho literally left a family vacation through the ice and snow to be with us for the Genesis portion. Now that's dedication! I'm so glad you were both there!
PunkyQB is the ultimate recruiter, and while he isn't stellar at these video games, he's done his part to bring people out to Tecmo and NHL94. No thanks to the weather he flew solo to this one, but his efforts aren't unnoticed.
Zac from Press Start Games donated gift cards for giveaway so thanks for that! They also sell us equipment at very good rates.
Greg from Game Trade donated to the cancer benefit for Michy, who coincidently passed away Saturday. On that note thanks to all who gave. We are still fielding some donations and will do a drawing for next year's tournament. BTW some of you donated and didn't message me directly to remind me that you did. They met their goal for the cremation and will be using the surplus to help fund a headstone for Michy.
Even though Ahman ultimately couldn't be there, he was willing, and had planned on it prior to losing his family member. His name did attract some people, even if it didn't ultimately happen. Maybe next year it will happen for him.
EA aka @IAmFleury'sHipCheck donated a keyboard that looks like a SNES theme. I'll be able to use that on the stream setup in the future. Dude is straight up amazing to hang out with, and even took a chance on Tecmo.
Also thanks to my son for enduring an entire day with us drunken idiots, and for lending his 11 year pipes on the stream.
Well, I'm running out of thoughts. I'm sure I missed someone in there. Maybe some more folks with chime in with their positive vibes. It all adds up in the end.