IAmFleury'sHipCheck

King of '94 IV (Toronto) - Epilogue & Feedback

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Another King of 94 in the books! I can't believe it's been 4 years since the first one. I'm lucky enough that I've been able to attend all of them, not to mention heading out to Saskatoon in November of 2016 to play. Some amazing memories from this game and I hope it continues.

Have to agree with everyone else and give the first shout out to @halifax for putting everything into this and basically being an all around super bud. Great guy, great organizer, great commentator. Pretty good player too. ;) Even a great roommate for the three nights I was there. We're a small community and there are guys who naturally have drifted away from the game. Without you doing these events there's a good chance I never would have met any of the great people from the community. I get pessimistic sometimes about online play and its future but if we can keep doing live events it makes up for it, for me. Nothing like playing live. Even though I never win these. :lol:

Speaking of winning... amazing showing by @kingraph for a much deserved title. I didn't want anyone to lose that final so I'm glad it went the distance. Congrats bud!!

And congrats to Mikail for dominating another SNES tournament. Guy is legit and super humble. He'll be in the mix for a 3rd one next year if we come back.

Much respect to @smozoma, @CanadianDennis for great work organizing and logging games and @Coffey for the amazing streaming setup and just generally being a boss. 

Each time I'm amazed by how everyone who shows up to these things is just a good bud. Have to agree with Raph that hanging out with the buds I've met from the site is the best part of the weekend. Shout out to him and the other vets from previous events like Bob Kudelski, AJ, smoz, and EA that have made it out to multiple tournaments now. You guys are legends.

@Bob Kudelski I think you and me would both agree that we wanted to play better. Last 8 isn't awful but we could have done a lot better if some things had gone our way. You were 1-0 up on the champ though and that says something. One of these days either you or me is gonna beat Mikail. The funny thing is I probably match up better against him than I do against Daf, and who knows maybe you would have been able to take down Daf. That's the way she goes bud.

@angryjay93 real tough loss in your final, but what a show you put on. I'm sure you'll bounce back. I was worried about you in SNES too, it wasn't your day but you would have given any of the guys who finished in the money a hard time. It's that tight.

And @IAmFleury'sHipCheck , thanks for the shout out, it was awesome to be able to hang out with you and the GENS guys and watch the games. Don't forget to try the green Red Bull!

Also it was great to talk to some other forum vets like @McMarkis! Plus guys on the GENS side like @jer_33 (who plays some SNES too), @aqualizard@AtomicRaven, and Vocally Caged. More super solid buds. And@clockwise who I had never talked to before but is a super nice guy and played both systems. Nice!

As for the local peeps, it was great to meet not only Jason T(@ILive4NHL94 if he ever checks the forum) but his son who was a great kid as well as a really good player. No joke. Jason also knocked me out, so it runs in the family. Phil aka Skankhunt who has been really active on the discord is also a great guy and should be a good ally going forward in terms of driving local attendance.

Some general thoughts on the event:

Pros:

The venue as a whole. Lots of TVs and systems, nice chairs, nobody was in each other's way, easy to watch games, nice people running the show. It wasn't 100%  perfect but overall it's a win.

Having the event span two days. I initially thought this would be a negative, but I was wrong. So much easier to organize this way, plus you could watch the other games. I wish more guys had been able to hang out both days.

The format as a whole. No it also wasn't perfect but best of 3s throughout was great and the best of 7 final was a knockout.

The combination of the stream, the TV showing the live bracket, and the big projection screen to watch the games made it by far the best event so far from the perspective of watching what was going on around you.

Great mix of attendees especially on the SNES side including me, @etevans101, @OmegaRed and at least one other bud from Quebec (great to see you 2 again btw, and Omega gave me a run for my money in the elimination bracket), plus some strong Toronto players and the Vancouver power trio of Fed, Daf and the inimitable Stantonator.

Finally, those ice cold green Red Bulls really hit the spot.

Cons:

The location was definitely tough, but I get why we were there. I think it probably did limit local attendance though compared to being in a bar right downtown, and it was difficult to get to and from the hotels without a car.

No kitchen or liquor license. Already covered by others, but I think this combined with being out in Vaughan meant some guys just took off once they got eliminated instead of sticking around to watch the rest of the event.

I agree that the whole thing took too long. I do think the number of games played is great, so if we can figure out a way to streamline the whole process and get it done a couple hours faster, that would be amazing.

Attendance was probably less than what we were hoping for. It didn't end up diminishing the quality of the event (IMO) but it would be great to get closer to the number of attendees we had 4 years ago.

On the same note, I hope we can get some more forum buds to come out to the next one. On the SNES side we definitely missed @stheds2000, @The90Jacket, @tylerdeanhill, @schwartz not to mention others who have never made it out to an event. In my fantasy land, one day we have a tournament with all the legends from the site including @Oilers442, @Grayto, @c4outlaws and people who were tearing it up before I was even playing here.

Selfishly, the SNES tourney being on Sunday wasn't ideal. I think some more guys might have made the trip from Montreal if it was the Saturday. But I get the logic here too.

Overall:

The pros definitely outweigh the cons for me. Super great weekend, can't wait for the next one. And I hope we can get some buds from the event to play classic league too! I need the practice. :lol:

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Wanted to wait for the dust to settle a bit and give myself a little time to reflect on the event before I offered my thoughts. 

  • First and foremost, to the man, the myth. the legend, @halifax:
    I tried my best to arrive a little early on Saturday to help out in the event that you needed any of the CRTs' I brought, or the consoles and controllers. But when I arrived, everything was already well in hand. That's a testament to how well everything was laid out and planned for. Even with all the moving parts you had to deal with, it never seemed stressful.
    I know I thanked you profusely for setting everything up and hosting a great event and I meant it. Everyone here really appreciates you and the amount of effort and dedication it took to pull everything together. The fact that we couldn't drink and the food truck didn't come through is unfortunate, but that's just life. Can't expect everything to be perfect.
    Really enjoyed our series as well, though it's tough to lose on a penalty shot like that. I felt like the '94 gods were smiling on me after you had 3 penalty shots in game 2. I think I spent all my beginners luck on our series as @Fed tuned me up pretty good in the next round.
    I can't say I'd do nearly as well if saddled with the same task of running this tournament. We are all fortunate to have you as a leader of this community. Great job; you have a lot to be proud of.
     
  • To the current belt holder and Genesis NHL'94 champion, @kingraph, congrats on your first of what will probably be many titles! I know there's a lot of pressure and expectations coming in with you being one of the most feared and revered players and you rose to the occasion big time. It was a treat to watch you play on the big screen in the greatest NHL'94 series I've ever had the pleasure of watching. You're a great guy and I enjoyed chatting with you as well. 
     
  • @angryjay93 getting that 3-peat would have been epic, but you're a legendary player nonetheless and it was great to watch you in the finals and pick your brain a bit on the game. 
    I've had a chance to see the final game 7 a few times from the stream as well. Bit of a bad break in OT with the mass of humanity that was right inside the blue line above the left face-off circle. Looked like you were going to get a break out of the zone but the puck squirted free and Sakic got that one-timer off from the high in the slot; it's a 50/50 chance of being a goal. Didn't want to see either of you lose but we could't ask for anything more than a game 7 in OT with you two.
    The 2on2 marathon session till 5am was a blast and I was in stitches. I probably would have needed a doctor had I laughed any harder. Great to finally meet you as well. Great guy.
     
  • @smozoma it was great to play against you in our series and finally meet you after all of the help you've given me over the years. 
    I don't think we've played in a playoff-type scenario since 2009 in the NHL91.com playoffs. Really felt like I had you dead to rights after our first game, but you battled back and overcame a two goal deficit to send me to the losers bracket.
    Yuuuuge upset against Raph as well. I know all of us were pulling for you to go deep and maybe even into the finals. It felt like it was your day at one point in the tournament and you were gonna be the cinderella story of KO94-4. 
    Great job with the brackets and taking care of all the hardware related issues, too. You're a pillar in the community and I can't imagine what it would be like without you here and all that you've contributed to this game.
     
  • @IAmFleury'sHipCheck one of the big highlights of KO94-4 was finally meeting you and being able to hang out. It's easy to see why you're so well liked.
    The, 'EA special' was in full effect in our series and I didn't have an answer for it! At least I got a pass shot by you from center ice, which is somewhat redeeming. I never play well with Calgary for some strange reason. Have to think that having all of those exis with AJ played some part in that.
    Awesome personality, awesome guy. Can't wait to see you in the next one. 
     
  • @Coffey excellent job with the stream. Hiccups always happen during these type of events but it turned out great and it really added to the atmosphere. Helping you get that big CRT in your car it really hit me how much you had to do for this. Thanks so much. Seeing you rotate jerseys throughout the event was really cool, too.
    Would love to have the chance to do a little color commentary on the stream next time around.
     
  • @jer_33 @aqualizard @AtomicRaven  @stantanator great to meet you guys and chat a bit. Everyone was really laid back and easy to talk to. Hope to see you in the next one! Also, Stanton better have his legal name change to Stantonator complete by KO94-5.
     
  • @Mikail, whose forum handle I can't remember. What a stone cold killer! I remember talking to some of the SNES buds and how everyone was saying that the field was pretty wide open during the tournament. Apparently not! Watching him chilln-like-a-villain leading up to the finals with @DAF he was on his own, eerily silent. I just gave him a wide berth so he could focus on getting ready.  And even with his hand cramping up he still swept a great player like DAF.
    I chatted with him for about 10 mins after the final since I really don't know the guy at all and was curious as to how he picked up the game and got so good at it. He told me, growing up, he played his brother and his brothers friend every time he played. So, it was actually two-on-one every game! He said that, "they would just screen the goalie and I had to find a way to win." If that isn't a proving ground for getting great at NHL'94, I don't know what is.
    He also said on stage that he, "has the bug and wants to play online." If there's anyway I can talk you into partaking in the Genesis side, I'd be happy to ;)
    Super nice guy, well deserved win on your second title. Congrats.
     
  • @Bob Kudelski @Fed @annatar really enjoyed chatting and playing with the SNES buds. I have a lot to learn but I did enjoy the games I played. I will work on my game in hopes of being more than cannon fodder for top level players on Super next time around. 
     
  • @Slapshotsean @Mort @DPS great to hang with you guys. Congrats on winning the Jam title. You guys are absolute gamers, balls to the wall. The 2on2 session till 5am was worth the trip alone for me. You guys have to be there next time.
     
  • @CamKneely always a brides maid never a bride no more. Congrats on being the inaugural and reigning Duke of 94 champ! Even if it did feel kinda like I was watching you play quarterback for playground kids on both teams. Sorry I could't get some 2on2 games in with the two time 2on2 champs. We didn't get going until after midnight and you had to be at work the next day. Great to finally meet you and we gotta have you back at the next one.
     
  • @segathon it's not too late to join us. There is still good in you. I can feel it.
     
  • As far as the venue goes, I thought the stage and broadcast/stream booth really added to the gravitas of the games, and being able to sit back and watch the tournament unfold on the big screen was awesome. It really felt like a legit eSporting event. I'm not sure where the next one will be held but it will be tough to top that aspect after playing on a  big stage. Big props to Waves, they were very accommodating and I hope they have big success with their facility into the future.
     
  • I'd really like to help out more next time around. If it's more hardware, or whatever, you can count on me. I'm great with design and can design t-shirts, promo vids, logos or whatever need be. I just want to make sure this keeps rolling along. Will definitely contribute more to the raffle next time as well.
     
  • Would have liked to get some 2on2 going for Genesis and SNES during KO94-4, though there really wasn't any time for it. Please delegate the task to me for managing a 2on2 tournament if it's too much to handle in addition to the classic tournament. It could be interspersed during classic games in bracket play if we want to add it.
    I'll bring all necessary hardware so that 8 players can play at a time. 
     
  • To all the great guys I've played and chatted with over the years that I didn't get to meet: @donnybrook @HABS @Freydey @Zalex @IceStorm70 @CoachMac @Evan @Brutus @Uncle Seth @kgman @chaos @McMikey @The Russian Rocket @hokkeefan @skip @slapshot67 @mack and others that I haven't mentioned because this post is entirely too long.You guys are sorely missed and I really hope you can make it out to the next one. Also, I will spare no blood or treasure to get @wboy to one of these. 
     
  • I'll wrap up by mentioning that some of the community members said they were eager to finally meet me and have me as a part of KO94-4. It was a bit humbling and overwhelming for sure. I hope I didn't disappoint anyone. All I can really say is, I'm just a big kid who hasn't outgrown his love for this game and I hope I never do.
     

     :dal_skater_hand_grab:ggs

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On 9/27/2019 at 5:21 PM, clockwise said:
  • Would have liked to get some 2on2 going for Genesis and SNES during KO94-4, though there really wasn't any time for it. Please delegate the task to me for managing a 2on2 tournament if it's too much to handle in addition to the classic tournament. It could be interspersed during classic games in bracket play if we want to add it.
    I'll bring all necessary hardware so that 8 players can play at a time.

Not sure if this is a good idea or not, as it may not work out as intended but if you had an SNES 2v2 tournament on Saturday during the gens session and a GENS 2v2 tournament on Sunday during the snes session, may get more of both groups there on both days.  Could start the Saturday 2v2 one later in the day and the sunday one earlier in the day.

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Looks like I might be getting last crack here but that's what I get for being in Canada an extra week. I think I might do a video recap instead of a written one to alleviate the wall of text I feel coming on from my pen.

Maybe it will get me going on the whole video creation thing again...

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On 9/27/2019 at 4:21 PM, clockwise said:


 

  • @segathon it's not too late to join us. There is still good in you. I can feel it.
     
  •  

I want to do good but the evil is always present.  I was playing 94 the week on the King, things were great.  I was brushing my teeth, going to work and playing 94.  But just when things were looking up I hear a guy in an alley say "Wanna get some 95???"  Next thing I knew I woke up 3 days later covered in NHL 95 games in a dumpster wearing different cloths that were not mine.  

All jokes aside.  Great work you guys on the King Weekend.  It was a blast to watch online.  It's on my bucket list to attend some day.

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On 9/29/2019 at 10:41 PM, corbettkb said:

Not sure if this is a good idea or not, as it may not work out as intended but if you had an SNES 2v2 tournament on Saturday during the gens session and a GENS 2v2 tournament on Sunday during the snes session, may get more of both groups there on both days.  Could start the Saturday 2v2 one later in the day and the sunday one earlier in the day.

Whatever it takes. avengers.gif

 

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Not sure if this is still open but I guess I missed it when it was posted. A few points:

1. @clockwise I'll definitely be at the next one, whenever we can have it. And I mostly played Duke because of my famous financial follies, I'm pretty sure if Congress starts doling out some Corona Checks, I'll still have just enough to pay my fee by September.

2. @Bob Kudelski I played in both Jam tournaments so we probably met. I also got crushed the entire time. If only somebody had hosted such a thing in 1998...

3. I do agree with @CoachMac on one thing: The atmosphere picked up once we started streaming but overall it was nothing like that bar in 2015. The place we were at may be ideal in some respects but it's about as exciting as a dentist's office. It would be nice to have more casual viewers to add to the big game atmosphere.

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21 hours ago, CamKneely2 said:

3. I do agree with @CoachMac on one thing: The atmosphere picked up once we started streaming but overall it was nothing like that bar in 2015. The place we were at may be ideal in some respects but it's about as exciting as a dentist's office. It would be nice to have more casual viewers to add to the big game atmosphere.

With the new owners of Waves, I think the atmosphere will improve - for one they intend to add food and alcohol. They're also more into growing the retro scene. But I get what you mean, it's a big place and the energy wasn't the same (although at Real Sports we inherited atmosphere from the coincidence of an important Blue Jays double-header).

The lack of food made it hard to keep people around for the finals, and having just the 1 system per day sort of cut the crowd the in half (not to mention that in 2015 we had 60 players on EACH system but just 30ish each this time, so it's more like 1/4). I think we'll get more people this year since it's at a consistent location (there was one guy saying he was going to bring his 15 family/friends who play). I wish the location were more central. And the hotel situation got screwed up (3 hotels with deals didn't make sense - better to get just 1).

Maybe we can get mic'd commentary going earlier in the day in order to build atmosphere and get the casual players more into the overall event. So it kind of feels like a televised event from the start.

Any thoughts anyone has on improving atmosphere?

 

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I'm not sure how feasible it is but that place is ideal for streaming...maybe we could reach out to forum members that couldn't make it and have them Skype in?

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9 hours ago, smozoma said:

Any thoughts anyone has on improving atmosphere?

Every player should have their own intro song before they play on stream like pro wrestling. 

 

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9 hours ago, CamKneely2 said:

I'm not sure how feasible it is but that place is ideal for streaming...maybe we could reach out to forum members that couldn't make it and have them Skype in?

Like for interviews on the stream?

47 minutes ago, clockwise said:

Every player should have their own intro song before they play on stream like pro wrestling. 

 

Yesss. At the very least, I think it would be cool to have a sort of 'players introduction' at the start of the event.. maybe we just quickly interview a random subset of attendees, on stream and mic'd into the venue, asking them where they're from, how long they've been playing, a favourite nhl94 memory, and what their hopes for the event are. Or after a game, one of the players talks to the hosts during the 1st period of the next game.

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Maybe having an RA computer set-up on stage that guys can interact with, exi with forum members.

Would be cool to be able to put the RA system on stream and have the announcer(s) call online games.

 

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1 hour ago, jer_33 said:

Maybe having an RA computer set-up on stage that guys can interact with, exi with forum members.

Would be cool to be able to put the RA system on stream and have the announcer(s) call online games.

 

Yeah, that's what I meant.

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23 hours ago, jer_33 said:

Maybe having an RA computer set-up on stage that guys can interact with, exi with forum members.

Would be cool to be able to put the RA system on stream and have the announcer(s) call online games.

 

22 hours ago, CamKneely2 said:

Yeah, that's what I meant.

I think it'd be cool to have a computer with modded ROMs, online play set up etc, so guys can see what's possible. Actually we've wanted to do that for a few events now but never got to it with all the other stuff to worry about.

But for the stream, I feel like it should be reserved for actual tournament games. I would much, much prefer the stream hosts build hype/drama and context for the actual event.

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11 hours ago, smozoma said:

 

I think it'd be cool to have a computer with modded ROMs, online play set up etc, so guys can see what's possible. Actually we've wanted to do that for a few events now but never got to it with all the other stuff to worry about.

But for the stream, I feel like it should be reserved for actual tournament games. I would much, much prefer the stream hosts build hype/drama and context for the actual event.

As we (all collectively) have been doing more live events and streams, I have realized that the stream set up needs to be well thought out ahead of time.  It requires some planning along with the tournament. 

A checklist of things I would consider for a livestream:

  • Dedicated announcer (s)
    • Very difficult as people want to play too!
    • Color commentators (assuming only one dedicated play by play guy)
      • Plan ahead of time in coordination with tournament
  • Planned list of streamed games
    • Working backwards - The finals, set of the semis, set (or two) from the quarters, set of round of 16.
    • Dedicated RR stream games -- so people know ahead of time.  This will allow for constant action during the day 
  • Multiple layouts for livestream
    • Live game - players, commentators, teams, etc.  Whatever the streamer has available
    • Live break - commentators talking, chat screens, replays (if possible), brackets
      • Schedule of events and progress bar (where we are)
    • Passive break - "we'll be back" screen, perhaps countdown timer to return
      • Schedule of events and progress bar (where we are)
    • Tournament status screen - round robin results, bracket

Having said all of that, the livestreams have been nothing short of damned impressive. The setups that @Coffeyhad in KO94 and the last few @Edge of '94 Midwest have been professional grade.  Can't say enough thanks to everyone working to make them happen.

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I can do some live commentary. Considering the fact that I should be out of the tournament pretty early I shouldn't be too busy.

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1 hour ago, kingraph said:

As we (all collectively) have been doing more live events and streams, I have realized that the stream set up needs to be well thought out ahead of time.  It requires some planning along with the tournament. 

A checklist of things I would consider for a livestream:

  • Dedicated announcer (s)
    • Very difficult as people want to play too!
    • Color commentators (assuming only one dedicated play by play guy)
      • Plan ahead of time in coordination with tournament
  • Planned list of streamed games
    • Working backwards - The finals, set of the semis, set (or two) from the quarters, set of round of 16.
    • Dedicated RR stream games -- so people know ahead of time.  This will allow for constant action during the day 
  • Multiple layouts for livestream
    • Live game - players, commentators, teams, etc.  Whatever the streamer has available
    • Live break - commentators talking, chat screens, replays (if possible), brackets
      • Schedule of events and progress bar (where we are)
    • Passive break - "we'll be back" screen, perhaps countdown timer to return
      • Schedule of events and progress bar (where we are)
    • Tournament status screen - round robin results, bracket

Having said all of that, the livestreams have been nothing short of damned impressive. The setups that @Coffeyhad in KO94 and the last few @Edge of '94 Midwest have been professional grade.  Can't say enough thanks to everyone working to make them happen.

Will Ferrell Im Kind Of A Big Deal GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In all seriousness, despite having a decent stream in 2019, the bar has been raised so high by @LeifErikson and his team.  @Coffey did an amazing job with the KO94 stream indeed!  I really enjoyed the King of 94 stream, and look forward to how it evolves as well.

The more dedicated volunteers you can wrangle the better.  That being said, it takes a game veteran to function well on the mic.  Guys like @halifax, @kingraph, and @angryjay93 are all top notch on the mic, but alas, they're typically in the field.  It's rare to find someone with passion who will volunteer for something like this, then will take themselves out of competition.

Given my talents/passion are on the mic, and I needed to address the tournament as a whole anyway, my position behind the booth on the stage for Minneapolis seemed to be the most appropriate spot.  We had a ton of help from the tournament guys like @mort1237 and @hankthetank and others tearing down and helping setup.  There is no real right way to do this, unless you get a guy like Arda to come back and do his thing.  The tournament streams are amazing, but I maintain tournaments are for the people who attend them, and the stream is a living breathing billboard to attract other buds to the events in the future.

I know it's not uncommon at retro sports tournaments to either skip group play streaming, or have it go without commentary until people start getting eliminated.  Then the eliminated players come into the mix on the mic.  There is no perfect system.  I'm just glad people still want to come to these things.

Here's to hoping everyone can get their tournaments in for 2020 and quick recoveries happen.  Stay healthy everyone!

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Thanks for the suggestions. This tournament is top of mind for me. Feel free to keep em coming!

I'll release some more details on this once this whole COVID19 thing is over and we can actually set a date.

 

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