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Posted on Jan 2nd 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Game Quest, Game Store, Video Games, Charity, Child Development Center, Competitive Gaming, Tournament, Silent Auction, Tattoos

The Handsome Group of Organizers Responsible For Power Up Prince George

Being in a relatively small town and this being our first event, we decided that it would be best to make sure the operating costs were as low as possible so that our goals would be very obtainable. We wanted nothing more than to have a fun event that could be considered a success so that we could make it an annual event. With that in mind, we wanted to have at least 100 people attend the event at some point during the day and raise at least $2000 for the Child Development Center.

Long story short we exceed both of our goals. But you want the long story so click the link below........

Leading up to the event, we were getting very nervous. We had done a great job soliciting donations and advertising, so much so that the costs of the event were covered before we even opened the doors on the 5th! We were worried it might bomb, but even if it did, we would be in the black. Our only worry was that not enough people would show up to make it enjoyable. At this point, all we had to worry about was people having fun and enjoying themselves.

Since I last blogged, we had our volunteer intake and load in for the event. T-shirts arrived last minute and we got them just in time for the volunteer intake, which was a relief. Nearly all the people who signed up to volunteer came to the intake, which was a great sign. Our load in time was cut short, because of a group who needed to use the theater to rehearse an upcoming Christmas show, so we scrambled to get as much done as possible and ended up coming in at 6 a.m. the day of the event to ensure we were properly set up when the doors opened at 10 a.m. on the 5th.

The doors opened and we were immediately slammed with a huge crowd of competitors and spectators. It was a great opening, but because of the amount of people, all three of the competitions we had scheduled got off to a late start. Luckily, everyone was patient with us while we scrambled to get the games up and running and our volunteers paid off in spades and helped us relocate people/equipment to get everything running as soon as we could.

Once the competitions got going, everything was running smoothly. Like eerily smooth. None of us organizers had planned an event of this caliber before and we were pretty surprised with how good things seemed to be going. The games were running on schedule somehow, all the free play stuff was filled up with spectators, food was flying off the shelves, the silent auction was attracting bids, one speed runner was a no show, but the second one showed up early, so we got him setup to play a little early, and the tattoo guy was booked for the entire day within 20 minutes; everything was falling into place!

The way the day was scheduled was that the first 2/3 involved the preliminaries for the 4 tournaments we were running (Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Mario Kart Double Dash, Ultra Street Fighter IV, and Smash Bros 4), and the last 4 hours were set to be the finals for each of those events on the giant theater screen with live commentators. As the day went on, we were actually a little ahead of schedule, so we decided to get an extra bracket of CS:GO on the main stage and moved them into the theater early. We had them setup to go and invited everyone into the theater to hear a couple announcements and then start watching some gaming!

Our MC thanked the sponsors and we had a representative from the Child Development Center speak for a few minutes about why the CDC is important to Prince George and what kind of services they provide to our community. We also got to announce that Mark Meer (Commander Sheppard) is coming to our Northern FanCon in the spring! After that, we immediately started the CS:GO competition...............or at least tried. We hit our first stumbling block for the day in the form of server issues!! Damn PC gaming!! Luckily, our MC and one of the commentators stepped up and entertained the crowd with some gaming trivia and talked about the 4 games they were about to see. After the longest 30 minutes of my life, we were up and running. Everyone that had wandered into the lobby to play or eat, soon funneled back into the theater to watch.

If you know me, I'm not a PC gamer or an FPS fan. I was finding it a little hard to find the excitement in this game. However, it was abundantly apparent that I was in the minority in the room. I was sitting right in the middle of a cluster of PC/CS players and every time something crazy happened that I didn't understand, they all tensed up and were whispering about how awesome that shot was and how they couldn't believe he actually made it. At one point in the very final game, both players brandished knifes and went after each other in close combat and that got the crowd going a bit.

Once CS:GO finished, we set up Mario Kart and got it going right away. This really got the crowd pumped. There were so many moments where the spectators got right up out of their seats cheering or groaning when someone got hit by three consecutive shells, and then a bomb followed up by a banana. At one point, we had a neck and neck race with the 2nd place racer immediately behind 1st place. A red shell could be seen closing in on the 2nd place racer and at the very last second before it hit he hit a jump and was just high enough of the ground to clear the shell and to everyone's surprise, they were close enough that is actually hit the 1st place racer instead of its intended target. The whole theater erupted in laughter and "Ooooos". It was a lot of fun, and really got everyone in the spirit of the event.

The 3rd event was Street Fighter IV. Much to all of our surprise, everyone was just as into it as Mario Kart, even people that we know don't play or watch the game. There were so many cheers every time someone made a comeback, dominated a round, or got off an awesomely timed Ultra. The best part of all was that an out-of-towner won the competition, instead of the fan favorite going into the event. Our local guys didn't take him seriously, and he was able to win his way out of the loser's bracket, reset the bracket in the grand finals, and take the win! It was awesome to see how excited the room was and how it erupted in a thunderous applause when he took the final round.

The last game up was Smash Bros 4. The excitement level definitely dipped a bit unfortunately. We scheduled it last as our big finale because we knew Smash had the biggest community up here out of the four games and figured it would be draw the biggest crowd and get people hyped up. Unfortunately, not a lot of the Smash players returned to watch, and with a switch in commentators, we had a bit less energy in the room. Also, I've never noticed because I usually compete or watch them quite far apart, but Smash Bros is considerably less exciting to watch coming off of Street Fighter. It's just a slower game and the pacing killed some of our momentum. It was still a good watch and people definitely enjoyed it, but in retrospect Street Fighter should have been our big closer.


Our proud little Street Fighter crew

Anyway, the day was over, we awarded prizes, thanked sponsors again, and while all the players and spectators went home, we stayed about another hour to unhook equipment and move things back to where they came. It was late and all of the organizers had an extremely long day, so we decided to figure out the numbers later.

I spent the next day at the store streaming the Capcom Cup in its entirety with about 10-12 other guys. It was a great way to decompress and get some very candid feedback from the Street Fighting community about how they thought the event went.

The next morning, I met with the other lead organizer and we counted the cash and ticket stubbs. Like I said, our ticket sales target was 100 tickets and we had 130 redeemed that day! We had passed our goal and were pretty happy with that. Now the real number that people cared about, how much could we donate to the CDC after covering venue and expenses with our goal being a nice round $2000? We actually got really close to doubling our goal with a grand total of just over $3500!!! Total expenses were nearly $3000, so we were pretty stoked to have raised as much as we did. When we went to deliver the money to the CDC, the guy was floored. He was so happy to see "young people" (his words not mine Wink ) involved in this kind of fundraising, and explained that they get these kinds of events from time to time, often from huge established organizations and are lucky to get $1000 for a really successful event. He was very impressed with what we were able to achieve and grateful that we chose his organization to promote and donate to. Needless to say, we left feeling pretty positive about what we had done and felt like the months of hard work had paid off big time.

Money Shot!

Behind the scenes, we had some issues with an organizer, a couple sponsors didn't deliver what they had promised, and the venue is currently trying to squeeze more money out of us, but even with those issues, we were thrilled with our first year and have already started planning on how we can make next year bigger and better than ever!!!

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Congrats dude!  It sucks that these people are still trying to suck money out of you.  How low.  That llook s like some monopoly money not Benjamins. laugh
Good work, Crab!  Great to hear that this kind of event was such success and for a good cause.
Paul that magnificent SOB. The guy that Crabby is resting his hand on, in the top pic, is our buddy Paul. Or as I know him better as, Gutsu the Half-Orc Paladin, from our ongoing D&D game.
Well done guys for the hard work paying off and hopefully a long and successful event in years to come.
Great article!  Awesome to see this kind of community activism in conjunction with gaming.  It's a great way to show the world that we're not a bunch of man-children who aren't capable of anything, as the stigma still seems to be among some in older generations.  And might I say, I envy your beard, Crabby.  I work in healthcare, so I have to keep mine short, but that kind of long beard is outstanding.

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