Hello everyone! ^_^
If you don’t know me, I’m Rapture. I’m the GM of Squidboards, one of the site’s admins, and SQ’s head event organizer. You may see me on Twitter, the SQ Discord, or around the forums sometimes. If not, no big deal. This isn’t about me.
I want to briefly discuss and touch on this past weekend’s Squidboards Splat Series event, as well as a few new things brewing for SQSS and the site as a whole. Although I think the outcome of our first Splat Series tournament speaks for itself, there are still a few spots I’d like to fill in. That goes for what’s in store for Squidboards in the near future, too
SQSS September Wrap-Up
The Squidboards Splat Series was not an avalanche we had to endure or a mountain to climb, nor was it a breeze or a stroll through the park. Our first Splat Series tournament was more about collaboration and community. The SQ staff was firing on all cylinders, and the players were excited, eager to play their matches, and happy to be part of the event. At least, that seemed like the general consensus to me.
The reason I wanted to put together the Splat Series in the first place was so that Squidboards had its own project built for the competitive scene, but also one that is accessible to new and less-experienced players. Not to mention, as staff we’ve been chomping at the bit to put on another event since last year’s Splatoon Anniversary Invitational, myself especially.
Once we decided to start the Splat Series monthly series with this past weekend’s event, everyone came together to do their part. Our event organizers worked with me carefully and consistently to make sure our event was up to community standards, and that no rock was left unturned. Our ambassadors, content creators, and moderators helped spread the word and joined alongside the community in enjoyment of all the tournament hype. I’m really thankful to have a staff willing to step up to the plate when we need to hit a homerun, and I can’t say enough how far they hit it out of the park.
And of course, the community itself is really what made this event what it was. We had 63 teams fully registered, making it one of the largest online Splatoon events ever, certainly so for Splatoon 2. Still, I’m not completely satisfied, as I know we can get even more teams than that (plus, we had a good bunch of DQ’s due to no-shows, which can’t be helped but must be taken into consideration). Plus, the InkTV Twitch broadcast had around ~500-600 viewers – it was great to see so many squids tune in throughout the day, and it was even better to see so many people join us on Discord for the Viewing Party!
Truth be told, I was pretty anxious waking up Saturday morning to prep and start the event. Aside from SAI, this was personally the first Splatoon tournament I’ve ever hosted and organized. Even SAI doesn’t count too much, since the bulk of the competition happened in the qualifiers, which were ran by community organizers. Overseeing a 16-team invitational is worlds apart from running a 60+ team, double-elimination bracket in the span of an afternoon. I really tried as hard as I could to make this event run smoothly and to make sure as many players as possible had a good time, and I think that was accomplished for the most part (as this event definitely had a few hiccups otherwise). All in all, it was not only a test of capabilities of myself and the staff, but the learning experience was probably the most important take-away of the entire weekend.
While I’m still here, I want to give a specific shout-out to Jordan of InkTV. He was my go-to, right-hand guy for all of this. His insight and experience were necessary components of doing my job properly and the overall success of the event. This isn’t to say that the entirety of the staff didn’t do a great job or anything – they certainly did. But Jordan really went above and beyond to help out and guide both myself and the participants. Thank you very much for all your hard work, Jordan.
That all being said, there’s much to improve on. As much as SQSS September was well-received, it was far from perfect. The whole point of SQSS and Squidboards is to do some awesome stuff for the community. If we didn’t work on making ourselves better, it really wouldn’t be worth it. Thus, we have set our sights on a few improvements we’ll be making to future events to combat issues we had on Saturday:
1) Tournament Structure Fix
Simply put, we didn’t expect 60+ teams to enter. Maybe a number somewhat close to that, and maybe 60+ for future events, so when we saw that we were on track to have 60 or more teams, I was definitely a little bit stunned. An amazingly awesome surprise, but a surprise nonetheless!
Honestly, even with double-elimination bracket, the tournament ran pretty well. We didn’t have much trouble getting teams into the groove of playing their matches and reporting scores or disputes. We really only started to experience significant delays towards the very end of the event. By then, most of the teams were out anyway.
Still, the tournament ran a bit later than we wanted. Teams experienced delays and fatigue because of the number of games being played and teams entered, as well as due to disconnections or substitutions or general slowness in communication by teams.
Additionally, although this event was catered to newer/casual/less experienced players and teams as much as it was for competitive players and veterans, it still didn’t really cater to that former group. A lot of teams went 0-2, or 1-2, or 1-2; some had to play very strong teams early or entirely; etc.
To address both issues, we’ll no longer be running one large, double-elimination bracket. Future Squidboards Splat Series events will now run Group Stage into Top Cut (Bracket).
If you don’t understand what that means entirely, don’t fret. We’ll explain in detail and have all the information you need when we announce our October event and have the page up for that.
This new tournament structure will reduce the event’s overall run-time while also giving all teams and players a higher number of guaranteed matches played, which should make for a much better tournament experience for you all.
2) Stricter Delay Rules
To further mitigate time and delay issues, we’re going to be much less lenient with teams who are causing delays. Teams that take too long to set up, communicate, play, or otherwise will be punished accordingly with game losses and/or set disqualifications. We gave teams a little bit more wiggle room and the benefit of the doubt when waiting for them this past Saturday, but all it did was create delays for other teams who were waiting and on time. That's not fair to those other teams.
To counter-balance this a bit, we’ll be doing more to make sure people understand what they should be doing come tournament time and how to proceed through the tournament with less time lost.
3) Mandatory Discord Presence
To mitigate time and delay issues even further, for future SQSS events we’re going to require that at least one player per team (ideally the team captain) has joined and is active (during the tournament) on the Squidboards Discord.
Without Discord, the only true means we have to communicate with players in real-time is through the Battlefy match dashboard client. Unfortunately, not every team or player knew quite exactly how Battlefy works, especially concerning the ability to chat with your opponents during active bracket matches. This sometimes made it difficult to locate players, communicate with a team, make sure a match is happening, etc.
Almost every team did have a Discord representative one way or another, which was great, but next time we’re going to make sure of it for every single team. Just makes things easier for us and for all of you.
Besides all that, we’re looking forward to running SQSS October, and we hope you all return to play again! We’ll be announcing our October event and posting up the event details as soon as possible. When that’s done, registration will be open so you can get a head-start on preparing your team to play. Stay tuned for more details regarding our October event by following us on Twitter or checking out the Squidboards website.
Before I go, I want to quickly touch on a few new things that’ll be underway soon at Squidboards.
First, we’ll be starting an Artwork of the Week contest over on the Original Content board. Each week, artists will be able to post their artwork on a designated thread throughout the week. Users will also be able to comment, like, and otherwise support their favorite pieces. At the end, we’ll close submissions and select a winner, which will be featured on our homepage, social media, and Discord. We hope this will be a fun way for artists to share their work and get some new fans or connections with other artists, and have their work highlighted for the whole community to see.
Additionally, we’ll be starting up a Guide of the Month contest that’ll function in a similar manner. At the end of each month, we’ll take a look at our Guides section and decide which is best of that month, whether it be one created that month or updated that month. We hope this will encourage more players to create their own guides or check out those made by others, and will hopefully help educate more squids on all things Splatoon by getting more eyes over the Guides portion of the site.
We'll let you know in advance when these contests are starting up, don't worry!
That’s it for now. Thanks again to everyone who participated in and watched the tournament. And thank you to all you Squidboards users and Splatoon players that make this community as awesome as it is.
Some special shoutouts:
-Silver Sanction | Saikai – for winning the tournament. You all played phenomenally. Congrats for your big victory! And also, great stuff to all the other teams that played this weekend, like Extermination, Kairos, and many, many more!
-The Squidboards Staff – for running an amazing event. Especially Jordan, as I said earlier; Kbot, who’s always ready to lend a hand; Amarae for helping us with community outreach; Sunaku/Yuukari for running an amazing Viewing Party all weekend; ZeroRevive for helping out on Discord; and even those who lent a hand in a little way through preparation or somewhere else, like Aweshucks and Magic8Ball. This event wouldn’t have happened without you!
-InkTV – who put on a phenomenal broadcast for this event. They all put in such hard work: preparing the stream and all the assets/images; communicating and working with myself and the SQ staff directly before and throughout the event; and generally supporting us with whatever they could do. I was so happy to see this tournament culminate the way it did. InkTV really put on a fantastic show, it was better than I could have expected. Can’t wait to work with InkTV again in the future!
-Our casters, NineWholeGrains, PKSparkxx, flc, and Hitzel – for commentating the event and doing a wonderful job doing so. It was awesome hearing these guys talk about the game they love and hopping on the mic for this event. I’m very grateful for it. And it was really cool to give PK his first Splatoon casting experience with this event. I can’t wait to see him and the rest of these guys working more Splatoon 2 events, especially with Squidboards.
-You – you know why. You’re the best!
Be sure to stay tuned here on Squidboards, on Twitter, and on Discord for updates regarding SQSS October, future contents and events, and much more.
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Squidboards Update: SQSS September Wrap-Up, Incoming Art & Guide Contests