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'I'm truly sorry, I do these events to try to grow the community, not hurt it' - ShinBlanka addresses the controversy surrounding Final Round 19

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 23, 2016 at 7:43 p.m. PDT • Comments: 82

Last weekend's Final Round 19 was the first Premier event on this year's Capcom Pro Tour, and wound up seeing an incredible 1,024 entrants for Street Fighter 5 alone.

Record breaking numbers came with a price however, as this was more than the tournament organizers were really prepared for. Lack of space combined with people having issues determining pool schedules had a number of attendees leaving with a bad taste in their mouths.

Main tournament organizer Larry "ShinBlanka" Dixon joined TheOnBlastShow last night to address the issues surrounding his event. His overall tone was apologetic, acknowledging hiccups in execution and why they happened, stating early on that if he'd turned off anyone, especially those new to the FGC, "I'm truly sorry, I do these events to try to grow the community, not hurt it."

Dixon began by addressing complaints from players having difficulty in finding out exactly when and where they were supposed to play their pools. The event staff chose to use a new bracket system,, that they weren't fully familiar with.

"In hindsight I shouldn't have tried a new system doing a huge event like Final Round. There was nothing wrong with the system... it just wasn't executed correctly," said Dixon. He went on to talk about complaints of cramped space, specifically while attendees were actually playing their matches.
While there were some warning signs such as room reservations and per-registration numbers, Dixon ultimately didn't expect to have numbers that would actually fill all ballrooms at all times, and hinder physical movement for players.

Basing his projections on last year's numbers, though keeping in mind there would be decent growth as a result of the brand new Street Fighter 5, Dixon expected closer to 800 SF5 entrants as opposed to 1,024.

"Truthfully, if we had a natural jump from four to six or seven hundred, which is what I was thinking for Street Fighter, the space I had would have been enough," he said. "We've outgrown that hotel, I know that. I'm actively looking for a new space for Final Round 20."

Hindsight is obviously 20-20, but it wasn't until long after the venue was booked and things were irreversibly set in motion that organizers began realizing there may be any real problems with space.

ShinBlanka had quite a bit more to say such as the idea of including paid workers instead of volunteers, getting rid of emergency registration and more.

There's a lot of very NSFW language, but you'll find ShinBlanka's full segment on the OBS here.

Photo courtesy of PTB Photo.
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