This year at EVO 2018, multiple side games like Sailor Moon S, Catherine, and Windjammers graced the big screen as Top 4s for each respective game was played on stage. I was able to speak with AnimEVO organizer "Kumubou" and ask a few questions in regards to how side tournaments work at EVO and for tips on how to get involved and get started.
What's the full list of side games that were played on stage?
How do side games at EVO 2018 compare to last year?
Space wise, it was about double the space from what we had last year. In terms of unique entrants, we were actually up by just under 80% (504 unique entrants across all games in 2017, 903 unique entrants across all games in 2018). You can see the numbers here.
Of course, this is also the first year that EVO has allowed for Top 4s for any side game to be played on stage and streamed by their official channels.
Were there any noteworthy moments captured by side streams that didn't make the EVO stage?
Absolutely. There was this dramatic time-out between Xiaohai and ZJZ:
This was clipped on evo7, but there was also this "selfie" moment in Catherine:
Were there any side games that weren't run by AnimEVO?
Technically, anything that’s not listed under the AnimEVO page on smash.gg. (KI, MvCI, MvC3, Pokken, ARMS, etc...)
One misconception is that we manage all of the side games at Evo. That’s not the case — we're more a bunch of TOs, streamers and other staff who have decided to join together and pool resources to make our lives easier. You don’t need our approval (or anyone’s approval) to run a side tournament at EVO.
Are you saying I could run a Time Killers side tournament at EVO even if there were only 4 signups?
Up until this year, the space has been first come, first serve. This is the first year where there was some coordination between some of the TOs and EVO staff, which resulted in there being reserved space for a lot of the side games.
However, even with that there’s still space for people to freely use. The thinking there is that you have every much of a right to run Time Killers as I do to run a Waifu Fighter 20XX tournament.
Do you have any advice for newcomers who want to run side events?
Go to your locals. Most regions should have a local scene that can help you gauge interest for a game, along with interaction with other event organizers. If you don't have a group of people reasonably close, most games nowadays have online communities (through Discord or the like) and you can organize something there, even if it's just a small online event people are doing for fun.
Honestly though, it comes down to just getting up and doing it. No one that I can think of is explicitly trained to run events; it's all ad-hoc knowledge. People generally start organizing events to fill a need of some sort and learn as they go along.
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