MasterXMaster Launch Weekend Summary

MasterXMaster weekend July 7th-9th 2017

Through a partnership between NCSoft and Alienware Arena, we had the privilege of being one of fifteen LAN Centers nationwide to play host to a MasterXMaster launch weekend this past July 7th-9th. We've held launch events before for other games but this is the first time a sponsor has stepped in to help back an event, and we were happy to take the ball and run with it.

A list of participating venues across the US
We kicked the event off Friday night at 6 pm with free food to the first 25 customers, and had constant swag giveaways going all night including t-shirts, water bottles, pins, coasters, digital codes, posters and more.  We had quite the crush of people right at 6 and spent a good amount of time running around trying to get customers registered with NCSoft accounts.

Some newbies giving MXM a try.

Once the initial rush settled down we were able to get a 3v3 tournament started by 9 pm, with the team of Taggles/Spydude/EnMach taking it down.

The chosen one.
Customers continued playing until close at midnight, and we opened again at noon on Saturday for a 20-hour long overnight MXM event until Sunday at 8 am.  Our PCs sold out for the overnight and we ran another 3v3 tournament, with one of the winners having driven as far away as Connecticut to attend the event.

Our 9 pm headliner tournament winners with SGDQ playing in the background.
We were also able to get a 5v5 tournament started at midnight, although players had to deal with some lag, which was an on again/off again problem throughout the event. The event continued at noon open on Sunday, with a lighter crowd but still some active Titan Ruins teams running all day. We awarded prizes in all our events to those who could capture first blood, and some customers left with multiple prizes!

A5 with a poster
Last first blood of the event late Sunday night - Tax1k taking a t-shirt home
I personally played a fair bit throughout the weekend, both at the shop and from home. There is a lot I could comment about the game itself but that's best saved for another blog post by someone more qualified - we have a few around the shop that are playing at a high level. I personally enjoyed the game a lot, with my background in MOBAs and a guild-heavy game like WoW forming my early gaming years, this game struck me on several levels. Our in-store guild is close to cracking the top 100 guilds - I'm actually fighting the urge to go play in order to finish this blog post!

Our staff is all pretty exhausted from the weekend but absolutely looking forward to hosting another launch event in the future.  This is a great example of the way games should be launched, in a social atmosphere where gamers can come together to celebrate a shared passion. We had some great moments throughout the weekend which had the entire shop shouting and cheering, including a come-from-behind win with 6 seconds left in Titan Ruins.

The core fell with 6 seconds remaining

As far as technical issues there were a few, generally around connectivity. Lag seemed to come and go as some games would run beautifully and others would make play extremely difficult. NCSoft was dealing with an ongoing DDOS attack in addition to an already high server load and week-old game, but outside of a few brief periods the servers remained online. A larger problem for us started late Friday night with users being unable to create new accounts, and that continued throughout the weekend. A number of customers had already created their accounts in the weeks leading up to the launch and were unaffected, but there were a lot of customers who did not have accounts and were just not able to get through, which meant we had to make use of some house accounts to allow them to play.

If you couldn't make the launch event for whatever reason (I know there were a few who couldn't!) stop by sometime this week to try the game out, anyone on staff will be happy to show you the ropes and get you started.

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