Zehn Masters Week 4 Recap

We've reached the halfway point of the Zehn Masters series, with 10 LANs done and 10 left to go! This past weekend saw the first of the national WAN events with over $3,000 in prizes being awarded to teams across the US. If you missed any of the action we have all the details below!

Jerseys Are Here

Thanks to local screen printer Nesbow Graphics the first of our jerseys arrived. These are black & red and feature the Rome Revolution eSports logo on the front, player name on the back, and a list of sponsors for the Zehn Masters series. We've given out several dozen to date and have a second batch arriving soon for recent events including CoD, CSGO, & NBA2K.

If you haven't been able to compete but still would like to own a jersey and support one of the winning players, all sponsored jerseys will be up on our online store later this week for purchase, and a royalty will be paid to any player whose jersey you purchase.

Friday Fighters

Friday night featured the first Tekken 7 LAN event with Tony "ZTS" Filosi winning. Tony has been playing competitive Tekken for over 10 years and is regarded as one of the top players in New York State. His favorite character is Lee but played Claudio and Geese for the W. He most recently won Wizard World Minneapolis 2016. Tony is a film student at Syracuse University and is currently directing an action drama for his senior project which he describes as "Victorian horror meets small town America". Tony is unfortunately unable to make the WAN event in January and that entry will be passed on to 2nd place winner Jeremy "Ladon" Lince.

A little later on Friday night saw the kick off of our first national WAN event, with Ladon facing off in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. This was a $500 national event and Jeremy was pumped for the event, tearing through to a 2-0 lead in Winner's Finals before his opponent brought it back 3-2 to knock Ladon into Loser's Finals. Loser's Finals became a frustrating time, and it's unfortunate that this had to happen in the first national event, but our fears of running a fighting game tournament online came true. Fighting game tournaments typically take place offline at LANs and other shops due to the requirement of having excellent connections between peers online, otherwise combos may drop making for a poor experience. In loser's finals Ladon was frustrated with his combos dropping and felt there was a serious connection issue with the other center. It was later found out that the opposing center was participating using a Wifi connection, which was only discovered in a pause during the reset of grand finals. This went late into the night and generated a lot of discussion between the players and the centers regarding rules & standards.

I feel like we owe Ladon an apology for not providing the best conditions for him to compete. Granted the actual problem was at another center and out of our hands (a theme that repeated throughout the weekend), but as an owner I need to step up my vigilance and be more vocal at the other centers when problems arise. This conversation is already happening between centers now and there is a lot of discussion about where we need to set the bar as a group of participating LANs. We're a tiny center in comparison and I'm a little surprised that with our limited resources we're doing a much better job organizing than a handful of other larger centers, but perhaps that's a testament to the hundreds of tournaments we've run at LAN Mob. To be fair most of the centers pulled off the WAN without a glitch, and I have faith that the few centers that had problems can pull their acts together and step it up as we move forward. Specifically with the WAN fighter events coming up I'm going to pursue what steps can be made for a better next experience - from "qualifying" or testing center connections, to new rules in place for when bad connections pop up.

Saturday Overwatch

Saturday saw Team 315 competing in the Overwatch 6v6 $2,000 national event. I've used the analogy before that skill levels in competitive gaming is a bit like peeling an onion, with dozens of layers the further you peel into it. I've witnessed and lived this in our Smash events, and believe heading into this series that our best players are heading into a whole new world of competition in these nationals. The Project Bastion team had a scrimmage with Team 315 before the event, and the comment was made by one of the Bastion team members that the skill gap between them was perhaps too much. This repeated itself in the WAN event, as Team 315 had a humbling experience in the tournament. It's sometimes difficult when faced with such a gap to have a take away, but this is a positive thing as the only way to get better and improve at our games is to face the best and learn from it. In the same way we've seen Draxsel grow from the majors he's attended, and to a similar extent Supernova coming off the League WAN, we're hoping to see the same kind of growth with our teams entering the nationals.

This tournament again experienced delays, with I believe two or three centers either missing players or having major network issues. Our players lost their first match and awaited patiently in loser's bracket to eventually meet a team of 4,000+ SR players - Grand Master level or top 1% of Overwatch players. This was the eventual second place team in the tournament, which is a terrifying thought what the first place team consisted of! I talked a little bit with Team 315 after the tournament and am hopeful they picked up a few things from the experience.

Sunday CS: Go & Rocket League

Sunday featured the first Rocket League WAN event with Twitch & Dickie from Team 315 representing Rome Revolution eSports. They had a rough day, dropping the tournament 0-2 and admitting they hadn't put too much practice into Rocket League. We captured the footage offline and will share some clips & highlights with everyone later this week! That officially puts Rome Revolution eSports at 0-3 for the WAN events, although we almost want to add an asterisk for the MVCI event! As I said above this is a good learning experience, and we're taking our knocks but will hopefully grow from this.

Our major event Sunday was Counter Strike: Global Offensive LAN qualifier. We had three teams participating including Lemonade, Onliners & The Chill. This tournament ran way longer than I anticipated, with multiple matches going the full 30 rounds or close to it, and a bracket reset in grand finals. We started around 1 PM and were playing still after midnight.

CS:Go is an event we haven't run a tournament for recently and we ran into a problem at one point when the tied match didn't automatically go into overtime, causing some minor delays for the players who were patient with us while we reached an agreement - thank you to the players for helping us move the tournament along! We were able to figure out some commands which should allow the next one to move more quickly (like skipping the warmup!).

Congratulations to team The Chill for bringing it back in Grand Finals to defeat Onliners. The team consists of Joey "Joey4K" Reno, Mack "Cabbage" Kenyon, Jason "JSN" Crumb, Logan "Riddance" Strebing and Alex "awfl" Feliu. They all win Rome Revolution eSports jerseys and qualify to the January 7th $1500 CS:Go national event, where they will no doubt face some of the best teams in the US.

Coming Up: MVCI qualifier, Madden & League of Legends Nationals

This weekend will have an MVCI qualifier at 7 PM  Friday night, as well as On_Fire9 entering the Madden national event kicking off at 9 pm. Saturday will see Supernova entering the $1500 League of Legends national. We'll be streaming online so be sure to tune in: twitch.tv/lanmob
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