A high-profile UK fighting game tournament held over the weekend was marred by streaming issues.
Hypespotting, held in Glasgow, Scotland, failed to stream significant portions of its Street Fighter 5 tournament – sparking some members of the UK fighting game community to call the event “embarrassing”.
The people behind the tournament defended their organisation of the event, pointing to poor quality wifi at the venue.
Hypespotting was anticipated by Street Fighter fans because of its place on the ongoing Capcom Pro Tour. This meant Hypespotting, while an independently run event, offered official ranking points to participants – ranking points that determine which 32 players qualify for the year end Capcom Cup.
Because of the ranking points on offer, some of Europe’s best Street Fighter players turned up. French player Luffy, 2014 Ultra Street Fighter 4 Evolution champion, starred.
However, Hypespotting failed to livestream the Street Fighter 5 top 32 matches, leading many to criticise the event.
The anger was fuelled by a tweet by Hypespotting organiser Walter Fraser, who responded to complaints about the lack of a stream by suggesting fans should have turned up.
If people wanted to guarantee seeing SFV top 32, they should have turned up, tech issues happen, in person you can see it all 😉
— Affro (@VS_Affro) April 3, 2016
The tweet was roundly criticised, with many pointing to the £30 cost to attend the event.
Subsequently, the Street Fighter 5 top eight matches were streamed – but that did little to calm frustration.
Tournament organiser Walter Fraser told Eurogamer Hypespotting’s venue partner, the local Hilton hotel, “let us down badly”.
“We’re really disappointed about it, as we know many other people are too; it’s been a very trying situation, and we’re just really sorry that people weren’t able to see the games they wanted,” he said.
Digging into the detail, Fraser said the tournament organisers suffered issues with capture cards, as well as the internet connection to the hotel wifi.
“We contacted the venue for tech support but were told it was a good few hours out,” Fraser continued.
“It left us in the position that we had to continue with the bracket to ensure that the schedule was met. This was my call entirely – I didn’t want to risk people missing travel arrangements later on in the night because of a slide in time caused by this issue.”
Hypespotting was also criticised for a lack of communication with those hoping to watch the streams. Fraser apologised for this.
“We’re still very much a community orientated and run a grassroots event, and all of the staff who assist on the day are volunteers and members of the FGC. This was the largest event we’ve ever done with just shy of 600 people attending over the weekend, and we can see that communication definitely fell by the wayside. We hear it loud and clear though and we’re already looking at ways we can improve things going into next year.”
And when the streams were online, they suffered from long waits in between matches, incorrect information displayed via the on-screen overlays, and “unprofessional” commentary.
Fraser, again, apologised.
“We have seen these things and we’re sorry it had an impact on the event,” he said.
“We were working with the venue to resolve technical issues around internet access for almost the entire majority of the event which had an impact on the available resources we had. In regards to commentary I think it’s always subjective and we are heavily relying on the community and players to assist with it. We want the event to work for everyone, though, so we’ll definitely be looking at as many people’s feedback and experiences as possible.”
As for his tweet that called on those who complained about a lack of a stream, Fraser held his hands up.
“I have to admit, that tweet was way off the mark, and definitely did not come across how I intended it to. In honesty, I was trying to playfully respond to complaints about the streaming issues, but it just read as that me not giving a shit about the wider community, which is the last thing I want.
“Indeed, Hypespotting has a brilliant history of bringing players together from every corner of the FGC – both in the venue – and in the stream, and we highly value that. That tweet was a combination of exasperation at the tech situation and my tiredness getting the better of me, and yeah, to try and make light of the situation rather than just holding my hands up and saying ‘I’m sorry, there’s a problem here, we’re trying to fix it’ was wrong.”
Fraser said the Hypespotting team will learn from the weekend’s event and vowed to improve for the next.
As for the Hypespotting results, UK player PxP | Problem X, using M. Bison, took top spot at the Street Fighter 5 tournament, scoring 128 CPT ranking points in the process. RB | Luffy, using R. Mika, came in second place, scoring 64 CPT ranking points.