Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week of Tournament Reviews Day 1: Mixup Mondays!

After making a lot of the weekly tournament results pages for Chicago, I realized that at this point in time I haven't even been to half of the tournaments in the area. I wanted to change that and create something similar to my old List of the Best Weekly Tournaments in Chicago because that list is now horribly out of date. However, instead of doing a top five list I decided that I would go to one of the tournaments every day for the entire week and write a review of my experiences at each venue. Day one took me out to Dekalb, IL for Mixup Mondays!

Day 1: Monday, September 5th.
Tournament: Mixup Mondays
Location: Kelpie Games 811 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, Illinois 60115
When: Every Monday. Doubles at 6:00 p.m., Singles afterwards
Cost: $5 venue fee, $3 singles bracket, $2 doubles bracket
Stream: N/A
For more info contact LevelUp Gaming League

Friendlies before bracket started
Kelpie Games is located right next to the campus of Northen Illinois University in Dekalb, IL. For students of the university you really can't have a better location. In addition to being so close to campus, there are many restaurants within walking distance of Kelpie Games including McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Chipotle, Potbelly, and Burger King. The venue itself is your average gaming shop with areas for playing tabletop games, board games, card games, and of course Smash! 

For the tournament we had three tables that each held two set ups on them for a total of six set ups. For the 19 person bracket, six set ups was plenty to run through the tournament efficiently and leave time for friendlies as well. Mixup Mondays runs a bracket for singles, doubles, and one just for fun side event after the conclusion of singles. The side event changes every week, but while I was there we did a random partner, random characters, random stages doubles event. This was a great way to end the tournament on a high note for everyone and helped to contribute to the friendly atmosphere of the tournament. 

One thing that separates Mixup Mondays from the bigger Chicago weeklies is that it has much less of an "esports" feel to it. Instead it felt more like a group of friends getting together to enjoy some Smash. There was no stream, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I never had to wait for matches on stream to finish before I could play my next round. I was able to play matches right away and have time for friendlies before loser's bracket caught up. Entry fees are lower than the $5 venue fee and $5 per bracket standard in Chicago. Venue fee here was still $5 (waived with bringing a set up), but singles was $3 and doubles was $2. Since I brought my set up I only spent $5 to play in all the brackets. For a casual player that isn't looking to spend $15 to play every week, these lower entry fees are much more reasonable. On the other side of the spectrum, competitive players from the city might be less inclined to make the drive without the potential to win as much (I won $8 from doubles and $31 from singles for first in both events). Personally I didn't mind the lower entry fees. For a small local that relies on having regulars show up every week the low entry fee isn't bad at all.

The only big drawback to Mixup Mondays for me is the distance from the city. It would be difficult for a lot of people to make the 60 mile drive when there are other closer alternatives available. I live in the western suburbs so the drive wasn't too bad and was well worth it. Mixup Mondays probably wont become one of my regular every week tournaments, but I can definitely see myself returning on occasion for a good night of Smashing. If you live in the area or are looking for a tournament that doesn't hurt the wallet so badly, definitely check out Mixup Mondays in Dekalb if you ever get the chance.

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