Saturday, September 10, 2016

Week of Tournament Reviews Day 4: The Gaming Goat Geneva!

Despite being some of the closest weeklies to me, I've never attended either of The Gaming Goat's Smash 4 weeklies before. This week I'm changing that and attending both their weekly in Geneva and Joliet. Today I review the Geneva event!

Tournament: The Gaming Goat - Geneva
When: Every Thursday. Singles at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 venue fee, $5 singles bracket
For more info check the Geneva Smash Facebook group.
Location: The Gaming Goat 715 E State St, Geneva, IL 60134

The Gaming Goat is a chain of card game and board game stores in the Chicago suburbs. Each store hosts all kinds of weekly events for many different games, including Smash.Their venue in Geneva, which hosts the Thursday night Smash 4 weekly, is on the small side, but for the size of tournament it ends up working out well. There was two tables for Smash set ups in the back, and the rest of the tables in the store remained open for places to sit down and relax while waiting for the next round. During this waiting period everyone had a chance to talk to everyone else and get to know each other, and by the end of the event it felt like we all became  friends. I've always had a fondness for card shops like The Gaming Goat since I used to play in Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments every week in card shops as a kid. Something about the atmosphere in stores like these can't really be replicated elsewhere. It is more of a hangout than it is a competitive environment.

Ok, I confess I cheated again. I forgot to take a picture of 
 the venue so I stole this image from their Facebook page.

Matches at The Gaming Goat in Geneva are played under a three stock eight minute timer rule set. Normally this is something that I would disagree with because I like being consistent with other tournaments. However, at The Gaming Goat this rule set works out well. Since it is a small local, having an extra stock extends matches slightly so that everyone gets more playtime. With the average turnout hovering around 12 entrants, there isn't any risk of the tournament running too late. We finished the tournament last night with over an hour and a half of free time to play friendlies and hang out.

One of the set ups in the back of the room is connected to a stream so you can watch back some of your matches later. The stream itself isn't the highest quality stream around, but it gets the job done. Layouts are simple and commentary is done through a single microphone instead of multiple headsets. If you go to The Gaming Goat expecting a high quality esports production like Ignition, you would surely be disappointed. However, it's not fair to make that comparison. Tournaments at The Gaming Goat aren't trying to be super competitive with a top tier stream. You can only really judge The Gaming Goat for what it is: a small local gathering of friends playing Smash. The stream isn't likely to draw in high viewership anytime soon, but that's okay. For what it is, The Gaming Goat is a very fun event for everyone regardless of skill level. An event like this would be a very good first tournament for someone looking to join the scene without having to dive right into a large Midwest Mayhem or Ignition tournament.. Definitely make an effort to attend events here if you live in the area, I promise you will have a good time.

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