Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week of Tournament Reviews Day 7: WIT Gaming!

Today is the last day of my week of tournament reviews! This last review will be of WIT Gaming in Aurora, IL!

Tournament: WIT Gaming
When: Every Sunday. Doubles at 2:00 p.m., Singles at 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $5 venue fee, $5 singles, $2.50 doubles
Brackets: http://challonge.com/users/witgames
Stream: https://www.twitch.tv/witgaming
For more info check the WIT Gaming Facebook page
Location: WIT Gaming 481 N Commons Dr, Unit F Aurora, IL 60504

WIT Gaming has been around for over a year, but it has always been one of the smallest weekly tournaments in Chicago. Sunday has always been a popular day for weeklies in Chicago with Gamer's HQ's and Galloping Ghost Arcade's weeklies all sharing the same day. However, many factors have started to change how Sundays look in terms of attendance at the weeklies. With GGA recently announcing that they are no longer running their Sunday Smash weekly and with GHQ shrinking rapidly now that school is back in session, WIT is finally getting its time to shine. By hosting on Sunday afternoons instead of nights, people that want to get home early because of work or school the next day have no problem attending WIT and we've seen a decent increase in attendance there. Something very similar happened to WIT for their Melee and Project M weekly not too long ago. Other weeklies in the area started slowing down or stopping, and since WIT had a great time slot for their weekly it started to rapidly increase in size and is now the premier weekly for those games in the Chicago area. Could we see WIT become the next huge Smash 4 tournament in Chicago? I think it's possible.
The WIT tournament area

The venue is a gaming lounge that has a lot of high end gaming PCs available to use on an hourly fee and a section for tournaments. In the tournament area they have lagless Asus monitors, so players bringing set ups only need to bring their consoles. Every time I have ever attended WIT they have had so many set ups running that you never had to wait for a match. This Sunday for a 25 person bracket we had ten set ups which allowed extra time for friendlies. In the back of the tournament area, there is another small room where the stream and commentators are set up so that it is far enough away from the players to not cause any distractions. The stream doesn't feel quite as polished as Unrivaled Tournament's or Events2Compete's streams, but it does its job just fine. Its only real flaw is that VODs aren't uploaded to YouTube, so matches end up getting getting lost after Twitch deletes the old recordings after a month. 

As for the tournament itself, everything consistently runs amazingly. Each Sunday starts off with a doubles bracket with an entry fee of five dollars per team. I really like this because it encourages more people to try out doubles without spending too much. By having a lower entry fee into doubles, there is usually a higher percentage of players that enter both singles and doubles than at any of the other tournaments. Singles bracket starts upon the conclusion of doubles, and at the end of the day there is the free entry random characters bracket. Ending tournaments with fun brackets is always something I like to see at tournaments since it lets everyone end the day having fun instead of being salty about their recent losses. 

With attendance numbers on the rise at WIT, I can see potential for it to become the next big tournament in Illinois. It has almost all the elements of a top tier weekly. If WIT can work towards uploading the VODs to YouTube and improving the stream a little bit, I think it would start gathering more attention and attracting more of Chicago's best players. I really do hope that the recent growth in attendance continues because WIT has always been the most underrated tournament in Chicago, and it would be cool to see it finally get the recognition it has deserved for so long.

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