Imda1fish and I (Iacobescu) had a blast organizing and putting on this Halo tournament for the LDSG community. We wanted to get down in words our story of how this tournament came to fruition, our thoughts, experiences and plans for the future. From this point you will be reading our dialogue as we discussed everything regarding the 2017 Spring LDSG Halo Tournament. But before we talk about anything else, we need to thank a few people.
Imda1fish1: Thanks first and foremost to the LDS Gaming community. Your excitement and enthusiasm made this possible.
Iacobescu: For sure, thanks for accepting us and adding us to the community. It’s been a blast getting to know you guys and playing with everyone. Also, we couldn’t have done this without the support of our wives. Danielle, I love you. Thank you for being so amazing and allowing me to do this.
Imda1fish1: I love you too, Laura. Thanks for everything. Putting the kids in bed early so we could commentate, play and put this thing on.
Iacobescu: Also thanks to everyone that participated in the tournament. Thanks to the LDSG leadership for getting behind us and backing this event.
Imda1fish1: Everyone has been awesome. Thanks.
Iacobescu: So why don’t you tell the fine people how this tournament came to be.
Imda1fish1: I drive for FedEx for my job. During my lunch breaks, I had started watching the Halo Championship Series and other Twitch Halo channels. I thought it would be fun to try and do something like this on a smaller scale.
Iacobescu: We had been playing with our old fireteam since the day Halo 5 came out. We had been playing together weekly since before Halo 5 came out but we were starting to get burned out. The most we ever really had playing was about 10 people but most weeks it was between 2 and 6. Then we found the LDS Gaming community.
Imda1fish1: All of a sudden we had a bunch of new people to play with. So while driving around in my truck I sent you a text, “What would you think about trying to do a HCS style tournament with the LDSG?”
Iacobescu: It was my day off and I thought it was a great idea. I grabbed my laptop and started working on a Google Form to see what kind of interest there we be. We were hoping for 16 people, maybe 20 would sign up. We were not ready for the amount of interest this thing gathered. We put the idea out there on Discord and had 52 people sign up. 52! That still blows my mind. And before we knew it, we were in charge of a tournament. I don’t think people knew just how much we were flying by the seat of our pants trying to put this thing on.
Imda1fish1: For sure. We were making things up as we went. But we had a lot of great help to cover our inexperience. Our next challenge was how to organize everything. We had 4 people that signed up that couldn’t participate in the tournament for one reason or another. That left us with 48 people, or 12 full teams, ready to play.
Iacobescu: In our original form that we put out there, we asked if people would be willing to be captains. We probably should have clarified that people were volunteering to be a captain. We’ll change that for the future. Our bad.
Imda1fish1: So we had our captains. We had our players. We just needed to match them up.
Iacobescu: We planned on doing a fantasy draft. Both of us have been playing fantasy sports with each other since before our missions and thought it would be cool to be part of a draft.
Imda1fish1: We had a lot of help getting information, doing a lot of things that we didn’t know a lot about. Data mining. Spreadsheets. Who knows where they got these numbers, but they were awesome. Big shout out to Keggity and CJ Stormblessed for putting those together.
Iacobescu: CJ and Keggity really became our sounding boards, our right hand men if you will. They were awesome and helped us a ton. We had soooo many spreadsheets and numbers. It was great. And that really helped out with the draft. We needed to come up w/ a system of how to do the draft order. Who’s idea was the Free For All for the captains?
Imda1fish1: I don’t remember. I think mine. But either way, it was a fun idea. The captains all did a great job and it was a lot of fun. It really helped to set the tone for the rest of the tournament.
Iacobescu: It was also the first time either of us streamed/commentated for esports. And we learned a lot from this. We were in different places so it was hard. I was watching one thing, you were watching another and we were both talking about what we saw. The only problem was the audience could only see what you saw. It taught us how to communicate effectively by calling out specific players names so we could be in sync.
Imda1fish1: Back to the draft, our original plan was to keep it closed and just post the results. But we asked the community and people wanted it live streamed.
Iacobescu: I was surprised by the results. They were about 3:1 in favor of watching it.
Imda1fish1: So we streamed the draft and I think that got even more people excited about the tournament. But one thing we did that we will change for the future was give too much time at the start of everything. We had a full week for scouting and a full week for teams to practice. That just pushed the tournament too long.
Iacobescu: That’s one thing we will change for sure. We will condense the schedule next time for sure. I think, at least for me, that was one of the biggest challenges. We were trying to balance everything from practice to the actual tournament and there is a fine line to walk there. I don’t think we walked it very well.
Imda1fish1: Chalk it up to experience, or lack thereof.
Iacobescu: After giving teams a week to practice online, we set up our 12 teams into 3 groups of 4. That’s the world that we know, watching the soccer world cup and rugby tournaments. They are groups of 4 so it didn’t even cross our minds to change things until we saw the way they set up the Halo World Championships with 4 groups of 3.
Imda1fish1: That would have made things easier as far as determining the seeding for the tournament, that’s for sure.
Iacobescu: One thing we tried to do and wished we could have done more of is stream and commentate more matches. I know I didn’t realize that by playing it would take us away from matches we could commentate because we would either be warming up or playing in our own match. I know as of right now, we have both agreed to not play in the next tournament and just take more of a strictly organizer/commentary role.
Imda1fish1: That’s not saying we’re retiring from playing. We’ll still play and maybe participate in tournaments. We just both really enjoyed the new side of organizing and commentating.
Iacobescu: I mean, that’s what I want to do with my life is sports-talk radio and play-by-play so this has been a blast. I have a loooooooooooong way to go to make that dream a reality.
Imda1fish1: Yeah you do. hahaha
Iacobescu: So the round robin went well but there were definitely a few hiccups. We had a bunch of people signed up to play from all over the country. We had almost 30 years difference between our youngest and oldest competitors. Along with a vast array of skill levels and ages, we had a wide range of commitment levels.
Imda1fish1: The substitute issue was really frustrating. For a bunch of different reasons, we had people drop out. Job schedule changes, still living at home with a bed time, just didn’t like Halo as much as other games, internet issues, etc. We tried to be clear and transparent with our communication as possible. We probably should have been more clear on our subs and why we chose who we did.
Iacobescu: We tried as best we could to find a replacement as close as possible to the player that was missing, both in skill level, KDA, etc. It was super hard though. We had a good pool of guys that were willing to be subs, but it was hard to find a great replacement a lot of times. And you, Fish, you were really the one that took the responsibility of the substitutes. We both kind of gravitated to different parts of the putting this one. I worked a lot on making the forms, timelines and communication as well as commentating. You did a lot of the nitty gritty stuff like subs, running the maps and gametypes, and making the tough decisions. Thanks for doing that stuff, by the way.
Imda1fish1: We complimented each other well and tried to make the work load even. But yeah, trying to find subs sucked. Easily the most stressful part of this tournament. We’re already working on a better system for next time.
Iacobescu: I don’t know if there is a perfect system, but if there is we’ll find it.
Imda1fish1: The round robin was fun and the knockouts were even better. We had so many great matches. It seemed like almost every match went to game 5. There were times where I found myself standing up commentating because it was so intense.
Iacobescu: I did the same thing!
Imda1fish1: We had a bunch of people that really stepped up and helped us out with the streaming on commentary. Knight, Jaxs, CJ, Keggity, Rome, Wabbit, Nivalack, G Elite all stepped up to help us host games and do commentary. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone.
Iacobescu: Sol did a game with me but it was awesome having people help us out. I’m sure we’re forgetting more people. Sorry about that.
Imda1fish1: Our teams met in the semis and it couldn’t have been closer.
Iacobescu: Nothing will ever convince me that I didn’t kill Hidden with my melee before you got Seconds21live with the SMG. Just like nothing will ever convince me that the Music City Miracle wasn’t a forward lateral. And yes, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan.
Imda1fish1: You lost. I won. Hahaha.
Iacobescu: And to anyone that got offended by seeing Fish and I drop a knee on each other, sorry about that. He had warned me early in the day that he was going to do it anytime he killed me. Early in game 1 we had a 1v1 and I came out on top. I didn’t expect it so when it happened I thought to myself, “Game on!” And from there it escalated. So sorry if anyone didn’t like that. It was just two best friends screwing around.
Imda1fish1: Yeah, sorry about that.
Iacobescu: The finals was our only best of 7 series and it was awesome. Thanks to Knight and Jaxs for commentating with me. At one point we had 38 people watching the stream which is the most for a live LDSG stream. And congrats again to Derkaderkaderkader for their win. You guys were awesome.
Imda1fish1: We learned a lot during this tournament. But both of us learned that this was first and foremost a ton of work. We spent hours working on things. From the timeline, to subs, to maps, to the championship pregame show it took a long time. Thanks again to our wives for letting us do it. We’ll make it up to you somehow.
Iacobescu: We learned how excited and how awesome this community is. There was a newfound level of excitement that I haven’t felt about Halo or any game in a long time.
Imda1fish1: For sure. And we learned a lot about streaming and organizing things like this. We had to teach ourselves how to do almost everything. But now that we know more about what we’re doing, it’ll be faster and more efficient from here on out.
Iacobescu: For future tournaments we’re going to make a few changes. We’re going to have a timeline/schedule before we start a tournament. That will help us twofold. It’ll condense things and help people know what they are getting into. And we’re going to try to have 1-2 dedicated streams for the games.
Imda1fish1: We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and we have some great ideas for future tournaments. We’re going to try to do 2 main HCS tournaments a year with a different tournament in between. Those other tournaments might be 2v2, breakout, customs, fiesta, etc. We’re already talking about our next tournament and we’ll get started here in the next little bit.
Iacobescu: We gotta remind our wives why they love us. Hahaha. We’re also going to be branching out to other games. We’re already working on Rocket League and have some other games we’re going to reach out to.
Imda1fish1: To wrap things up, this was awesome. So much fun. So many great moments. So great.
Iacobescu: Thanks again to everyone and look for things only to get better and more fun in the future.