By Ms. H
If you would like to know what happened at the Civil War V Tournament, you’ve come to the right place. Not only will you find out who won at the tournament, but you will get a sense of the general atmosphere of the event and much more from someone who attended all three days of the tournament. Civil War V Tournament happenings will be shared with you raw – without any frills or fluffs.
So let’s get started!
The Civil War V Tournament was held in Richmond, Virginia at the Comfort Inn Hotel on April 19-21, 2013. This video game tournament included such fighting games as Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Street Fighter X Tekken, King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat 9, Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, Super Street Fighter IV and many other fighting games. To the Civil War V Tournament organizers’ credit, the event even had the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us which was released less than a week from the start of the tournament.
Weather During the Civil War V Tournament
Rain greeted the players and spectators on the first day of the tournament on Friday, April 19, 2013, but the weather redeemed itself quite nicely with blue skies and sunny days on both Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, 2013. Of course, once inside the Comfort Inn, weather was not a factor and probably far from everyone’s minds as the focus turned to the tournament. Attendees either actively participated in the video game matches with a chance to leave as a winner, or they were spectators -- basking in the after-glow of experiencing superb video game playing by some of the most well known names and competitors in the video game world.
Parking and Rooms at the Civil War V Tournament
Parking and hotel rooms at the Comfort Inn, Richmond Virginia were at a premium during the tournament. All the rooms at the Comfort Inn were sold out a few days before the event which started on April 19, 2013. The organizers appeared to have done a good job getting the word out that if you planned to stay at the Comfort Inn, it would be to your advantage to make your hotel reservations early. In fact, days before the event, the Civil War V Tournament website provided a count down of the number of rooms available at the Comfort Inn– until they sold out.
If you planned to stay elsewhere while at the tournament, there were plenty of other hotels within close proximity, or even a short drive away. Of course hotel arrangements depended on whether or not you travelled a long distance to attend the event. If you arrived at the Civil War V Tournament after the Comfort Inn parking lot was full, especially on Saturday, April 20, 2013, all you had to do was to drive around the parking area a few times and sooner or later someone would leave or take a break from the event, drive away in their car, and leave a parking space for you. I know, because I experienced this for myself on the tournament’s busiest day -- Saturday.
Eateries at the Civil War V Tournament
There were no food services establishments at the Comfort Inn such as a hotel restaurant, eateries, etc. When the hunger pangs hit, video game players as well as spectators had to either go out to eat at one of the nearby eating areas, or place an order and have food delivered to the hotel. The plus side of the eating situation is the downtown Richmond area where the tournament was being held had lots of eating establishments around – some were even located within a short walking distance of the Civil War V Tournament site.
Civil War V Tournament - Day 1 - Search and Discover
I really did not know what to expect during the first day of the tournament. I was in a search and discover frame of mind. I did some preliminary research on the net and saw pictures of people huddled in a small room. I am happy to say the room sizes were a lot larger than I expected once I actually arrived at the site.
Once you walk through the double doors, which are located near the front entrance of the Comfort Inn, you are a hop, skip and a jump away from the main video game viewing area.
Due to the time of my arrival on Friday, April 19, 2013 on day l of the event, no one was at the registration desk. I walked right into the main video game viewing area where there were some chairs and a large screen video of the video game plays by the competitors.
At about 11:30 p.m., there were about 45 to 60 people in the room milling around or sitting as they watched the video game plays on the big screen. Some people were standing near the entrance way, while others were inside the video gaming room. I sat at a table which had casual video games set up. Soon after I arrived in the room, a Civil War V Tournament staff person walked in and announced or reminded the attendees that beer was not allowed in the area, after, I presume, he saw someone drinking beer. He also reminded everyone it was close to quitting time.
The first day of the tournament was scheduled to close at midnight and resume at 10:00 a.m. the next day (Saturday, April 20, 2013). In jest, he humorously said that he was going to have to kick everybody out if they did not leave soon since no one seemed anxious to leave.
Civil War V Tournament Day 2 – Full House
All I can ask is - Where were all these people on Friday? Everywhere you look, there were people either congregating together, standing along, walking around or sitting, if they could find an empty seat.
By the time I reached the Comfort Inn on Saturday, the video game tournament was in full swing. The registration desk was now open and staffed. Just in front of me was a young man who asked how much he had to pay to enter the venue. He was told $40.00. Apparently it appears that he did not preregister early for the tournament when he could have paid $20.00 instead of the hefty $40.00.
After a minor administrative mix-up of my name not being on a list of people who registered was cleared up, I received my official Civil War V Tournament spectator badge which I promptly completed with my name, Ms. H, followed by Allgames.com. The tournament participants wore blue Civil War V Tournament combatant badges, while the non-players wore orange spectator badges. I later wrote “MEDIA” on my badge to further identify myself as the press for Allgames.com.
People were crammed in the large video game viewing area, almost wall to wall.People were crammed in the large video game viewing area, almost wall to wall.. There was a noticeable shortage of chairs. As soon as someone got up to move, he or she promptly lost his or her seat which was quickly taken by someone else. I located a chair, and stayed in the same area for quite some time in order to keep my seat. The downside of not having enough chairs was sometimes people stood right in front of you if you were seated and blocked your view of the video game play on the large screen. I personally had to move my chair over as people stood in front of me looking at the screen, oblivious that they were blocking someone’s view – not only mine, but the people sitting behind me as well.
I later brought the lack of an adequate number of chairs to one of the organizer’s attention who said that next year they will make sure there are a sufficient number of chairs. According to the organizer, the reason there were not enough chairs was the unexpected increase in this year’s number of attendees – about 100 more people attended this event this year than last year. The increased attendance was a plus for the event; however, the downside was the lack of chairs to accommodate the increased number of attendees.
The “Big Names” at the Civil War V Tournament
It did not take long to find out that one of the big names at this tournament was a person who has been touted to be one of the best, if not the best fighting video game player in the U.S. His name? AGE|NYChrisG. He was the favorite to win most, if not all, of the video game tournaments at this event. How did I find this out? Due to the buzz in the room, my Allgames.com media contact, and AGE|NYChrisG’s name being brought up numerous times during the event’s conversations. He was always seated prominently on the front row with the other video game players, white head phones first cradled around his neck and then later moved to wrap around his ears where they would stay for the remainder of the tournament.
Video Game Rooms at the Civil War V Tournament
Initially, I was under the impression the large video game room was the only area for the video game tournaments. However, I found out that in addition to the main video game (xBox 360 area with the large screen) there were two additional rooms designated for video game playing – the arcade and the PlayStation 3 rooms. I took a quick glimpse of the PS3 room and saw tables set up with PS 3 video game systems. This room was dark inside – but not as dark as the arcade room.
Even though it was dark in this room, the arcade room was the second location that I visited the most often. The first location I visited the most was the main area with the large video game viewing screen. This smaller room had the Marvel vs Capcom 2 sit-down arcade machine as well as various other arcade fighting video games.
Of interest in the arcade room was a Street Fighter II tournament where players were provided video game fight sticks. This was a contrast to the main video game area, where everyone seemed to be carrying and using their own personal video game fight stick. Whether being held by a handle or clutched underneath their arm, it looked as if everyone had their fight stick to play the video games. Therefore, I was surprised that for the Street Fighter II game in the arcade room, players had to use the video game fight stick provided to them.
I watched as one of the well-known players TS|NerdJosh,played the Street Fighter II game –awaiting for him to walk away victoriously so I could interview him. But that was not to be the case. After losing that particular match, he spoke to one of the Civil War staff in the room about the delay in the controller relative to the game. He then walked pass me without nary a glance or an acknowledgement that I was even there – even though I was within his line of vision. Could it be that when someone is in the midst of a video game tournament, they get tunnel vision where their focus is strictly on video game playing – and little or nothing else? I’ll leave this question for you avid gamers to answer, especially if you have ever been in a video game tournament.
Crowd Appreciation – The Misses
One of the highlights of this event was the crowd enthusiastically showing support for their favorite video game characters or players by roaring and cheering loudly in unison when a K.O. or win occurred. Unfortunately, quite a few people thought it was also appropriate to add lots of profanity along with their cheers. For example, if the game was not going as planned, someone yelled profanities, over and over again. Someone else inappropriately used the “N” word, and not in a whisper – but it was yelled out very loudly, also over and over again. Yet someone else showed his support for smoking an illegal substance by displaying in large letters an inappropriate message on his T-shirt. Thankfully, there were no children there; however, there did seem to be some people who were under eighteen years old at the tournament.
even though drinking alcohol was going on – which is prohibited as listed in the rules for the tournament – no one got into any fights, arguments or altercations.Alcohol once again made a presence by one of the video game spectators having a bottle enclosed in a brown paper bag and taking generous swigs from it, as he shared it with the rest of the people in his group. Yes, as with any large gatherings – groups, or cliques formed where they attempted to try to let everyone know that where they were is where the “party” was happening. The more drinking that was done, the louder the group became. Thankfully, the event was almost over for day 2, and even though drinking alcohol was going on – which is prohibited as listed in the rules for the tournament – no one got into any fights, arguments or altercations. (I kept my fingers crossed).
Most of the time on day 2 was spent by the Civil War staffers organizing the video game players into teams who competed against each other in order to advance to the next round of eliminations. Later, an announcement was made that Marvel vs Capcom would be streamed live instead of another video game – either Street Fighter x Tekken or Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Crowd Appreciation – The Pluses
It was exhilarating to see how animated the spectators got when various video games were played and their favorite video game character, or favorite video game player was on a winning streak.
Civil War V Day 3 – The Finals
On Day 3, it appeared as if the venue found more chairs after the congested seating experienced by all the previous day. Sadly, there were not as many people present on the last day of the tournament, so the seats that were very much needed on Saturday, sat idle, -- unused on Sunday.
Sunday’s, April 21, 2013 Civil War V Tournament
After spending most of my time in the main viewing area on Saturday, I did a “360”, and spent time in the small dark arcade room on Sunday. Similar to the main viewing room, there were less people in the arcade room than the previous day. In fact, there were lots of arcade machines that were not being used – which was a good thing. I, along with other video game spectators/players played some of the street fighter games for “free.” Of course if you paid the admittance fee, you sort of also played to pay these arcade video games as well. I enjoyed playing the Marvel vs Capcom 2 version which was located just inside the arcade room.
A couple sat next to me at the arcade video game machine and proceeded to play a video fighting game. I noticed the female or girl gamer was winning against her opponent, time and time again. I made a mental note to interview her after they finished their game play – which I did.
Since I was in the arcade room, It was unknown to me what was happening in the main viewing video game area. I found out later as I watched part of the streamed game play online, that raffles were going on, as well as a “televised” view of everyone in the room. This was unlike the Evo stream that I watched last summer, where only the video game play and the players were streamed.
It looks as if Civil War V Tournament streams give viewers a look at the video game players as well as the audience, instead of just the players and the game play. This would not have been a problem if the lighting was better. In fact, if you look at the stream, some of the audience members resembled zombies with blacked out—skull like eyes due to the poor lighting. Additionally some of the video game players features were hard to make out due to the very poor lighting. Sometimes you saw what looked to be a silhouette, when instead the camera was aimed directly at the player.
I was glad I was not in the main room at that time when there were camera shots of the audience with lots of very poor lighting.
However, I eventually went to the main video game viewing area. On my way there, I noticed fewer playstation 3 video game players in the PS 3 playing room than what I saw earlier - so apparently actions were already being taken to clear out the area since the tournament would be ending soon.
Once back in the main video game playing room with the big screen, I noticed a few more females there than the day before, however, in my opinion, they did not seem to be as interested in the video game as their male partners.
Once again, AGE|NYChrisG appeared to be the main attraction. However, during a break, or lull in the game play, he found his way to one of the casual video game tables, and actually watched someone else play the game – but not for long. He made his way past me back to the front of the video game playing/viewing area – still with his hair pulled back into a ponytail with white headphones around his ears. Just like TS|NerdJosh--he seemed preoccupied, and walked past me. However, unlike TS|NerdJosh, he did give me about a 1 second glance since I was in his line of vision. I guess tournament video game players are really focused on their gameplay at the exclusion of smiling and sometimes giving pleasant greetings to others.
Break From the Civil War V Tournament
I would describe the overall atmosphere of this event as intenseI would describe the overall atmosphere of this event as intense – not friendly – not jovial – not overly happy – just intense. If you looked around, you would see some people sitting by themselves just starring at the screen, or checking their phones – just as if they were the only ones in the room instead of in a room full of people. I at one time was sitting next to one such person. I took a picture of the screen just in front of him, just as he turned to look at me. At that moment, the camera flashed a light in his face and I apologized. He smiled and said that was ok. Yaaaa!…. Finally, I saw someone smile!
Soon after that, I initiated smiling and speaking to people regardless how brief – just to bring a more uplifting feeling to the event, for myself – personally.
When I took a break and went to the local CVS store down the street, it was a welcome change to have not one but two people to just smile and speak to me without me making overtures to speak first. I enjoyed my break from the Civil War V Event – if only to converse with someone outside of this intense atmosphere – and even if it was only for a few minutes.
Interview with Civil War V Tournament Organizer
When I returned from my break and after getting a phone call, I left the main video game viewing area and went to the lobby of the Comfort Inn. After my phone call, my immediate goal was to interview someone at the tournament for Allgames.com. While walking down the hall corridor, outside the video gaming rooms, I met a gentleman who was wearing a grey jacket. I asked him if he was there for the tournament and he replied that he was the person who checked me in at the tournament and gave me my badge. Initially, I did not recognize or remember him since I did not see the blue Civil War Staff T-shirt he was wearing beneath the grey jacket.
Herein starts one of my highlights of the three-day video game event - My candid interview with Patrick Perrone, one of the organizers of the Civil War V Tournament. Patrick politiely answered my questions and voluntarily provided interesting and thought provoking behind the scene information regarding the Civil War V Tournament.
After thanking Patrick for the interview, I returned to the main viewing area where the tournament finals were really heating up quickly. The video game being played was Marvel vs Capcom and the crowd was really into it. As the number of hits grew on the screen, the crowd would cry out in a deep voice in unison – “WOOF, WOOF, WOOF” each time the number of hits escalated on the screen. During the actual tournament play, the pause screen would appear when the match ended. Each time this happened, I thought there was a malfunction – but found out later that the pause screen was intentionally added to the game for effect-- almost as another way of saying “Game Over.”
Alcohol and Gambling
Once again alcohol manifested itself at the tournament. There were lots of red cups floating around which may or may not have had alcohol in them. I do know that at about 8:00 p.m. on Sunday night, one of the attendees walked past me as I was sitting and he left behind a large clear bottle of smirnoff vodka, laying on its side on the floor with alcohol left in the bottle. He kept walking without looking down so it is unknown if he knew he had dropped the bottle or not. The alcohol bottle became another piece of debris left on the floor along with the many other pieces of trash.
Looks like the venue did not provide enough trash can receptacles. There were lots of empty soda containers, soda cans, McDonald empty bags and other trash on the floor – in addition to the just fallen vodka bottle.
I happened to be sitting next to this bottle, and decided to move further over to the chair to the far right that had empty soda cartons and McDonalds bags instead of an alcohol bottle. I knew I was risking being seen on the streaming video with the poor lighting – but took my chances.
By this time, one staff member who was now wearing his regular clothes instead of his Civil War V Tournament staff t-shirt was really into the video game play on the large screen. He was screaming so loud he almost sounded hoarse and out of breath at times. After yelling loudly continuously, when the game ended, he bounded from his chair, and made his way to some people as a chair fell on the floor behind him. He did not bother to stop to pick up the chair that had fallen over, but kept moving among the crowd. At first I thought it was interesting that he would be so excited about his favorite video game tournament player winning the match, but then found out that he was actually excited to be winning the money he had gambled on a particular player. Thankfully, everyone had the “bet” money and paid up, because I shiver to think what would have possibly happened if someone did not have the money this excited person thought was due to him. In my opinion, gambling and betting money can create a volatile atmosphere, so I’m again thankful that there were no altercations or real fights at this tournament.
The organizer announced the tournament was over at 9:54 p.m. on Sunday April 21, 2013.
Civil War V Video Game Tournament Assessment In a Nutshell:
1. Well organized, culminating in announcing winners in a timely manner
2. Tournament players easily identified and put on the correct teams
3. Badges identifying who was playing and who was spectating
4. Friendly/Polite/Informative Organizer (Civil War V Tournament Interviewee)
5. Well attended
6. Eating places nearby
7. No real fights or altercations
8. Ended ahead of schedule
9. Large viewing screen
10. Enthusiastic crowd
11. Well done video game/tournament commentators
12. Free casual video games
13. Injustice: Gods Among Us video game in tournament less than a week after release
14. Games tested and game testers at the tournament
15. Non-smoking – Attendees had to go outside the hotel to smoke
16. Considerate of hotel guests—On Saturday, video game sound was turned down at about 11:00 p.m.
17. Had a contingency plan in place in case of a power outage
18. Arcade kept open for free video game play
19. Neatly typed video game players’ names posted on wall for easy visibility
20. Even though there was a table outside the video gaming room with a person selling t-shirts, no one was openly soliciting or trying to get you to purchase anything
21. Tournament brochure that included rules of the games and conduct expected during the event.
22. Electrical cords were taped down that ran across the doorway entry in the arcade room to avoid a tripping hazard.
1. Overall intense, unfriendly atmosphere (in my opinion)
2. Arcade room too small with dark lighting
3. Alcohol used by some attendees, vodka alcohol bottle on floor
4. Lots of profanity and the “N” word used
5. Floors trashed
6. Lack of sufficient number of chairs on the busiest day – Day 2
7. Lack of adequate number of trash receptacles
8. Gambling money against winning video game plays/players
9. Poor lighting on streaming which included audience in addition to the video game players
10. “A lot of hype” –This quote is from a video game player at the tournament
11. Lack of adequate number of parking spaces (2nd day of the event)
12. Discourteous attendees including those blocking the view of others
13. Inappropriate T-Shirt message worn by attendee
14. No food service/eateries located at site of tournament
1. Ensure there are enough chairs so people can sit comfortably at the tournament instead of standing up.
2. Have more than enough trash receptacles available on the video gaming floors to reduce the incidences of people using the floor as a trash receptacle.
3. During the announcements, emphasize that one of the purposes of the tournament is for players as well as spectators to have fun, so enjoy yourselves, but also be nice, polite, and friendly toward others.
4. Enforce the no alcohol policy with a penalty of forfeiting attendance at the event if anyone is drinking alcohol.
5. Add “No Gambling” as one of the rules of the tournament to prevent the possible occurrence of fights or altercations.
6. Locate the arcade in a larger area to allow more walking around space and prevent the feeling of being cramped up in a small place to play video games.
Ms. H’s Message
Video game tournaments can be stressful events – especially for those who are competing. Many have their reputations to uphold as well as other reasons to put large stakes into winning these tournaments.
However, at the end of the day, the tournament was about playing a video game in a virtual world with imaginary heroes. While you were at the tournament, you could have been standing next to a real-life hero – and didn’t even know it. That being said, at your next video game tournament, regardless of the stress and intensity factors involved, take the time to smile at someone and simply say “Hi.”
Complete Civil War V Results - http://rvatournaments.tumblr.com/post/48625185250/civil-war-v-results-courtesy-eventhubs
Civil War V is organized by Robin Palm and you can find more information on the event at RVATournaments.com. The tournament was streamed by Team Spooky and sponsored by Mad Catz, Brokentier, Capcom, Monoprice, Lee's, and Home Depot.
Listen to the Civil War V Recap episode of Mom's Minute here - http://www.allgames.com/mm/item/5431-mom-s-minute-04-22-2013