It is my goal to build my local Melee community. In this episode I talk about my ideas to build my community.
Hi guys, Maca here from Melee.co. Today I want to talk about my community building ambition, what I would love to see for the scene as well as some ideas that I have to try and build the community. The way that I am approaching is because I’ve never done this before is kind of the idea that, “if you throw enough shit on the wall eventually something is going to stick.” That’s the kind of the approach that I’m taking to community building.
I have no idea what is going to work so I’m kind of just throwing ideas at the community seeing what they like, seeing what they don’t like as well as trying some things and then getting feedback from there.
I do believe that there’re two ways to approach things and both have their merits in different situations. One thing is to just go ahead and start something and see what happens or go ahead and do something and see what happens.
Like for example I started a monthly tournament called Down Smash on the Gold Coast. I asked a few people what they thought about it but at the end of the day I just had to go ahead and create it and then see what happens. Will anyone turn up? Will anyone travel from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to come to my event? I wasn’t sure. Some weeks we’re getting four people turned up at our smash tournament, some weeks it was 12.
The first tournament I ran 23 people competed. The last tournament which was just a couple of days ago 17 people competed. It is not a huge tournament but I just started it to see what happens and so far it’s been going pretty well and people seem to like the tournament. They also seem to like that it kind of runs on time and that it’s on a week night rather than on the weekend.
Therefore, this will allow them to go to a Smash tournament without ruining their entire weekend because there are many of us which this isn’t our full time thing. It probably never could be in Australia. We will have jobs during the week and we will have a life on the weekend. We don’t all have jobs but most of us do.
Therefore there’s one approach to say to just go ahead and start it and there is another approach to get feedback from the community. One of the things that I have had to get feedback from the community on is Elo Rankings. I really like them. I think they’re good. I don’t think they are good to say who is the best in the region or who’s the best in Australia or whatever but I think they’re fun to mix up the tournament and to give some spice to the tournaments. So if I go to Australia’s website which is qldsmash.com – QLD stands for Queensland which is one of our States.
I don’t know why this is Australia’s website but anyway they have an Elo Ranking and so if I go to Queensland which is where I live then Smopup is always one, Syke is always two, but Aussie Rob, J-Birds and Cammy kind of move around. And so I thought like Aussie Rob won our last tournament and actually beat Smopup and Syke so it’s the first tournament we’ve had in over a year where Smopup and Syke both attended but they didn’t win so Aussie Rob beats them.
He then moved up in the rankings by two places. So I was saying that with Elo we should see based on Elo it’s not seeing who’s the best or who is most likely to win or what places they are likely to be. However I feel like if you earn your seating that just makes it a bit more fun.
When I reached out to the community they all hated Elo so I didn’t really have a win there. Technically as TIO is something that I could do anyway and kind of forced my hand with that but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes to it. I’m not too fussed about seating it was something that I was thinking about. And this is another lesson that I’ve learnt is that you’re throwing a lot of ideas at the wall and some could have a major impact and some will have little to no impact at all.
For example, seating has little to no impact on how many people enjoy a tournament, how many people come to a tournament and so in terms of me fighting over this idea to make it a tiny bit more fun and if they don’t like it actually it backfires on me and it’s probably just not worth it. So, in terms of ranking people by or seating people by Elo that was a failed idea that I had.
I was also throwing the idea out there about running weekly tournaments each and every week but I’m just not sure if there’s going to be the interest and if people will travel enough for a weekly one over a monthly one and so that’s something that I’m still exploring. It is something that I would need to commit to and launch and see what happens. So I could always do that and then if it doesn’t work out move back to a monthly tournament.
But first I just need to see people in the community have enough money to do it because $5 entry fee is too much for some people. I don’t know how people can’t afford $5 to play in a tournament. But anyway that’s just me I’m in a different situation to a lot of people. I run my own business and am married with kids so I’ve got to have that responsibility and stuff like that. I drop $5 on coffee each day so $5 into a tournament is not a big deal for me but it is for some people. Anyway I’m rambling.
What other ideas did I have? I got the idea from someone in the community about doing crew battles at tournaments which I thought is absolutely awesome because my tournament on Tuesday ran quite quickly. We had a decent amount of time to do something else like we could have done – I don’t know what we could have done but the idea of crew battles is cool. Brisbane has a lot more good players than the Gold Coast does generally. At the Gold Coast tournament there is more Gold Coast people than Brisbane so it kind of doesn’t work out to do Gold Coast vs Brisbane in any situation.
However it would be interesting and the idea was presented to me that you do crew battles after you do your singles bracket. And it’s like a draft crew battle so you get a team leader and they get to choose who is in their team but the people who came last in the bracket are the crew leaders.
They are the team leaders and they get to choose who’s in the team. I thought this is really cool and that it’s a great way to feature new people in the community put the spotlight on them when it wouldn’t be otherwise. Great way to introduce them to people because they are choosing players and stuff like that so that could be a really cool thing to do. Therefore I am definitely going to try and fit that in at the next tournament and we’ll see how we go.
Other things that I am doing is just stuff like this which is creating content. This is kind of a long-term strategy for me and I don’t expect this to build the community in the short term. Other things I’m doing include trying to record matches and stream matches which is proving way harder than I originally thought it would be. I am NOT super technically savvy so when it comes to streaming and recording it’s just really hard to do. The laptops that I have are really old.
I’ve got a really nice iMac 27 inch that I use for work but I don’t use laptops a lot. I’ve got a Mac from 2008 and I’ve got a PC from late 2010 or something like that. They’re all super old and so streaming has been very difficult. It’s very hard to find the right technology to make it work so that’s something that I’m working towards but not really achieving at the moment.
Other ideas that I have at the moment is more like storytelling. I love how people are doing these mini documentaries about events like Genesis 3 and so on. Cloud 9 is doing these documentaries about Mango which are really cool which you should check out if you haven’t already. I am thinking about the idea of like doing a mini documentary of our tournament just to give it slightly more prestige and to just encourage the community to grow and encourage them to participate, etc. So that more people continue to participate in the community and as new people come in they are encouraged to stay within the community.
It’s hard to work out how I build the community when we have this tiny group of people who already play the game. How do we get new people from outside that to come and play the game and how to get them to be formed as a part of the community? It’s really difficult to do.
Again, I don’t really have any proven strategies on how to do this. I think running a tournament is definitely strategy number one if you’re thinking about doing it in your area but apart from that I’m just throwing these ideas out there, see what happens, see what people think, etc. And then hopefully as I interview more and more pro players I want to get people who run tournaments like Crimson Blur, Kira, MacD.
I want to talk to them about how they run their tournaments and build their community and build the prestige that their tournaments have like Super Smash Sundays which I think is run by Blur or MacD or something like that. Find out how did they get that to be like the prestige event that it is today and build up the community through that tournament.
I still got a lot to learn but I have ambitions to grow the community. I really enjoy it. It’s something fun to do. I want to get better as a player but in terms of having the time to practice running a business with a wife and three kids it is difficult so I think my journey to being a great player will take longer but I am very good at creating content. I can be good at making decisions and organizing things so maybe I will play a larger role in terms of the community and less overall in terms of a player. But I want to get better. I want to be good.
I don’t want to take one or the other. I kind of want to have the best of both worlds. So we’ll have to see how we go. I’m not sure what my future holds in terms of Smash or where we’re going to go with it but I’m really enjoying it. I really like the people. I really love this game. And so it’s totally worth it for me.
That is my update at the moment. I will let you guys know what happens in terms of weekly tournaments and in terms of the ideas that I have and things that work. I will keep you updated and also if I get time to practice I’ll talk about that and share that with you guys as well. That’s it from me today.
Until next time keep calm and play Melee.