40k Fyre Festival Slave to Failure
I knew the wheels were going to come off at some point, but I didn’t think it would like this. It has been a tumultuous week for the guys at ProTableTop with the backing from regional Esports company SkillShot Media, as we are just weeks away from the first Atlanta Open. Before we begin though, this post won’t be like my last post where I opined about just how stupid ProTableTop approach was to competitive Warhammer 40k, instead this is going to be more straight forward without a lot of colorful prose.
As of today, numbers show the Atlanta Open barely breaking 100 players registered well short of the 144 goal for the event. At $200 bucks a pop, it just doesn’t seem like there is enough people willing to throw down that kind of money on a 1st time event. We also have no idea how many free tickets were given to court Top players which cut into the margins. By the way, because lack of attendance problems could arise if multiple undefeated players make it to the final round.
This news though pales in comparison to the leaked messages going back and forth between ProTableTop and the judging team they planned on paying for the event. It turns out, at the moment ProTableTop won’t be paying judges for the event, leaving a gaping hole and a promise unfulfilled. Now most events don’t pay judges, but to make that pledge for a event that promoted itself as the pinnacle of competitive Warhammer 40k, this is devastating. Making it worse, ProTableTop is planning on trying to force the sponsors of the event to pay the judges. Speaking of sponsors, if you look at the Atlanta Open page you will an air conditioning company and makeup artists as “sponsors”. The rest of the sponsors are certainly not going to provide the money to pay for judges. This has lead ProTableTop to beg judges to still attend the event, dangling a “possibility” of $100 if sponsors come through to foot the bill.
Then we have the pathetic, as reports have also come in that ProTableTop has paid for view bots on its Twitch stream; to boost visibility, and artificially reach certain Twitch milestones. This is extra devious considering, they have had giveaways for real viewers who tuned into streams, which makes you wonder if the “winner” of the prizes were bots they already paid? You can also file in the shyster category, of folks and other event organizers who have dealt with ProTableTop for the last year recording a trail of broken promises and over hype. From the monetary to promotional, ProTableTop is already burning bridges with folks who could have been valuable supporters of their tournaments.
This doesn’t seem to be a bug of ProTableTop, but instead a feature, as an organization trying to jump a few important steps to creating a large Warhammer 40k competitive event. The biggest step being assume your first event will lose money and plan for on you paying for it! Don’t break the wheel, do what has worked for countless events and build from there. By building trust and community, key components to getting players to attend your events. Don’t jump in like some big baller swinging around, thinking you can change the game by applying faulty Esports methods to the small competitive Warhammer 40k community. What ProTableTop never realized was the bulk of most “competitive” players, just go to tournaments to play some games, knowing they have no chance of winning. So dangling large prize pool was never going to cut it, especially when you ferry in the equivalent of card sharks to your event. Instead ProTableTop thought they can treat 40k players like dollar store hookers with a pyramid like scheme to get them hooked.
Once the Atlanta Open fails, I suspect we won’t see ProTableTop again, but if they miraculously squeak by and want to continue, I suggest they take this baptism of fire, and learn from the mistakes and produce an event within the realm of reality.
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