Streaming 75 Tournaments in 2018
I had a few goals for 2018:
Stream and split up sets for every QLD tournament.

Release Streameta, my stream management web application.


Since I graduated University in 2017, I decided to take a year to see if I could turn streaming and web app development into a viable business. As 2018 comes to a close, I went a year without missing a single major Brisbane or Gold Coast tournament. I have also split up every set from these tournaments into a separate video on the Tournameta YouTube channel.

75 events in total:
48x Friday Night Smash

4x Fight for Flight

1x Battle Arena Melbourne

4x Smash by the Beach

10x QUT Smash

4x Couchwarriors QLD Ranbats

1x UQU Esports Ultimate Launch Event

1x Couchwarriors QLD Squad Strike Event

2x Tuesday Night Fights


Approximately 1,250 tournament sets recorded.

As for my second goal, Streameta was released earlier than expected, but ended up in a less finished state than expected.

This article will detail what was going on behind the scenes while I was streaming tournaments.

January - Friday Night Smash Venue Changes


After two and a half years of weekly tournaments, our venue (Guf Brisbane) was closing.
https://www.twitch.tv/tournameta/clip/FreezingDelightfulBasenjiHeyGuys



We decided to move to Duckyy’s Gaming Lounge as it seemed promising. However, this was short lived as Duckyy’s closed shortly after. Around this time, I began doing more for FNS such as taking money and running bracket.

February - A New Home for FNS


After a two week absence, we relocated to Good Games Brisbane. Although the venue has its shortcomings (no internet, monitors, power boards or a permanent table set up), it remained consistent for us.



We ended up staying there for the remainder of the year. I streamed every FNS for the year, excluding FNS 149 when I travelled to Melbourne for BAM.

March - Smash Ultimate Announcement


Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch was announced. This provided a new motivation for my goals. If I were to continue streaming consistently until the end of Smash 4, I could get an explosion of interest for the stream when the new game came out.



Assuming it was going to be late 2018, I now had a deadline for the release of Streameta, as I wanted to capitalise on new streamers starting out for the new game.

April - Streameta Development


I had set myself goals to implement a major feature of Streameta every month of the year. January was an overlay editor, February was an information and sets editor, March was a collection of smaller tasks.



The goal for April was a way for all users to be able to split up sets and export them to YouTube. Up until this point, I had been using an Automator script on my Mac to do this. I realised that the same functionality could be provided through a browser extension. Thus, the Streameta Highlighter was born. I had never made a browser extension before, but it turned out to be almost identical to making a website.

May - Battle Arena Melbourne


The Fight for Flight tournament series allowed so many Queenslanders to go to BAM. There was enough leftover money to send me as well, despite not competing for points.

While the main stream was focused on winners bracket, I focused the side stream on interstate and international matches. Including:
ZartZu (Finland)

Kekkeri (Finland)

adom (Israel)

Red (New Zealand)




Some great sets were recorded that would have otherwise been lost.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCGdQV2xo46TMWbeq_4DLbgBq65zhOKkd

It ended up being a great experience. I also got to demonstrate Streameta in person to other Smash streamers from around Australia and told them about the beta I was running.

June - Monitor Donation Drive


After putting my TV in the boot of a packed car in January, the display was cracked. This caused a rectangle of dead pixels which would grow in size in the coming months. By June, more than half of the screen was unusable.



I had the idea of running a donation drive to get a new monitor. With the help of some generous donators, the drive was a success.



July - Sidetracked


A few people I had added to the Streameta beta started out very enthusiastic, but ended up not using the service at all. It was quite disheartening. I began wondering whether it would actually see any sort of success. This caused me to lose quite a bit of motivation for the project.

I began investing time attempting to resurrect my YouTube animation channel.
https://www.youtube.com/jettwilliams

I made three videos from the start of July to midway through August. Hoping that the consistent uploads would be enough to boost popularity of my channel once again. After the release of the third video to mediocre reception, I realised that it was not worth relying on a changing algorithm to provide consistent attention.

August - Rebranding


I changed the name of the stream from JettSmash to Tournameta. I only thought of the name in August, but I had been considering renaming the channel for quite some time. I decided to rename the channel because although it was named after me, you would rarely see me on the stream. I was originally going to rename the channel to Streameta, but since Streameta is inclusive of many games, users may not have an interest in Smash. This has lead to some confusion between the two services, though I feel this will reduce over time.

September - Streameta Release


Though motivation for working on Streameta was quite dry, I decided I had put too much work into it to give it up. I wasn’t motivated enough to implement moderation features to allow anybody to login. So I thought of the idea to have a closed beta signup form. This would allow me to control who could sign up so I wouldn’t have to worry about moderation just yet. I spent the month working on some final features, but mainly branding for its announcement.



It was released to an immediate rush of attention which was very exciting. The attention subdued rather quickly, but I was happy with the amount of signups but I got from it. What excited me even more, is that people were actually using it. Nobody had run a stream with it at this point, but that was to be expected.

October - Ultimate Stream Preparation


I had the idea of making an overlay that looked like it was part of the game since part way through Smash 4. Now that I knew a new game was coming, I decided this was the time to implement the idea.

I used the footage from the E3 demo tournament as reference for the overlay. I livestreamed the entire creation process, which took a total of 15 streams and 31 hours.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjmrX2ZlOUby6ctsnbXDjo0ZFxORmASkU



I also had the idea of using a green screen for the player cams. I was surprised that I hadn’t seen any tournaments do it, as it‘s common practice for personal streams. I was considering buying a green screen and lighting, but realised it would be a hassle to set it up along with perfect lighting at every tournament.

November - Ultimate Event Preparation


Having a hard time thinking how exactly we should run the release event, I put the event advertising off. In the meantime, UQU Esports had already planned an event directly clashing with FNS and advertised it in the Facebook group. Initially I thought this would be a giant spanner in the works. The event was already getting a lot of traction, so instead of trying to compete, we thought it would be better to combine the events and collaborate.



Collaboration ended up being better than running a regular FNS, as the venue was capable of holding many more people and they had already organised monitors. We visited the venue the week before to check it out. Once I saw that they had a green screen, I was sold. My original vision for the stream was now possible.

December - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Release


Having the game release on a Friday meant we could be one of the first Ultimate tournaments in the world. One problem was having to unlock the characters in less than 24 hours. I had one goal from the midnight release, to unlock all of the characters before the tournament so that players in the upper part of bracket could play any character on stream.

I have been interested in speedrunning for a while and had the idea of unlocking the characters as such.



The game being leaked early was actually a blessing for me, as I could gain insight from others on efficient ways to unlock the characters. I made a big deal out of the stream and somehow it worked. I ended up with over 100 viewers at the beginning of the run. I thought, “if I’m getting 100 viewers now, imagine how many we’d get at the tournament.”

Receiving some conflicting yet helpful advice from the chat, I missed out on one key part. The reset method required an initial play session before any characters could be unlocked. Some combination of distance ran and jumped was required to unlock characters through versus mode. After a little over halfway, I ran out of “run and jump juice” due to not having an initial play session, and resorted to switching between classic and versus mode.
https://www.twitch.tv/tournameta/clip/HelpfulNaiveSardinePJSugar
https://www.twitch.tv/tournameta/clip/WittyGlamorousCasetteMoreCowbell
https://www.twitch.tv/tournameta/clip/BitterNimblePotDendiFace

It took 6 hours and 10 minutes total, leaving me two hours sleep before I had to make the trip up to Brisbane to set up for the tournament.

Setting up was hectic for everyone to say the least. Having to move everything across the university from one room to another to allow for more attendance. Setting up the PC and getting Internet. Setting up the green screen with good lighting. Setting up the bracket registration desk.



Somehow we managed to start the crew battle on schedule at around 5:30.



The event ran surprisingly smoothly after the initial setup. We had not been used to running such a large bracket for quite some time due to the decline of Smash 4. But the large amount of setups we had definitely helped.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCGdQV2xo46R3qdxLRh_dwX3zw7fzhvAl

I was very happy with how the stream turned out, but was slightly disheartened by the viewership we got. It was around the same as a regular Friday Night Smash. Partly due to the Twitch category being flooded by popular American streamers, many people who would normally watch were in attendance, and others would still rather play the game at home.

2019


Since the release tournament, attendance has been great, pulling around 40 people for the last three Friday Night Smash events.



However, viewership remains only slightly better than the end of Smash 4. So for the grind of 2018, I wasn’t rewarded with the explosion I was hoping for come Ultimate’s release. Streameta is growing slowly, but not well enough to pursue it solely as a career.

I don’t plan to stop streaming in 2019. Though I might have to look for more financially sustaining work with streaming as a side project. Thanks to all the beta testers, TOs, attendees, viewers, subscribers, donators and anyone else who has helped me along this journey.

by Jett 01/01/2019 00:00:00

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