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Pro Night 2 - November 17, 2000

xxx Round Two Was 5 Years Later!
Pro Night 2 was such a big event, that is was dubbed "Pro Weekend". We actually placed a listing in the tournaments section of Tips & Tricks Magazine and in essence made the event an open invitation. The problem was that old school gamers were pretty much extinct and in hiding. Locating them would be much harder. Furthermore, I had moved to Orlando, Florida so finding these guys would prove to be impossible. In the end, we had a total of 16 participants. They came from South & Central Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, and even California. However, due to several factors (some uncontrollable) Pro Night 2 was sadly a disappointment. It just did not function as it had 5 years earlier and I was unable to maintain control of the event.

My first mistake was that I didn't want the participants to get bored while waiting for their turns to play so I placed a few "filler" machines around the area where I had the main event. This proved to be a HUGE mistake and it backfired on me. Rather then do what I intended, instead it actually diverted everyones attention from the main tournament machine and caused chaos and confusion.

My second mistake was that I gave in to a stupid request from one of the guests. He asked if he could bring in his Dreamcast and hook it up for some "home system" gaming such as Marvel VS. Capcom & other NON-old school games. This also served as a heavy distraction and divided the players up. The interest in the very reason why we were all there was pretty much forgotten.

My last mistake was that I didn't make an effort to correct the mistakes by taking charge and shutting off all of the machines except for the one for the tourney. Part of the reason for my lack of assertiveness was due to the fact that I was exhausted from working 12 hour shifts for over a week straight. Yes even though I had set aside the date of the tourney MONTHS in advance, I had the bad luck of having to deal with a major store closing which happened to fall on the same week.

The Highlights

xxx Games Played
There was no actual tournament! We played several rounds of MK2, UMK3, KI, and SF Alpha, but it played more like a winner stays/loser pays session. In the end, it was more of a social gathering then an event. Granted, I did get to meet some interesting people and I did get to hang out with some friends but since everyones attention was divided, hardly anyone participated in the tourney and those who did were not taking it seriously anyway. I tried to re-organize the group for the next night, but that too was a failure as I did not come home from work until past midnight and by then everyone was scatterred about. I felt horribble not only for myself but also for my friends who had traveled so far for nothing. I was very angry with both the company I was working for at the time as well as with those who "sabotaged" the tourney by changing it into something else.

xxx Afterthoughts
The Pro Night 2 event left a bitter taste in my mouth. Part of me wanted to have a third tournament to erase the memory of the second one. Another part of me felt that maybe the real mistake was attempting to hold an old school tourney in the first place. Maybe old school was just "dead"?

The truth is that most of the guys who showed up for this event were too young and were part of the newer "versus" generation. The Capcom and SNK generation which took over in the late nineties after mine. So I cannot really place too much blame on them for what happened. They were 2-D fighting gamers, no doubt about that, they were just a generation too late.

PICS -- CIRCA 2000