|Life In 19x19
|Sharing ideas about online Go tournaments
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|Author:||Jæja [ Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:02 am ]|
|Post subject:||Sharing ideas about online Go tournaments|
There have been many online initiatives to provide alternatives for cancelled Go events. I thought I'd share a few ideas that might be relevant to those of you who are thinking about organizing something online. If you have any feedback or suggestions about our approach or if you'd like to share your own experiences with similar online tournaments, please share them so other may learn from them.
On April 13th we started the Dutch Online Go Competition (Nederlandse Internet Go Competitie or NiGC for short), in which 87 participants from the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) compete for seven weeks. The highlights of the competition are:
Attracting new players
The idea started out with many cancellations of Go events in the Netherlands due to COVID-19, which we wanted to provide an alternative for. Also, since many people are staying at home and might be looking for something new and exciting to learn, we wanted to see if we could interest people in learning Go. We decided to do a little bit of marketing through Facebook Ads to try to reach potential players. This is also the reason why we chose to make the competition completely free to join, why there are no restrictions to playing level and why participants don't have to be a member of the Dutch Go Association. The downside is that results can't be submitted to the European Go Federation, but we haven't heard many complaints about this. Our websites has a page with an introduction video and course that allows beginners to learn the game.
The website of the NiGC showed a registration form that made it as easy as possible to join the competition: just leave some basic information (name, e-mail, strength) and more instruction were automatically sent by email. The website also includes a manual in three parts: steps to take before the competition (signing up for OGS and Discord), during the competition (e.g. how to get in touch with your opponent, playing on OGS and submitting results) and a FAQ. The competition is organized by two people and having all this information easily accessible saved us a lot of time and allows us to scale pretty well.
I've created a simple web application that allows participants to:
We started out with a public Google Sheet (one that can be edited by anyone who has the URL), which would have worked fine. However, there are two potential issues:
These are not major issues, but since we wanted to build integrations that had to be hosted somewhere, it made sense to also build a custom interface, giving us more flexibility.
The integrations we built are:
If you're interested in automating certain things in your competition and you're looking for something simpler, check out Zapier. You can use it to automate sending weekly messages to Discord based on data in a Google Sheet, for example.
We wanted the competition to be completely free to join, but provide some nice prices at the same time. We wanted these to be virtual, so they could be used in the current quarantine situation. I then approached some wonderful people from the Go community, who provide software and services, to ask them to collaborate. All of them reacted positively and are now providing extras for our participants. Some of them are prices that can be won by having good results in the competition or given to reviewers who are voted for in a poll. Others are given to all participants of the competition, such as a subscription to an analytics tool and video reviews by Mateusz Surma 2p (see this topic).
I'll not be naming the sponsors, since I'm not sure if this is allowed. You can check our website in case you're wondering.
If you're looking for collaborations with sponsors, it's important to think about how you can really provide something in return. We took the following steps:
The competition has been a huge success so far. We attracted more participants than expected and everyone is having a lot of fun. One of the most rewarding things has been the number of observers on OGS and spontaneous reviews. Higher-level players are very willing to teach weaker players and there's a real sense of community within the competition. We're also attracting people who are not participating, but are enjoying the games and reviews. The competition can never beat a real-life competition, but given the circumstances, I think we are doing pretty well!
Please let me know what you think and whether you have any suggestions or questions. I wish everyone of you all the best in these difficult times.
|Author:||jlt [ Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:34 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Sharing ideas about online Go tournaments|
I've also co-organized online tournaments for young players in a more rudimentary way.
1) Week-end tournament.
2) Tournament over several weeks.
The method is similar, except that the emails and phone numbers are sent to all participants so that they can schedule their game during the following week. Organizers don't need to be present on KGS.
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