For starters, I found it odd that people did not know "Level Up" and "Super Arcade" were two different entities. Level Up is a production company run by Alex Valle and crew while Super Arcade is the establishment owned by me where Level Up held events such as Wednesday Night Fights and The Runback. Super Arcade joined forces with Level Up about 4 years ago when the arcade was under ownership from someone else and I was the acting manager at the time. Prior to my presence at Super Arcade, Level Up was running events at various locations and never really found a solid home for their #WNF tournaments. As it was, Super Arcade was located right in between Los Angeles and Orange County and deemed the perfect spot where people could attend events frequently and in a location where someone in the community had full control over. We normally stayed open till 3am on these nights and the people appreciated the fact that they had somewhere to hang out where they weren't forced to leave at an early time. Things were going so well that we had to split up the event and start running a Thursday night tourney known as "The Runback." The FGC in SoCal was flourishing once again and the arcade was definitely the place to be. Then of course things started to simmer down and the arcade wasn't making enough money to keep the owner at the time happy. Sometime around early January of 2013, the previous owner called it quits and I was left with two options. Try to pick up the pieces, or just let the place close up and go back to my normal life. As you all know, with the help of the community we ran a huge raffle and raised about $11,000 thanks to MadCatz and various other parties involved. This was our new life we did what we could to revitalize a completely empty arcade. Anyways, back to the point I was trying to make. So initially Super Arcade had an agreement with Level Up as to how revenue splits were going to work and everything was fine and dandy. This verbal contract was never renegotiated when I became the sole owner and of course the blame lies with both parties. The deal Level Up was getting was very good for their side and I'm sure they knew this and had no intention of changing it unless forced to. I'm not going to say that this lopsided agreement was the main reason for Super Arcade to fall on hard times and lead to us starting a Kickstarter, but I will admit fault and say I didn't do my part to initiate a contract renewal of any sort. Many of you guys out there will never know the harsh realities of running a business and how hard it is to make business decisions when feelings or friends are involved. For those of you who do, you will understand the statement that friends and money never mix. Fortunately for myself and Alex, we are grown adults and we have been through both good and bad times together. Our split is a mutual understanding of what needs to be done, and also an acknowledgement that our goals are not the same. As a friend, Alex has helped me out by loaning us some equipment and still supporting our event. This is a gesture that shows there is absolutely no animosity between us and we continue to want each other to succeed. We just don't want to succeed in the same areas any longer and in order for growth to be achieved, parting ways was the only viable option.
As to our new tournaments, I have received both good and bad feedback from the viewers. I want to say this to those of you who keep bringing up the fact that Super Arcade's so-called unprofessional style will lead to a loss of sponsors and money. When Super Arcade was "professional" do you think I received any of those benefits or saw any money from any sponsors? Do you know for a fact what I was taking home from these sponsors you speak of? I was granted the use of loaner computers from Alienware that my players hated. But they all sucked it up because I told them in the long run we would get more sponsorships out of this and it would open doors for the FGC. The local community here willingly played on a system that they were not happy with and on a system that was obviously flawed. The game would freeze and lag on multiple occasions and even skip frames to the point where your character would disappear for a second and reappear somewhere else on the screen. I felt bad for our loyal attendees and guilty at the same time. I let this happen and was starting to ruin their fun and not staying true to making Super Arcade the best gaming experience for the players. This was probably a main reason I wholeheartedly agreed to the split to begin with. Aside from not being happy with the current contract, and not wanting to renege on a verbal agreement between friends, this whole computer issue was bothering me. I rebuilt an arcade to cater to the people that supported us, and now I was in the center of destroying it. Something had to be done, and well, this just so happened to fall in my lap. Being as I was under the extreme stress of putting a tournament together and being told the main star was going to be a no-show, I went on stream to rant about it and also went on to discuss other issues I was unhappy with, ie. Mr Mcrib. I also talked about how I was unhappy with how eSports was essentially being shoved down our throats and the only thing people could see was the money aspect of it all. In fear of losing sponsorships, Alex and crew came down at 1:30am to talk to me about the situation and basically portrayed a sense of disappointment. Mind you I just got off the mic from being on a rant and still a little emotional over the situation and then I have two people showing up at my shop that normally wouldn't come down unless something was wrong. This just showed me that they were both very serious about the entire ordeal we all know how that wound up. If Level Up was worried that much about their own image then let it be. They needed to protect themselves from any backlash I might have caused and I needed to bring back what the players wanted here at my establishment. I'm not sure why people are making so many assumptions as to why and what happened when it has been explained by both of us many times. I did not kick Level Up out of Super Arcade and this choice was initiated by them in which I gladly accepted. I also see people accusing me of being a backstabber and kicking them out after the helped me with the Kickstarter. To those people, please explain to me how they helped aside from spreading the word like the rest of the community? I worked very hard on that project with a gentleman by the name of Talis and if anything, Level Up needed it to succeed so they could continue to have a place to use as a venue. Everything was a two-way street in this relationship and it's kind of insulting to see their statement regarding our split written as though it wasn't.... One other thing I wanted to mention was they just brought on a guy to be their new community manager and he literally just popped out of nowhere. I have nothing against this gentleman but he had the nerve to post on his twitter account of 400 followers the following : "Our statement on the
Anyhow, while I am here working my butt off endlessly to keep a scene alive, people around me are aiming to become something I do not support. I am not a puppet nor will I "sell out" to appease these companies who throw chump change at my community and expect the world. Street Fighter does not have the fanbase these computer games have, nor does it have the appeal they generate to a much larger audience. As sad as it is to admit, Street Fighter can never reach the levels of League of Legends or D.O.T.A. for one simple reason. The money fighting games make is miniscule compared to the money these other games generate. Plain and simple, if Street Fighter isnt making the manufacturer hundreds of millions of dollars, you won't see prize pools of millions of dollars. It's very basic logic and you can continue to turn a blind eye to it if you like, but the economics won't change. Would it be cool to see people battle it out in the game you love for a ton of money? Of course! But let's think realistically for a second. The only way Street Fighter can get bigger and attract more sponsors is to have in run on a computer and not an Xbox, and at this time the computer is not a good port. I know my views are not popular amongst everyone, and I have no problem with that. My problem is only to expose people who pretend to have a good heart yet show nothing but ruthlessness behind the scenes. I hope this clarifies the situation because it really is getting old and we have already moved on. Thank you all for reading and I promise the next post will be juicy and expose someone for more childish antics and heartless intentions. Gimme two days to get that one going and until then, enjoy your games and have a great day.