Last weekend, Australia was treated to one of its biggest fighting game tournaments to date, OzHadou Nationals 14! Big names from all over Australia and even those outside our borders, made their way to the event to compete and take home glory and for SFV competitors, those valuable CPT points. It was one of the best we've had, so we sat down with one of the main organisers, Henry Sham, to talk about the success.
All the favourite fighting games were there, Mortal Kombat X, Guilty Gear, Street Fighter V and Smash WiiU and there were many exciting and close matches on the day that left the crowds cheering and getting hype. If you missed these marvellous matches, don’t worry because they were streamed all day and you can access them all here on the official OzHadou Twitch site.
Henry Sham was kind enough to give us some insight into the event, its competitors, and what it's looking to in the future.
OK here we are with Henry Sham, one of the main organisers for OzHadou Nationals, Henry … how you doing?
I’m quite fine, I’m a bit tired and a little bit stressed for the weekend but otherwise I’m doing great!
It’s early days yet, we’re on the Sunday and we still have the finals to go for SFV, obviously it’s going to get pretty big at that point, but how have you felt it has run so far?
For an event of this size, actually we’ve been told this is the largest event of this kind in Australia, we had over 600 competitors at the event in any given time and unlike a convention everyone is staying and sticking around the same area. So there’s a lot of heat and stress in the building and for that, I think it’s run as smoothly as possible. We haven’t run behind schedule very much, I think we were about 30 minutes give or take and when you’re running a major tournament like that, 30 minutes is easy peasy. Now there were some issues with some of the guests during the day but it all sorted itself out and now we’re on Sunday and things are running very much on time.
Now there’s a hiccup that got everyone talking yesterday and that was “where was Daigo?” but then it turned out it was just a miscommunication with what time he started?
That’s correct, for starters Daigo speaks almost no English and we don’t’ always have a fluent Japanese translator on hand. A lot of communication was done before he had actually arrived in Australia with his (Daigo) Manager. I had actually miscommunicated so it was my fault, he thought his pools would start at a particular time and instead it was an hour earlier. Normally you would see Daigo practicing on stations before the event but he was feeling unwell, so he’s spending most of his time resting in the Hotel room and that’s why no one knew where he was, so we knocked on his door and told him we made a mistake. He was very understanding of the situation this sort of stuff happens and there’s no negative feelings on the matter. So we held off his matches and then made him run the gauntlet, something like five matches in a row and destroyed everyone, then went back to rest straight away.
Any unforeseen issues with the venue at all?
A little bit, mainly to do with the internet connection. We were promised three hard line connections for ourselves and on the Friday night we found out the three hard lines were shared amongst the room which was also shared with the rest of the Hotel. We did have a backup plan with 4G cards and we put that in our budget and now we’re streaming fine.
What about next year? Different venue or things you want to do differently?
The venue will need to change, because this particular Hotel is, I heard, being torn down this year unfortunately. They’re revamping the station area and a lot of the surrounding buildings, so unfortunately this Hotel won’t exist next year. But we already have our eyes set on another venue. So after this weekend, and a little bit of rest, we’ll already start planning for next year. Obviously it also depends on Capcom and if they’ll have us back again next year, that will decide our fate somewhat and how well received we were with the Smash community as it’s the first time we’ve had Smash at OHN for quite a number of years now.
What it hard to get that CPT badge for the event?
Yes and no. It’s a bit of luck sometimes, I think they approached us because of our track record. It’s OHN 14 so that’s 14 years, this is not our first rodeo. So by continuously having events without any main issues or anything I think they saw the value in that.
Any early predictions for the finals?
Well … I’m a Daigo fanboy and I say Daigo’s going to take it. But not because I’m a fanboy, seeing how he’s been playing the weekend compared to other players, I feel like he’s in a league of his own.
Now to cap this off are we (laughing)… going to see KI next year?
(Smiling) so why do we have certain games at OHN and some not, is solely determined by community support. So this year we had Virtua Fighter purely because the scene has grown a lot, people were asking why we didn’t have Guilty Gear Xrd, because that scene is larger.
But, the scene isn’t large in Sydney and not very active at all, and if that scene isn’t supporting the community then we can’t do much to support it. If you want your game to be a main game and want those pretty prizes, then show up to OHN in mass like Guilty Gear did, I’m going to put it out there now on the record, I’m pretty sure Guilty Gear will make it as a main game next year solely because of the turn out this year. So for KI … make some noise, it will be noticed.
Henry, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
No problems, thank you!