My concerns with this event as a TO looking from the outside in are:
1) Yet again, the attendee lists are not released until pools are out, and I never understand why EOs do this. We want to know who is attending the event, and i don't see the harm in revealing that information at least two weeks prior to the event. Seeing tweets from players showing that brackets weren't available until day of is also crazy to me. I have ran two brackets that allowed day of registration and had brackets out by at least Wednesday that same week. I just post a disclaimer that registration is still open, and the bracket can potentially change at any time. Handles it easily. Not giving our players a chance to prep ahead of time when compared to other majors, we have this? Seems offputting.
2) When I worked with Shippo to submit the seeding, we had no way to know which attendees were in numerous games to prevent time conflicts as best as possible. Also, when we submitted the seeding, and conflicts were not brought back to us to address instead of blindly moving people around without considering what was being moved. This shows a lack of care about the condition of our pools from the TO.
3) No pools stream? Why were we at least notified this was going to be an issue and given the opportunity to maybe set up a community stream instead? We want to see these matches! Numerous people were dissapointed in the fact these were missed.
4) In addition to the last bit, paper brackets were used, no character data uploaded for the pools, and brackets were updated until the day after. I personally have ran a 91 person tournament, had character detail for each set, and updated everything live. We have the means to do this, and I don't see where the problem is with that. Aside that point, I had people messaging me saying the wifi signal in the venue space was perfectly fine.
5) A week before the tournament, Burnside requested from Apple to be removed from the bracket. Apple said he would look into it. Nothing happened. Two days before the tournament, Jamm requested from Big E to be removed from the bracket. This happened within the day. Burnside then approached Apple again about being removed, and we were told it was against the rules to be removed. I asked where these rules were shared, Apple stated they weren't shared anywhere. Burnside then went to Big E to ask to be removed, and was that same day. Seriously?
6) At one point, Apple stated that he relayed all of our concerns already to the EO, Big E, and that he isn't able to do much in his position. As a request, usually your TOs know more about the community, and can handle quite a bit on their own. If TOs are limited down to essentially bracket runners, it puts a lot of weight on you, the EO, that isn't really needed to happen. You hired staff who you trust to run the event, so let them run their event. If there is a problem that comes up, address it.
7) An additional concern was the fact that we met the same number of attendees as Guilty Gear, yet were given half the number of pools GG was. A lot of players were frustrated about this, especially since we had 8 pools last year with similar numbers.
All in all, my concern is we have this list of issues and concerns that were mainly brought to me about this event, and it felt like ultimately there was a lack of care of the matter from the TO. I was very upfront with this with Apple.
I really hope things change in the future. The venue fee for these events are more than other events I have attended, and yet our players are getting less out of it. Every event we open up feedback threads for players, and while it takes their initiative to actually post here, I get an earful in my DMs about issues that have occurred for Big E events. I just want things to improve so our players can enjoy the weekend's bracket, alongside with meeting back up with the community.