Three hours in to the official broadcast for the Overwatch Master Gaming Arena 2016 Championship Grand Finals presented by MSI and exactly zero minutes of competitive Overwatch had been on display. Behind the scenes the event had been mired in technical problems surrounding the crucial ingredient in any PC gaming tournament - gaming PCs.
Rise Nation and Ninjas in Pyjamas had been in attendance at the Gfinity Arena in London since the morning with the intention of practising before their 3PM kickoff, but instead had to endure hours of machine switching, driver updates and head scratching before event organisers finally declared Day 1 a bust just after 6PM local time.
Rise Nations' IVIidnight offered the most complete picture so far on Reddit:
"We showed up at 10 AM because we were told the practice room would be ready at that time. The practice room wasn't set up so we sat in the player lounge for an hour or so and then they randomly take us to the stage... They tell us to set up and so we spend 2 hours getting stuff set up. The laptops could only support 120Hz which sucks but was playable. I think two of NiPs and one of our PCs weren't working (display driver problems or something). So they decided to replace all the laptops with lower spec laptops for some reason. They supported 144Hz but could only get 90fps. The drivers also didn't work on most of these. They then tell us that they are gonna take 2 hours and replace all the laptops with PCs. We come back after maybe an hour and a half or so and they are still using laptops. We can now get 200 fps and 144 Hz but some PCs randomly freeze or get display driver errors. Throughout this entire time the network will randomly go down and DC you out of game for like 5 seconds before coming back. They also told us very little the entire event. We didn't even know who we were playing until yesterday in the morning where they told us we were playing NiP and that we need to do map draft right then. This entire thing has felt like a waste of time honestly. And now we play significantly less games on LAN because of the format change."
The latest reports suggest that the tournament fixtures will now be best-of-threes with a best-of-five grand final as they try to condense two play days in to one. It is thought that the original start time of 10:00 EST / 15:00 GMT / 00:00 KST will be adhered to on account of the live spectators showing up at that time, but other sources have suggested an earlier start time may be under consideration.
So for those unaware, the MGA event has peen postponed until tomorrow. Ill share some thoughts post-event but for now we jave a job to do.— Mitch Leslie (@UberShouts) December 7, 2016
There is no official statement from MSI or Gfinity at the time of publication and those involved are declining to comment, but we will update our Viewer's Guide and match ticker as and when details are confirmed.
We would like to formally apologise for jinxing the tournament by mentioning the DreamHack Winter fiasco earlier, but clearly too few of you actually bothered to pray to esports gods. We've all learnt an important lesson here. See you tomorrow.