Homestory Cup 3 is over and it was a great success.
Fragster.de held an audio-interview with Take after the cup. His german interviews tend to be a lot more insightful because he is not limited by the language i guess.
I thought that it might be interesting for the international community so I just took the liberty to translate all of it. Credit goes to Fabian 'TeX' Held for the original interview.
btw: I tried to stay true to Take's words but it is not a word to word translation since it was an audio interview and there were some fractured sentences and german slang involved.
+ Show Spoiler +
Hello Dennis. Homestory Cup 3 is coming to its end. Are you satisfied with the tourney?
Yeah, you could say so. Everything went pretty well. We started later than announced every day but I don’t think it was that much of a problem. I mean the bigger it gets the harder it is to get everyone together and people gladly wait for something good. It’s the same way in concerts or similar events.
You have to consider that when it comes to streaming and it gets big with more than just one pc and one click to start a stream things can really get complicated. The technology isn’t fully developed yet. Often there are problems with the software or a few components are just not as compatible as you might have thought or they don’t run as well as they have in test runs the days before. This is still a very young industry and the technology isn’t perfected yet. With that in mind I think that we’ve done a pretty decent job so far.
Okay, that sounded a little negative overall . Did you have bigger expectations?
No, not at all. Everything was great. It wasn’t meant in a negative way. It went pretty much the way I had expected.
Even though I started planning 3 months in advance, I knew that it would be hard to be on air in time. I kind of had that feeling from the start and I tried to do everything possible every day to make it in time but even Wednesday night we were still drilling holes and inserting a couple of lamps. Also Tuesday night we still did some things that you probably shouldn’t do at that time of the day.
I guess that’s just the way it is when you open up or create something new. You can plan as much as you want. If you have endless money it might work but that is usually not the case when you are starting something. Therefore I’m very happy with the way things went so far. Especially with the stream, which was very stable compared to last year and it didn’t have any downtime I believe. There might have been some small lags for some people but that’s usually a provider problem or I don’t know just some small lag problem. But there were no major problems, none at all.
Do you think that those little mishaps like not starting in time or someone walking through the picture added to the atmosphere of the Homestory Cup? Also for the stream user who is not here?
Someone walking through the picture? Definitely. But I don’t think starting the stream late is cool. A little late is okay I guess but we had two days where it got extremely delayed. Once it got delayed because XSplit downloaded an update automatically and we couldn’t bypass it at first. That was really annoying. That’s something that’s not in our hands but we tried and did everything we could.
But yeah, starting late is never cool. I don’t like waiting for 90 minutes for a show to start either. I can only say sorry to those who were waiting but some things are just out of our hands and that’s annoying for the viewers and of course also for the people who are here. It’s just annoying for everyone.
Are you happy with the amount of viewers you got? Can you give us a rough number of how many people were watching?
I think our peak yesterday was at about 35000 people on the streams at once with both streams included, premium and free stream. I think by my standards it’s great. Of course it can’t compete with DreamHack which had like sixty or seventy thousand viewers with Day.
But if I compare it to other Events around the ESL only the Cebit and maybe the Gamescom were at the same level. I think the Gamescom even had a little less viewers but that was probably because SC2 was still at the beginning. That’s probably going to change with the next Gamescom. Other than that I think no other event that we hosted with the ESL were on par with that. Of course the really huge events like Dreamhack are. But considering how much money was behind that and comparing it with the budget that I had then we are on a whole new level there.
If you had one wish what would you change for Homestory Cup 4?
Longer cables for our cameras. Which isn’t that easy because HDMI just stops working at some point. I would like to switch to SDI because then we wouldn’t have any more problems. Well, I guess we could have used longer component cables but there just weren’t any and the specialist store around here didn’t have anything to offer either, otherwise we could have extended that. Also we could have done a little more in the Pub in terms of pictures then. This way we were very limited and couldn’t go further. That’s why most of the stuff in there was shown from the back and not from the front.
What we could improve as well is the whole production I guess. I mean what we did here was with a lot of people who are just having a good time and who enjoy what they are doing here. Most of the people here aren’t professionals. Either cameraman, recording director or I don’t know who. There were so many jobs where someone would just come and do it because he wanted to. And we just said before we don’t do this at all we’re gonna do it this way because it’s just impossible to hire everyone or to pay everyone to be on site. That’s just not in our budget. It’s too expensive. It’s impossible.
Did you like the feedback that you got for your “Public viewing”? You were down there a couple of times. How did you like it? The atmosphere etc.
I think what we created here with the whole team is mirrored in what is going on down there. The people are just awesome. Everything I had on my shows for the past twelve months. It’s amazing how many things have made a mark like the “overlord bauen” from DarKFoRce (editor’s note: some inside joke I guess), or all the jokes and signs that you can see or the way the people reacted when someone like Tarson was winning. Just shouting ”Fucking Tarson” and going crazy and all that. That is really cool.
Also a Goody who made a name for himself here. That’s mainly because of my stream. People are watching regularly and we kind of give them the image and when you go down there you can see that the image is there. People are just talking to you because they heard you on the stream and I think the good mood and excitement is unmistakable. People are just shouting up for HasuObs to come down and stuff like that. It’s just so awesome and a lot of fun to talk to people and to see what you have created.
So are you proud of what you have accomplished?
Will there be a Homestory Cup 4?
I certainly hope so. I didn’t rent this apartment to host one Cup and then stop. Everything is very expensive here. So I’m assuming that there most probably will be a Homestory Cup 4.
I think the feedback of this cup is very good. It was a very big tournament of course. I don’t know whether I’m going to invite 32 players again or if it’s going to be fewer players next time because it really is a lot of work. Also I’d like it to be a little bit bigger next time (editor’s note: probably meant in terms of impact or relevance) which is in the end also reflected in the prize money where we could change up things a little bit. But that is up to the sponsors because to be honest we are really working on a very low budget to do what we do and I hope the sponsors are satisfied. Maybe some other sponsors who want to support us are going to come up as well. I think as a sponsor supporting us and seeing what we have done here you have definitely made the right decision.
The advertisement that you get as a sponsor here is great I think. This is as good as it gets. Brands just make much more of an impression here than in any other tournament because you can see them in use everywhere in the picture all the time. You got a lot of moving pictures, we are talking about everything a little bit and you can see the notebooks everywhere, also the screens. It’s just a different feeling that we convey. We are thankful for our sponsors because it’s all still very small and at the beginning.
It’s not like MLG or the ESL which created something big like the Intel Extreme Masters with a huge budget. There you are just one of many sponsors. Here it’s something special because the sponsor is supporting something that is just at the beginning.
Are you still surprised sometimes at how crazy the fans are? They just brought cigarettes and burgers over.
Actually that wasn’t a fan but a friend of mine. But no matter if fan or friend, in the end I’m happy about the respect that I get for my work. I think most of the people only know half of what I’m really doing because they only see the things in front of the camera. But my friends do know how little I have slept the last couple of months to realize all this. I have also infected some of my friends. My buddy Paul for example was here every day for ten weeks without wanting any payment. Some people who helped me were just happy to appear in a video but everyone mostly helped just to be a part of this.
When the lights go out tonight, are you going to sleep 3 days straight or start planning Homestory Cup 4?
For me Homestory Cup 3 hasn’t ended until every player is safely on his way home. I have to take some of them to the airport on Monday. Also I have to clean up the apartment and return some equipment. A few microphones I borrowed, tables, chairs etc. I think it’s gonna take one or two weeks. Also wrapping up the event for the sponsors is pending. They want to be informed about numbers, pictures and videos of course.
I’m gonna take my time with (HSC4) because the EPS-Relegation in SC2 is going to take place here as well next weekend. Also I received two requests of other tournaments. I think it’s not a big secret anymore that the World Cyber Games would like to host a qualifier at my place. I think that’s great. People are going to be here on location again and it’s going to be an amazing qualifier.
Can you tell us how much money this whole thing has cost you? Did you make any losses?
I didn’t make any losses with the cup itself. Otherwise I wouldn’t have hosted it.
It’s so much fun and I’m investing all my private money into this whole project. And I mean really everything. I think I invested about 50000 Euros - without the costs for the cup itself.
Only the food for the cup was about 1000 Euros. Then we had to rent cars and pay gas. Also the hotel rooms for everyone cost more than 2000 Euros. But the Homestory Cup itself definitely didn’t make any losses. It didn’t make such a profit that I can repay a large chunk of the debt I have taken either though. But it was worth it because we started with a very successful event.
If anything major would have gone wrong our first impression would have been crap. I think in the long run it’s going to be profitable or else I wouldn’t do all this. All in all it’s not a loss-making business. I earn a little bit of money which is really needed though. I hope it will be more in the future. It has to profitable at some time. I have to be able to live comfortably from that.
One last question: When are you going to move to a 400qm² apartment for 64 players?
In five years, but it will be more than 400 qm² (laughs)
Thanks for the interview.