What actually happened at 2GG Grand Tour Ohio
Full disclosure: I was paid by 2GG to do commentary for Grand Tour Ohio. However, because of the circumstances of the event, I will be donating all the money I received.
Tl;dr at the end.
Lunick made a great post that covers a lot of what happened with this event, I don’t want to reiterate too much of that. For some of the bare bones of what happened, go read that post.
This event as a whole is entirely too nuanced for the twitter/Reddit model of discussion. Early on, everyone vilified 2GG as these uncaring monsters. Now, most people are completely exonerating them of any guilt and laying the guilt at the feet of Columbus Esports Center (CEC) and Polaris mall. In reality, the blame lies somewhere in the middle.
2GG had a third party individual, the identity of whom is as of yet undisclosed, to get them a contract for the venue for their Ohio event. For simplicity sake, I’m going to call this individual X. X handled all the communications with CEC and Polaris. That was 2GG’s first and biggest mistake. Lunick covered their other big mistake, not talking to ANY Ohio TOs in advance, in his post.
X is at the center of all of this. Basically, he lied to everyone involved. Here’s a rundown of his lies that I know of: he told 2GG that there was an actual event space, he told 2GG there would be internet for the stream, he told ABC news that this was a Fortnite qualifier event (bruh what!?), he lied to 2GG about how many chairs were available, he told 2GG that CEC and Polaris would handle all the equipment and chairs while telling CEC and Polaris the opposite, he told 2GG that he went to Dave and Busters to ask about moving day 2 there and Dave and Busters says he never did, he told Polaris there would be 500 people and a ton of sponsorships, and that’s just what comes to mind.
As far as the actual event space for day 1, the zoo as we called it. Polaris offered X their empty Sears lot, 1800 SQUARE FEET OF SPACE, and he told them no. We could have had a whole store to ourselves, but he said no. Polaris emailed him and said, “we’re a mall, we only have 45 chairs.” X told them that was alright and then told 2GG that all the chairs were taken care of.
In short, 2GG, Polaris, and CEC got fleeced. But then, who’s fault is this? As a kid, my mom used to always say, “sometimes, it’s no one’s fault.” This is one of those situations. At its core, this is 2GG’s responsibility. This is their event. However, they aren’t directly responsible for most of the issues, only indirectly. Polaris mall thought everything was taken care of, because that’s what they’d been told. X told them that the venue we used for day 1 was perfect (the zoo was anything but perfect). If anyone is to blame for this whole mess, it is X.
To add to this, X is ghosting everyone. Polaris and 2GG have been expressed concerns that he isn’t calling them back and it appears he may have blocked the number of his main contact at the mall.
The staff 2GG sent were awesome. They were all professional, courteous, hard-working guys. They did their absolute best. They somehow found a second venue with 18 hours notice (after X lied about Dave and Busters in the first place, if they hadn’t gone themselves to check it we wouldn’t have had our better day 2 venue). I would gladly work with any of them or 2GG again and I hopes someday I get the opportunity.
I talked to a rep from the mall, they want us back. They know this event wasn’t great, but they offered us the Sears lot. Imagine, a huge event in 1800 square feet of space. An event there could be amazing. I genuinely hope we get the opportunity to work with them again.
With proper communication, if 2GG had talked to literally any of the Ohio TOs in advance, this could have been avoided. I wish myself, or any of the Ohio TOs had been allowed into the process of making this event happen.
2GG, if you read this, please come back someday, but also please allow the Ohio TOs to help. Let us help you run an awesome event.
X, if you read this, I have one question, why? Why did you lie to everyone and ruin what could have been an amazing event? What were you hoping to gain?
Polaris/CEC people, if you read this, we know this isn’t fully your fault, you were lied to as well. I’m sorry this was your first exposure to the Smash scene. We are better than this.
Thank you for read all of this. Ohio Smash is a beautiful thing, some of my favorite human beings come to our events. We are better than this. We learned and we grew. If you’re from Indiana, Cincinnati, or NEO. Please come back, whether to COST, a Class Change, or event just a weekly. Let us show you what Columbus is all about.
Tl;dr one person, X, was used by 2GG to get the contract with the mall and lied to all parties involved. 2GG should have communicated better, but they didn’t know the conditions at the mall because X lied to them. 2GG, Polaris mall, and Columbus esports Center are all partly at fault, but none of them are solely responsible for this failure as they were all deceived by one guy.