Forums  /  European Speedrunner Assembly  /  ESA Winter 2020 Feedback Thread
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We were quite happy that bringing back the old style feedback post last time resulted in useful feedback, so we’re doing it again!

Basic ground rules
- Please keep discussion of an individual's points out of this thread and create a separate thread if something needs detailed discussion.
- Please be civil - no curses or personal attacks
- Format your post so it's not a wall of text
- If you've already posted a pastebin somewhere, we're happy if you copy/paste it here.

This thread will be open until 8 March

KinzyKenzieKinzyKenzie, ApacheSmashApacheSmash and AxelSanGoAxelSanGo like this. 
  [user deleted]

i found it nice =)


I had a great time!

If there's anything I'd mention is that, for my run, I had my own keyboard that I wanted to use however there didn't seem to be an easily accessible USB port at the running station that didn't make the cable go in a weird angle. The temporary solution we had for the run was to hold the cable in place with a piece of tape; without that the cable would have been running over my hand which is not ideal.
Before I'd come up to the running station I'd expected there to be a USB hub of some sorts behind the monitor to connect it to. I don't know if that's a feasible solution though.


Well let's do it while it's warm ! It was my first time as a volunteer, i was at the Event Support & Administration, it was an awesome experience thanks to Panda and Pottoww !

++ The venue : Once again, the venue was great. Having all of this stuff (icecream, PopCorn and coffee) in add with ESA is always a major +
++ The people : Maybe because i was a volunteer, or because i begin to be used to ESA, I find all of the people at ESA really kind this year, it was always a pleasure to deal with them !
++ Stream 2 : Definitely worth it !
++ The chat : The chat on Twitch was pretty smooth and very lovely, which is a great performance when you have nearly 20k viewers !
+ Main Stream room : I adore the layout used for ESA Winter 2020, i find it really interesting to run on a computer or a console while watching the stream background. Definitely a good addition here !
- Intermissions : There are not enough intermissions, sometimes you can have the same intermission twice in a day. And to be frank, all of the intermessions were not explaining glitches at all ...
-- Why are people leaving their trash that often ? I was used to clean the room on night shift at the infodesk
and the last night was pretty terrible. Just clean your place please for the next time !
---------------------------------------------- ESA doesn't last as long as expected 😜

Definitely a great edition. I might come to ESA Summer 2020 even if i'm not 100% sure yet 🙁

Love for all of you ❤️

ViperUKViperUK and AxelSanGoAxelSanGo like this. 

Type: Viewer (wasn't at the event so feedback is very limited).

+ Very smooth techwise. Even if GTA's SA Crowd Control first attempt had an issue, Joshimuz had a good plan B to get the Crowd Control crew to sort it out.

- That NES the runners used was different with worse image quality than previous NES runs. I'm guessing the one BigJon used for SMB3 randomiser earlier in the week was different to the one used for the SMB Relay (Powerpak for the relay right? Meaning only Western NES consoles and not Japanese AV Famicom with RGB Mod).

Questions for future events.
1) What are your solutions if someone submits a lightgun game, the CRT will eventually rise from its grave. You probably read my tweet and Zasbat's reply to @ESAMarathonESAMarathon on Twitter with the raspberry pi as input to the original console.
2) How are we with number of intermission clips? Is there enough material for less duplicates* for every next run or are there too few at the moment? How many do you roughly have right now?

*Not in a bad way, "games done super short" intermissions are always cool for people to watch and find out bugs that severe exist.


Alright, this is my first time in esa winter (i was at esa summer 2018) and my main regrets are getting an airbnb instead of a hotel room, specially with the weather. I am aware that it's not a simple thing to do but it does makes me want that the winter event was somewhere more to the south of europe for better weather.
- Overall the event was nice, recreational machines were nice but also felt a bit lacking from my point of view.
- Free ice cream was good (though ice cream in winter is a bit concerning tbh), PopCorn was nice too.
- Good amount of PCs in the main room, enough for them to not be full whenever i checked.
- Pretty comfy overall, liked the display that told us when there was something to read, whether it was a message or a donation, gives the runner more control and the reader doesn't have to ask directly, def. something that should be kept.
- Pics for when we had to do runs are nice, but I'd like some kind of schedule so we know when they are happening, I remember I was asked about it late in the night when i was sleeping before my run that was early in the morning.
- Open block was nice but i think the results should happen a bit earlier, so there's at least 1 day of preparation (not for the run itself, but for the schedule of it)
I think that's about it, overall it was quite the positive experience.

ViperUKViperUK likes this. 

+Venue - Lots of room, warm, staff were incredibly friendly, great amenities, it's pretty cheap for such a nice hotel as long as you don't drink alcohol
+Practise area - Great equipment, always free spaces, was really fun to game with other people
+Tech - Amazing and friendly people both on stream 1 and 2 thank you
+ESA Staff in general - Very approachable and helpful
+Ice Cream - YES
+Arcade - Cool selection of Rhythm games, Tetris and Crazy Taxi. Pinball machines also. This is good stuff.
+Board Game room - I didn't get to play but people looked like they were having an amazing time, also people brought their decks for TCG too. Decent.

--Playing Ads during runs - I think this is really bad, my only hope is you are getting paid exceptionally well for this. I don't know how you can decide which part of a person's run which they have spent 100s of hours practising for is worth cutting out. If it was discussed ahead of time with a runner I know good places could be found to play ads, but from what I have seen the ads can cut out vital pieces of information for the viewer and damage the overall quality of the run.

Overall ESA Winter was an incredible event and well worth the trip, definitely would consider coming again in the future.

ViperUKViperUK, Reicha7Reicha7 and 2 others like this. 
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I try to keep it short for the people that have to go through all of the posts 😃

First time visitor, was invited to co-commentate two runs. Happy I could be there. Can recommend.
I almost only hang out with that one person, but that was by choice (the 4 nights I got to be there were passing by too quickly). I feel like the event was well organized in general.

Tech was very good. We had to swap ossc for retrotink for IoG: apocalypse gaia. Screen kept blanking out for some reason, but the swap took almost no time, once tech decided on that. Only thing to complain about is that no one told us how to start the timer for the Secret of Evermore run. Also the cables were a bit messy by Thursday morning, but that was no real problem.
(Ping Solarcell007 in case someone wants to replicate the blanking problem).

As for the hotel: Breakfast was good, McDonald's close by, rooms ok, lobby couches super comfy, bar a bit on the pricey end (but I guess that's normal for Sweden).

If I could wish for one thing it would be the first floor coffee machines being open 24/7.

Thanks for all the work you put in


First time attendee feedback.

+ Venue. The venue was incredible. Its proximity to major facilities and ease of access to the event floor was excellent. The price was very reasonable too so props for getting us such a good discount!
+ Variety. There was a nice variety of runs covering different genres, platforms and categories and the "block" never went on for too long. Nice mix of short and long games.
+ Stream 2. Having a second stream which could often be a more chill environment or offer something a bit different was a welcome choice.
+ Free Stuff. Access to arcade machines, board games as well as free ice cream and pop corn was always nice if the stream wasn't showing quite what you were interested in.
+ Room stream. Being able to watch the stream on the hotel TVs was awesome and a great way to chill out if the main event got a bit much
+ People. As this was my first marathon I was worried about the whole awkward trying to talk to people but everyone I spoke to was lovely and genuinely made me feel like a welcome member of the community.
+ Practice area. The Practice Area was really well set up and having it in the same room as the runs created a really nice atmosphere of everyone celebrating and embracing speedruns together.

- Badge. An error resulted in my real name rather than my screen name being printed on my badge. This was both a bit awkward when it came to introductions and also when it came to commentating a run. As I didn't have the chip on my badge to scan I had to talk Tech through the name I wanted on stream which didn't match my badge and I think caused some minor grievances (it was 3am though so I can totally understand)
- Website. The website wasn't always the cleanest to navigate when it came to the schedule. Having to always scroll all the way down to find the next run was a bit irritating. It sounds like there is work being done to the website anyway so I'll reserve any major judgement until then.
- Rules. Some rules were not always made clear. There was a sort of rule regarding what food was and wasn't allowed in the event area but it seemed inconsistent depending on who was violating it.


I really enjoyed my time at the venue. It was my second time at such an event, first time volunteering and running.

+ The venue is extremely easy to reach, perfectly placed near a large mall and several food places, and the staff is incredibly nice. It's also nice that the hotel donates to Unicef for each day you explicitly ask them to not clean your room. Supporting two charities at a single event 😃
+ Free ice cream is always nice, even during the cold months.
+ Everyone is just so incredibly nice, it feels more like a family get-together, even if you don't know the people yet. As someone who is really introverted it took me this second visit to get out of my shell more, but I really should not have worried even during Summer '19.
+ Stream 2. It was nice that I could show off a really unknown game this way, as I am sure it would have never made it into Stream 1, simply because there aren't many people interested in it. So please, definitely keep Stream 2 for future events!
+ Fundraising team. Everything was extremely well organized. Everyone on the team was really helpful, be it covering shifts or simply getting you a refill of water during your shift. There were no real hiccups along the way, so this is how it should stay (or be improved upon).
+ Info screens for runners, showing them that there were donations or messages to be read. This way you don't have to interrupt them during their run, but they can tell you on their own when a good time would be.

- Timing of advertisements/not being able to manually control when advertisements should not be shown. During FF9 on Stream 2 they did the Cleyra Dance at the venue, only for chat to mention that during that performance there was an ad break.
- For the SMB Relay it got a bit hectic, since there was no info on where and when to meet for the run. Nothing too bad, but that could have been organized better.

Many pros and just a few cons means that this event, in my book, was really good. Keep it up, everyone!


As a viewer, I absolutely loved the little intermissions between runs! I enjoy how they provide a little extra insight into running the games, or fun glitches that runners won't use. Plus, sometimes the runners might not mention some things during their runs, so the intermissions can cover up for them. They add an extra dimension to the games being run, and definitely prolonged my engagement with the stream. (I guess my opinion clashes with Shigan's 😛. Though I should add that there were large swaths of time where I was away from my computer, and I did not catch repeating intermissions, so they always felt fresh to me)

Stream 2 was also a joy. I found myself eventually switching to it from the main stream. Main reason is I simply preferred the games, so nothing much there. What you can take away from me is that Stream 2 felt a little more lax, which I liked. The FF run shall be my main example. It was a beautiful mess of a run, and I mean that in the best possible way. I loved seeing the layout itself getting messed around, and the fact that the gameplay was only briefly affected by the shenanigans, and not for too long, meant that it didn't become annoying.

As for ads; I know that you guys have addressed multiple times that the extra ads were necessary, their placement is out of your control, and a simple subscription will make them all disappear. I fully understand your guys' position, and I don't blame you for it. However, it definitely still is a pain point. Like what Apache said above, they harm the experience, especially if they play at crucial points of a run. I really am not sure what's the best way to solve this, other than to continue encouraging viewers to subscribe.

Overall, ESA was a net positive watching experience. The fact you guys allow runners a little bit of wiggle room in terms of what they can say (e.g. letting a couple curses by) created a more natural atmosphere, and the intermissions kept me interested in watching. Plus, judging from what people who attended the event has said, it must be even better to be there in person. I will be making my travel plans soon for Summer (and submitting a run too).

ApacheSmashApacheSmash likes this. 

Been watching ESA for like 5 years now but am otherwise not really active in the community so my feedback goes with a grain of salt. Overall as always I loved the event and the chill vibe of it, and every run I could catch was great and super entertaining!

Some things this time around though:
•I was kind of disappointed that there weren't any hosting intermissions where the hosts/donation readers were on camera and just talked with chat and messed around for a bit. I felt like those segments really helped create the smaller, more tight-knit vibe of ESA especially compared to the enormity and professionalism of GDQ. (not to mention they gave us GOAT moments like this clip https:/​/​www.​twitch.​tv/​esamarathon/​clip/​BloodyFrailWolfNinjaGrumpy lol). Maybe it's not realistic for both streams, and the glitch intermissions are cool, but I do miss my hosts.
•On a similar line - can the runners read chat? I remember in the past runners would occasionally look up and answer a question asked in chat or react to some meme and it felt really cool. Obviously there's no duty for chat interaction in a big marathon like this, but I think it does make the runners feel more personable. Also as others have mentioned ESA chat is remarkably civil lol

Literally everything else was fantastic and the event gets better every year! Y'all are awesome and thank you so much ❤️

AxelSanGoAxelSanGo and FreddyTheCactusFreddyTheCactus like this. 
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First time in a while writing this as a viewer only:

+Tech-wise everything seemed especially smooth this time, during parts that I watched almost none of technical troubles besides minor (audio levels and such) happened.
+For a smaller-scale event I found it better to not have constant intermissions with hosts (while I like them generally), but on the contrary, I'd like atleast some interviews occur (unless there were some and I just missed them all). But I guess viewer intermissions really did fill the gaps, and were used pretty nicely.
+ Overall everything felt nice and cozy from here, but there are still negatives I'll have to talk about in more explicit detail.

- This one is a minor nitpick, but I found it a weird decision to set up main room the same way it was set in 2018 summer. Attendee numbers were lower compared to summer18/19, as a result even during the day most of time, stream area seemed really empty, while stream 2 seemed more packed, when it had just 7-8 people in the room. Why not take same approach with room setting as in summer19?
- This one is major. Ads during runs. There's gotta be something you guys can do with twitch to NOT do that. I am really surprised that after long time running event this is something that has to be done. Hopefully your contract with twitch can be tweaked as this is definetely not okay. You might cut most important part of run, or some sort of speech like this and it seriously shouldn't happen.
- Next two ones are more local. Donating from Russia is pain. I know that it really isn't ESA's problem that our goverment went on banning multitude of IPs and ports all over internet to stop messenger (which still works). But having such an insane problem doing simple things shouldn't happen when you try to get every dollar possible for charity. Maybe something can be done with ESA website, or alternative donation page can be created, something to not make paypal hang. (ESA website isn't workin without vpn at all here)
- This one is tied to previous one. Language barrier is a thing, and while I do understand reasons on "why" restreams were cut, I am 100% certain that interest in event for russian-speaking audience went down. Many people didn't even notice or talk about an event, as nobody talked about it who has numbers. And those who watched it, only stayed for a handful of games, with quite a few who wanted to donate not being able to do so, due to how not obvious it is to donate from here. I really want ESA to grow and I'm happy that this winter almost doubled previous one, but there's gotta be some way to help audience reach you. Maybe some sort of agreement with twitch, maybe some sort of your specific resream channels, that generate revenue for you, if "not being able to show ads to those on restreams" is the issue. And people here in Russia generally do love ESAs more than GDQs due to game variation. Anyway I'm already ranting here, but it comes from love to event.

All and all, event was fun to watch, despite my post seeming more negative than positive. Can't wait for summer!

MrTwoBrainCellsMrTwoBrainCells, ZeroZero and 14 others like this. 

From a first time runner:

To be at this event was great and my high expectation were even exceeded. The stream1/practice area was awesome, stream 2 area was charming cozy and arcade/coffee/icecream/popcorn area was really fun.

Everyone was nice and friendly. People at the reception desk were great and made me feel welcome from the start, their enthusiasm was very contagious. Tech people guided me through my first time ever without problems. Fellow runners were all great and helpful in the practice area.

The mix of games and runners was just awesome, I enjoyed that for both the runners and the games there was a cool mix between fame and hidden gems.

Big thumb up to the organization, this event is in really good hands. Even while this event is already great, they are noticeable improving it event after event.

Just some suggestions:
- Free coffee and tea 24/7
- Day tickets with day prices, current prices are way too expensive for people who can only stay for 1-2 days.
- Try to work something out for the adds, these were really annoying as they often came on key moments in runs.
- The intermission videos were fun, but I had the feeling that there were not enough of them. Maybe expand this by some just for fun blindfold attempts from runners on their games. Or an intermission tournament where runners compete for the highscore on a short game with 1 attempt right after their run.

AxelSanGoAxelSanGo and Cursed1701Cursed1701 like this. 

Maybe a solution to the commercials are to have the runner decide them and have it as part of the donation readers job to activate a commercial.
Another solution might be a game in chat being played for some type of reward during commercials so you gift something back for having to watch them. For example a trivia question related to the game being live. You can also just have the sponsors pay more 🙃.

The hotel service was top tier I lost my room card all the time and they just gave me a new one I was awake mostly during the night and they had me get free coffee and tea whilst it was closed at the venue. Having the atleast coffee and tea 24/7 at the venue itself is probably the way to go.

Most of ESA staff was really respectful and I had a great time learning the tech side. The people everywhere were very open for conversation and drinks in the evening. Had a great time on the social aspect of things. I will be back for summer!

Thank you everyone!


First time attending ESA at all, and I had a lot of fun throughout the event, so great job on that. The FF9 run on Stream 2 was especially a treat (I was even one of those who did the Cleyra dance). The overall ambience was also really nice, especially towards the end of the marathon with the SMB1 relay, which was incredible. I've got to meet a decent amount of people, all of them being very nice to me.

With that said, I believe the practice area and the streaming room should be separate from the main room (Stream 1), the reason being that it can get pretty noisy when a big donation is coming in and might distract those who are streaming/practicing. That might be just me, though.

There's one regret I have, though, which is more on a personal level, and it's that I didn't get to talk to certain people. I also ate lunch alone due to that. Hopefully, I can change that for the next time I go to ESA (be it Summer or Winter).


Giving feedback solely based on my viewing experience since I did not attend Winter ESA 2020.

General Feedback:
Please remove / disable comments from youtube, they are highly cancer when looking for VODs, insulting runners in very disrespectful manners, as well as the audience, would not feel comfortable running at a speedrunning event knowing that youtube will insult me. Either mod or disable comments alltogether because this feels very unaccomodating towards runners.

Not having hosts anymore was refreshing since donation reading felt more focused than when hosts were still around without a major loss of them.

Intermissions seemed a bit repetitive, would like more variety if you have more submissions of them maybe in Summer, other than that, like Summer 2019 they were a cool addition to the setup time.

ESA lately feels like it has become the METAKO show, in a bad way. First he gets solo event in vaxjo? Now a full day of stream 2 for a meme category that is not even on the leaderboard. I do not personally mind long RPG speedruns of proper categories (any%, plat%, whatever) or short meme categories of a game (<2h) but why do a 16h estimate 23h total run of an unfunny, non competitive category of an already long rpg? I do not know if Metako suddenly became organization member and pushed himself into the limelight like this but it seems very onesided and unfair if that is the case, to get his solo event and a full day of stream when there is a lot of great other runners with proper speedruns or a variety of meme games instead.

Regarding the very same run: it was very odd that there seemed to be a staff member (Ladaur) right on the camera, giving the OK for a lot of very disrespectful requests for the 20$% thing. Like BigJohn's entire run on stream 1 being featured as the "webcam" of stream 2. If I was a runner and this was done without my consent I would find it very disrespectful, disturbing and annoying, especially when it was presumably greenlit by a staff member. When being shut down by another staff member instead of having a proper conversation in private to sort out boundaries (WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO BEGIN WITH!) she instead chose to call out said staff member as a buzzkill on the stream in front of all the viewers. Very bitter taste to me. Either set boundaries beforehand to not do anything disrespectful to other runners / attendants, or discuss this thing in private off camera within staff, or just scrap these runs alltogether. I feel sorry for the other staff member trying to be respectful to for example BigJohn and then being called out in front of all the viewership as the one who kills "the fun".

This did not seem to be the only miscommunication of Ladaur during the event, as she also said the last run would only go for 3 more hours despite viewers having donated for 4? Very odd, please communicate better behind the scenes with the organization, sorry to call this out I do not mean to be disrespectul to Ladaur but I feel this should be adressed to her directly as it was her mistake clearly.

Other big issue I had when viewing was ads during run? If I was a runner or attendant I would rather opt out to pay 5-10$ more for attending or more donation rather than have advertisements in the middle of an exciting section of a speedrun. Did not seem to be an issue last year but suddenly ads every hour seemed very odd. Disrupts the run and everything.

I hope I can attend ESA soon and these problems get fixed.

Positives though of course also:
Event overall had big variety, donations improved over last year Summer event, atmosphere seems great other than the mentioned issues. Everyone at ESA seems friendly with everyone there, great people there, hope it keeps improving!

AxelSanGoAxelSanGo and ViperUKViperUK like this. 
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The event was nice as usual (hotel/venue/how the event space was used)

Shoutout to Tech (and Liva) for doing an amazing job this time around, felt like pretty much everything went smoothly.

Can't really be bothered to point out all the positives, because most others have done so already

Open Block was a solid idea

Metako doing a 23 hour meme run on Stream 2 was pretty bad, especially with the GTA:SA "meme" run happening at the same time at prime time. 2 streams and we still had a good 2.5 hours where neither showed "proper" speedrunning...I don't know man.

Adding a "bonus run", aka a continuation of a meme run, after the marathon is supposed to be over is a nice way to bait donations, but the Final Run should be the Final Run.

AxelSanGoAxelSanGo, Tezur0Tezur0 and ViperUKViperUK like this. 
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First time post as viewer and on speedrun, started watching last year and moved to different country to study so maybe I visit ESA one day :3 first time I watched was summer last year and 2 day FF stream with Metako

I did not like summer because readers sounded nervous and scared, no happy attitude but this week was very lively and fun like Blacktastic! some readers were boring to listen to but it is understanding when english is not first language like me. Everything was very fun so I hope for more ESA!

FF9 is my favorite game (And Garnet is my favorite character - <3) and I watched it from morning and stopped watching 11 hours iirc, the other person next to Metako since start had very negative feel, he feels not nice like Metako and I think he there only to make it negative and happy for himself. It was not fun anymore when blue haired girl made chat and peoples attack someone else, it was not profesional and makes me scared to enlist for helping at the event. It was not positive and I wonder if person tried to make chat not angry at her by saying someone else said to stop, it is like teacher telling bullies who told them about the bad things they are doing so bullies are not angry at teacher 😕 it is very sad and hope it is only this person like this in ESA organisation

The chat was really nice and chatmods were great! I hope people receives good thanks for it because it is a lot of work and it made the watcher experience much positive for me 🙂

I like the camera showing the players and it is understanding when camera does not want to show the crowd, but seeing computer screen be most of the streamer camera live is sad too. But watching it all I feel there is more energy in people and happiness especially Super Mario Bros with 360Chrism and Fuzzyness and there was dancing game from Japan too that was 20 minutes long and people were much happy and dancing

Adds run in really bad times during games, why they can't be more before next game?

Is hosting only for summer? and how did price donation work?

The game videos showing tricks and glitches was very nice, I want to see more!

I hope ESA becomes more attention! Games were very nice, I hope summer has FF9 again but no negative persons on camera 😕

(edited: )

As a viewer, the intermission videos with the hints and tips were great and made up for the lack of interviews and a couch which, to be completely honest, is usually hit-and-miss anyway. Please have more of them!

Loved the runners, especially BigJon, and KonceptioN2's Harry Potter run, it was a really fun run and he seemed to be having a great time (I hope).

Steam2 was StreamBest, as usual (if you disagree, fight me!). Chill and comfy, the smaller area felt more personal especially for the madness that the FFIX run turned into.

Chat mods were great, fun was allowed and even AutoMod was pretty chill.

Finally, thank you for torturin...err... having Joshimuz end the marathon, it was a nice bookend for the event.