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NorCal Regionals 2014: Interview with Chris Ceglia

With the announcement of XSplit’s sponsorship of NorCal Regionals 2014, we thought it would be great give our readers an insight on the production team for this type of event. 

The fighting game community can attribute much of growth over the past few years to the explosion of live streaming. One of the many people working behind the scenes to develop and extend this growth is Chris Ceglia.  Chris has taken his experience as video editor from Pac-12, a college sports network, and applied it to content creation in the fighting game community.  Chris has spearheaded the development of ten/o, a collaboration between various stream producers, graphic designers,writers and video editors in the fighting game community.  Chris’ next project is NorCal Regionals 2014, one of the largest and most popular fighting game events held in the United States.  We sat down with Chris to go over his history on with the fighting game community, his thoughts on professional and amateur production, and some details about Norcal Regionals 2014.

How did you get involved with doing production for the fighting game community?

Chris**:** One day my roommate invited me to a world renowned underground arcade, Keystone II.  After the initial shock of seeing about 12 stations of various fighting games with about 4 people deep waiting to get on, I saw Neidel Crisan aka Haunts in the back doing a live web stream.  Since at the time I was an EVS (ed note) and TD operator for live sporting events, I was inspired by the amount of work that was put together for what is usually a 4-5 person crew by a single person.  From there on it’s taken a life on its own and it’s been a great ride so far!

What are some of you favorite fighting game moments?

Chris: Out of all the moments I’ve been apart of three moments stand out for me.  The first is Mike Ross vs. Gamerbee.  Mike’s pop off at the end of an intense match is a content producer’s dream.  From right then and there I decided that I was going to go to the next year’s EVO no matter what.  Second was Aftershock: Rivalry Reborn with NorCal winning the prize over SoCal.  The production was the first of many collaborations across the FGC, as well my first as a main producer. I feel like it worked out amazingly along with the Yipes cut in at the end of the stream! Lastly, EVO 2012 was an amazing stream and I had a front row seat as a cameraman.  When Champ beat Chris G in Top 8 we captured some amazing crowd reactions and salt all over the stream.  

How do you feel about the DIY nature of fighting game broadcasts vs. the sports productions you’ve worked on?  What aspects of professional broadcasting would you like to see in FGC productions and vice versa?

Chris: I feel like what the FGC does compared to sports is extremely similar.  In sports it is built as a team aspect with each person working in synergy with their director and producer with the main vision. While in the FGC, Economics and manpower limit that a bit, so more responsibilities lie upon the main streamer.  The two biggest things we need to do in the FGC are: tell a better story by way of statistics to help with the casual viewers, and we need to be able to sustain more people in the production side of the FGC.  If we had both of those, we would be well on our way to surpassing many televised games and sports in terms of general appeal.

Are there any other e-Sports that you follow?

Chris: I follow League of Legends a lot.  Not only do I play, I am an avid viewer of the North American League Championship Series.  When the stream comes on there is little that can get out of my way of watching it.  The level of play as well as the high production values keep me tuned in each week.  It’s a much easier format to build features and story lines to get people involved in each player’s life when you know who is playing who and when, we don’t get that luxury in the open tournament format.  I’m jealous :)

What do you think about a tool like XSplit coming from a professional broadcasting background?

Chris: It’s so useful in the sense that it really mimics a professional switcher and so much more if you have the right hardware supporting it.  I think that if sports started to implement XSplit into webcasts and smaller broadcasts it would really change the entire landscape.  If you gave me Victor “Spooky” Fontanez, our PC rig for EVO (MAX), a few key role players, cameras with decent lenses and a basketball game I’m more than confident that we can get the job done as well as some of the expensive TV Trucks out there.

Any advice you’d give to aspiring content producers?

Chris: Just keep at it.  There are ups and downs you will face, but it all works out in the end.  For any of the guys who work for IPLAYWINNER, Team Spooky, or ten/o LLC they all know that it is a labor of love.  While you might not be popping champagne every night, if you are consistent, resourceful, able to plan ahead and calm under pressure, then you will succeed in some way.  If you don’t, drop us a line on twitter and we’ll help you out as best we can.  The only way we can grow as content producers is if people out there are pushing each other to be better.

Can you tell us about what NorCal Regionals is and what makes it special?

Chris: NCR is the ultimate collaboration.  Under the leadership of fighting game legend John Choi, and Tournament Organizer Terry Kineda, we at NCR have come together and brought the world some of the best tournament moments each and every year.  

Any special plans for the NorCal Regionals broadcast?

Chris: Final Boss is an exhibition we have been planning for quite some time now.  We are calling up all the legends of the FGC to come out and play in a special exhibition that only NCR knows how to pull off in style.  One legend comes up, picks a random name to play against and that person will pick a random game out of SF4, ST, 3S or CvS2.  They sit down and play a set, then whoever wins that set gets a point.  First to 5 points wins.  Imagine being able to see Arturo Sanchez vs. Justin Wong in ST, then immediately afterwards Hsien Chang vs. Ricky Ortiz in 3S, or John Choi vs. Alex Valle in a classic CvS2 match.   I’m excited to see the possibilities and all the of the matches we will see on Friday April 18th!  As for the the broadcast itself, its one of the only times I can wake god-tier content producer LordofUltima out of hibernation.  He’ll always have some tricks up his sleeve.  Anything else, you’ll have to just tune in and see!  

Thanks to Chris for taking the time out to provide us with his insights.  You can follow Chris on twitter @ChrisCeg.  Make sure to tune into NorCal Regionals 2014 on twitch.tv/teamsp00ky, twitch.tv/iplaywinner, twitch.tv/capcomfighters, twitch.tv/nycfurby April 18th-20th.  We’ll doing giveaways throughout the week leading up to the event so follow our social media as well!