A History of Bleck n Spoon
Nicholas "hermes" Devantier
Feb 09, 2018
It was September 2016. CUTE! came off of their impressive LUTI showing, and tournaments were common and doing well, even if the golden days of Splatoon 1’s competitive scene were dwindling. Two members from the team, Bleck? and CryptikSpoon, saw some flaws in the current tournament system and wanted to change it up, make something fresh. Out of this desire, Bleck n Spoon, or BnS, was born; a tournament that banned quick respawn and limited the two invincibility specials (Kraken and Bubble) to just one of each per team. This was done to see how players fared based on their skill with each main weapon and sub and change up how they go about 1v1 engagements. The tournament also lacked the DC and Lag rules that became commonplace in the current tournament scene. The weekly tournament series was held on Thursdays because it was the most convenient time for Bleck and Spoon.
The first iteration was held on September 15th, 2016. 13 teams entered the double elimination tournament, with only a couple large names to note. Squids Next Door took the first tourney, with a solid winners bracket run, never dropping a set. However, what made the tourney stand out for the community was the atmosphere of the stream. Blake and Spoon decided to take the friendly banter that they had together on CUTE! and implement it as their commentary style, and it soon became one of the signature marks of the tournament. Spectators loved it. The players enjoyed the spotlights they received. It was a win-win for everybody involved!
The second iteration came and went, with the team experimenting with a Swiss pools to single elimination bracket, which was then changed to the standard Round Robin pools to single elimination bracket in the third iteration onwards. By this point, they were getting consistently around 20 entrants, which for a Thursday night weekly, caught them off guard. The tournament’s success felt earned because the format was efficient and different. But the stream numbers were something that neither of them expected. The casting table became more of a “community round table,” with friends having discussions about the game, the meta, and just having a jolly good time. The entertainment value it presented help propel them to being one of the most well known and popular tournament series to date. Over time, the staff began to add more fun aspects to the stream, such as winning themes when teams got a knock out on the different game modes. One example is the Space Jam clip that would play after a Rainmaker knockout.
This all culminated in BnS 10 on Friday, November 25th. It was better known as Splatsgiving: Bleck Friday. After a couple of weeks fundraising, the team collected $1000 for prizes and streamer giveaways. For this tournament, they had over 60 entrants, the most attendants for any BnS to date (and nearly triple the average teams in previous editions)! The stream also blew up, having about 1.5 times the number of viewers compared to the average BnS! Because the tournament was held during an American holiday, it started earlier than other iterations, and drew in some European teams since they could play at this time. This event proved to both Bleck and Spoon that the event they had made became something more, something special.
After BnS 10, the pair continued to host the tourney at their standard weekly Thursday night, and continued to draw in 20+ teams per week, until the last few. The series ended after its 18th tournament. Bleck and Spoon wanted to free up some time for them to work on their next project: the Splatoon Ladder! This ambitious project was worked on for a while, but was unfortunately scrapped due to the difficulties associated with creating it. However, the end also spawned InkTV, a Splatoon media organization that focused on streaming Splatoon and creating content based around the game. I would tell you more about InkTV, but you probably already know about us and what we are doing for the community if you’re reading this article. And now, we come full circle. Tonight is the first iteration of the new and improved Bleck n Spoon! The staff for the event decided to create a new format in which they focus on the same 7 maps for a month of tournaments (each dubbed a “season”) on a different mode each week (the different editions). With this, Bleck and Spoon hope to see how teams again adapt to the new strategies forced by this format. Teams can now grind the same maps for a month and find the comps and strategies that work with them, as well as figure out the best ways to succeed in each mode. The staff is very excited about the format and is looking forward to seeing how players enjoy it!
You can tune in to Bleck n Spoon Season 0: Rainmaker Edition on InkTV tonight (Feb 8th) at 8 pm est! Be sure to stop by and check out all the action this week and every Thursday night to come! Click on this link for the bracket and this link for the InkTV Twitter for live updates!
Art done by Uberu-5, InkTV artist. Check out her Twitter for even more art!
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