City Champ 8, June 22-23, Tickets on sale April 6

Sorry about that. I’m moving things around. Will be back up Monday at some point. If you need specific info ASAP let me know and I can find it on the page

Alright, we should be up with a new SFPD website. The City Champ player list may not be entirely accurate until @jmg finds a bit of time to update it. I was working from an older copy when I moved things over.

Player list and wait list should be accurate now. Also added a preliminary game list.

I’ll be in SF tomorrow morning! Going to hit the town all day with my friend that lives out there. Hoping to make it to FGW tomorrow night or Friday night to hangout and practice a bit.

See everyone there!


Maybe things have changed, but don’t count on this! I recall the night before being the time when the TDs would gather at FGW to brutalize all the machines. Worth asking @jmg or @genex though

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Yeah tonight is cleaning night but tomorrow & Friday regular hours

Yeah, games will be available for play during the day, but may not yet be in their ‘City Champ’ state. Obviously, they’re more likely to be in their tournament state on Friday than Thursday.

The stream will be at

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Word is that the evening hours of qualifying will be steamed today. You can watch standings at

Thanks to everyone that made it out to City Champ 8. From my perspective, everything went very well. I hope that everyone else had as much fun as I did. If anyone has any complaints or suggestions to make the event better, then do not hesitate to let me know.

A big thank you also goes out to co-director @genex and all the techs, operators, officials, scorekeepers, streamers, and volunteers without whom the event would not be possible.

And a huge congratulations to @Brian for his first circuit event victory! Those ball 3s on Pirates and FunHouse were pretty amazing to watch.


Thanks so much for everyone that helps put this amazing event on. I know I met almost all of you and thanked you in person, but thanks so much again. Loved meeting all kinds of new people and I felt very welcomed. It was exactly what I was expecting. Such a great time.

Congrats to Brian on the big win. I’m sure that felt good, and was very well deserved.

I just can’t say enough about how good this event is. If you’re considering traveling for one event, this needs to be one of your top considerations.


That ball 3 on Hoops in the semis was really something!


Jared, just a couple format questions.

Was the change to 4 game sets in finals new for this year? I recall it being 3 games a few years ago but not sure when the change happened. Why the change from 3 games? It seemed to introduce another classic game into the mix, giving playoff rounds a little more volatility, like a Pinburgh bank. Was that part of the intent?

Why do you use 7/5/3/1 scoring in playoffs? Maybe I’m just simple minded with basic math, but it feels more complicated to think out potential advancement scenarios than 3/2/1/0 scoring in the same situation. They both offer the same results, so why use the higher scoring version?

Stream coverage was great and it looked like another excellent year for CC. Wish I could have been there!

The change to 4 game banks was new for this year. There were a few reasons behind it (list is not in order of importance):

  1. Because we could. A bunch of EMs have been added to Free Gold Watch since you made it to City Champ, so it was feasible for a to create banks with games from all eras like Pinburgh.
  2. I don’t like using scoring without a bonus point for first place with 3-game banks. It’s possible to win two out of the three games and come in second place without getting a tiebreaker (see @ZRW at City Champ 6). So the options were either to change the scoring or add a game. I figured that more pinball is better.
  3. It allowed us to use fewer games in finals, since two groups can play on the same bank in a round. There are certain challenges that come with running a tournament at a public location like Free Gold Watch. All the tournament setup such as removing posts, tournaments, setting tilts, etc. has to happen in 2-3 days before the tournament in order to avoid pissing off the general public with these hard machines. A lot of play testing happens before the tournament. Ideally, all the operators would fix everything noted, but that isn’t always the case or possible (which I understand from operator’s perspective). The games are also being played a lot, so new things may break that weren’t noted. I feel using 12 games for the playoffs based on what are good tournament games, are playing well, and would be interesting results in a better experience for the players instead of needing to use close to 20. Hopefully, that was the case.

So to answer your question, increasing volatility was not one of the main reasons for the change.

Good point on the 7/5/3/1 scoring. It had been like that previously (likely because that’s the scoring used in league) and I just kept it the way it was. When I go through scenarios on stream, I always say how many positions someone would need to make up to force a tiebreaker or advance. 3/2/1/0 would make the math a little easier.

I hope that you can make it again at some point in the future! The event around this time of year going forward, so hopefully that makes planning to attend a little easier.


I hadn’t thought of the ease of putting two groups on the same bank to cut down on the number of finals games to prep. That makes perfect sense and is a great reason in and of itself. And I definitely agree about the bonus point being essential for 3 game rounds.

Have you had any feedback from players on the change? I could see it varying from “yay more pinball” to “ugh more classics”. I’m always down for a bigger sample size to determine winners so I don’t see it as a bad thing at all.

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I did not receive any negative feedback from local players about that change. I did not ask anyone from out of town that regularly plays in City Champ what they thought about that particular change. Perhaps some of them could share their opinion here?

As a first timer I thought it was perfectly fine. Hell one of the banks actually added a dmd so if you wanted more dmd or newer one bank provided that.

4 game pinburgh finals setup is the best setup for finals imo. Yeah there’s a bit more volatility, but bring on the change of pace and force players to adapt to multiple eras. You may have gotten lucky to get your preferred era of games during qualifying, but now you have to play well across all eras.

The games they chose for finals were very well done. None of them were luckbox feeling at all.

I’ve only been to 3 City Champs (6-8) but I enjoyed this year. The addition of (short) ball save vs. no ball save on some machines (TNA!) was a welcome addition for a scrub like me. (Though I will always remember Johnny’s 1s 0 flip TNA ball from City Champ 7 lol)

I’m fine with tight tilts, I think really good players will cause games to go too long if tilts are too loose. To me it’s not as big of a deal if machine A has a tighter tilt than machine B since everyone in a group plays the same machine for that round. Part of the “fun” of a tournament is figuring out of Stern A has around the same tilt as Stern B, etc.

I really enjoyed more classics/older games being thrown into the mix, I’ve been working on those for my own growth and having to actually apply what I’ve learned was nice. Here in SoCal, there’s a lot of jokes about “Sternaments” but those jokes are (somewhat) true… (CENTER BUTTON 4VA)

I would like 3,2,1,0 scoring for playoffs instead of 7,5,3,1 simply because from my observation it’s harder to add bigger numbers haha. Also that scoring method has a cool short cut: your points on a game are equivalent to the # of people you beat.

Some people seemed to say that Jet Spin is a “luckbox EM” because before the plunge the roto wheel is spun to a random value, which means you can deliberately miss skillshot (and not spin) if you want to take the 400 / 500 / star value (wheel values are 100-500-star). Not sure how much difference it makes because I don’t know the rules on it that well.

I was very impressed by how close to the posted/planned schedule everything ran. Good job on that! As a fellow (minor) TD this is one of the hardest things to get right, so grats to @jmg @genex and everyone else on that!


Event was well organized. Thanks for the emails pre-event and during the event.

I was hella disappointed Star Wars was taken out, but understand it had issues not related to the center button.

Stream was excellent.
Also great job working to remove bulbs and eliminate most glare (no white squares on stream, thank you)

Tilt bob display with 2 tilt bob setups was killer.

Red rubbers for flippers was mentioned during introduction, however it was not explained what change they would effect.

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Red flipper rubbers are generally considered to be in the middle in terms of bounciness of natural flipper rubber. Black is less bouncy and white/yellow are more bouncy. I think that red flipper rubber plays the best, so that’s what we used. All the flipper rubbers were changed before the event to give some consistency across the machines. I was happy with the result.