When I heard that the tournament would be moved online, I didn’t know what to feel. On the one hand, I was happy because it was a form of innovation, but I felt sad because I wouldn’t be seeing my friends in real life and the ViBEs would be off. But I discovered it was different.
It wasn’t as stressful and I still managed to connect with my friends during the short breaks. I even got to know a couple other students who joined us from the US. After a quick lunch, we started chatting and teasing each other. At previous tournaments, the lunch break was not one for connection but for remembering forgotten lines, coordinating schedules, a toilet break, or just moving from one place to another. The tournament didn’t feel like we were competing against one another, because there were no rankings, but everybody celebrating each other and growing together. Yes, the adrenaline and stress and the satisfaction of getting ranked was gone, but that did not mean the fun was gone. Instead the fun was chatting about what we did in the Zoom breakout rooms, getting to know new people from other countries and doing something new TOGETHER!
The tournament is not a tournament without the people. As long as the people are there, regardless of wherever and whenever it is, it will still be special and will be fondly remembered.