We want to address the discussion that occurred surrounding the announcement of the EQC2023 locations and dates and share some more information with you regarding the selection process and the internal ongoing issues around the bid selection of EQC2023. There has been misinformation and confusion in this discussion and we hope to clarify a few things and shine a more thorough light on the process for you.
We thank you for your patience. Since the announcement, the two members of the Board have been incredibly busy.
We want to share the following information from the selection process with you and explain our thoughts and reasonings on the made decisions:
For EQC 2023 we have received a total of 3 bids:
- 1 Bid for Division 2:
- Epinal/Golbey, France for April 22nd/23rd or 29th/30th, 2023
- 2 Bids for Division 1:
- Lyon, France for April 22nd/23rd, 2023
- Heidelberg, Germany for May 13th/14th, 2023
This year also saw a new system in bid review and selection. We had a committee of NGB representatives and board members to review the bids, select finalists, conduct virtual site visits and then select a winning bid from the finalists.
The committee reviewed all the received bids and we unanimously agreed on the following:
- We will keep all three bids as finalists
- Golbey/Epinal is a very suitable finalist for Division 2. Therefore, there is no need to reach out to the Division 1 bid partners on hosting Division 2.
- The proposed dates for Lyon are too close to the Division 2 bid. Events this close together will not be feasible. Therefore we will reach out to the Lyon bid partners for alternative dates.
After the decision of the committee, we announced the three finalist bids on December 26th, 2023 (link here) with the overall time frame that we had at this point. We did not announce which Division each bid was for in order to avoid an unfair disadvantage for the Lyon bid, as we were trying to negotiate alternative dates for Lyon at this point.
The next phase of the bidding process was to conduct virtual site visits for all finalists. This sadly turned out to be more difficult than anticipated as many of the dates conflicted with our work schedule. This delayed the final decision on the winning bids.
During this time we also received the news that Lyon cannot offer alternative dates for their Division 1 bid.
This left us with the following 3 options for the final decision:
- Option 1:
- Host Division 2 in Epinal/Golbey, France
- Host Division 1 in Lyon, France, knowing that Lyon will see a conflict in dates with Division 2.
- Option 2:
- Host Division 2 in Epinal/Golbey, France
- Host Division 1 in Heidelberg, Germany
- Option 3:
- Renegotiate with all bidding partners, which would take several weeks before a decision can be made while having little to no prospect of success in securing better dates.
We knew we could not successfully host two international events on the same weekend or only one week apart for several reasons. To name only two of the most important ones:
- We simply do not have enough equipment to support two events simultaneously, nor do we want to take any risks with the equipment we have. If transport fails or equipment breaks, the later event is at the risk of having too little or no equipment at all. In this situation, we will have to cancel that later event at the last minute, facing immense financial consequences for everybody involved.
- On the other hand, we also do not have the staff to organize two events this close together. We know from past EQCs that both Divisions rely heavily on non-playing volunteers and that a majority of them participate as players in one Division and volunteer in the other. Having the two Divisions of EQC so close together makes this impossible or at best unfeasible for most people. The result would be an understaffed EQC in both Divisions.
This consideration made option 1 not viable for us, which left us with options 2 and 3.
In addition to the restrictions of our options for EQC2023, we also faced the time pressure of having the decision and announcement of the winning bids done by the beginning of February in order to still allow for visa applications by Turkish teams. Additionally, players/volunteers/etc. were also getting nervous as they had to apply for time off from their work in order to attend the events.
This made option 3 not viable for us either as renegotiations would just take too long.
Therefore, the only viable option we were left with was option 2.
Despite the delays in the site visits and the deadline to announce in time for the visa application deadline, it looked like we were able to have everything finalized in time. But just as we were completing the final decision, we received news about a potential conflict in dates for Division 1 and Turkish elections.
After receiving the news about the potential conflict, we immediately reached out to the Heidelberg bid partner for alternative dates, while also having active correspondence with Turkish NGB representatives.
The reply from our Heidelberg bid partner however was that it would take several more weeks to check with people on their end in order to get the information if alternatives were possible and that no guarantees for alternatives can be made. At the other end, the Turkish NGB representative informed us it was uncertain whether the elections would actually take place on that specific weekend and they could not confirm the actual date to us yet.
That long of a wait for a reply from our bid partner combined with the uncertainty of whether alternatives would even be possible and the fact that the conflict in dates was still only hypothetical at that point was too much of a wait and risk for us. So we moved ahead in announcing Heidelberg as the winner with the dates of May 13th/14th, 2023.
We are not happy with how the situation has turned out ultimately, but we have tried our best. However, in the given situation and with the limited options we had, we fully believe that our decision for EQC 2023 is the best one we could have made within our options and that we will be able to organize and host a great EQC this year.
We are staying in open and constructive conversation with the Turkish NGB in order to find a solution on how to proceed. Our hopes are still that they will be able to participate and if not that we will find a solution for next editions.