INDISC 2022 Recap

This year, the return of It Never Drains in South California (INDISC for short) created so much excitement that the Thursday Targeted Matchplay with 120 available spots sold out in less than 30 seconds. The hole created by the loss of Pinburgh has left many pinball players and enthusiasts scrambling to fill that spot with other events and shows – which INDISC has provided!

This year the venue changed to the Convention Center in Riverside, CA and was run in conjunction with the Festival of Fights (an FGC weekend event ran in the larger ballroom next door). There was a quiet space for the players and techs to escape which had chairs lined up for the queued players to rest while they awaited their turn. There was easy access to food across the street and down a few blocks at the Riverside Food Lab where the Riverside Game Lab (both major sponsors of INDISC and Festival of Fights) sits. Both locations had the twitch stream from IEpinball playing throughout the weekend.

Before the doors opened there was a buzz behind the locked doors; Karl and his crew of techs, TDs and organizers were putting on the finishing touches, setting up the impressive broadcasting area. Imoto Arcade with MarcoTV carried her equipment and was accompanied by Jeff Teolis of Pinball Profile, who was the official announcer of the event. They steadily put their finishing touches on interviews, introductions and voice overs and the countdown continued on in the background with someone calling out the time.

Jeff Teolis & Pinball Profile: Ep. 330 Jim Belsito & INDISC

The Tournament Technicians rushed to make finishing touches on the games, preparing for four days of abuse from hundreds of competitors. Someone would shout “20 minutes till doors open!”, and the tension grew. People bounced from corner to corner of the room as the machines spanned across all of the wall space and chairs were set up in rows in the empty spaces. The broadcasting booth sat crowned in the middle.

The broadcasting booth was meticulously put together, with a dedicated announcers table and telecaster screens. In the middle sat Karl, manning multiple screens and controlling transitions. All around him was a staff of bustling volunteers. It was an impressive set up, professional and high quality — something that boasts well for the future of broadcasted pinball tournaments and events.

The Main bank for the Open World Championships lined the longest wall and cameras were set up to broadcast every machine’s playfield. The queued players that stood in the back would be able to watch the games as they happened and this added another level of professionalism and prestige to INDISC.

Over 250 players arrived throughout the weekend for several different events. Targeted Matchplay on Thursday, The Main Open World’s (A and B Division), Women’s, High Stakes, Classics I and Classics II with youth and senior divisions as well. A player could play in all of the events and many did. People lined up to purchase cards throughout the day in hopes that their consistency would pay off and they would qualify in the most difficult format, subjectively, out there today.

If a player decided to start on a card, they would choose 4 (for classics) or 5 games out of the bank of games available and attempt to put up a solid score on each of those games. Scorekeepers floated from bank to bank, entering scores. Once a card was complete with all scores entered by the dedicated volunteer, they would be given set points for that card. If they wanted to try again, they would have to complete a whole new card. This is different than the usual Herb style pump and dump tournaments prevalent in the pinball sphere of competition.

With Karl’s software, players checked their phones constantly to queue themselves up, buy more cards, check their standings and more. The machines, powered by Scorbit generously provided by Jay Adelson, fed information to the scorekeepers all day long.

The techs ran from bank to bank, assessing issues, opening up the machines and working diligently to fix any issue that would arise. They worked hard to keep every machine running throughout qualifying which is a daunting task especially with the extensive classics (solid states and electro mechanical) pinball games in the bank. Jim Belsito could be seen constantly and diligently weaving in and out of players, running to assess or make a call on a specific game.

There was special care in ensuring there was a separate and well kept bank for the Women’s division, Karl and his crew once again showed the dedication and care it took to make sure everyone was taken care of. The Women’s bank consisted a decent variety of games and the slightly controversial addition of Safecracker! There was a great discussion regarding Safecracker’s placement in the tournament during the Women’s Playoffs and you can watch that game on or below.

At the entrance of the ballroom, Project Pinball had their booth and games that took donations to play along with merchandise and swag for purchase. All the proceeds went to help their non-profit cause of getting pinball machines into children hospitals and bringing joy into patient’s lives.

Around the venue, cans of Liquid Death: Mountain Water and Red Bull were distributed to keep players, techs, TD’s and organizers hydrated and energized all weekend!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of everyone involved, most importantly the man that wore many hats this past weekend, Karl D’Angelo — INDISC 2022 finished smoothly and a great success that has solidified this event as a true premiere event for the competitive pinball community as a whole.

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