The real thing that got people upset about the requirements for both masks and vaccinations doesn’t seem to be the policy, it’s just the fact it took so many so long to notice it. According to online comments, many didn’t notice the requirements until after the refund deadline.
So, if attendees don’t want to go now because of the actual requirements, they are basically just out of the money.
Organizations have the right to use whatever policies they want for their events, we totally get that. However, the clarification’s real issue is that it contradicts both the venue and local county policy (which gamers seemed to have assumed would be used for the event).
Some commenters even went as far as to say it felt a little suspicious that NOVA Open waited until two weeks after the refund deadline to make it super clear about the policy in the first place.
Thier policy about health and safety even seems to indicate they were monitoring the situation with COVID; however, when the county and venue don’t seem to require what NOVA Open does, it appears to be a little heavy-handed on the part of the organizers.
The NOVA Open is actively monitoring conditions and these health and safety procedures are subject to change as conditions warrant. Please stay tuned to the NOVA Open website for more information and updates as we continue to monitor the course of the Pandemic.
However, we’ll also look at some alternative events you can attend if you don’t agree with these policies.
Nova Open Infuriates Hobbyists With Their Policies
Let’s look at the COVID and refund policies from NOVA Open.
The most important thing to look at here is the date in the top left, this update is when most attendees appear to have noticed this policy. If you want to read the full COVID guidelines, you can here. As a quick overview, though, they require masks (no neck gaiters or similar) and vaccinations with proof of card.
This is from their page, and as you can see, July 18th was the last day for refunds. Again, they can have whatever policies they want, but when so many attendees appeared to have not known about these requirements by that date, it would be nice to see them getting their money back or putting it toward next year’s event.
Alternatives to Nova Open
Anthony will host a free GT and even refund some of your lost money from the NOVA Open! This is quite the move, and if you want to go to an alternative tournament, this might be the place to go. Update: the link to the Free event is available here in Best Coast Pairings.
It feels bad to lose money, and tournaments aren’t cheap, so having a free alternative (whether you were going to NOVA or not) is usually unheard of in the gaming world.
Goonhammer will also be running a tournament from August 13th-14th (we know it’s this weekend), but you can still see if they have any spots open to play! They always put on awesome events, so if you can get in, it would be worth going!
Editors Note: As we wrote, the issue has never been with health or what the venue can set for a policy. It’s that many ticket holders report they were unaware of the mask and vax policy when they purchased their tickets. They only became aware after the Aug 3rd policy update and now can not get refunds. They also report that NOVA Open is not working with them on this, not even partial refunds or credit to the 2023 event.
How about the fact that Faeit 212 is listed as Vice President on the Charity side and may not have disclosed in any of his posts that he has a financial interest in these NOCF raffles? Not to mention the fact that it appears Mike Brandt was listed as the registered agent of NOVA Open years into working at Games Workshop. Whether that is a clerical error with the SCC or a true and legitimate fireable offense with GW, I can not say.
Everything with NOVA Open and money is a bad look, from their failed “save our event Kickstarter in 2020” to this.
Look, people got sick after every con starting with Adepticon with the same rules in place. It’s still going around regardless of vax and mask mandates. It’s up to both the event and attendees to be sensible and not use the situation as a perceived money grab by your customers.
What do you think about the late change? Will you still be going to NOVA Open?
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