rogue invitational 2021 review

Competition review: ROGUE INVITATIONAL 2021

General overview

Organizers

ROGUE FITNESS
Website: https://www.roguefitness.com/theindex/events/the-2021-rogue-invitational
IG: https://www.instagram.com/rogueinvitational/

Qualifiers + Finale

Qualification process is upon invite based on ranking from the previous season.
29th to 31st of October (2021 edition)

Categories

Male, Female, Legends + Strongman and Record breakers

Prizes

Minimum Prize purse – $1,250,000
Prize purse reached in the 2021 edition: $1,490,583

1.17.20%$256,380
2.6.00%$89,435
3.3.20%$47,699

From 10th to 20th athletes are paid 0.4% of the prize purse which this year amounted to almost $6000 thus ensuring that all athletes end the weekend at least at net-zero with their expenses.

Venue

Excluding the 2020 edition which was held online the Rogue Invitational is based out of the Austin, Texas area.

This year’s venue was located in Round Rock. The town is on the northern outskirts of Austin, about a 20 to 30 minute drive. The event itself was held at the Dell Diamond baseball stadium. However, the location has changed throughout the editions and it is unclear if it will stay the same for the upcoming editions.

Accessibility

Dell Diamond is relatively close to the airport (about a 30 minute or less drive). The athlete’s stay is covered throughout the competition. This said, it’s worth noting that, for international athletes who may be planning to arrive in the USA a few days prior, the area of Austin can become quite expensive based on the events going on in the city that given week. It may be worth looking for accommodation further out from the city to find cheaper options of equal or better quality.

Details: Bathrooms, food, location

There were plenty of bathroom “sites” throughout the stadium, as well as a variety of food vendors for all preferences. Yeti also sponsored free cold-water refill stations.

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The town of Round Rock itself is quite spread out and having access to a car is highly recommended in order to move around with more ease. There are plenty of supermarkets, shops and restaurants, some even accessible by foot from the athlete hotel.

Transport

Rogue organized bus shuttles from the hotel to the venue but most athletes were using cars to reach the venue. It is worth noting that the two locations were not actually very close. On average the drive from the athlete hotel to the venue would take 15 minutes depending on traffic and luck with the numerous red lights. Free parking was offered to the athletes, otherwise a parking fee had to be paid.

Programming

The events were programmed by Rich Froning and his Mayhem team. Mayhem Athlete was in fact a sponsor of the event.

The programming, although exciting to watch (delivering an entertaining show was in fact the main goal for ROGUE), was definitely biased towards bigger and more powerful athletes. The runs were short and most times weighted.

Three out of the seven events included a machine, which notoriously favor the heavier athletes. Meanwhile, gymnastics was mainly limited to a single event. Plenty of heavy barbells and multiple heavy objects brought delight to the crowds.

Lastly, the artificial hill implementation helped add another layer of novelty and excitement to the event.

Overall, the programming was enjoyable for the spectators but wasn’t a proper test of overall fitness. Rogue reached their goal but it’s important to note this detail when judging athlete performance, or using Rogue their leaderboard positioning to predict an athlete’s success in the upcoming season.

Logistics

Judging

The judging was smooth, athletes and judges were thoroughly briefed and to our knowledge no athlete ever reported complaints regarding their score or judging issues.

Point system, penalties

The point system used differed from the one at Games as event wins weren’t as rewarded as overall consistency. This is also due to the different depth of field of just 20 athletes compared to the 40 competing at Games.

We are not aware of any penalties that may have been delivered during the weekend.

Timeline and scheduling

A detailed timeline was sent to the athletes each evening for the next day. Although not all times indicated in the emails were followed, Rogue was consistent with their communication and swiftly updated the athletes of any and all changes that may have been made to the timeline. There were no relevant delays throughout the weekend. 

Media

Rogue official media did a great job covering the weekend and keeping everyone updated on the action. For external media communication was great and the media room was conveniently placed.

Equipment and warm up area

Not much here to be said aside from Rogue knows what they’re doing when it comes to equipment. From the barbells to the rigs to the strongman equipment everything was up to Rogue quality standards.

The warm-up area was well-equipped but relatively small when considering that at times both male and female athletes were warming up simultaneously. However, there was space outside the main warm up area that could also be used, making the situation manageable.

Experience

Remote Spectator experience

Rogue did a great job with the streaming and broadcasting of the event. They had several of CrossFit Media household names work at their broadcasting station and made the livestream easily accessible through YouTube.

They also frequently updated their social platforms with relevant information regarding the event, live snippets of the action straight from the floor and more. It was hard to miss anything, even when following remotely.

Live experience

For those spectating live, the experience was just as pleasant. The workouts were fun to watch. The artificial hill allowed spectators to stay involved in the action and easily follow who was ahead of the pack while also providing a new challenge to watch the athlete take down.

The baseball field also allowed spectators to see athletes more close up without having to be crammed together like we’ve seen on the football field in Madison. 

Athlete and coach experience

Needless to say, the experience for both athletes and coaches taking part in the ROGUE Invitational was nothing but positive.

Even if the athletes didn’t do as well as they hoped they could end the weekend at a net positive in expenses and knowing they took part in probably the most exclusive competition weekend in the world of CrossFit. 

Coaches often have to also pay their part financially when it comes to following athletes at events, but during the Rogue Invitational, things don’t necessarily have to go that way. Between the prize money and the travel expense payouts that Rogue offered athletes, these could help cover the coaches expenses.

As an additional bonus they also received some gear and other goodies from Rogue. Lastly, something we really appreciated was the possibility for coaches to enter the warm-up area and thoroughly follow their athletes until go time.

Miscellaneous

We really appreciated the western touch Rogue implemented by gifting all athletes cowboy style boots, hats and additional bling such as personalized ROGUE silver buckles to go with new leather belts and much more.

OVERALL SCORING
Venue: 4/5
Programming: 2.5/5
Logistics: 4.5/5
Experience: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

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