Noxcrew discusses the past, present, and future of the Minecraft Championships (MCC)

The talented team behind the biggest Minecraft tournament detail the entire creative process.

When a group of strangers became friends through playing the sandbox game Garry’s Mod in 2011, they likely had no idea they would later form a group of talented creatives and eventually develop everyone’s favorite Minecraft tournament. While the Minecraft Championships (MCC) weren’t founded until 2019, Noxcrew’s journey from individuals to a collective creative group is where the idea began.

Noxcrew has gone on to host a number of Minecraft experiences, including MCC, a monthly competition where 10 teams of four content creators come together to battle it out in a series of Minecraft mini-games that test skills like parkour, teamwork, communication, survival, and combat. 

Fans of MCC regularly tune into the event, but they only see the finalized, polished versionnot what goes on behind the scenes before, after, and during the tournament. 

Behind the scenes of MCC, though, the team faces increasingly complex coding, developing creative concepts for maps based on pre-established shapes, brainstorming games and game adjustments to keep things fresh, and balancing 10 teams of creators to bring the community-wide spectacle to life. Noxcrews ideas for MCC and beyond are far from done and their plans for the future are driven by the teams unrelenting ambition and creativity. 

Image via Noxcrew

The past

The origin of MCC begins with the founding of the team behind it. Stefan “Noxite,” the CEO and founder of Noxcrew, told Dot Esports that Noxcrew had “a pretty strange and organic growth.” 

The group first met and became friends through playing Garrys Mod, a physics sandbox-style game that has no objectives. The game encourages players to run wild with creativity by freely manipulating objects and easily allows mod integration to motivate players to change their game. Noxcrew then started looking toward creative endeavors, and the team was inspired to use Minecraft to create a world centered around a fantasy storyline. 

Their resulting project grew and they shared it on the Minecraft forums, seeking people to join them in their endeavors. After that, Noxcrew expanded to a team of about 50 individuals who worked on their creative Minecraft projects in their spare time. 

Noxcrew then officially became a business in 2017 and now [hires] awesome people all over the Minecraft space.”

Image via Noxcrew

MCC came to be through the formation of Noxcrew and a meeting between Noxite and content creator Scott Smajor Major (who also goes by Dangthatsalongname on YouTube). 

When Noxite met Smajor at a convention, Smajor was interested in creating a Minecraft event for streamers. This combined with Noxcrew’s desire to begin a new project in the realm of its “Minecraft Marketplace endeavors” led to a mutual desire to work together in developing an exciting event.

Image via Noxcrew

Noxcrew already had a successful history of development with the Noxcrew Gameshow, a YouTube series that ran from 2012 to 2015 inspired by classic game shows. The show brought members of the Minecraft community together to compete in a series of mini-games. If this sounds somewhat reminiscent of aspects of MCC, that’s because Noxcrew developed MCC after tackling this project.

“With Noxcrews history of making Noxcrew Gameshow, we quickly got talking about what a Minecraft live event might look like, and MC Championship was born,” Noxite told Dot Esports.

The first MCC event took place on Nov. 17, 2019. Since then, MCC has consistently changed in more minor ways, like map changes and game edits, and larger ways, such as retiring games and introducing new ones. But the heart of what MCC was when it began has always stayed the same: an engaging tournament that brings people together. 

Image via Noxcrew

The present

MCC has become the biggest competitive Minecraft event. Since MCC began in 2019, the tournament has run on a monthly basis with occasional breaks in between and features many of the scenes biggest content creators. MCC is currently on season two of the event.

Image via Noxcrew

At the core of MCC are the detailed and engaging mini-games that strike the perfect balance between being challenging for those who compete in the event and entertaining for the massive audience of fans who tune in every month. The competing teams battle in a series of eight Minecraft mini-games and the two teams who score the most coins across all MCC games then compete in a Dodgebolt duel consisting of only bows and arrows.

While MCC is more of a for-fun event, players who win the event receive a special MCC coin for their first victory in the tournament in addition to bragging rights. Those who secure five victories, an extremely rare feat, also receive a special medal.

Screengrab via Dangthatsalongname on YouTube

Noxcrew’s lead game designer Isaac “Epic Landlord” said when it comes to the games created and chosen to be in MCC, ideas can come from anywhere and often merely come to mind while going about one’s day. To exemplify this, Epic Landlord shared that the creation of one of MCC’s core games came after he was inspired while waiting for an academic test to finish. 

“I came up with Sands of Time while waiting for my GCSE religious education to end,” Epic Landlord said. “I got a B, but more importantly we got Sands of Time.”

Image via Noxcrew

Many MCC games are inspired by television game shows, Epic Landlord told Dot Esports. He explained that Parkour Warrior, an MCC game where players flee from a hunter through a Parkour arena, is inspired by Ninja Warrior. To Get to the Other Side and Whack a Fan (TGTTOSAWAF), a game where players must race through a series of maps as fast as possible and whack a fan of MCC to finish, is inspired by Takeshi’s Castle, while Sands of Time, a complex puzzle-dungeon game, is inspired by Jungle Run.

When it comes to the roster of games and adding new ones, Epic Landlord and the team have lots of ideas for future games. But development takes time and there isn’t a need to constantly introduce new games.

Image via Noxcrew

There are a total of 11 games running on the roster for season two, plus the finale Dodgebolt duel. Those in the MCC community have differing opinions on which MCC game is their favorite and Noxcrew do too.

MCC’s lead developer Daniël “Aeltumn” said his favorite MCC game is Dodgebolt. Aeltumn likes that Dodgebolt manages to be incredibly tense every time despite the fact that it has been played as the finale of every MCC.

Dodgebolt features a battle between the two teams who scored the most coins in the event. The team that wins has to outplay the opposing team by successfully eliminating all of them using only a bow and arrows a total of three times to claim victory.

Image via Noxcrew

Ending MCC with Dodgebolt is all about having that satisfying winning moment being defined in-game by the players, Noxite told Dot Esports.

If the tournament ended with any other game from the Decision Dome, players and the audience would have to wait for the results to be calculated in chat, which Noxite says would just be less awesome.

Any other game also wouldnt feature an epic duel between the top two performing teams. Ending with a Dodgebolt duel allows for either of the top two performing teams to win with a theater of the other eight teams watching and cheering them on, Noxite said.

Image via Noxcrew

The colorful and creative builds featured in MCC games and every other corner of MCC bring the event to life.

Coming up with a maps design is the same as coming up with games, Epic Landlord told Dot Esports. They either come randomly or you have a ponder for a little while.”

Designing maps starts with what the team calls greyboxing. Tom Hellicar, MCCs project manager, explained that Noxcrew lays out the basic shape without much consideration of theme. After going through testing, the resulting shapes are then turned into anything the team wants. Hellicar provided the example of cylinders becoming candy canes, rings becoming donuts, and plain boxes becoming complex buildings. The end result is entirely up to the team’s imagination. 

Image via Noxcrew

MCC’s overall look regularly changes, often with seasons or holidays, as do the maps for each MCC game. MCC Pride, for example, featured everything covered with rainbow colors, and for the winter holidays, MCC featured festive decorations and present sharing among players. Maps are also regularly changed simply for fun and variety.

“Its really up to our imaginations what we make, especially with how wacky MCCs themes can be,” Hellicar told Dot Esports. “You could have two builders look at the same map and come up with completely different ideas for how to decorate it.”

Image via Noxcrew

On the coding side of MCC, Aeltumn revealed that the process behind creating and reworking games has been increasing in difficulty over time. 

Noxcrew continues to introduce new games that are more complex. Aeltumn explained that certain elements of specific games, such as Grid Runners, feature more code than entire games like Skyblockle, a now-retired game from the first MCC event. 

The team has already poured a lot of work into their next game and Aeltumn believes they will only continue to push themselves to make more ambitious and more complicated games.

Image via Noxcrew

Each installment of MCC features 10 constantly mixed and matched balanced teams with four creators each. Balanced teams are essential in making the event fair and enjoyable to watch. The process of dividing creators into teams is managed by Smajor.

Creating teams begins with Smajor sending out a signup form through Discord to those who might want to compete. The form requires standard information but also asks questions like why the participant is interested in competing. When Smajor creates the teams, he takes into account those who want to work hard to win compared to those just looking to have some fun.

Smajor also asks whether a creator is family-friendly to try to stop any potential clashing between creators. The last question on the form asks players to choose one person they would like to team with. While Smajor cant guarantee they will be on a team with their chosen person, he tries to pair players with their requested partner on a team. 

After taking all the inputted information into account, Smajor looks back at players’ statistics, including how they performed individually and where their team placed overall in the previous event. Based on this, he then color codes them across five categories. 

Four of these categories are divided by fourths for those who placed in the top fourth, upper-middle fourth, low middle fourth, and the lowest fourth in the previous installment of MCC. The last category is labeled by Smajor as unknown to account for other outside factors like those who might not have participated in past MCCs.

As MCC has grown, so has the number of people interested in participating. The tournament is hard-capped at 40 players across 10 teams, however, meaning Smajor also has to balance new players with those who are already on the roster. To manage this, he will only allow about three new players in each event. 

Screengrab via Dangthatsalongname on YouTube

The future

Noxcrew has plans to continue the MCC tournament as the staple it is in the Minecraft community, as well as to expand upon the larger MCC universe.

Image via Noxcrew

“I think theres a lot of potential for MCC and its future, and MCC Island is just the beginning of expanding the universe,” Noxite told Dot Esports.

Noxcrew first shared a teaser trailer for MCC Island, their upcoming public Minecraft server, on May 29, 2021. Since then, fans have been eagerly waiting for more information on the project and looking forward to playing their favorite MCC games themselves.

“MCC Islands development is going super well,” Noxite said. “Were finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel which is always an uplifting part of development, especially when things like this can take so long.”

While Noxcrew can’t reveal much more about MCC Island just yet, Noxite said fans can expect more details in the coming months.

Joe Avondale, the co-owner and head of business development for Noxcrew, also chimed in to encourage MCC fans to sign up for the MCC Island closed beta test if they are interested in doing so. Players can sign up for Noxcrew’s MCC Island beta here.

Image via Noxcrew

Players also turn out in droves for the non-canon special event MCCs. In the past, this included MCC Rising, MCC Pride, and MCC All-Stars. These special event MCCs feature a specific theme and exist outside of the canonical, official scoring of regular MCC tournaments.

“We love when we get the chance to do special MC Championship Events,” Avondale said. “It gives us a nice way to feature new players, or advocate for causes we believe in, without messing with the canon events and their precious precious statistics.”

Noxcrew confirmed it will “definitely do more” non-canon special event MCCs in the future.

Image via Noxcrew

“Overall, we really enjoy making MCC; it gives us a platform to release all our game ideas to the world, and well keep on making it as long as theres the players and the audience for it,” Noxite said. 

While the foundation for MCC is solid, Noxcrew’s ambition is continuous and its plans for further development are indefinite. MCC’s future is looking bright, and as long as fans stick around, so too will Noxcrew and its projects.

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