I voted for both. Andy ^^^^^ put it pretty good.
The big comps with the big pay-outs are great publicity for our sport - you know the ones I mean: "So & So wins GC at XYZ's $100,000.00 BBQ contest". That headline brings in even more sponsers, teams and dollars to the game.
But what about "Fred's ECB BBQ Team"? The guy that's just starting out and can't afford, or justify, spending a grand to enter a contest? We need the smaller comps to get the teams formed up, entered and having fun at a comp before they decide to go "whole hog".
Think of the smaller comps as the minor leagues and the bigger ones the majors. How many teams just jumped in with both feet at a major comp? Yeah, I know that there are some, but most cooks started out thinking "Well, I'll give this a try & see what happens". Then they get a call or two & they're hooked on this crazy game called BBQ.
CBJ # 22569
KCBS BoD Judges' Advocate
Member of the 100 Contest Club
Possibly the only judge ever to get an award from a bunch of cooks
UDS 075 UCB WSM and a bunch of other stuff.
The above post is only my opinion - mine & mine alone.