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Love Live!! School Idol Festival (EN): Event Wrap-up -- Challenge Festival Round 1 Review (Nishikino Maki)

After getting to know a fellow writer Ritsu who has recently joined Milkcananime and having her first review on Love Live SIF event for Autumn Nico which you can read here, we decided to take turns to have a review corner for events which we tier in. Be sure to check out Ritsu's post if you are a Nico fan because she certainly put in a lot of effort to tier high for that card!
With a completely unexpected twist, the English server returned to single event for Maki, instead of the initial predicted Maki/Rin double Challenge Festival event. Despite so, this is the first ChaFest ever conducted on the EN server so I'll roll by some basics about the event.

First, the rewards. Like most other single events, you get your rewards based on event points. The most notable reward is SR Maki at 25k points. 
As well as the gems and scouting tickets from 70k points!
To get more copies of Maki, you will need to tier in the event, with 1 additional copy at Tier 2 and 2 additional copies at Tier 1. The other tier rewards are as follows:
Secondly, the game-play. For ChaFest, you can play up to 5 rounds at a time and the songs for each round will gradually increase in difficulty according to the stars each song has (higher difficulty = more stars). I play on Extreme mode, so that takes 25lp per round, making 5 rounds a total of 125lp.
You get up to 3 rewards for clearing a song on any stage and the rewards can be gold, silver or bronze. 
I was so amazed at seeing this after completing Nightingale Love Song (Round 1 song). You don't typically see Gold rewards from songs till Stage 3 and beyond.
I left after Round 3 due to lack of time to get 25lp for another round. These are my notable rewards. Scouting ticket, yay!
You can leave at any round after seeing the song and boosts for the next round and you will be granted the total rewards, exp, G and event points you have gained up till the last completed round. Leaving before 5 rounds is done is not recommended as the base points increases with each round (in the next section). However, if you die on any round, all rewards will be forfeited and your exp, G and event points acquired will halved.

Thirdly, the points for each round. This image is taken from decaf, where they show the base points acquired for each stage. This can increase based on which items you buy and what boost you get.
Here are some examples of the items you can buy. I typically bought event points up and exp up for this event and since I'm going for T2, I played enough to spend nearly 6-8 million gold. G becomes a very crucial point after the 4.0 updates, with it being additionally needed for seal idolising and ChaFest, in addition to the traditional 2-copies idolising (takes 1 digit less G), practising and Medley Festival. 
Lastly, the boost. This comes in the form of chibi and you will get between 1 to 3 chibi per song. Each chibi has their own specific boost, such as event points up, G up and perfect support. 

When they match, you get an overall boost to your event points or exp, or get LP recovery. You can even get a Gold reward if you get a matching cheerleader set and we all know that means... a higher chance to get green scouting tickets, yay!
For Maki's event, I started grinding later than I usually do for most other events. I couldn't decide if I wanted to T1 or T2 for her, as she would be in my team and having a skill level 2 would help. However, her T1 points were rising too quickly and I gave up trying to T1 on the second or third day. Bravo to everyone else who held on!

My event points then:
After giving up on T1, I stopped gemming all the way until the last day of the event. Thank God I stopped trying to T1 because I, too, fell ill on the last 3 days of the event (maybe Klab is cursing people who are posting reviews on events?) similar to Ritsu. I even had to make multiple trips back to the clinic due to drug allergies, but thankfully I'm now on the way to recovery and fit enough to play the last stretch of this event.

The last day was when the points were rising exponentially again and with an increase of over a thousand points per hour, courtesy of EN SIF Trackbot at 12 noon.
The event itself ended at 4pm and maintenance lasted till 6pm. Being in T2 got me an additional copy of Maki. 

Here is she, idolised!

Unfortunately I prefer her unidolised version so I'll have her in that form in my team. And here is her in my smile team, fully bonded, with a "smile aura" school idol skill equipped.

Here's some screenshots of her after I fully bonded her as well.
She's the very first story.
Yay, Easter! Sadly it's out of season, Klab...

All in all, this event took me 18 gems to get to where I am and for me, that's not a loss but it would have been more of an advantage if it were a double event (smaller net amount of gems used and all that). If you are a Maki fan and tiered for her, kudos! If you didn't tier for her, don't worry because this event was a bloodbath, especially for T1 and be glad that you saved your gems. You might get another copy in a scout after all! Or better, a Maki UR :D

I have actually scouted in the cool box and acquired 1 UR using 150 gems (fairy Rin UR). I might write a scouting post for that but if you are dying to see some scouting posts, have a look at mine for Taisho Honoka and Hanayo.

Hope you enjoyed the read :)

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