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The League Begins (aka Return of the Jim Jim Squad)

Last night the local Laserforce league got underway and the Jim Jim Squad was represented...because we never changed our team name. :) This was intended to be a five man team competition, but as it seems to always go, things changed along the way. Starting with our five. Four of us have been pretty solid from the start. At the beginning of the night I introduced Joe and Tommy to Mitch and established the nucleus of our team. We also established that Mitch and I both appreciate the awesomeness of Photon based on our matching Photon hats.

Now, a preface... Let me say thank you to Beanz for organizing this. Bear in mind this all happens in the context of this being a fun opportunity for competitive play that I am glad to have, accompanied by appreciation for the fact that someone put effort into putting it all together. Back to the story... I knew we'd be joined by a fifth person replacing Facundo and later in the night Himes introduced himself. So there you go, five people...but it's never so simple. Although a goal of this league was to introduce new players and limit the number of tournament players to a team...well, it seems that not everyone (A) got on board with the goal by finding any new recruits and (B) counted how many people make five. Long story short, we mostly played with teams of six last night. But because of those same couple of factors (see points A and B) players were being borrowed from some teams to temporarily fill spots on others so that six people would be on a team at any given time even if they didn't originally plan to have six. To appreciate the rest of the night it's important to have a handle on this fact because it plays a role in understanding what followed. I'm going to skip over my anecdotal examples of the trouble I see with borrowing players if it isn't essential. Don't get me wrong, I admire people who pinch hit when needed (injury, subbing for a no-show), but in this case this was a result of changing the numbers at the last minute to accommodate the preferences of those who didn't get a team together in advance (as opposed to a lack of teams who planned ahead for five players). But that's my own internal sand grain. :) Would it have mattered to the end results of the night if that had started with original rosters? Probably not. As it was, we were the underdog team with the least Force experience and were going up against people who play regularly and quite competitively, some in serious tournaments. So, while we spent most of the night coming in second to stronger teams, we found our satisfaction in knowing that our scores were generally quite close. At some point Zac ended up on our team also, so we had six for most of the games. I am proud of how well we kept up all night. Everyone acknowledged that, in spite of the losses, we were keeping pace and appeared to be reasonably evenly matched. So we took satisfaction in that. However, before the night was done we managed to pull a victory that helped give us the psychological push we probably needed at that point. Our David and Goliath moment occurred in this game where we played against the team I perceive to have some of the strongest players. We won by a sliver, but we did it.

Which is awesome because up until that point I thought the only victory we'd see was Joe commandeering the jukebox and forcing the other players to listen to this... And, don't get me wrong, that would have almost been enough to make my night right there. :) But when all was said and done, even though there were things that happened that were not ideal, I felt like we had a good time and got some close games out of it. And as a secondary gain I acquired a new skill...I played Guitar Hero for the first time! Thanks to everyone on our team...those who planned to be there and those who joined at the last minute. It was a pleasure getting to play with you all last night and I look forward to playing with you more over the next few weeks.

So, that was the first night of our league experience. Lots more still to come!

Comments or questions?


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