The bulk of our tournament competition was going to fall between Friday night and Saturday morning. Seriously, we played from 8:00 PM straight through to nearly 8:00 AM the next day. Whew! But this was encompassing three events. We gathered at the Ultrazone and met up with our sixth player who everyone knows as Hot Dice, but this time around he adopted the name Little Rain. This was Team Ascendance.
The first event was Lord of the Rings (LOR), which is essentially a three player dogfight taking place inside a ring of tape on the floor. I had watched LOR competition last year in Philly, but this was my very first time entering the ring.
In my first round it was all brand new and I just had to learn from doing. I played low, but would try to play high next time. The second round I did exactly that. Things started out slow for me, but I was happy that midway through I started getting some shots in...that's my personal victory. In the third round I ended up going up against the guy I figured would likely win the whole thing. He also had coached me on phaser positioning, which I tried to now implement against him. There was absolutely no chance of a point victory here, but again I look for the personal victory which was that I did manage to deactivate him a couple of times.
Although this was not a spectacular event for me I do think I learned a lot from jumping into it. I thank DiZ and Ty for some tips. I was glad to have this competition videotaped because it was really a very useful tool to look back on after the fact.
Next up was the main event...team competition prelims. This is what we came here for. Ascendance fought hard on this night. We were definitely considered underdogs, but we all come together for love of the game and that's what the team comp prelims were all about tonight.
Now, somewhere around 4:30 in the morning the love of the game definitely started to wear off on a few of us as we found ourselves in the middle of the French format prelims. Let me explain French format...it's essentially a base cracking game. Instead of playing five on five the decision was made to play this four on four. One team would be on defense and try to defend a single base for five minutes while the other team tried to crack it. Then the teams would swap vests and take the opposite position. A team could get up to three base cracks per team member (potentially up to twelve points). Now, everyone expected that the defending team would be permitted to start inside the base, however when we began we learned that they would instead have to start on the outside of the base. This changes things dramatically. If defense had been allowed to start in the base it would have been a different animal completely, but as it stood it made for some really lopsided outcomes.
Everyone pretty much hated this and all agreed this was a ridiculous format. A few members of my team voiced the opinion that they wanted to forfeit the remainder of the games and just go to bed. Mind you this was crazy early in the morning after hours upon hours of competition already. However, I felt very strongly that forfeiting was not an option...at least not for me. I told them that I respect whatever choice they decided to make, but I was going to stay, put on a blue vest and play it out even if I played alone (yes I recognize that wouldn't have changed anything with the results, but it would have been maintaining my personal integrity on the matter). Anyhow, after taking that stance I went into the arena with three of my teammates who were still willing to do so...and we started to do pretty well! Still hate the format, but it was just a sweet irony that no sooner had I argued to stay that the tables seemed to turn in our favor.
We returned to our team room and one of the players who had originally wanted to leave spoke up saying that he had given it thought while we were in there and the fact that I was a less experienced player in the tournament scene fighting to stick it out was what made him believe that we should do just that. Ultimately that's exactly what we did, but it was really trying for us to push on with this game format after close to twelve hours of competition. However, I am really proud of my team for doing so. The next game went pretty well too. Now, we all agreed that we were not concerned with the outcome of this format (it had no bearing on the main event) so there was no reason not to just play and make the best of it. However, during that next game the captains of all the teams decided this was no longer something they wanted to pursue (yay for that...if EVERYONE feels it should be dropped then that is a different story). One more game took place to break a few ties for ranking and around 7:15 AM on Saturday morning the second night of Battle For The Fort was concluded. I went back to my hotel and slept until early afternoon. Why do we put ourselves through this? Clearly for love of the game! :)
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