The third time really is the charm; at least it was for us. On January 11, 2003, LOGAN, DmAn, BadAzZ, and sLiPnOt set out to play at Kings Games for the 3rd Qualifier of the Halo Winter Season. After failing in the first two qualifiers, this would be our last chance to make it to the Regionals.
The setting was the same as the other two qualifiers, but unfortunately they were not running both sets of TVs this time. This meant that only two teams could play at a time, instead of four. This caused the tournament to run a lot slower then the previous ones but it also gave us the chance to watch the other teams in action. We got there a little before 2pm and left around 5:30.
Before going into details about the day, I would like to talk about the match type that was used for the 3rd Qualifier. The game type through out the whole tournament was CTF on Blood Gulch to 1 capture. The notable game type changes included 10 sec respawn, 10 sec suicide, radar on, 150% health, Warthogs only, and the fact that the flag didnt have to be home to score.
We dont like those settings, but we really dont have too much of a problem with them, except for one thing. The fact that the flag doesnt have to be home to score is unacceptable to us. If the flag doesnt have to be home to score, we dont even consider it CTF. Although this rule did not technically effect any of our games, it did cause us to adjust our strategy a little and it did effect some of the other games we watched. There was at least one game that I can remember where one team scored the winning capture while the other team had their flag. Again, although this was not a factor in any of our games, we still feel this was just total crap and not true CTF.
After everyone arrived and the teams paid, they were set into brackets. A total of 8 teams arrived, if you include us. The first match was between papa (4yrs) & crew and Paranoid Androids. I mention this match, because it was one of the more exciting matches to watch and because papa (4yrs) & crew is a very unique team. You may have noticed the 4yrs in their name. Well, thats there because they actually had a 4 year old on their team! In addition to the 4 year old, there was another boy who couldn't have been more then 10. If this isnt amazing enough, listen to this: they won!
I don't remember what happened in the first two games but each team won a match, so a tiebreaker was needed. During the tiebreaker match, the official called out a 5 minute warning. This meant that the match had exceeded 25 minutes and that after 5 minutes, each team would have to drop two teammates. Surprisingly, Papa left the 10 year old and one of the older guys in. After a hard fought battle, Papa went on to win the match! It just goes to show you, never underestimate your opponents.
We were then called to our first match, which would be against Team United Knights. Both our teams wanted to be red, so a coin was flipped. We lost the flip and were forced to be blue. United Knights won the first game in about a minute. This was caused by some miscommunication on our part. We didn't communicate properly and some of our members didn't know they even had our flag. Things were off to a bad start, but we just regrouped and started the next match.
We beat United Knights in 30 seconds or less in the second match. DmAn got the flag from their base and captured it on his first try. The tiebreaker match would be a different story however. The third match ended in about 8-10 minutes with DmAN scoring the winning capture yet again. This was our longest game of the day.
I'm not going to go into detail about any of the other team's matches, but there were quite a few exciting games with some really intense moments. The only thing I will say about the other matches is that they usually took a pretty long time to finish. Although I believe that Papas match was the only one that exceeded the time limit, some of the others were pushing it. I mention this only because other then our third match with United Knights, all of our matches were over pretty damn fast.
Our next match was against Papa and I say this in all honesty: if we had lost to them, we would have retired. Thankfully, no retirement is needed. We beat Papa in the first two games and did it in a very timely fashion. Both games were probably close to a minute or less.
Beating Papa had already earned us a place at the Regionals but we would still have to vs. Upcoming Shadow to see who would take first place and the prize money ($160). I think they were a little surprised when the first match ended so fast (under a minute). In the previous round, TsK 3 SHOT KILLAZ took them to a tiebreaker game with each game in the round taking quite a long time. We then proceeded to beat them in the second match, which took around 2-3 minutes to do.
The day was pretty damn good for us. Except for the first match, we played really well (I dont think anyone got the flag out of our base after that match). The match type was a lot less chaotic then the previous ones and I think this helped us to just settle down and play our game (CTF is our specialty too). Next stop...the Regionals.