Halo National Championship
LOGAN, DmAn, and sLiPnOt were the only 3 to attend the tournament. We headed for Spraga, a internet cafe in NJ that was holding the first round of the tournament. Out of the 258 that registered for this location, only 129 actually played (we do not know if this counts the many walk-ins).We arrived early on both days. The place with was a little cramp, but nice. You can see the setup from the pictures we took (all from first day).
August 10th 2002:
Originally, DmAn and sLiPnOt were supposed to be in the same match, but because of an error when schedule changes were made, this would not be. Instead, LOGAN's match would be at 10:00, sLiPnOt's 10:20, followed by DmAn's at 10:40. Even though we weren't playing in the first match together, we knew we would meet eventually. This was really Spraga's fault, because they just took the list of people attending and directly broke it into sets of 8 people. Meaning, if you signed up 5 minutes after your friend, you would probally be in his match. They really should have made it random, because this caused a problem that really pissed us off (to be explained later).
The first day went pretty good for 2 out of the 3 players for Team Overkill. LOGAN and DmAn both advanced with first place finishes. DmAn was able to make the 25 kills needed while only dying once (see pictures for proof). Our strategy worked well, to say the least. Unfortunately, sLiPnOt had a bad game and placed in 4th. He didn't look at radar and that really hurt him a lot. So the first day ended fairly well for us. So far, so good.
August 11th 2002:
Since LOGAN and DmAn both advanced, they knew they would meet in the next match, a Crazy King on BG. They were the first match that day and decided before hand to play it fair by keeping things a FFA and NOT teaming up. They both wanted first place and they both wanted to play right. LOGAN was in first for most of the game with DmAn in second. Then towards the end, neither LOGAN or DmAN saw Secret Turtle coming. Secret Turtle came from behind and placed in first leaving LOGAN in 2nd and DmAn in 3rd.
They waited for hours until their next match. Before getting lunch, they decided to watch the games of the people who would advance to the same match as them. This is when the first problem of the tournament came in. Remember when we said that it was a msitake for Spraga to not make the players in the matches random? Well, heres where the problem started. LOGAN and DmAN only watched a few matches, but in 2 of them, 2 people teamed up against everyone else! And of course they won! It was a team of 2 vs 4 independents in the first match where people teamed up, and it was 2 people against 2 independents in the second match. They would just stand in the hill together and not kill each other. The other people really never stood a chance. It's really bullshit, cause LOGAN and DmAn could have teamed up and easily placed first and second in there 8 player match, but they didn't. This would only be the first of the problems we had with this tournament.
LOGAN and DmAn met again in the "sniper match" (without shields) on Sidewinder. LOGAN placed 3rd with 5 kills because he had 1 more death then the guy in 2nd (who also had 5 kills). DmAn placed 6th, because he couldn't find anyone to kill. This is where the second problem of this tournament came in. This last match, a "snipers", no shield on sidewinder to only 10 kills, was pure crap. First of all, it was a game of total luck. If people respawned in front of you or near you, you won the match. DmAn saw 2 people the whole match, and he only got 2 kills. LOGAN was the unfortunate recipent of respawning in front of people. He got in turned around, and someone was shooting at him. Tt was quite ridiculous, that this last game was won by luck. The game really took no skill. With no shields, almost no one used the sniper rifle. Why the hell would you? The pistol could kill in 1 or 2 shots, with no shields. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was complaining about the match and how bad it was.
Unfortunately, because of their placement in the "sniper match" (I use that term loosely), LOGAN and DmAn did not place in the top 4. LOGAN was tied for 5th with a bunch of people with a total score of 13. Wait! The shows not over yet! One of the other players mentioned that he thought the guy who placed 4th overall had lost in a match the previous day. After inquiring with the guy who was running it, this was found to be true, and the person in 4th was disqualfied for filling in for a friend of his who couldn't make it. This meant that there would be a tie breaker "sniper match" for the last slot and that LOGAN would be one of the six to attend it.
He knew that he was a good sniper, but he would also need a lot of luck in this craptacular match. He placed 4th with 7 kills and only 2 deaths (the least overall). Just not lucky enough, I guess. The guy who won the tie breaker was also one of the assholes who had placed first in the Crazy King because he had help from his teammate. This really pissed LOGAN and DmAn off, because they didn't team up and the last match was total shit. If they had teamed up, LOGAN probally would have made it to the Regionals.
LOGAN and DmAn weren't pissed off because they lost, instead they were pissed off because of how they lost. People teaming up and a terrible last match that took no skill, combined to create a very dissapointing result. Both LOGAN and DmAN felt they could take anyone there at anytime, but they were even more pissed because they knew the best players weren't be represented in the top 4. There were plenty of other players who did well all day, but were screwed by the "sniper match".
We enjoyed talking to some of the other players (none of which had ever heard of HBO or the 7th Column sadly), and overall it was a good learning experience. We knew going into this tournament, that because of the rules, we were going to need luck on our side, and unfortunately for us, it wasn't. Even if we had made it further, we didn't really like the rules for any of the matches. We'll do way better (trust us), when we enter the Halo 50K team tournament, where the rules are a hell of a lot better. The best thing to come out of all of this was the nice Halo National poster we got to take home with us. Again, we would just like to state that we are not bitter that we lost, but instead at how we lost (a really shitty match), the way people acted (basically cheating), and the fact that the best players were not the top 4 who made it to the Regionals.
Also, check out this post (and the replies) on the HBO Forum for some very interesting thoughts related to the tournament.
To check out some more pictures from the first day: