So, some of you may have heard that I was involved in some kind of video game tournament where it was possible that I could win a 50 inch flatscreen television. I was hoping that the news would not spread around so that you all would not be disappointed when I inevitably didn't win the TV, but unfortunately, it did spread, and now you will be disappointed.
Since the devastating final round match where I lost the TV last night, I've been thinking about how I should break the news to you all. At first, I thought maybe I should do some sort of revisionist history, starting with my birth and secret ninja training in the ancient ninja video game arts, and leading with my inevitable defeat by another ninja who was in his home territory and had friends helping him out. Well, I guess that's really the only way I was thinking about doing it. But since I've been throwing up all day and looking at my computer screen makes my eyeballs hurt, I'll just give you the straight dope on what happened and get back to my secret healing ninja sleep.
Okay, so just to recap, I qualified in the first week of the competition, winning at NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona. Since then I've been calling and showing up to these tournaments trying to find out what the official rules for this tournament were going to be, but no one seemed to know. They were either going to have 8 or 9 weeks of tournaments, and they didn't know how they were going to do the finals, or even when they would be. They could never even tell me when or where the next qualifying match would be. It's like they just got up on Thursday nights and said, "Hey, let's take it to Cheddar's tonight!" This, combined with the fact that they screwed Phil out of his qualification match last week, made me suspicious of the whole thing. Plus, I had heard rumors that Skeff Distributing, the people that held the whole thing and who are now my arch enemies, had done some pretty shady things at these promotinal competitions before.
So I knew it was going to be an uphill battle. But Phil went out and bought ESPN NHL 2K5, and I rented NBA Jam and NFL Street, and practiced like crazy. I didn't practice in Nascar, though, since it's the most boring and easy game ever created. By the time the tournament came, I was pretty confident in my skills, and I also knew what my weaknesses were so I could protect them. I went into the tournament not really expecting anything, but feeling like it was at least possible.
So, the tournament had twenty people. I wasn't really watching what was going on or how the brackets were set up, but the way it worked was that everyone drew numbers for position, and then we drew to figure out which game would be in which round. After it was all said and done, I was the third seed, and we were playing NBA Jam first. The winners of those games would go on and play Nascar in the second round, then NFL Street in the third round, and then ESPN NHL 2K4 in the last round.
Well, that's cool as hell right? Because if I make it to the final game, I'm playing hockey, which is the one video game sport I actually have been training pretty hard at, right? But, I was training at ESPN NHL 2K5, and this was 2K4. I just hoped the controls were the same...
Anyway, before the first round I was pretty nervous, so I had a shot of Jack. But after Game Misconduct last year, I knew that I needed to pace myself before I ended up drinking a fifth and spilling whiskey everywhere, destroying my Skillz.
But it turns out a shot was just what I needed, and I soundly beat the first schmuck at NBA Jam. As the first round went on, I tried to size up the competition. Most of the guys there looked like no big deal, but there were some guys that obviously had the Skillz. I mentally kept track of those guys and then did another shot and promptly forgot who they were.
Kim and I ended up talking to the guy that qualified in the first week with me and his girlfriend. I kind of trashed talked him in my last article, but he turned out to be pretty cool. His name is Dave. He was really quiet and never played any of these games before, except Nascar. But he had The Gift, which allowed him to pick up any game and master it within seconds. For instance, in the first round, I had to tell him what the controls were for NBA Jam, and when he played it, he was a little shaky for the first few seconds, and then he soundly schooled his opponent.
While the first round took what seemed like forever to finish up, I also met this guy Nascar Josh. He had a Nascar jacket on and said that he played the Nascar game for 32 hours straight when it came out. While I didn't really respect his taste in video games, I hoped he made it to the final round because he said he had never played hockey before. He ended up winning in the first round as well.
Also while the first round was finishing up, it started becoming obvious that something was amiss. See, we had 20 people in the tournament. In a bracket tournament, 16 people works out perfectly. But with 20 people in a Skeff tournament, apperently that means 16 people play a normal tournament, and then four people play another tournament with the winner getting a bye into the final round. And then the final round would be three people in a double elimination match. Is that fucked up or what? I wish I would have taken a picture of the bracket, because it sure didn't look fair. And to top it off, only 19 people showed up, so there ended up being a bye, and they put it in the 18th seed. Remember this for later.
So the second round came up, and I had no problem keeping the gas held down and turning left until I won. Wee-Haw! I was in the third round! Now it's all starting to look possible. I'm starting to envision this TV in my new house. Dave also won, which was expected because he has The Gift. And Nascar Josh was the 19th seed, so if he ended up winning the Nascar race, he got a bye through the third round into the finals because of the fucked up way the bracket was made. But it would have worked out well, because I wanted him in the finals anyway.
Well, he took a mighty lead in his race right off the bat, which usually means you have the race in the bag. But somehow, the guy that he was playing ended up catching up to him and beating him in a photo finish. Nascar Josh was more pissed than anyone else in the tournament had been. He threw his coat on the floor and immediately started talking about how the other guy had a faster car than he did, and it was all a conspiracy. I didn't really doubt him too much, except that I won with the car he lost with. So I didn't pay too much attention and almost had another shot, but figured I probably shouldn't since I'm on all kinds of medication right now and I kinda felt bad anyway.
So then it was the third round. NFL Street. And I played against a guy who had a big fan club. In NFL Street, the person that gets the ball first has a huge advantage, so I let my opponent's buddy flip a coin and let my opponent call it, so that I couldn't be accused of cheating. But I got the ball first anyway. On the very first play I fumbled the ball, which would have been a crucial mistake had the ball not bounced immediately out of bounds. But after that little snafu, I steadily stomped all over the dude, winning the game.
So now I'm in the finals, playing hockey. How freaking perfect. Since Phil ended up having better things to do that night, I called him and told him I was playing hockey in the final round. I was pretty freking excited, and I had to have another shot to calm myself down.
So then Dave went to play NFL Street, which he had never played before. He was kind of panicking and asking me what the buttons were. Even though he started with the ball, he couldn't get a 1st down and ended up letting the other guy score. So it was 8-0 and I figured Dave was done for sure. But then The Gift kicked in and he somehow managed to get his quarterback to run 80 yards for a touchdown, then he intercepted and scored another. Man, The Gift was impressive.
So in the final round, it was me, Dave, and some fuckface named Jeff that got a bye in the first round, screwed Nascar Josh in the second, and then got another bye into the finals. Plus, he had qualified for this tournament by winning NHL 2K4. They should have just kicked this Jeff dude out and let me and Dave play, because we deserved it a hell of a lot more than this maggot who only had to win one game to get into the final round. But then again, this Jeff asshole appeared to be friends with the Skeff guys. I was pretty determinied to kick this guy in the balls because he was obviously the predetermined winner. I told Dave that if I didn't win I hoped he did, as long as one of us beat this motherfucking asshole who coasted into the finals.
So the last round was a double elminiation round robin sort of deal, with me and Dave playing first, then Jeff and Dave, and then me and Jeff. Whoever won two games would win. So Dave and I shook hands as respected enemies and settled in for mortal combat.
Dave kicked the shit out of me.
I was told we were playing a four minute game, and after three and a half minutes, Dave was up 3-0. He had The Gift, and I had been expecting NHL 2K5.
The controls were the same, but 2K4 handled way slower and clunkier. I was just not prepared for the subtle changes. Plus, icing, penalties, and fighting were turned off, and I had been practicing with them on. So, figuring I couldn't possibly score 3 goals in 30 seconds, I put my controller down and walked off with the clock still running. But everyone was like, "Whoa, dude! you still have another period!" So I was like, what the fuck? How come your tournament is so fucked up that I don't even know the rules before I play!? But I picked up the controller and scored a goal in the last couple of seconds, and then I ended up beating Dave 6-3. I felt really bad, because I threw a tantrum and then ended up beating Dave. But hey, at least I won.
So then it was Dave vs. Jeff. I tried to give Dave some pointers so he could beat this slimeball, but it was no use. Apparently I had destroyed The Gift , and Dave lost to Jeff 6-0. I mean, this Jeff guy knew what he was doing. He pummelled Dave relentlessly, and I felt really bad for him. But, since the last hockey game he had played was Blades of Steel, I guess he really couldn't complain. OTHER THAN HE GOT BEAT BY A GUY THAT ONLY HAD TO PLAY ONE GAME TO GET IN THE FINAL ROUND!!! Fuck those Skeff dudes.
Anyway, it came down to me and Jeff in the final game. Winner takes the TV, loser takes the Playstation and the games. I did a pretty good job, except for constantly taking my defensemen out of position like I do. But Jeff was just better at this game than I was. I played catch up the whole game. I kept it close though, and when it was all said and done, I lost 6-5. So I lost by one goal to a dude that only won one game to get in the final round, while Dave and I had to win three. I lost to a guy who was probably friends with the guys who ran the tournament. I lost by one goal to a guy that was the predetermined winner.
Pretty much everybody that was there, Kim, Dave and his girlfriend, Nascar Jeff, were all in agreement that I got shafted. And the Skeff guys came over and said they were rooting for me, but I think they were just trying to rub me up with vaseline after they fucked me. It just didn't help.
So, in a fixed competition, I came home with a playstation 2 and 4 games. I'm not disappointed with those results. But the whole thing is kind of frustrating, you know? Man, it would have been sweet if we could host Game Misconduct '05 on a TV I won playing video game hockey. But instead, I now have to decide who gets my extra playstation, and I now have a new archnemesis. I will destroy Skeff distibuting. This I swear. And maybe I can get Dave and Nascar Josh to help me out.
Now I'm going to throw up again, and then back to sleep. Merry Christmas.