2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 3, Structure the Season

Since the dawn of time, so to speak, the Quake2 season has been rather disorganized, and by disorganized I mean that there hasn’t been a collectively established idea on how to structure the entirety of the Q2 year. Neither has there been a set time frame for the duration of the season, which is essential when outlining such a build of an order.

The reason why it’s necessary to plan the season is our ambition to raise the activity, and to have the competitions run smoothly and with more successful outcomes (mainly meaning lowering the forfeit rate). Consistent orderly and deliberate structure will create a solid foundation on which these ambitions will be given better chances to produce results. The scene will get a more realistic opportunity to prosper, which will simultaneously aid and be aided by the interest and the commitment by the people of the community.

We need to spread out the events in a manner that will get as many players and clans as possible, to take part in as many events as possible. If tournaments and leagues are shuffled around, overlapping each other the way they are now, you end up with players having to choose which competitions to participate in, and which ones to drop, because very few people have time for everything at once – and that is not how we should go about trying to obtain a high and stable level of activity throughout the season.

Furthermore it’s desirable for the observers, the public, to have good entertainment evenly distributed over the year. It is now much too common to have the lion’s share of interesting matches bunched together from mid-February to early May, leaving not much to look forward to for the rest of the season. Being able to offer an all year program of exciting matches, will help to captivate an audience.

Audiences often include inactive and retired players, as well as a few people with no strings to the community at all. If we manage to enthrall them by having eventful seasons with good organization, respectful participants and stimulating circumstances, chances are they might turn to Q2 as players – once again or for the first time – and however slim or reasonable these chances are, bear in mind that any progress is to be considered a great success.

Not only is the problem this giant disproportionate peak during spring, but also that all the different events and their playoffs stages have a tendency to drag out and seem never-ending. Such inefficiency and amateurism only repel the enthusiasm of players, observers and admins alike. Therefore we must implement a time plan for all main competitions to follow, and this is where the need for international collaboration comes in.

a) Time Frame for the Season

The infamous summer inactivity strikes when schools are out and/or the sunny weather rolls in over Europe. Needless to say, no main events should take place during this time, because it mostly just ends up with a lot of postponements and walkovers anyway.

Most countries in Europe have their summer vacation (for students) starting anywhere between the beginning and the end of June, and lasting until mid-August to early September. Workers tend to have their vacation sometime within this period as well, and everybody seem to find other things to prioritize.

Christmas is another time when people ought to get a short break and some room to breathe and reflect, especially considering players are getting older and have ever-growing responsibilities to tend to. A lot of people spend Christmas away from home, visiting family and friends, or vice versa, and to expect of them to be active in Quake2 during the holidays, that is not a reasonable thing to do, and in no way would it be of any benefit to the scene.

The fundamental countries in the scene today are in one or another way Christian, and the time for Christmas and its accompanying vacation term in these nations, takes place between Dec 23rd and Jan 8th. This interval being quite mid-season, adds to the sense that it makes to have a break here. Full throttle from September through June would only blow out the engine.

So let’s keep the official season out of these boundaries.

b) Proposed Plan for the Main Events

•    EuroQ2L: Two editions of EQ2L per season, so that new clans won’t need to wait too long before joining in on the fun. It also leaves space for PLQ2 and NDML to happen, without interfering with EQ2L, so that TDM players won’t have to skip one or two competitions due to lack of time.

Considering all changes proposed in this manifesto, it would not be unrealistic to expect around 25-30 clans signing up for EQ2L #16. Let’s say 27-28 clans, divided into 2-3 divisions. That makes an average of either 9 or 14 clans per division. With two divisions, there should be two groups in each, but with three, there should be only one. That means either 6 or 8 games per clan in the group stage. One round per week.

Single elimination is practice in the playoffs of TDM events, and whether it starts with quarter or semi-finals, should be decided by the number of divisions. Each clan will then play a maximum of either 2 or 3 games in the playoffs.

At this point there is very little reason to expect any big changes as far as number of clans wanting to participate in EQ2L #17.

Schedule, EQ2L #16:
Sign ups deadline, Sep 25th (with sign ups being open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Sep 26th – Nov 27th (9 weeks)
Playoffs, Nov 28th – Dec 18th (3 weeks)

Schedule, EQ2L #17:
Sign ups deadline, Mar 11th (sign ups open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Mar 12th – May 13th (9 weeks)
Playoffs, May 14th – Jun 3rd (3 weeks)

•    EDL: One edition of EDL per season, as usual, because the extent and the anticipation that it helps to build up, takes part in accrediting the league as the main duelling event around.

As mentioned before, the goal is to not drown players with games, and considering all other competitions going on during the course of EDL, I have decided that each round will last for two weeks, meaning participants only have to play one EDL game every two weeks.

Around 75-90 players are expected to sign up for EDL #10. Divided into 3 divisions with 2 groups each, it makes roughly 11-14 games per player in the group stage. However, since the divisions are mostly based on skill level, they might hold different amounts of players.

Double-elimination will be in use during playoffs, which will start with either 1/8 or quarter-finals, depending on the number of players in each division. Players will play a maximum of either 7 or 8 games in the playoffs.

Schedule, EDL #10:
Sign ups deadline, Sep 25th (with sign ups being open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Oct 3rd – Dec 22nd + Jan 9th – Apr 29th (~28 weeks)
Playoffs, Apr 30th – Jun 3rd (5 weeks)

•    The Edge League: One edition of Edge per season, and having it held during spring only. Being a one-map competition, it is the sort of thing that should rather be a momentarily event, than a parallel entity to EDL. This way it will also leave room for other tournaments during fall, such as the regional ones (as will be mentioned further down). Naturally it does not mean that it should be of any smaller size or matter.

Another perk to pushing the Edge tournament to the spring, is that people who are just getting into the game during fall/winter, or returning veterans for that matter, don’t have to spend a vast amount of time and energy to start learning and/or practising all the additional maps, in order to take part in an upscale duel competition. Also, those who simply missed the sign ups phase for EDL, or didn’t want to commit to a full seasonal term, they get a shot at something prestigious as well.

65-80 players are expected to sign up. The traditional elimination rounds will drop 30-45 players within a few weeks, leaving about 35 players for the group stage. In round numbers, 6-8 groups make 4-6 players per group. 3-5 games per player during group stage, and one round per week.

Playoffs follow the double-elimination system, starting with 1/8 finals. 5-8 matches per player.

Schedule, Edge #3:
Sign ups deadline, Jan 29th (sign ups open for 3-4 weeks)
Elimination rounds, Jan 30th – Feb 19th (3 weeks)
Group stage, Feb 20th – Mar 25th (5 weeks)
Playoffs, Mar 26th – Apr 29th (5 weeks)

•    NDML: Much like the Edge League, this too ought to be a shorter, and in a way, a therefore less frequent event, due to its nature. Something to look forward to the same way you look forward to any sport’s nations cup, and to follow it eagerly during an intense course, rather than having it be just another competition that stretches out until people lose interest.

NDML needs to take place in between the EQ2L terms, in order to keep the game load at a steady level mainly for those participating, but even for the audience.

7-9 teams are expected to sign up. Divided into 2 groups, each team will play 2-4 games in group stage and an additional maximum of 2-3 games in the single-elimination playoffs.

Schedule, NDML #10:
Sign ups deadline, Jan 8th (sign ups open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage + playoffs, Jan 9th – Feb 19th (6 weeks)

Addressing the Polish powerhouse the way I now intend to do, with my proposal for the future of PLQ2 and PLD, is either just bold, or bold and naive. Nevertheless, it is extremely necessary, and I don’t feel that it can wait any longer. The scene is deteriorating day by day, and if the Polish regime doesn’t join forces with the rest of Europe, they will eventually have no people to rule – pardon my French. Neither will anyone else.

I have the highest respect for the deeds that the Polish community has done in the past, with PLQ2, PLD and other events, and I’m sure they would continue to deliver solid work. However, we’re facing a mutual enemy that is far greater than what we are currently fighting, and if we want to be victorious – and revive the scene – we will have to collaborate.

•    PLQ2: As the scene needs to be more united, so do the competitive side of it. PLQ2 is a great thing, and by no reason should it cease to exist (for example by merging it with EQ2L, as some people think). It’s a splendid contribution to the scene, and it especially helps keeping the Polish community on its toes… But in order for the scene to truly come together – which would be of enormous benefit for Polish players and clans as well – it might be necessary for PLQ2 to take a step back, and thereby help clans come out of the Polish bubble and embrace the concept of a united European scene – with its EuroQ2L and EDL.

My proposition for the future of PLQ2, would be for it to run in between EQ2L editions (at the same time as NDML). That would make it easier for the Polish clans’ members to make time for participating in as many events as possible – which is a necessity for the scene.

14-16 clans are expected to sign up. Divided into 2 groups, each team would play 6-7 games during group stage. 8 clans advance to a single-elimination playoffs that starts with quarter-finals, which means a maximum of 3 games per team.

Proposed schedule, PLQ2 #13:
Sign ups deadline, Dec 29th (sign ups open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Jan 2nd – Feb 19th (7 weeks)
Playoffs, Feb 20th – Mar 11th (3 weeks)

•    PLD: Most of the things I wrote for PLQ2, is just as suitable for PLD. PLD is an important institution – if I may call it that – and the entire scene is in great need of it. It’s the main Q2 nation’s domestic league for individual players, and it offers not only a huge deal of good entertainment, but it could also play an important part as the main dueling attraction before the Christmas break. It would then also function as a sort of teaser for what the Polish players might come to achieve in the second half of the EDL season.

It is very relevant that it doesn’t run for too long, since that may force players to choose between PLD and EDL (or other tournaments). Remember, we must try to get as many players as possible, to participate in as many events as possible – that is one of the ways for the scene to get an upswing now.

Around 40 players are expected to sign up. Divided into 8 groups, with 5 players in each, the players would have 4 games each to play in the group stage. A double elimination playoffs follows, starting at 1/8 finals (meaning the top 2 players of each group advance). 5-8 matches per player.

Proposed schedule, PLD #5:
Sign ups deadline, Oct 2nd (open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Oct 3rd – Oct 30th (4 weeks)
Playoffs, Oct 31st – Dec 4th (5 weeks)

•    RDL: A good league to keep going, as Russia is always a force to count on in Q2. However, it should be made domestic and live up to its name. Possibly include Ukraine as well, considering the relations between them two and the insignificant size of the Ukrainian community.

The Baltic countries must be able to make a small duel tournament of their own, since they have both a decent amount of people, and a great deal of high level competition.

Around 24 players are expected to sign up. Divided into 4 groups, with 6 players each, would give every player 5 games to complete during group phase. If 8 players advance to a double elimination playoffs, meaning 2 players per group, each will play 4-7 matches.

Proposed schedule, RDL #7:
Sign ups deadline, Sep 25th (open for 2 weeks)
Group stage, Sep 26th – Oct 30th (5 weeks)
Playoffs, Oct 31st – Nov 27th (4 weeks)

In addition to the main events, smaller cups and tournaments are essential for the scene to thrive. For example, all the clans that don’t reach the EQ2L playoffs, and whose players do not participate in either PLQ2 or NDML, they are facing a 15 week involuntary break. The spring situation for duelers ain’t great either, since those who are eliminated in the early stages of The Edge League, they are at best stuck with one game every second week in EDL for at least 2½ months, unless they turn to TESLA of course. And let’s not forget those who fail to make the sign up deadlines…

When the activity – or the number of games – is on a steady level throughout the season, the risk of failure (postponements, walkovers, etc) decreases. Players are given a fair chance to plan ahead, and foresee the activities and happenings of the commitments they make for the season. I’m not saying this will solve all our problems, but it will make it easier for the problems to diminish.

The making of the official season is important in our efforts to make Quake2 a more well-organized e-sport, and it will benefit us in our work to keep players motivated within the scene. A structured season will also help us when trying to bring retired and inactive players back into the game, much thanks to the fact that everybody will be given options when deciding on the degree of activity they wish to uphold.

Q2 becoming a more legitimate e-sport in general, will have us receive more coverage and ultimately a growing audience – if only moderately so. More people interested also aids the potential to attract new players.

Structuring the season is a pillar in the attempts for regeneration, and denying it acknowledgement and implementation, will have this entire temple to continue crumbling down.

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2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 2, The Situation

I have chosen to address only the situation in the European DM community, because I believe it to be the core of the entire Q2 scene today (AQ2 aside). If we manage to stabilize that part, everything else will be given a fair chance to grow naturally – such as CTF, RA2, Insta, etc, and possibly even the American milieu.

TDM is struggling to gather clans for the events. EuroQ2L only managed to get 18 clans to sign up for the past edition. A little over one year earlier, that number was 27. Keep losing clans at that rate, and we’re down to none in no time. On top of that, 30% of the games were forfeited (w/o). In no way can you blame that on summer inactivity, because the group stages and quarterfinals were completed before the end of May.

The Polish TDM league – PLQ2 – is experiencing similar problems. Over the course of five years, they have gone from 27 clans to 16, which is obviously not nearly as bad as EQ2L’s situation. One might even say that it’s easily explained by the typical deterioration of any older game’s scene. PLQ2 also witnessed a ~30% forfeit rate.

These are all troubling numbers, but at least one of them is unnecessarily low. How can it possibly be that The European Championship – namely EuroQ2L – features only 18 clans, when there are 28 unique clans up and kicking around the same time?

To a certain extent, we have failed to build bridges between the Polish community and the rest of Europe, and the fact that each EQ2L differs to its contemporary PLQ2 by 5-10 clans, is clear proof of that. We are falling short in our attempts to motivate players and teams to participate, and their participation is imperative for the scene to last.

The same disease torments the duel events, and most of them are plagued by even worse walkover rates. Last season EDL reached an all time high at 54,5% – which is just ridiculous – and that involved even the bronze match. The rates of the other tournaments (Edge, PLD and RDL) ranged from circa 28 to 38 percent.

There are currently no indications that point to any development in the opposite direction, because no meaningful changes ever really seem to take place. The questions that need immediate and serious attention, is how to inspire players and teams to commit, and how to keep them interested in then honouring their commitments.

a) Prizes

We need to reintroduce the occurrence of awards and prizes, initially and most importantly in the main events, such as EuroQ2L and EDL. Money being the prize would be preferable, because it speaks to everyone, but in the end, any prize is better than none, may it be a mouse pad or a cup.

Eventually we should consider featuring prizes more widely, in other competitions as well, as it is a way to increase the interest from both the public and the players. An increased level of interest equals a higher degree of activity – generally throughout the scene – which would be the reward for all and everybody participating in these efforts.

In the beginning the financing of prize money is to be done almost exclusively by donations from individuals within the community. It is very important to emphasize the fact that the amount of money donated is not of great significance, but rather the number of people actually donating anything. If you don’t feel like you can spare a lot, at least offer a little, because like the old saying goes, “many a little makes a mickle.”

Once we have been able to complete an entire season with success in all its main areas and aspects, and with leagues and tournaments that can act as paragons for future seasons to come, first then will we be able to discuss if an introduction of competition sign up fees and/or other easily justifiable costs for players – may they be of very modest size, or not – would be the right move.

b) A Maximum Amount of Players in Clans

Theoretically and logically this should make way for a lot of new clans to be born. That means more teams, which equals more games, more activity, and more competition. The latter also implies that the current food chain might be challenged. The ranks among clans have been somewhat static for a long time, and bringing this kind of change into the game may contribute to getting some new blood flowing through the veins of the TDM state.

I propose that the clans’ maximum amount of players allowed to be signed up per event should be seven. That won’t place too many players on the bench – where too many are spending their time these days – and it must be possible to expect of a clan to plan ahead well enough to be able to gather at least four out of seven members once a week.

If players turn inactive during season, it won’t be too much of a problem considering the EQ2L doesn’t run very long at a time. In between EQ2L editions, clans have plenty of time to replace these players and then go at it again.

c) Multiple Divisions

We need to separate the considerably unequally skilled clans and players from each other, and place them in different divisions in the big events. In no way is this measure new or untried, and not even unusual in Q2, but it is of great importance to never part from this system.

There is not much that can compare with how discouraging the experience can be, of constantly not standing a chance in one’s official games. It will take the fun out of playing for anyone, and not only does it continuously chase away rookies and other less skilled players, but also veterans looking to make a comeback.

At the end of each competition, the top clans/players in the lower division(s) ought to switch places with the bottom ones from the upper (adjacent) division(s). That must be compulsory, mainly because it will stimulate other clans and players to feel that they’re getting a better shot at the prizes, but also because it adjusts the balance of the skill level within each division, in a just and objective way.

All players in a clan must be registered before the process of seeding into the different divisions. Otherwise it would be possible to hoax one’s way into a lower division where prizes will be more easily won. This also means that changes can’t be made in a roster during an ongoing event, and if changes are made in between competitions, the clan will be the target of seeding again.

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2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 1, Introduction

As the Quake2 community is approaching the 2011/2012 season, with its 10th edition of the EDL and the 16th of EuroQ2L, among numerous esteemed events and happenings, I call for us to stop for a minute and reflect on the current state of the scene.

To say that the Q2 scene is suffering is a grave understatement – as the vast majority of people most probably would agree with – and simply by stating the obvious, we are achieving nothing. If this hobby of ours, this game that we spend countless of hours playing, bears any significance to us, it might actually require our immediate attention and care. Quake2 is losing ground all the time, and it’s gradually facing extinction. That affects everyone, whether you’re a serious gamer or not.

Naturally one mustn’t forget that we’re talking about a game that is closing in on its 14th birthday, and players moving on to other newer games, is somewhat inevitable. I merely urge us to do what we can without breaking our backs, to if not fight, at least try to slow the evolution down. This is a game that deserves to survive for many years to come, and in my heart I believe that more than a handful of people would want to be able to return to servers in five or 10 years from now, if only to just catch a quick pickup game.

In very few instances during the past decade, have there been any prizes involved in Quake2 events. Players have kept themselves motivated through the sheer fun of the game, and by enjoying the prestige that various leagues and tournaments have been able to offer. However, for a while the level of prestige has been dropping at an unreasonable speed, along with people having taken the competitions with less and less earnestness. This has resulted in a severe undermining of the conditions of having fun and enjoying the events – for players and observers alike – and that is one of the ways that we are crippling the scene right now.

It’s difficult and even unnecessary to speculate about what came first, the chicken or the egg, but there is a point in calling attention to the fact that players are struggling to find a purpose for their engagements. It would be very hard for any enthusiast or admin to single-handedly infuse a meaning into the collective mind of the players, but surely a lot of measures can be made to make it easier to still have fun while competing in Q2, as well as making it a more rewarding experience to honour one’s commitments – may the reward be that of prestige or a prize.

The solution I propose is for the different enclaves of the scene to unite and work together towards developing Q2 into a more well-organized, legitimate and recognized e-sport, which in turn will render us an increasingly motivating and stimulating environment for anybody involved. We must aim to keep the community inspired, and strive to make the scene attractive for past and future players. Despite regeneration being the grand and ultimate goal, making any progress along the way is to be considered nothing short of a great success.

If we stand by and do nothing, if we keep everything the way it is, then we are sticking to a downward spiral that is seriously jeopardizing any kind of future for Quake2. Therein lies the necessity for immediate action – whether you’re a serious gamer or not.

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Current Status

As you might have noticed, there hasn’t been much activity here for quite a while, and I regret having to announce that it’s not likely to change anytime soon either. An explanation is long overdue, and I apologize for not getting around to make one until now.

[…] I will not give any guarantees. I might become too preoccupied to be able to give the blog the time that it requires, or simply lose interest. Either way, however long it lasts, I hope you will find this to be as much a fun addition to the scene, as I will.

That’s somewhat of a disclaimer that I left in the About section when I launched The Dredge. At the time I had a lot of spare time, but once I started my new job, I basically lost all of it.

I believe that very few people realize how much time this blog actually demands in its current form. Just to give you an idea, I’ll do some math for you. If there are five games played one week, with an average of three maps per match – now, keep in mind that every map is 15 minutes long – that’ll leave you with almost four hours worth of demos to go through… And during season there often is more than five games a week.

On top of that, add collecting information and demos – anybody who has been in the position where they’ve had to ask players for demos, know how difficult this can be, mainly because a large number of quakers are unnecessarily uncooperative, tight-assed, and pig-headed – as well as writing the actual articles, and you end up with a lot more than four hours.

I think it’s very sad to pull the plug all ready, on such a thing like a blog devoted entirely to Quake2, and believe me, I tried to find an appropriate replacement for me, but I just wasn’t able to. We’ll see what the future holds, if I figure something out or not, but don’t hold your breath.

In spite of all this, I will carry on launching Q2 projects. In the next few months there will be at least a couple of new competitions, and I have also stepped in to help complete the ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) EAP duel tournament.

Later this year I have plans for far greater things, and I only hope that they will take off and make something of themselves. These plans involve gathering data and demos from all past competitions, however small they may be.

If you would like to be of service to what’s left of the scene, I would gratefully accept demos from any and all official games, past and present, and preferably in some kind of order. I also welcome player’s resumes (meaning lists of their achievements) and any information about less well-known tournaments, cups, ladders, or leagues. Email: dredge (a) welkin.se

Until further notice. 

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Game of the Week #11

Week #11 has been a week with a few very interesting results. Not necessarily any truly surprising outcomes, but just interesting.

Most of this week’s games went down in the Edge league, where another four players have now been eliminated. First off the bat was DM, who has been striking his numerous messagemode1 variation keys, more than his attack button. (Please unbind, DM – it’s a horrible show.)

Since having recently been voted into the European team in the upcoming EAP duel tournament, along with IsBjörn and Cold, DM’s star seems to be fading. He put up an amazing effort in his last EDL match a few weeks ago, where David only after having pulled all his strength together was able to stop him in the 1/8 – I  highly recommend the ptrip demo from this game.

The players responsible for kicking DM out of Edge #2, was Aone and Warrior – neither of which are showing any signs of weakness so far whatsoever. The winners bracket quarterfinal was Aone’s only match this week, while the losers bracket quarterfinal versus DM, was merely the first of three games for Warrior.

Warrior’s second endeavour was with recent RDL #6 participant, who last month finished in 4th place in said competition – namely UMUSTDIE. UMD has been making a name for himself lately, putting up great fights with some of the best players around. Known for biding his time and not attacking carelessly, at the same time as he performs this playing style very well, many of his games end up slow-paced and not producing the most entertaining demos you could think of.

That said, I am even more glad to be able to present to you this week’s runner-up for the Game of the Week – the second map of warrior and UMD’s conflict in the Edge #2 losers bracket semifinal. You will witness two top players not intending to make any unnecessary mistakes, and playing like their lives depended on it! While one makes it almost impossible for the other one to get close, the other one has to struggle most of the match just gathering health and armor. Eventually the game opens up, and you’ll have all reason to bust out the popcorn!

Download here. [DS link]

Rating: 7,7

In the winners bracket of the same tournament, the semifinal between maq and Shuggh finally broke out. Without doubt one of the most anticipated games so far in these playoffs, much of the fact that both players have appeared to be in the shape of their lives. Shuggh has chucked heavyweights Covell and Damiah down into the losers bracket, and maq Swedes Pogo and zorre. Under no circumstances could anyone ever take lightly on any of these achievements, and these victories will be feathers in their caps throughout their careers.

maq eventually defeated Shuggh, and threw his remains to the dog. The dog being fellow Pole Warrior, who’s really started to build up an affection to the taste of blood, being on a very impressive winning streak in the losers bracket.

Shuggh was finally eliminated by Warrior in the 2nd LB semifinal, which now makes Warrior ready for the LB pre-final. He will face the victor of Damiah versus Purri – contestants not so unfamiliar with each other.

The winners bracket final will be a showdown between maq and Estonian Aone. This is another clash that could really end either way, since nothing has proven to be predictable in this tournament! This WB final is also a manifestation of the fact that the veins of the Q2 scene is  at last starting to see some new blood flowing. Such seemingly everlasting untouchables as Purri and Damiah, is finally forced to bite the dust every now and then, and this is a positive development for a game that has been the target of inbreeding for some time.

The playoffs in PLD #4 is continuing along, where I am afraid the level of excitement wasn’t very noteworthy. Ivers defeated rul in the winners bracket semifinal, three to nothing, and michaq and irvin eliminated obsesja and kul respectively; both 3-0 as well.

Ivers will be facing the winner between norman and Sheffik, in the WB final, and irvin is up against rul next, and michaq the loser of the norman-Sheffik match, both in LB semifinals.

The Game of the Week #11 was fought out in the EDL. It was this week’s only fight in the league, but it sure made up for it! The winner of the map went on to the win the entire game, and is up against Aone in the semifinal next.

This is the first map – a Powertrip – in the EDL #9 quarterfinal between Purri and Covell. Enjoy!

Purri POV [DS link] / Covell POV [DS link]

Judge Dredge lays down the law: 8,5 points

Posted in Game of the Week 2011 | 3 Comments

Blast from the Past #2

Leaving you last week with a demo from one of the two Simple semifinals, I hope that you are finished relishing in its pleasures by now. Knowing what I have to unveil today, we need to get this thing on the road, and let me tell you, we do not have a moment to waste! Whatever Tom waits for, Tom shall wait no more!

Considering the urgency to get this mentioned package delivered – a fine demo it is! – it is unfortunate that yet there exists a need for me to introduce to you, this one of the true Finnish giants. Many of the people active within the scene today, seem to lack a sense of history, but conveniently enough, I find it to be my calling to bring these poor souls to enlightenment. Appropriately address me as Reverend Dredge from here on.

Simple was one of his last couple of tournaments, before throwing in the towel for good roughly half a year later. A great loss to the Q2 scene, as his wits and talent was of a unique sort. Cedion (a.k.a. Mincer) was the runner-up in SDL #3 in late 2000, and finally the champion on the Finnish side of The Invitational, Spring 2002, after having defeated Damiah in an extraordinarily close and ferocious final. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to finish his career with a victory, as Purri smothered those hopes in the grand final of the same Invitational tournament.

Despite a great qualifying run to the Simple playoffs, with not a single map lost in the matches versus Provi, Jent and chk (although an intimidating 0-2 loss against thaigo), as well as annihilating Syanid in the quarterfinal, Cedion wasn’t able to maintain this level of gameplay, and had Damiah putting an end to his quest for success.

On the other side of the table, last week we saw thaigo vanquish Provi in the semifinal. In order to reach this far, Provi had to overcome the immense obstacle of forcing Purri down on his knees no less than two times; in the last round of the group stage, and the following quarterfinal. After not having given away a single map in either of the two feuds, Provi is now staring straight into the fiery pits of hell – the barrels of Cedion’s chaingun.

This week’s Blast from the Past is the second map in the consolation game between Cedion and Provi, played just after midnight on December 23rd, 2001. The winner of this map went on to win the entire match, and received an imaginary bronze medal for his achievement. Don’t be fooled though – this demo is gold!

Download here. [DS link]

Church of Dredge preaches: 7,9 points

Posted in Blast from the Past | 6 Comments

Game of the Week #10

Wow, I’m exhausted! Week #10 was probably the busiest week we’ve had in quite a while, and as you might imagine, that means shitloads of demos for me to go through. A few of them even called for some reruns – because they were just that good!

In the Edge league, activity has been down a bit and only one game was played. Damiah saw to that Ag3’s hopes for a medal this year, was put to an end, and Damiah therefor continues his crusade through the losers bracket. Next up is irvin in the pre-semifinal, and considering the shape Damiah has put on display so far, it wouldn’t be fair to count anybody out yet.

The EDL hasn’t been very busy lately either – but then again, it rarely is since the playoffs started. One match came to pass in the past week, and it was the one between Polish leviathans Assasin and Cs3. Cs3 misbehaved and left after 1/3 of one of the maps, which only further underlines one of the key topics in my last post, and the importance of continuously insisting on increasing the levels of maturity and sportsmanship in this game.

The runner-up for this Game of the Week, is the deciding map in the aforementioned duo’s fight. This is q2rdm2 from the EDL #9 quarterfinal. The winner gets to try his luck with David next, which is everything but a game I would bet any money on.

Download here. [DS link]

Rating: 7,8

Hands down, this has been the Polacks’ week. Roughly 94,4% of all the players in all official games last week, were inhabitants of this grand old nation in the East. Not only is that saying quite a lot about the current state of the scene, but also what’s driving the scene forward these days.

The PLD #4 playoffs had its opening, and basically gave us all four quarterfinals in a bundle. Into the losers bracket they were hurled, obsesja, michaq, irvin and kul, by ivers, rul, norman and Sheffik respectively.

obsesja was vastly overpowered by ivers, while both rul and norman really had to struggle with their opponents, composing some extra-ordinarily entertaining games. Sheffik seems to have shown no signs of mercy with kul, and that is certainly not very christian of him, if I may say so.

Next up in winners bracket semifinals: rul vs ivers, and norman vs Sheff. Losers bracket’s ditto: obsesja vs michaq, and irvin vs kul.

The qualification progress for the Polish duelers team in EAPDT, saw light of day at last! Reports of three completed games, surfaced recently, of which I’ve been able to sink my teeth into two. I reckon this is going to be a duel tournament that we have all reason to get worked up about. It reminds me of the good old days with The Invitational, where you would always be able to rely on receiving top-notch stuff.

If Sheffik is a remorseless heathen, then I don’t know what that makes pepek. pepek obliterated Sheff’s chances to get into the Polish team, in a varyingly exciting fight that ended 3-1 in pepek’s favor.

norman had another close call when going head-to-head with ivers, and it was not until after the fifth map, that he would get to breathe out. This didn’t discourage ivers to keep trying though, as he has since challenged irvin for his spot in the tournament.

The last pre-EAP match of the week, was Assasin versus goat. Assasin is announced to have drawn the longer straw.

However, it is norman’s strife with irvin in the PLD quarterfinal, that gives us the Game of the Week #10! This first map is the bitter disagreement over who rules Preacher’s Aerowalk – and what a delightful bloodbath it is!

norman POV [DS link] / irvin POV [DS link]

Judge Dredge states the fact: 8,2 points

Posted in Game of the Week 2011 | 1 Comment