Blast from the Past #1

For the grand opening of this blog and the premiere of its “Blast from the Past” topic, I have chosen to embark on a journey back to a tournament held in 2001. Now, that might not be Thresh-old, or even Shub-old… But nevertheless, this stuff is pretty damn old! I will spend the following few weeks reminiscing over the tournament in question and its participants, and ultimately presenting demos of some of my favorite games. This week will feature one of the semi finals, and the name of the tournament is simply: “Simple”.

Simple was a one-day bash between the Scandinavian titans of the time, held on December 22nd 2001. It was invite-only, initiated by thaigo and Cedion, and hosting the following players: Purri, Provi, Damiah, Cedion, Syanid, thaigo, xircuit, Slappa, R3js, chk, Dimmu, Stuff, Croba, Jent, Fette, and yours truly. It consisted of four rounds of games, where the clashing combatants were picked by the lottery gadget “thaigo with pieces of paper and a hat,” followed by quarter finals and so on. q2dm1 only, and best out of three maps. Also, back then it was not uncommon with 10 minute official games, which is well proven here.

The initial rounds meant for some unfairness, as some players received less advantageous draws than others. One who can especially testify to this, is chk, a.k.a. Miraculix. Probably unknown to most people today, he was around 2001-2002 regarded as one of the top 10 Swedish duelers. He received the most horrible opponents thinkable in the Simple tournament – in chronological order: Damiah, Purri, Provi, and finally Cedion. In spite of that, he was actually able to collect five points all together, and end up with a top 10 rank in the competition. He outplayed Damiah, and was able to bring home one map each versus Provi and Purri, but Cedion’s berserk towards the playoffs, he wasn’t able to stop at all. He ended up just outside the playoff bounds.

The whole Simple event is interesting, partly because it was around this time that Purri started making a claim to fame, having appeared in the scene just months before as a potential powerhouse. He reached the quarter finals, where he was bounced out by another hungry newcomer, namely Provi (or ProvideR, if you will). Provi’s show of strength was somewhat of a surprise at the time, but it certainly bore witness to what was to come.

However, arguably the most important reason for this single competition’s relevance, is that it’s one of (I believe) only two tournaments where the Finnish icon thaigo (a.k.a. thg) actually showcases his abilities [edit: there is an additional couple of tournaments where he does show off – EDL #4 and Edge #1 – but this is in later years, and he didn’t reach beyond the quarter finals stage at either event]. The myth that surrounded this man at the time, is probably hard to grasp for people who wasn’t around back then. There were no demos of his games – due to the fact that he’s (almost) always uncompromisingly refused to share them with his peers (some would say he’s just headstrong, others that he’s pig-headed) – and you would never catch him on any servers, at least not willing to play. People would talk about the one or two times they had seen him somewhere, and they would rave about it, calling him one of the true contenders for the throne and all that… And the people who did get to go up against him, they all came back in body bags – and as you know, dead men tell no tales.

So this marks the second and possibly last occasion on which we’ll ever see thaigo in the final stages of a championship. Prior to this event, he was the victor in SDL #2 (the main Finnish dueling championship in those days) in early 2000. He would never again reach the same heights, and the fact that he resigned from The Invitational just a few months later, in early 2002, when he could have given anybody a good run for their money, will forever embody another of the many lost treasures of the Q2 world.

All this took place in a time when Sweden and Finland was still the dominating force in Q2. I would say it was about half a year before we started hearing about highly skilled East European duelers. Therefor I would also say that the Simple tournament is highly relevant because it features the majority of the absolute top players of the time.


This week’s demo is from the third and deciding map in the semifinal between thaigo and Provi. Download here. [DS link]

Careful and unusually smart gameplay, where one has a big advantage for the greater part of the game, whilst the other struggles to not fall off the map. This is a thriller that is neither slow nor ever gets boring. Really one of the better q2dm1 games from this era, showing players well before their time in skill and understanding. Great sportsmanship as well. The only real cons are that a) it’s a spectator demo (which messes up the location of sounds, and in my opinion also makes it harder to get your mind into the game), b) it’s from the Xania era (which sort of hurts one’s eyes these days), c) the time limit, and d) a smaller amount of blunders on the players’ part. Otherwise fabulous!

Judge Dredge’s verdict: 8,3 points

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17 Responses to Blast from the Past #1

  1. wision says:

    good reading.. keep them coming

  2. DM says:

    Very nice article ! :)

  3. Muerte says:

    khm i always had impression it was swe-fin league back in time
    there is chase demo of this game recorded by Miraculix
    http://q2scene.net/ds/index.php?op=dd1&id=998
    but this recorded by purri is way better imo
    great performance by both players
    if i remember well thaigo just once get in shape (mood) to do better in duel league and it was EDL #4. thaigo lost in 1/8 final against purri by 1 frag on decider map but unfortunately for thaigo EDL admins didnt want to “bother” and have loser bracket that season http://q2scene.net/edl/index.php?op=descr&id=60914

    gj Welkin just keep them comming

    • Welkin says:

      Very good and valid points, Muerte! thaigo did reach the quarter final in EDL #4, and that is definitely a game to remember! Another noteworthy performance is that in the first season of the Edge league, where he also reached the playoffs. With this in mind, not having a losers’ bracket in EDL #4 is a big loss for us all, indeed!

      However, the Demosquad link contains bad information [edit: Not anymore – courtesy of wision!]. Neither thaigo nor provi participated in SCA back in 2002, and the demo is obviously from the Simple tournament. I have uploaded the old SCA website here, as I happen to have it in my possession, since I was the head admin.

      • Muerte says:

        In nine EDL seasons only 3 had loser bracket 1st, 2nd and 7th
        In 1st EDL league purri lose vs Damiah in 1/4 playoff and then trough loser bracket become 1st EDL champion. purri won in 2 bo5 games in big final vs syanid
        In EDL 7 Turricane lost his 1st game in playoff 1/8 and then trough loser bracket get to 4th place
        For me its funny when i read announcement for league with “goal to reveal who is best dueler”. ppl not sign up for league to reveal who is best . They sign up to reveal own place in “duelers world”
        In single elimination when u “bump” on one of favorites ur out. Months of practice wasted. Thaigo is not only one who was unlucky. There is several players who never get chance to prove own potential on official EDL league.
        imho Gerd did good job with double elimination this season in EDGE #2. Last season with single elimination “script gamble” players like zorre, thaigo, etc didnt get chance to reveal own place in edge duelers world.
        I mentioned thaigo and EDL #4 because i know he could get more and it was only time when he rly practiced duels for league.

        About DS and wrong info about demos. It was beginning od DS and admin crew wanted “to prove” how serous site they have. So they uploaded demos without proper knowledge about demos origin. Unfortunately few years ago admins become careless and lose about 1500 demos :(

    • wision says:

      was the last map q2duel5? i remember that photoshoped purri’s leg in ingame screenshot while having like 2 seconds until the end of the map.. that was a nice one :)

  4. Pogo says:

    Wow, very well written and enjoyable to read. This article must have taken plenty of research and trips down memory lane to complete :)

    I also remember the mythical status thaigo had at the time, i somehow got my hands on one of his demos back then and remember being incredibly impressed by his chaingun aim. (until then i thought of the chaingun as a “lame” weapon lpbs used to harass me and my poor 56k connection :)

    Hope to see more of these articles, they should be featured on the q2scene pages somehow so more people get the chance to read them!

    • Welkin says:

      Tack, Stefan! That means alot coming from you! Make sure to hand me that demo you’re talking about. ;)

      • Pogo says:

        Sadly that one went missing at least 3 HDDs ago. It might have been from invitational, but i’m not sure and that site is now gone anyway. Damn I should have saved all those demos when it was still up, plenty of nice ones there (dajna – purri q2dm8 for example :) Not to mention the classic “xanyon rage-deletes his demos” irc log that later got him banned from the tournament.

        Maybe you still have them? I think you were admining that league. Else Muerte is a goldmine for these things :)

        • Welkin says:

          Don’t underestimate me, Pogo! :) Naturally I have everything from the leagues and tournaments I launched – such as Invitational 2002 and 2004. The website to the 2002 one is right here: http://www.welkin.se/q2/Invitational2002. However, the demo links are bad. Just change the several “\” to “/” in the demo links, and it should work fine.

          The thaigo demo you are refering to isn’t from that tournament though. He resigned before he got the chance to play any of his games. :/

  5. menewb says:

    Welkin, this is an absolutely great feature. I have been a quake 2 player since 2000 and even though i stopped playing long ago, I still follow the scene. This “Blast from the past” is wonderful and brings back so many memories from the good ol’ day. I hope you find the time and effort to do this in a regular manner. Thank you Welkin.

  6. Gravgon says:

    Awesome job Welkin ! I started playing Q2 around 2001 and it’s nice to read these stories from that time :)

  7. syanid says:

    I have absolutely no memory of participating in such a tournament. If you ask me, this is the first time I’ve ever even heard of Simple :D Maybe I’m just too old to remember anymore ;< Welkin are you sure your facts are right? =)

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