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    PlanetQuake | Features | Articles | FHCS: The CPL Qualifiers
   

From the Hardcore Side
Pappy-R takes a trip to Digital Fusion for the CPL qualifiers in Toronto and gets the scoop on all the gaming action.
  — by Pappy-R


Let's start off with a little math problem. If the event is two hours from Pappy and starts at 9 am, what time does Pappy have to wake up? Don't bother figuring out that one and just know that my day started at 6 am for this event. It's already "hardcore" for me since I won't even get to really play, and I end up doing PQ and taking notes all day.

It's a FFA, babee

My brother V-Thrax agreed to be my ride and faithful helper to set up for this one, so big props to him. We begin the journey with huge cups of black coffee from a donut shop and are speeding (but not so as to draw any unwanted attention) our way towards Toronto, Canada and Digital Fusion, home of the CPL Qualifier.

Well, we got there after a bit of "one way" street action in Toronto only to find people standing outside, all lined up and waiting for the event to get kicking. You can tell it's a serious day when you have to pass a line of gamers with two things in their hands; their own keyboard and mouse was all they seemed to care about. An odd sight to some, but I read it as meaning action and lots of it. My system is brought in and my setup goes on while volunteers frantically work to touch up the Cyber Cafe and comps for use by the competitors. My old bud, Julios, feverishly runs through configs from the players to insure a level playing field while the owner, Doug, organizer Brainfire, and all around helpful guy Dy-Syng make sure all is set to perfection. Tech glitches at the last minute that plague these events and must be squashed early if possible.

A little late, but the doors open to let in the throng of gamers looking for glory and spectators full of zeal for the game. It was around this time that I was introduced to some visitors that came quite a way to compete on this day. The team was from Korea and backed by eGames. Eunice handled most of the communication with the players; Elan and Power K due to the language barrier. The language barrier was mine since all I speak is a poor version of English. They had a coach, a public relations person and the players who grabbed naps through the day whenever possible. There were three players, I think, but I can only remember the two names, so slap me at will. Their cameraman asked Doug if I'd do a promo for their site on video about Quake III being banned in Korea. A good cause, but I still felt like a goof jock spouting the virtues of aftershave. And now the action.

 
Just a Massive Bitch

It all started off with the ranking FFA matches, which as an observer looked fast and furious. An arm here, a leg there, oh the carnage, the agony, the joy! Just so you get a feeling of the games, there was over thirty people trying to get into the 1 vs 1 tournament which would then result in one winner. The winner got $500.00 for their plane to Texas and the big tourney for the big bucks. Now I find my mind wandering, I'm all setup and have done some PQ news by now but my date still isn't there. Oh didn't I mention my sidekick for this little fest? It was to be none other than Massive Bitch from polycount. He lives in Toronto and said he'd drop by to play fetch with my coffee and help with prize draws. Oh, and he buys ya beer too as it turns out. Well he did show up, I think before 11:30am and we finally got to meet.

The FFA rankings were still going on well past noon, so massive Bitch and I snuck out for some grub, and when we returned, the 1 vs 1 action was about to begin. This is where it gets funky, and if you've been to one of these events, you'll understand. If not, then let me tell you how it works. Names are called and the matches set up. The players who get called to play a round quietly make their way to a computer and setup. Plugging their own keyboards and mouse into the comp and loading their config for the warm-up session. You have to give people nice long warm ups for them to get used to the new system they're about to use. Then without much warning or fanfare the servers begining the countdown for the matches and you can feel the air tense up. Spectators become deathly quiet and a look of solid stone hits the faces of those about to do battle. This is what we came to see.

Next: The action gets underway


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