Video Game Mania 5:
The Competitors

(in order of appearance)

Mike F - 1st Place (#2 seed in playoffs)
"Silent But Deadly"
Total Points: 12 (1 multi-player, 11 single-player)
If any one player had momentum going into VGM5, it was Mike F, who recently decimated the competition at VGX (July 04). Although not a major force in the multi-player events, Mike quietly and systematically dominated the single player games. With abilities not limited to the old school, Mike showed tremendous range by defeating Brad at the Xbox first-person shooter Halo 2 in the finals. The question used to be: Who is Mike F? Now the question is: Who can beat Mike F?


First place finishes:

  • Centipede
  • Virtua Cop
  • Gravitrex
Second place finishes:
  • 1080 Degree Avalanche
  • Ridge Racer
  • Protector
Playoff wins:
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Need For Speed Underground 2
  • Halo 2

Don
"Most Likely To Get Hammered During VGM"
Total Points: 1 (multi-player)
If anyone can remember what Don did at VGM5, please let him know, because I suspect he has absolutely no recollection! Still, after a case of beer, it's safe to say that Don had more fun than anybody else. Despite a lackluster effort, Don did manage to keep one streak alive: he is the ONLY person to attend ALL FIVE Video Game Manias! Even more impressive, he has worn the exact SAME SHIRT every year. When adorned in this exquisite magical garment, Don claims to be invincible in video game competition. Unfortunately, as of VGM5, Don has yet to harness the awesome power of the shirt.


Second place finishes:

  • Street Hoop
Legacy of "The Shirt"
VGM1 - December 2000 VGM2 - December 2001 VGM3 - January 2003 VGM4 - January 2004 VGM5 - January 2005

Brad - 2nd Place (#8 seed in playoffs)
"The Cinderella Story" and "T-Bone"
Total Points: 3 (single-player)
A relative unknown before VGM5, Brad's name is now as common as Tom Cruise or Britney Spears. Brad rocked the foundations of the gaming world by becoming the first #8 seed to EVER defeat a #1 in a video game tournament. How could such a thing occur? Well, it wasn't easy. Brad had to battle Keith in a special "play-in" game just to qualify for the playoffs. But that thrilling victory fueled a furious ascent that would not end until the final game of the tournament.


First place finishes:

  • Ridge Racer
  • King of Fighters Maximum Impact (Play-In Game)
Playoffs Wins:
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Need For Speed Underground 2

Eric R (#1 seed in playoffs)
"The Heart Breaker"
Total Points: 12 (all multi-player)
If one man deserved to win VGM5, it was Eric R. He won four of the six multi-player events, including the first two. Close examination of the brackets reveals that Eric went an astounding 11-1 during that stretch and didn't even lose a game until AFTER 4PM. Although he tied in total points with Mike F, his multi-player domination secured him the #1 seed. As the hands-down favorite entering the playoffs, you can imagine the shock and disbelief when Eric as upset in the opening round to #8 seed Brad. The game was Crash Team Racing, and although Eric led most of the way, Brad took advantage of Eric's last second mishap. Eric was clearly devastated, but it won't be the last we'll see of this gamer.


First place finishes:

  • 1080 Degree Avalanche
  • Halo 2
  • NHL 2000 (teams)
  • Maze Craze

Eric S
"The Man Who REFUSED To Be Shutout"
Total Points: 2 (multi-player)
After being shut-out at VGX, Eric's wife informed him he that he would not be allowed to return home unless he scored some points this time. Eric accomplished his mission by displaying considerable expertise in Halo 2, and then teaming up with Dave B for a impressive run in NHL 2000. In what could be considered a "rebuilding" tournament, Eric will attempt to parlay his modest success into a playoff appearance in the next tournament.


Second place finishes:

  • Halo 2
  • NHL 2000 (teams)

Shawn P (#6 seed in playoffs)
"Most Likely To Bring His Own TV"
Total Points: 6 (single-player)
Although clearly agitated by the console controllers for Halo 2 (no mouse!), Shawn can always fall back on his old school skills to keep him in the playoff hunt. Not only did he dominate Donkey Kong, the game from his childhood, but he also decimated competition in Protector, a slick Defender clone. Unfortunately, Shawn found himself in the unenviable position of facing Steve N in the first round of the playoffs, leading to his untimely demise.


First place finishes:

  • Protector
  • Donkey Kong

Steve N - 3rd Place (#3 seed in playoffs)
"Most Likely To Take Home a Trophy"
Total Points: 11 (5 multi-player, 6 single-player)
Steve consistently finishes in the top 3 in these tournaments, so his third place finish came as no surprise. With former champ Scott Zimmerman not in attendance, Steve focused his energy on the surging Eric R and his arch-nemesis, Mike F. Steve found his comfort zone in the sports events, taking first in Street Hoop (basketball) and Track and Field. Perhaps the most well-rounded gamer in the tournament, Steve evenly split his points between the single and multi-player games.


First place finishes:

  • Street Hoop
  • Track and Field
Second place finishes:
  • Crystal Castles
  • Kaboom
  • Jungle Hunt
  • Lock N Chase
  • Frogger
Playoff Wins:
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Kings of the Beach (conciliation game)

Mike B (#4 seed in playoffs)
"Most Likely To Kick Ass At Mario Kart If That Game Had Been At VGM5"
Total Points: 11 (4 multi-player, 7 single-player)
Not to be trifled with in terms of arcade and console gaming (especially Nintendo), Mike came out of nowhere to snatch the #4 playoff seed. He dominated two of the three arcade machines, exploiting secret warps in Crystal Castles to attain an insanely high score. He also benefited from teaming up with the red-hot Eric R in NHL 2000 for an easy first place finish. As VGM5 came to a close, Mike had clearly established himself as a force to be reckoned with.


First place finishes:

  • NHL 2000
  • Tapper
  • Crystal Castles
Second place finishes:
  • Track and Field
  • Donkey Kong

Greg X
"Most Likely To Complain About Console Controllers"
Total Points: 0
Perpetually on the run from the law due to a massive number of overdue library books, Greg requested that his true identity not be revealed. A PC gamer at heart, Greg found himself a bit out of his league among all of these console heavyweights. A first-person shooter veteran, he admired the graphics of Halo 2 but found the controllers to be too awkward. Greg didn't have much success in the games, but that's okay, since having fun is what's most important. I'm just kidding of course.



David B (#7 seed in playoffs)
"Most Likely To Say Something Bad About Your Mother"
Total Points: 5 (1 multi-player, 4 single-player)
The only gamer that arrived with a cooler of hard liquor, Dave B was prepared to start some serious s**t. A king of confrontation and master of incendiary language, Dave tried to rile up the crowd but didn't get much response. With no Rob Zell in attendence for Dave to rag on, poor Eric R bore the brunt of Dave's jibes after squandering his #1 seed. In terms of gaming, Dave teamed up with Eric S to take second place in NHL 2000, and quietly took first in Jungle Hunt. Unfortunately, Dave failed to improve upon his third place finish in VGX, falling to Mike F in the first round of the playoffs.


First place finishes:

  • NHL 2000
Second place finishes:
  • Jungle Hunt
  • Tapper

Keith
"Most Likely To Attend Intellivision Mania I"
Total Points: 3 (single-player)
A loyal fan of the Intellivision, Keith was giddy as a schoolgirl when he spotted Lock N Chase set up as a single-player game. And sure enough, twenty years after mastering it, Keith played the maze game like a piano, blowing away the competition in the process. Keith tied with Brad for the final playoff seed, but was defeated soundly in the King of Fighters "play-in" game. A rabid fan of Halle Barry's Catwoman movie, Keith brought over the DVD but would not permit me to borrow it.


First place finishes:

  • Lock N Chase

George - 4th Place (#5 seed in playoffs)
"Mr. Consistent"
Total Points: 9 (1 multi-player, 8 single-player)
Many players would have been devasted to get knocked off in the semi-finals, but George took it in stride because he's so used to it. He's always in the running, but can never quite make it over that final hump. As usual, George was competitive in most games, and reigned supreme in old favorites like Kaboom and Frogger. But in the semi-finals Brad would defeat George in Need For Speed Underground 2 by T-boning him into a guard rail just before the final stretch. At that moment, George officially dubbed his opponent as Brad "T-Bone". Incredibly, to this day George still refers to Brad by that name!


First place finishes:

  • Kaboom
  • Frogger
Second place finishes:
  • Maze Craze
  • Centipede
  • Virtua Cop
Playoff wins:
  • Crash Team Racing

Dan
"Better Late Than Never"
Total Points: 1 (single-player)
Although Dan arrived too late to be a major factor in the tournament, he still managed to earn a point by finishing second in Gravitrex, by far the most difficult game of the whole tournament. Clearly a skilled gamer, if Dan shows up a little earlier next time (preferably before the playoffs), he'll definitely be in the running. By my calculations, I just need to tell him that the next tournament begins at 8AM.


Second place finishes:

  • Gravitrex

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