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Wow, that's all I can really open with. What a complete blast. My expectations were certainly met. Even though we didn't do that we'll ( see below ), I had the most absolutely grand time in Atlanta during the tournament. Everybody I met down there rocked. All the the Halo players were friendly and most of the shit talk back and forth was all in good fun. It all started in NYC.....
4/24/03 - About 1AM
We met up with a guy named Vic that was holding our keys ( and much more ) and Spanky, our '03 Toyota Echo that would propel us on our journey. We didn't want to go all the way to where Jynx lives to get them. He lives pretty far out in Brooklyn. This Echo rocked. We could travel over 400 miles on a tank, and with gas prices dropping as we went south, we only spent about $70 on gas the whole way. And it was pretty comfy too.
So we started driving, and driving, and driving down I-95 and the journey began. We were pretty tired and didn't really think about that until we left. You can see from our pictures that the trip was quite exhausting on us. I remember driving after we stopped at the hive of scum and villainy and needed a couple of heavy swerves to wake up enough. Sorry JYNX! But throughout the weekend it seemed that the them of 50k was "We didn't get any f'ing sleep last night" I don't know if it effected every bodies game play but nobody got good sleep that weekend.
The CD player was our God for this trip, without that we probably would of gone insane and started some weird cult while we were there. There was one point driving on i-85 when nothing but trees on either side of us were visible. No cars, no exits, just trees. Very creepy with no sleep, but I enjoyed taking up both lanes. :)
We saw some pretty uhh amazing sights during our first trip down south. The people there are quite different from where we're from but extremely friendly and nice. One gas station attendant that sold us some Doritos informed us that instead of "byin one fo full priice" we could get "2 fo fiiive dallas". The accent was generally strange down there. I was almost caught laughing at some of the thicker ones.
Our camera battery was getting low for the latter end of the trip, so we didn't get to many pictures. But after 15 hours of driving we were in Duluth, Georgia. We drove around a while looking for gamers, we didn't have a hotel room yet, and after a half an hours trying to find D&B's we eventually spotted somebody TTG checking into the Days Inn. After introducing ourselves they left to go set up camp and we did made a quick post on the HBO forum and took of to go find D&B's.
Finding D&B's was no easy task, Mapquest totally screwed us on this one. The directions were so wrong it was shocking. Mapquest is always good until you actually get where your going. I think we had 4 turns to take that were only .21 miles apart. It's not easy to find a exit sign in .21 miles going 75 MPH. But after some help from a couple of gas station attendants we found what might be described as the Holy Grail of entertainment.
D&B's had everything a gamer could ask for. Arcade games, a bar, food, pool, and probably the friendliest staff I've ever met. This place was pretty incredible. I'd go on another trip just to hand out here for a couple of days. The place simply rocked. $3 Newcastle draft specials too. Mmm Mmm good. Another thing I noticed is that whenever I bought a beer I would leave a tip on the bar and the bartender would alert me that I left money on the bar. I would always explain it's a tip and they would look at me funny. Why? I don't know.
After tooling around inside D&B's for a little while and grabbing a beer we left to go try and meet up with Break Point, but found out that they weren't going to be there till around 8-9PM. The next couple of hours consisted of wandering and sitting in Spanky like losers. Although we did have a interesting moment at McDonalds. There was a sign above the drive thru which had H.B.O. abbreviated on it. So we went to take a picture. As soon as we whipped out the camera the manager there told us that taking pictures is against McDonalds store policy and she would call the cops if we took a pic. How annoying is that? I proceeded to make witty remarks about the absurdity of her statement and pissed her off further. She said that we would be arrested for "disobeying McDonalds store policy". WTF? I doubt that's even a law. ( Meg? )We never took the pics though. There's enough HBO. going on at this web site.
Eventually JYNX and I got found the anonymous Penguins who were kind enough to let us recharge our equipment enough to snap some more pics when Break Point and his crew showed up. Now is when the chaos started. Modded Xbox games are the shizzzznit.
We played LAN games throughout most of the night. We met up with Lordz, Krypt, TsK, TTD, AP, and a bunch of other teams that I forgot. I remember these guys because they regularly boot me out of XBC games. :) I was pretty cool having the Network cables stretched across the hallway. We played some great games that night. What was funny was that no teams brought there RF cables and the hotel TV's didn't have any RCA inputs. I think the local best buy ran out of them.
Eventually at some ridiculous hour the 5 of us passed out in BP's dad's hotel room after some interesting strategy discussion. Onward.
4/24/03 - Way too early
We woke up, did our thing, and moved on to Dave & Busters. The team waited in line while I grabbed pictures of as many teams as possible. Everybody was in good spirits but again nobody had slept. We met up with Team OvK in line which is always a cool thing, those guys are great.
After we registered, and got our neat cards, we got on a Box for some practice game types with other teams. The rule was you loose you move. We won 3 matches in a row, 2 of them being our game type, pretty good. We also got to see that most of the game types selected were slayer. Not many teams went the CTF or Oddball routes. But in hindsight I wish we did. Teams with different game types generally won theirs because nobody knew the strategy. The night before we played some different game types against AP and got smashed because we didn't know what to do! That could of been a huge advantage if we used that strategy.
We started on the Derilect FFA tourney after a short time of free play. I went first and got off to a 10-3 lead. My first kill run of the game was a pistol kill, then a double melee kill, and another pistol kill. I think what happened is I got too excited and flustered so I kept following read dots into the middle of the map.... Bad idea. The people that won those matches got on top and stayed there. One game I watched had a guy on the Rocket Launcher for 4 reloads before he was taken down. This guy racked up kills quick and I think won the match.
Breakpoint did really well, he's was our sharp shooter throughout the tourney. JYNX and Sdsct Mdgt did about the same as I. The choice of Derelict was a good map for the FFA, but there was a definite problem with kill stealing and also RL whoring. Not that this was a bad thing, but a a Battle Creek FFA would of been better IMO. It seemed that whoever spawned on top the most won. There were some close games though. One of them had 4 players with 49 kills each before the match ended.
After this part of the tourney we all took a break but most people continued playing warming up for the matches. We got some games in but I didn't feel we were fired up enough to play so we tried to get in another practice. But the pool game types started and we were off. I hate playing cold...
The first match we played was Sidewinder TS to 50 kills against the Spartanz. Things were going well with our strategy being to watch the respawn points ( both bases ) and cover the power ups. We also wanted to get players on the middle part of the map for a good sniping position and a often over looked target area. We started off doing pretty well until the other team acquired some control of the map and started picking us off like flies. I'm a little angry at my team about this match. I knew that we couldn't out snipe them so I wanted us to stay in cover and make them come to us. But instead we had a most of our members disregarding my advice and consequently getting snipped left and right. Halo TS is not about just killing, it's also about not dying. Check out the post game... GG Spartanz
The next game we played was again our game type and it back fired tremendously. I never really practiced with the PP before so I always got slaughtered trying to get into our position. Those guys are good with that thing. There was moment when I was successfully holding our platform and I silently said to myself we had the game, but a Spartanz player emerged from the behind the overshield platform with a pistol.... death to me.... The other team had control of the map and mowed us down. One thing that I would of changed is whenever I encountered another PP wielding player I'd try to run or not really put my full efforts into killing them when I should have. Lesson Learned: It's important to kill players instead of constantly going for our objective. I got shot in the back way to many times just not paying attention, in short, I sucked out. GG Spartanz.
For our next loss we played against DM the second place team.... Our lucky day. The first match was our pool play and again we got slaughtered. Those DM guys were true TSKers. These guys actually held the platform against us instead of running around like the Spartanz. We lost pretty badly but I lost the camera pics from this part of the day so I can't show how bad. I know DM took pics of those games so if you guys have them and see this page email me them. I'm not afraid to post when I loose. GG DM
The next match was TS Damnation, Radar, Default Weapons... These guys locked us down like no other team has before. At one point we started spawning in the sniper rifle room over and over again, which DM had covered. They got over 15 kills just from having a spawn fest in that room. We tried to hold the room by the ground teleporter but a cloaked sniper kept taking us down. DM was truly a good team and has me checking if I still had bawls after that ass whooping. Again I lost the pictures. I don't really want to show them because both JYNX and I were shut down completely, not one kill. DM please get those pics if you can. I'm sure HBO readers will enjoy laughing at them. :) GG DM
By this point we were automatically out but we played on against Our Gang. These guys were cool. Even being much older they did better than us against the top 2 teams in our bracket. I think one reason was that DM and Spartanz didn't use teamwork against them, their games were like XBC TS matches. This time our pool game type worked and resulted in a nice victory, which would of been better if we held onto our strategy. I was on our platform the whole time while my team was getting killed. Check out my 0 deaths. That's how it was supposed to work. GG Our Gang
The next match was Chiron TS!?! Our Gang was kick ass at it and handed us a nice whooping. They had a great idea of the map layout and at one point had 3 RL's on their team. That game was fun though. I had no idea where I was going and got stomped on by RL's the whole way, damn... I was trying to camp kill somewhat and get our team back into the lead but when a RL dude comes in the room.... You both are toast. Good job guys! Nobody got a post game carnage report from this one, but a member of DM volunteered to be it.
The rest of the day at D&B's was more free play games going on. It was great that they had a whole bunch of extra TV's around. I think that's what made the tourney that much fun. We played a lot of extra games and got some of our pride back. I wasn't to sour that we lost I was too busy having a great time. I don't remember the next couple ours too we'll. There was just to much going on. I got pretty hoarse from talking to people so much.
I hung out with other teams the rest of the day and played some good games. Everybody was having a great time at the bar and outside in the smokers lounge with lots of Halo strategy discussion. I think I learned more about Halo that day than 100 XBC games. Trips, tips, and strategies. Hey DOA-Hitokiri, I figured out that dance. I found out about the invincible ammo glitch which is pretty cool, and really learned a lot about Halo tactics. There's a new method to my play now and so far it's been very successful.
That night we went out to try and find some clubs or bars to go to, but since 4 members of the car were under 21 we didn't have much luck. I didn't take any pictures because it was pretty lame. :( We did get a chance to see the sights and sound of Atlanta. It's a nice city, I might visit again soon.
I spent a little time at the Bar with some Krypt members and I have to say that most of you, especially you guys at the 50k forum, really need to understand that they are not trash talking a-holes. We talked about the final matches and they didn't talk shit and one of them actually felt bad about something he said. Don't judge Krypt on what you hear about online. While I was chilling with them we spotted the greatest mullet ever. This thing was glorious in it's mulletness. We tried to get a picture but you can't really see how extravagant this thing was.
The next day I was woken up around 10:00 with the words, "we have to leave in a half an hour". JYNX and I, after rushing our ritual, headed out the back door of the place and cruised off under the watchful eye of the desk clerk. We weren't really supposed to be staying in that room. And we weren't, we just played Halo all night long... for two nights.... yeah that's it. Thanks again Mr. Mcdonald for letting us share your room. Haha Days Inn, bugger off.
The Sunday semi finals commenced with some pretty intense moments during the one capture matches at Blood Gulch, you could feel the tension in the air. With only one capture to gain or loose play was intense. Teams that played XBC style CTF-BG were eliminated pretty fast. This type of game clearly showed when teams had the better teamwork. You really don't want to play TDT on CTF Battle Creek.
TDT eventually played DM in the final matches of the game. You can clearly see why TDT is a champion. They're pistoling and sniper skills are top notch, but what really won the games was the teamwork. These guys never even tried grabbing the flag without backup or support. Shizzz ran all the way to the base, took a ghost and drove back without even looking at the flag. It was all part of their strategy, once they had DM locked down inside there base did they capture a flag. It was serious, very serious Halo playing. The BC match was over just at quick. TDT knows how it's done. There was a double Overshield grab that happened in that match. 2 TDT members sat on it's respawn point and both got it when it reappeared. DM had a nice moment when Zios tried to return a flag and found a shotgun barrel ( and the enemies ass - hump ) in his face inside his own base. The crowed let out a big "oooooooooohhhhhh" when that happened. Both teams shook hands afterworlds and the awards were distributed. TDT and Dolbex both gave speeches and the tourney was over.
We played couple more games and hung out with the guys from Italy for a while. They were really cool guys. We got to talking about how the PAL version of Halo is different from the NTSC version. He stated 2 major differences. One, the pistol has a slower rate of fire. Two, fall damage has been lessened. He said that Halo in Europe is much different with more emphasis on close combat and different strategies then grabbing a pistol and wailing on somebody. They didn't expect the pistol to be so powerful. We started jokingly calling Halo50k, Pistol50k instead. :)
Finally we left around 4PM after meeting up with TDT and Lordz chatting in the parking lot. We got into Spanky and stated our long ride home. The ride home was pretty laid back and tired, we both slept while the other one was driving. A convenience store clerk wanted to know why we were so far down south and we told her about Halo50k. She started telling us all about how her husband loves that game. Halo is everywhere, you just have to find it.
After taking a slightly longer route I arrived at Yankee stadium, and left for the train station. I ended up missing my desired train and hung around in the city for 4 hours. I got a chance to check out the 9-11 memorial, it was sad but I'm glad I went there.
I eventually boarded my train, got to CT only to find out I had no ride. Another 4 hours later I found one and headed home. The return trip took me over 24 hours. It was pretty fun though. I can say that I'm a road warrior now.
Overall Team HBO and I had a great time at Halo50k. 99.9% of the players there were friendly and fun to chat with. ( the .1% was that drunk guy ). He was constantly raving about how he is the best Halo player ever. He never got a chance to prove it so don't really know. This guy was tanked enough to slur the words: "I'm the beeerrstt at halo" several time while I was talking with him at the bar.
I wouldn't change a thing for the next one except for the FFA map. Pool play was fun because you didn't know what to expect, although I would of loved to have 2 rounds of it instead of one. The BG CTF games for the top 16 teams was pretty dumb. Getting one capture isn't too fair, especially since a lot of CTF captures happen because of luck and not skill. I bet several better teams were eliminated because of a early capture. You at least need a chance to make a comeback.
D&B's was a great place, the staff was extra friendly to us and gave us great service. People in Atlanta were more than friendly most of the time. I really enjoyed being down south even though I am a Yankee to the heart. I had a great time seeing the southern USA for the first time.
I'll be there in August for the next 50K tournament. Hope to see you there.
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