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Blown Away With A Grin On Your Face

A Summary Of The DGE 2001 Tournament

by Matthew SewHoy

On the weekend of August 18/19, DeepRed (myself), Ferox (Chris Pearce), and Harlequin (Jesse Stiles) attended the Dunedin Gaming Event (DGE) 2001 Tournament at the Dunedin Town Hall. Our team ended up getting dicked big time, but at least we got nailed with grins on our faces! :)

The DGE holds network computer games on the first Saturday of each month, at the Otago Chess Club in Dunedin. But every six months, it organises a much larger event at the Town Hall, and this one was no exception. Other major centres around the country will have their own LAN gaming events at various times of the year, and you may be able to find them through the local university clubs.

Everyone started arriving about Saturday 11:00H, and after the initial shuffling about, piecing various bits of computer together, plugging in the UTP network cables, and waiting for absentee players to show up, the whole outing was just about ready to rumble. Well, almost. It seemed half the network experienced a power outage - thankfully it wasn't our section.

Before the first official matches started, we all had a blast with a 32-player game of Camper-Strike. I'd like to see JetStream or Paradise.Net equal that! I do have a word of advice: if you're setting up a Counter-Strike server with that many players, make sure it's a dedicated server, not a client/server hybrid. And of course, make sure it's a really fast machine.

First up was the 6-on-6 Counter-Strike tournament (or Camper-Strike if you're a veteran player). To the uninitiated, Counter-Strike is a 'mod' or add-on to the award-winning PC game Half-Life. It puts the player straight into a real-life novel in the vein of Tom Clancy and Frederick Forsyth. Players are split into two teams, the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. One of the key reasons for Counter-Strike's wildfire popularity, since its first release in mid-1999, is its balance of team play strategy and non-stop free-for-all action.

We pretty much cobbled together a team on the day, while others were organised before hand. We decided to form a team called MLF - or the Mainland Liberation Front . It included us three from the Otago University Computer Club (DeepRed, Ferox, and Harlequin), plus three other opportunists coming here for a decent blast-fest. All in all, close to 90 players in 12 teams duked it out for the ultimate prize.

The first CS matches fired off just after 14:30H, where the winning teams were the ones who made it first to 8 wins. MLF was up first against the DSG clan from Christchurch - and MLF got dicked big time, getting shut out by 16-0. To complicate things further, two of the MLF team mates did a runner before the second match began at about 16:00H. Naturally this put an already struggling team in a stickier situation, and again the MLF got shut out by 16-0, this time by the Gay Eskimos.

We did manage to find a replacement member for the third match, but even then we were still a player short. Our efforts still came to no avail - once again we were shout out 16-0, by the GoSouth clan.

The fourth and final match fired off later in the evening. Still again we got dicked. This time however, we managed to pull off 3 wins against the Gladiat.Whores - and on a more even footing, with five of us against their five.

In between and after the CS tournaments, the organisers showed various movie clips on the projector (during tournament games it showed the team matches and results), and PlayStation 2 units featuring Dead Or Alive 2 (yes, they still have the infamous boob physics), Tekken Tag Tournament (which we all got to play after the night's CS matches), and Gran Turismo 3.

The next day, we had Quake 3 Arena deathmatching - and of course, the semi-final CS playoff between the two DSG factions (DSG #1 and #2), the GayEskimos and the GoSouths. That ended with DSG #1 and GayEskimos duking it out for the big one at 15:30H. Meanwhile, the rest of us engaged in somewhat less sneaky peer-to-peer swapping, or cheered on either of the teams in the CS final.

To top it off before the prize giving, some of us entered the Unreal Tournament deathmatch free-for-all. I personally am not into deathmatching - I seem to be more of a team player, as Counter-Strike goes to show.

The winners of the CS tournament were the GayEskimos, who walked off with the official DGE T-shirts - and a Microsoft SideWinder Game Voice unit. Not too far behind were the first half of DSG, who are now enjoying four free pizzas over a CS match over the 'Net. Winner of the Unreal Tournament deathmatch was SharkFoo, who got a free pizza and a box of blank CD's. There was a similar prize for the winner of the Quake 3 deathmatch, whose name I have since forgotten.

Two days of digital warfare were certainly worth the $25 per head - I would definitely go to one again when I have the chance. To those who didn't come, you just don't know what you missed! But don't worry, be happy - the next match will be six months after this one - in February 2002. Plenty of time to practise and organise a team...

Matthew SewHoy buzzard@ihug.co.nz

20 August 2001

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