November 16th, 2002, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Woof. Well, we said we were going to go and we did! The World Rock-Paper-Scissors Championships in Toronto organized by the World RPS Society
They were giving away over $2000 in prizes! (Note: $2000 Canadian can buy around 8 CDs).
On Saturday morning Ton and Ben drove from Ithaca up to Toronto. Man this is a gray city! It snowed around 4" while we were there. Ewwww.
We met up with KennyFreedom's pal Luke who lives in Toronto. He's a long time ATF and WorldRPS fan and he quickly replaced Kennyb as the third member of the Trinity. (I think I like trinity better than triumverate. We'll see how it goes)
As everyone knows, Canadians drink way more beer than Americans, which was just fine by us. Here's a nice shot of Luke and a sweet looking pitcher of beer we got before the competition to loosen us up.Update: We got our photo on the WorldRPS website!
As everyone knows, the most powerful Rock-Paper-Scissors gambit (a gambit is a series of 3 successive throws) is the avalanche, which consists of three Rocks in a row. We decided it was only fitting if the name of the beer we drank from the microbrewery was called Avalanche:
After a long wait in line in the snow (friggin Canada), we finally entered the tournament hall. It was kind of like a large bar. No, it was exactly like a large bar. But it was organized very well, with different groups and tables and refs. The tournament was single elimination with 256 contestants (plus or minus).
When we got in we immediately recognized Doug Walker, one of the minds behind WorldRSP. We'd seen him the previous day on a Canadian talk show. Again, he was talking to the media, but after a minute we managed to pull him aside for a photo op.
Yo, check out that WorldRPS blazer. That's taking merchandise to a whole new level! Well, I guess they took their merchandise to the next level a while ago. I wonder if they sell out of their merchandise as quickly as ATF does. We can't keep our merchandise on the shelves!
So maybe to the lay-person it is unclear quite how serious this tournament was. Here's a nice shot of one of the referees exaplaining the rules. "Rock smashes scissors. Scissors cuts paper. Paper covers rock. Are there any questions?"
We were split up into groups and began the tournament. Here's a picture of Luke throwing a wicked sharp scissors at the pink-haired girl's paper. Snip! Unfortunately, he got whooped up on and didn't make it past the first round.
And here's a seriously intense shot of Ben about to unleash a deadly gambit onto his opponent. Unfortunately, he too was eliminated in the first round. Damn! Although he did manage to take one set. ( Download the movie )
And Ton? He was eliminated so fast that by the time by digital camera focused and took the picture, he was already eliminated!
Disaster! We got totally whomped! In our defense, this was our first tournament. None of us have ever competed at this level before. And we were in a foreign country, which certainly didn't help. Besides, in a single elimination tournament, half of the competitors don't make it past the first round. You could argue that we were better than 49% of the people there, which isn't too shabby!
Even though we were eliminated quickly, we did fly in from New York City to compete in this tournament, and we did have some pretty spiffy homemade t-shirts on. (as Graham Walker, the artistic force behind WorldRPS put it: "You guys stole my graphics!") I guess that's why we got our fair share of media coverage too. Check out a couple of our interviews:
We actually ended up in a couple of Toronto's papers:
The Star and
The National Post.
Pretty cool, no?
So after we were out we just hung around for a while waiting for the later rounds. I mean, let's be honest- who really cares about players 128-8? I certainly don't.
While everyone was waiting, things started to get pretty intense in the crowds. Some rogue games of RPS started picking up around the venue. And these weren't the orderly, refereed games we were partaking in before. These were some seriously rough-and-tough street RPS games:
After a few minutes of watching some rival gangs go at it, Ben couldn't help but step up and start talking some New York City this-is-how-we-throw-in-the-East-Village smack. Before we new it, we were involved in the most important RPS matches of our lives. This wasn't about a measly $1200 Canadian. Oh no. This was about honor. And our reputations. And the reputation of our Country!
First Ben went up against "The Rookie" who pretty muched mopped the ground with him. Team Slut 1, All Too Flat 0.
Ton was up next and put on a good show with a cool paper to completely cover their rock. Trivial!
All tied up and it's up to Luke (who has already lost once to a girl tonight...) Check out that "Go Paper" sign in the background!
Oh no! She threw paper! He threw rock. Disaster! It's over! We lost in the tournament and for honor! So ashamed!
Oh well. Back to the tournament. The entire evening was sponsored by Molson and X-Box. Here you can see 2 Molson girls with signs that they held up after each throw in the final rounds. Pretty sweet! We got X-Box lanyards to hold our IDs, which are surprisingly comfortable, for those of us in the corporate world.
Check this dude out. Pretty cool bathrobe, no?
It doesn't get any better than this, now does it? Here's a shot of Moe after winning the semis. Awesome.
This is Graham holding up the trophy, which the winner doesn't get to keep, but they get their name engraved on it. I wish it was me.
And look at that! The dude with the bathrobe took it all! For more detailed information, includes a play-by-play of the final match and video footage of the winning throw, visit the WorldRPS Championship homepage.
Wo ho! Check it out! It looks like Kennyb came after all! Huge!!
And finally, this is what Ben dreamed about that night:
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