We interviewed QB Eagles fan Ryan "UltimateWeapon" M about the tourney:
Tecmobowl.org: What kind of prep work did it take for putting together the tourney?
UltimateWeapon: I created flyers, distributed them in video game and sports memorabilia stores around the area, walked around shopping malls, promoted on Craigslist, and created double elimination brackets from 8 to 28 players. This tourney was more prep work than the usual because I devised an entirely new system of play.
Tecmobowl.org: How did the tourney compare with the one you put on last year?
UltimateWeapon: The one I held last fall was designed to be a smaller tournament and we used the standard “Madison rules”. The venue was smaller and we only had two consoles running.
Tecmobowl.org: What were the new tourney rules and how were they received?
UltimateWeapon: I came up with the idea after berniebomb (Dan K.) held his Cleveland tournament this February. He had a 28 man tournament broken up into two separate 14 man tournaments. The winner of each 14 man tournament then played each other for the championship. He had participants draw numbered ping pong balls for draft order. I loved the idea of drafting a team but wanted to figure out a way to potentially include all 28 teams and make the matchups fair across the board. I also wanted to build in a way to be able to switch teams so you weren’t locked in to using the same team throughout the entire tournament.
The new tourney rules are as follows:
*A draft will be held prior to the tournament. Participants will draw poker chips labeled 1-28 for draft order.
*The lowest seed(s) in the winner's and loser's bracket will receive byes.
*The lower seed in each matchup will have choice of their preferred controller (side).
*The winning team in each matchup will have the option to keep their team or "steal" their opponent's team.
*When taking control of an opponent's team, both competitors retain their original draft seeding for future matchups.
*When a player steals their opponent's team in the winner's bracket, the loser takes their opponent's team to the loser's bracket.
*When a player is eliminated from the loser's bracket, the remaining team (after their opponent chooses their preferred team) will be placed into a pool of defeated teams.
*Once the winners of each color coded bracket have been determined, each team will have the option to select a new team from the pool of defeated teams starting with the lowest seed.
*If the final two teams both end up with one loss, the Pro Bowl will be played for the title with the AFC as controller 1 and the NFC as controller 2.
*The player who lost their first game in the previous matchup will have first choice of Pro Bowl team. Original rosters will be used but lineup and playbook changes will be allowed.
The new rules were very well received! Players told me they liked the fact that they did not have to determine the matchups, flip coins, or choose sides. I have been to a few tournaments where even veteran Tecmo tourney players have difficulty choosing matchups. They also liked the twist of having the option of stealing their opponent’s team after each victory. It will be interesting to see if any other tournaments decide to utilize this format.
Tecmobowl.org: Do you find it difficult to compete in and run the tourney at the same time?
UltimateWeapon: It can be challenging at times. As the tourney organizer, you have to make sure the games are moving along, answer any questions about the rules, and resolve any disputes. That definitely takes away some of your focus when playing in your matchups.
Tecmobowl.org: Anything out of the ordinary happen?
UltimateWeapon: During the draft, I was surprised that the Giants lasted until the 6th pick! The 49ers, Oilers, Bills, Eagles, and Bears all went off the board before the G-Men. In addition, the Broncos went at number 8 ahead of the Raiders (9) and Chiefs (10).
We also had one game where the first play after the opening kickoff resulted in a safety. The player who was tackled in the end zone said that their controller malfunctioned and wanted to restart the game. I made the ruling that the game should continue on because the controller worked while returning the kickoff. The player who was tackled in the end zone switched to a new controller and play continued until the winner was determined.
Tecmobowl.org: Are you planning on holding any additional tournaments?
UltimateWeapon: There were discussions at the Boneyard Bowl of potentially doing an East Coast Ryder Cup and a Youngstown, OH tournament in the near future. I may assist with those tournaments if we can get enough people interested.