This was the scene of Utah Ranbat 1.4 in our new location at Protocol 42, which represented the first time a Utah Ranbat was held away from the comfort and privacy of Andy's Sugar-house. Being referred to as "The Secret Garden" due to it's discreet (okay, freaking-hard-to-find) location near I-15, Procotol 42 provided what we have come to expect from the ranbats plus more: players, games, TV's, space...you name it, they had it. Form one end of the warehouse to the other, long, sturdy two-tier wooden tables drowned in power and network cables, with enough office chairs to comfortable seat all the troubled teens in River City. The main attraction: an HD projector high on the wall, perfect for showing future finals matches. And while we gamed, the sound system provided a thumping beat to keep the action fresh. Billed as a LAN center for computer gaming, Protocol 42 easily converted to a competitive SF environment worthy of continued future gatherings.
On to the action...finals are what they have always been, the two best in Utah slugging it out to determine the champion for the next two weeks. For all intents and purposes, it should be renamed the Andrew and Brian Celebrity Invitational. Andrew came out on top again with some "Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!" by The Dread Pirate Phelps (Sagat), smoking Brian's Drago (Guile) like his now-familiar bong to claim the gold for a 2nd ranbat in a row. Both are now in a tie atop the Ranbat standings at 34 points. 3rd, 4th, and 5th place were held by Jacob's ShoryuLariat (Zangief), Dana's BlackRose (Rose), and finally Kelly's Bronze Boxer (Boxer). Jacob planted Dana's Rose into the ground in the losers bracket to hold 3rd place but was knocked aside for the 2nd time that night by Brian's Guile as Andrew was like his Lay's potato chip...he couldn't have just one game with the Muay Thai Master. The BlackRose set up the slip 'n slide for the Bronze Boxer, who tripped up and got knocked out, waking up in 5th place. I don't anticipate that happening again, as Tin Boxer doesn't have the same alliterative qualities as Bronze Boxer.
Starting off the night, the Girls Fight Night featured various female associates and players in the scene. Katie showed everyone who's boss by taking top honors in the event, showing her Cammy skills for all to see and emulate, especially as she almost took down two-time Ranbat winner Brian in the first round. Additionally, this ranbat showed off some sweet mike skills by various UTSF members, from TL, Andrew, Andy, Bobby, and Johnny. They provided some play-by-play commentary during the bigger matches of the night, and really helped provide a more exciting, competitive atmosphere. And for the OG in the group, hopefully you toured the facility and discovered the Virtual On arcade cabinet in the back. Yes, it works; I tested it out with my Apharmd, and didn't fare too badly. I'd go back just to play that!
As always, it's better to be live than LIVE. Work on it people--have a game, do not suck, and you won't get run. Turn it up at 1.5!