Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ranbat 1.7 Rumble in the Jungle

Certain parallels exist between Ranbat 1.7 and one famous archaeologist, Dr. Indiana Jones. Indiana scoured the jungles of Peru searching for the hidden Temple of Warriors...we have to rack our brains to remember how to get to P42, tucked away deep in the concrete jungle of Salt Lake valley. Crushing jungle heat and smothering humidity relentlessly dogged Indiana during his quest, and we endured the unholy union of a blazing hot July summer day coupled with a humidity that foiled even the swamp coolers. Dr. Jones plowed through fist-sized tarantulas, bottomless pits, hidden arrow traps, one massive rolling boulder, and an army of indigenous Hovitos en route to his prize, the Golden Idol. On Saturday, July 11, at the final Ranbat of the season, each competitor had to withstand the different looks, traps, setups, lockdowns, rushdowns, and mindgames of 40 different people on the way to claiming the Golden Idol of victory for Ranbat 1.7. Only one came out of P42 with the Idol, and he didn't have to hand it over to any Belloq; it was all his.

Coming off of close finishes in the previous two Ranbats, Renzo dedicated this final performance to Michael Jackson, and it paid off. No longer an also-ran, Renzo "Smooth Criminal" never once ventured out of the winners bracket, finishing first by defeating a very plucky, very old, and very shifty Kelly in the first match to seal an undefeated run to victory. The first set was close, with DadRog (Kelly) going up two rounds to none on Renzo, who then tied it up at two all, but
Renzo would lose the first set 3-2 off of two uncontested throws and a short-short-dash upper combo. The second set would end better for Renzo, winning another two rounds, losing one, but winning the final round to take the set three rounds to one. The final set ended tensely with a winner-take-all 2-2 tie going into round five, with Renzo winning in the 95th second of the fifth round, finally catching Kelly with 3 Tortilla throws, a super, a Guacamole leg throw, and a few other pokes from everyones favorite Mexican Chef, El Fuerte. The Peruvian finally got the Golden Idol out of the temple and held it alone as champion.

With the end of the season, points were awarded in each ranbat to the players that took first through fifth place, in intervals of 10-7-5-3-1 respectively, with the points leader to be rewarded with the saved prize money from each tournament. That winner was Andrew "Dread Pirate Phelps" whose dominating Sagat stayed at or near the top for nearly every tournament except 1.7, winning Utah Ranbat season 1 with 57 points total, more than 20 ahead of the 2nd place finisher Brian "Drago" and his indefatigable Guile. Renzo came on strong towards the end of the season, taking home 24 points to finish third using El Fuerte, with Kelly, Jacob, Gustavo, Dana, Mike, and Andy finishing 4th through 8th respectively.

Ranbat 1.7 ran a total of 8 hours, from 6pm to 2:20am, but for many of the competitors, it was well worth it. This tournament was not just one but two separate competitions, with pool play dominating the majority of the early hours. The eight Utah SF4 Ranbat point winners were given byes and automatically qualified to compete in the upper tournament, where they would have to face the top 2 finishers from 4 pools of around 8 players each in a double elimination championship. Tournament organizer Andy asked that those with byes assist him in running pool play, by which they were able to see just what goes into running events of this magnitude every two weeks. Everything went smoothly; the top finishers from pools were seeded in the upper tournament while the remaining players battled it out in the lower single-elimination tournament. Wade met TL in the finals, with his Ryu "focused" enough to overpower TL's "OG" Vega for the win and prize money. With the win, Wade avenged an earlier heartbreaking loss to Eddie in the "Cammy Costume" money match, for which he'll have to wear a Cammy costume during pool play at the Evolution tournament which takes place in Las Vegas July 17-19.

And with that, Ranbat Season 1 closes up shop. Congrats to the winners, "step your game up's" to the losers, and lets have everyone back for another season.

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