Renaissance to dominance
This article was originally published on New Year’s Eve 2006. It was an attempt at summing up the events of the year in our small community, from my (Fana) point of view. I think it does a fairly decent job at that, so I’ve cleaned it up and reposted it for historical purposes.
This is the last day of 2006 and I assume most of you are ready to chuck 2006 into the garbage and move on to 2007. I’m not quite ready however, as I have a few things I’d like to say first. A couple of days ago I wrote a fairly lengthy summary of what transpired in 2006, in our little abode on the Internet. I’m sure I’ve left a lot out, but my intention was never to write a complete summary of 2006 either, but rather 2006 as seen through my eyes.
Knife Gaming and Nine Legends, 2006 dominance
As I’m writing this, I’m currently sitting in a comfortable chair in my grandparents’ basement, sipping orange soda and listening to some music. I’m trying to remember all the events that transpired in the past year and thinking about how fast it’s all gone by. It seems like it was only yesterday I was talking to Bobby about remaking Knife and playing some NS again — Yet it’s been over a year since that conversation finished.
Thus our story starts, with the reformation of the first of two teams that would claim complete supremacy over European competitive NS, each in their own halves of 2006. Obviously this is going to be a fairly biased story and I’m not going to try to deny it. This is NS throughout 2006, as seen through my eyes — or rather my fuzzy memory!
While I was rotting away in the army, Knife was eventually reborn and many old names were brought back hoping to once again make their mark on the NS community. Some came back with a vengeance, while others — wzza and Zallvan come to mind — didn’t quite live up to their expectations.
ENSL Season 3 and the fourth Night Cup helped keep European competitive NS running, although in a sad state even compared to previous periods of inactivity. The top division was especially grim, with an unprecedented amount of forfeits. In the end, Levitacus was the only team left available to play the final against Knife. Even they were inactive and only managed to put up token resistance. The fourth Night Cup went by slightly better, as El’pheer shocked everyone and managed to force a third map before Knife finally came out on top in the final.
A few months later, the community was going through what, on the surface at least, looked like a revitalization. ENSL Season 4 started with Lessthanthree reforming, Flatline playing their first season in the top division and the Finnish powerhouse Epic challenging Knife for NS supremacy in Europe. The second NSWC also begun, with many teams and early success, not to mention the promise of TV exposure in Germany.
As usual in our fairly small part of the Internet, things didn’t quite work out. Lessthanthree quickly fell apart, Flatline got stomped and the epic — sorry, but I had to — Epic vs. Knife rivalry fizzled out into a lopsided 4-0 victory for Knife. Although most of the second NSWC was heaps of fun — to watch, sigh — the final was never broadcast on German TV. In fact it was never played at all and neither Finland nor Singapore could be declared NS world champions. Summer arrived and as the community entered its usual summer hibernation, Knife dissolved again — after dominating European NS for six months.
While all this was happening, I begun work on the first edition of the website you’re currently reading my latest batch of mumbo-jumbo on. Several cool fragmovies were released and I started talking to Ben about possibly reforming Team Newrope. Players were charmed into joining — “join #tn.priv fucker” — website development continued and in August it was finally GAME ON!
We started out with a.A, Ben, Ed|Rush, frG, morphz, n44bj, pantsu, Pizza, wltrs and myself, with the original name Team Newrope. The first edition of this website was also released and started slowly growing. We were stuck with PCWs for a while, until the first NSCC started. While combat definitely wasn’t our main focus, a.A, pantsu, wltrs and myself decided it would be a good way to pass time while waiting for a real NS tournament to pop up. Both tournaments had some ups and downs, the ups mostly because we’re damned good at NS and the downs because I’m horrible at NS:Combat tactics and didn’t pay enough attention to the cup rules. In the end we managed to win the first NSCC and claim bronze in the second. Lots of fun was had in addition to the short bursts of frustration. Morphz unfortunately went MIA during this period and frG decided he’d rather play with someone else — leaving us slightly short handed.
The next stop on our schedule was the Natural Selection Mini Cup, organized to pass time while we were waiting for the new version of the ENSL site to finish and Season 5 to start. The competition was good and we quickly discovered that Flatline had grown since ENSL Season 4 and was now a major competitor for the title. Souljah also turned out to be a tough nut to crack, while Levitacus was a bit of a disappointment. After a couple of close ties, we decided that enough was enough however and took down Souljah once and Flatline twice to claim the title of NSMC champions. It was also during this time that we decided to change our name from Team Newrope to Nine Legends, after much internal debating.
Pizza went inactive, Ben left for university life and Jimbo (Sherpa) joined up to replace Ben in the big chair. The fifth season of ENSL finally started and teams both new and old, European and American, gathered to fight for the title. KTDM was reformed — albeit with one original member — but quickly fell apart. Bobby (b1) finally joined, bringing us back up to 8 players, with double coverage in the CC. In addition, there was a.A, Ed|Rush, n44bj pantsu, wltrs and myself.
Although we had a few close matches against Levitacus and Xensity, our stacked roster proved its worth and we went from success to success. The final match was a bit of a blowout unfortunately, but there’s little doubt we deserved the title of ENSL Season 5 champions and first Premier League team to win every match in a full season. We also suffered a loss sometime during this period as n44bj decided to get out while the going was good, leaving us with seven players. Not counting Combat matches, that means we’ve never lost an official NS match and even more impressively we’ve never lost an Alien round. Combined, Knife and Nine Legends have completed a full calender year without losing any official NS matches, a first in European NS as far as I know.
Of course, this would all have been a waste of time if it wasn’t for all the great people I’ve had the pleasure of playing with this year. Ben and Ed shouting at each other, pantsu getting hand grenaded as Fade, sherpasofat.jpg — the hilarious moments and antics are too many to list and that’s how it should be. A supermassive kudos to all you guys — a.A, b1, Ben, Ed|Rush, frG, morphz, n44bj, pantsu, Pizza, sherpa and wltrs — for making this an NS-year worth remembering. I don’t know if everyone is going to stick around for next year, but I certainly hope at least some will. I’m not sure where we’re going to be in 2007, but I’m hoping we can get at least one more season of ENSL in before we finally pull in the oars and move on to other things. I guess we’ll see what happens.
The NSCC, NSMC and ENSL organizers — not to mention our competitors, especially the Americans of Reflect and Xensity — also deserve a big thank you for keeping the community alive and fun to take part in. Really, thank you dudes and dudette(s).
The Nine Legends 2006 tally
Natural Selection Combat Cup 1 champions
Natural Selection Combat Cup 2 third place
Natural Selection Mini Cup champions
European Natural Selection League Season 5 champions
European Natural Selection League Combat Ladder Season 1 champions
11–0-2 in Natural Selection
14–3-0 in Natural Selection: Combat
Undefeated in Natural Selection
Never lost an Alien round in Natural Selection
That’s it, I’m done. Have a great New Year’s Eve guys, see you in 2007!