As 2011 marched along and we reached the late summer months, it was time to put aside our troubles and celebrate!
If you call yourself a Halo fan, this is the year to attend PAX Prime! With a PAX Prime badge, fans gain admission to Halo Fest, the largest and most expansive live Halo experience ever.
Rumors abounded earlier in the year about some sort of “Halo…festival”, and 343 Industries made our dreams come true at PAX Prime 2011 in Seattle. A Halo extravaganza was planned and Grifballers were anxious to get in on the action!
You’ll be able to play Halo: Anniversary, relive your favorite moments from the first ten years of Halo, compete in tournaments and contests, and get your hands on exclusive Halo Fest merchandise. You’ll even have the chance to meet game developers, authors, and other special guests from the Halo universe while attending panels about Halo: Anniversary, Halo 4, Rooster Teeth, and more. Halo Fest is the place to be for Halo fans attending PAX Prime 2011.
GrifballHub’s own Goosechecka was asked to participate on the Halo Communities panel and represent Grifballers the world over. She shared her secrets on keeping the community engaged and why Grifball was better than every other gametype out there, including MLG (a statement which was meant with universal agreement!).
I’m still with Goose ~ TacoPizzaHunter
Grifballers were open to holding their own special events, too! A well-attended Grifball meet-up (complete with donuts!) was held one morning, where Grifballers gathered in front of a giant screen and watched the premiere of the latest version of the Grifball Highlight Frenzy.
The voice of Puptastrophe joined us to ask, “What would TacoPizzaHunter do?”
Having the Frenzy play throughout the whole weekend was amazing. I’m not gonna lie, one of my other favorite parts of PAX was everytime when I went into Halo Fest I heard Puppy’s sexy voice saying “What would TacoPizzaHunter do?” ~ TacoPizzaHunter
It was great to get to see everyone again. I remember getting to play some Big Team Slayer with Burnie. He just happened to be standing next to the line when we were next and we needed an 8th. That was amazing timing. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
The Grifball crew was treated to front-row seats at the sold out Halo 4 panel, where we learned the latest about the next major Halo title to be dropped. We also caught up with Josh Holmes from the dev team and asked him about the future of our favorite sports-game-within-a-first-person-shooter:
Although the 343 team might have been tight-lipped, Grifballers let out shouts of excitement when we scheduled the very first (and very awesome) Taco Challenge!!!
What is the Taco Challenge? It is a IRL Grifball battle between Nuclear Taco 42 and TacoPizzaHunter to determine who has the best trick runner skills off the court and in not-virtual reality.
The Tacos competed in 5 events – Flowering, Wall-Hopping, Stiff-Arming, Passing and Barrel-Rolling. Texorcist was kind enough to demonstrate each of the events (sort of). At the end of the competition, only one Taco reigned supreme and was granted the sacred privilege of wearing the Taco hat.
Don’t get me wrong, everything else was almost as amazing, but the Taco Challenge was definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in a long time. I’m glad we were able to pull it together so quickly and actually make it happen. I just want to give a shout out to those that made it happen: Goose, Kal, and all those who helped out with the Challenge itself, my Taco brethren of course, TacoPizzaHunter, and my crazy ass thought process that allowed me to even think of the idea in the first place. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
My favorite part of the trip was the Taco Challenge. Goose and Kal did an AMAZING job of setting everything up and actually coming up with ideas for the events. The Challenge was so much fun. Many lolz were had throughout the filming of it. I also kinda like the fact that I won =P NuclearTaco did an awesome job of editing it and it seemed to have a great reaction from the community. And finally, Tex is the best demo man OF ALL TIME! ~ TacoPizzaHunter
But while the action in Seattle was taking place, another season of the AGLA was underway! It was a season of endings and new beginnings, as the seeds for a future in flux were planted.
While I am indeed a terrible noob, this can’t be my counted as my first. I had overheard some of the big kids talking about signups while I was supposed to be playing in the sandbox. It sounded fun and such so we went and played with the semi-big kids. ~ Momstaco81
On July 18, signups for the Summer season of the American Grifball League of America opened. It was also the first time many players got a good look at the new home of the AGLA, Grifball.info!
TrueFlyingCow is amazing? Nuff said. ~ TacoPizzaHunter
TrueFlyingCow, the head of AGLA stats, put together a fully functional stat collection and game reporting site for the AGLA to replace the now-defunct Grifball.com. Although the official AGLA forums remained on RoosterTeeth.com, the new home of the league functions of the AGLA was TFC’s site, Grifball.info. Using his programming knowledge and his Reach API key, TFC was able to build a great new site!
I think the new site is amazing! TFC has been doing a tremendous job and his site is what has kept the league alive. ~ Momstaco81
SML11 had eight divisions in the Amateur League and eight teams in the Pro League. Spring League Amateur champs Red Ray noticeably stayed in the Amateur League, saying that roster changes and other demands held the team back from graduating to the Pros.
Before the season could begin, however, it was necessary to once again decide what gametype would be used. The general sense in the community was that Vanilla Grifball was a favorite of the older veteran teams, although some die-hard fans of Grifball Dash remained. Without Dash receiving adequate exposing in the Grifball playlist, however, it was tough to justify its continued use in the league.
I started playing more Vanilla and lost interest in DASH so it really didn’t matter to me. ~ ThePistachioKid
In the end, the league administrators Menz and TheOneHawk decided that Vanilla would be the default gametype for the AGLA for the Summer season. However, like the GGL, if both captains agreed to play Grifball Dash, they could do so.
I think the league reverted to the Vanilla default simply because Halo 3 vets didn’t want to acclimate to the new game type. Anyways, it seemed to unify the league in a way that the previous season did not. People didn’t blame the lack of skill they had on a new gametype and a vast majority were happy. ~ Momstaco81
I was not happy with this setup at all. I didn’t like the fact that I would be forced to play Vanilla if the other captain did not want to play Dash. I understand why this setup was chosen, but I still was not a fan of it. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
The ammy league has been hopping!
With the first week of play (almost) over, some teams made a statement with some a pair of strong, early wins. I’m looking at you, Sesame Street Gang, The Fatal Four, Omega Skulls (with two 9-0 victories), The Hit Squad and Harmful if Swallowed. These guys are the teams to beat. If you’re matched up against them in week 2, be ready to play.
Two of these teams, The Hit Squad and Harmful if Swallowed, are even in the same division (Division 3!). They don’t face each other until week 3, and you can be sure that they’re both looking to go into that match undefeated, but that’s not going to be easy playing in the league’s most active Division. HiS had a close game vs. Green Army III, and they’ll need to bring their A game if they want to escape from Balls on the Wall next week with a win.
As we come into the final week of regular season play, lets look back on the last few weeks and see what’s been happening around the league.
Starting in Pro League, we actually had a few games played last week. The New York Pineapples found their way to the grifball court and played seven games in 1 week to emerge as a team solidly in second place of Pro Division 2. They defeated the Hot Binkini Guyz twice, and the National Watermelon Association once to raise themselves above Border Patrol and HBG but lost to Nasty Neighbors, Way to Fail, and <3. Those three teams have made it clear they're at the top of the Pro League this season, so it'll be interesting to see what the New York Pineapples can do to improve their chances in a potential playoff rematch with one of them. When they won games, their overall spread was between -28 and +9, but when they lost games their spread was between -126 and -102, so it seems like their key to success may be go to less than -50 in future matches.
Looking back on the regular season – out of a possible 280 games spread across 10 division of Pro and Ammy players, 165 games were played this season, giving us a completion percentage of 58.9 which is a very nice improvement over last season and almost at my goal of 60 percent. Maybe we can pad that completion percentage stat a bit during playoffs with everybody showing up to play on time.
Over the season, a lot of stats were collected. Too many to be conveniently displayed on most computer monitors, so a few are still behind the scenes. Now that the regular season has ended, I tallied up these stats to see what we did as an entire league. And here are the results:
The 165 games we played this season took 43.2 hours. There were 1,484 bombs planted and the ensuing explosions claimed 3,370 lives (so when if you go negative, you can blame it on that). We had 58,359 kills, 64,849 deaths, 3,329 assists, 12,233 multikills and 16 exterminations. 43 people were assassinated this season, 6 people were saved by their teammates and 7 players were killed by another enemy before their embarrassment could be completed. Friendly fire was clearly an issue for many teams, leading to 2,586 hammer betrayals, 23 sword betrayals, and 11 bomb betrayals. To the sword and bomb betrayals – very nicely done. ~ TrueFlyingCow
I remember being told that we lost a game to JBARs team. Our second matchup was the stuff of legend with a great battle that made all the land tremble.(maybe a bit over exaggerated but we were in a fun division) ~ Momstaco81
With the regular season in the books, it was time for the playoffs!
During the regular season, many Pro games were put off for weeks until the make-up period. During the playoffs, though, the Pros wasted no time in getting their games done!
I don’t remember much from playoffs because they happened so fast! The best part was NYP almost knocking out NN. That series was absolutely AMAZING! ~ TacoPizzaHunter
The championship game was likewise just as swift:
Looking over the Pro League championship, it featured the powerhouse <3 facing up against the favored Nasty Neighbors. During the season, Nasty Neighbors handily dominated <3 in an 8-1 win during the regular season. Although the matchup didn’t have <3's runner Doc Status in the game, <3 was outtanked and was overrun by the tanking abilities of Halfbreed and Taylor Cann. The fact that most of <3's players had not played many Halo: Reach Grifball games at this point could have contributed to the loss. But <3 would come back for vengeance. Entering the championship, <3 had no problem discarding Way to Fail, sweeping the series 2-0, with a dominating game 1 9-0 victory. Nasty Neighbors played an extremely tight series with The New York Pineapples, winning 2 of 3 games, with all 3 games ending at a score of 5-4. Barely pulling out of the series, Nasty Neighbors now had to play <3, who had all the momentum coming into the series. Both games seemed as if Nasty Neighbors lost the luster they enjoyed through the regular season. Halfbreed fell apart, going a combined -51 in the series, while the rest of the Nasty Neighbors also struggled. <3 dominated the series, with a 6-3 win and a 7-2 win where Thumee had a combined 206 kills and a +34 k/d ratio. They took their second championship under the team name <3, and are the first team to ever win a championship in Reach and Halo 3.
It is difficult to remember anything about the pro playoffs. A champ was crowned before round two had even concluded for the Ammys. Everybody knew <3 was going to take it. I heard somewhere that Doc wins ships...so there ya go! ~ Momstaco81
On the Amateur side, the bracket took a little longer to get through, but it was no less exciting.
It was a great season, good competition. Wish it didn’t end. ~ ThePistachioKid
Personally the post-season was a bit of a letdown. Red Rays members had some unfortunate circumstances arise and we had to hurry up and get the games played without the regular crew on. I was very happy for the eventual champions though. ~ Momstaco81
In the amateur league championship, Boom Goes the Dynamite faced off against The Fatal Four in what was expected to be a very close series with BGtD coming out on top. Neither team had any difficulty making it to the finals, with both teams sweeping all of their series’, and very commanding victories in the first round. Boom Goes the Dynamite annihilated TFO Resurgance, and then swept Red Ray easily. When they met up with Zero Logic, BGtD faced more of a challenge, but pulled of a huge game two victory with a 5-4 win to close the series and move onto the championship. The Fatal Four started off with an impressive 9-0 win over Balls on the Wall, and then went on to sweep Vibrating Ron Di’s to move on to the semi finals. Here, they had a hard fought battle with The Hit Squad, which was a much closer series than it looked. In game 1, both teams were evenly matched, but The Fatal Four came out with a massive 5-4 win. Game 2 came around, and The Fatal Four was massively out-tanked, but still managed to pull out another very close 5-4 win, which sent them to face Boom Goes the Dynamite in the finals.
The finals ended up to be a very wild one. With shadowrain44 suspended for stat padding, The Fatal Four was missing one of their top players. In game 1, Boom Goes the Dynamite completely obliterated The Fatal Four, with a 9-0 pounding. After a host change, game 2 was played right after. The Fatal Four brought in ltmkid to replace SW Mikoolich, and pulled off an incredibly close 5-4 win, which came down to the very last goal. The game was disputed by Boom Goes the Dynamite, but head of disputes MenZ ruled that the play in question wasn’t enough for the game to be overturned, so the score stood. This game completely changed the momentum of the series, when game 3 rolled around almost a week later. Boom Goes the Dynamite fell apart, especially when BossTycoon told his team he wouldn’t be returning to the team, and basically rage quit the team. The Fatal Four took advantage of this, and finished off the championship with a big 7-2 win.
When I got my 9.72 meter range is our first playoff game. It was great. Also, making it to the championship and making fun of xBossTycoon and making him mad. Good times. ~ ThePistachioKid
When the Pro League playoffs wrapped up, Pro League admin Menz had an important announcement for the AGLA community: Due to IRL demands on his time, he would be stepping down as league administrator.
Menz did good for the league. However, life catches up to all of us, so he had to step down. ~ TacoPizzaHunter
Menz has been a very solid rock upon which our league has been based for a great many seasons. When other people have been kidnapped or unavailable, Menz has always been around to serve the needs of the league. He has served us with class and we have been lucky to have him for so long. I hope his new job promotion has been treating him well. ~ Momstaco81
But from losing one admin, the AGLA was ready to add two more!
This is not a job for the faint of heart. Do not apply if you cannot dedicate many hours of time to grifball, sometimes at very inconvenient times. Rules violations/punishment, player disputes, league and playoff set-up, player problem solving and whatever the hell else comes up that needs to be done. This position has direct power over the future of the league and is tasked with its continuation and growth.
The candidates for the job were TrueFlyingCow, ActiveHate, xl Neo xl, and Mikinater. TrueFlyingCow and Mikinater were available for a live interview with GrifballHub’s Goosechecka, which may have helped catapult them into the lead at the ballot box. At the end of the voting period, TFC and Mikinater were the winners!
Well, it was sorta nice. New people with new ideas. Also, I think we all wanted TrueFlyingCow to be admin. I know TFC, so I new good things will happen with this league. Mikinater, all I know is that he has been in the league a long time and probably knows whats best for this league. ~ ThePistachioKid
Probably the best two choices that there were. TFC is a savior to the AGLA. Nobody deserved it more. Mikinater brought the old school point of view and represented the “vets” very well. ~ TacoPizzaHunter
As much work as he had put into the game, I don’t think TFC even should have had to run for the position. He should have just been given it outright. ~ NuclearTaco42
From PPMooCowPP way back when, to TrueFlyingCow today, the AGLA remains in good hooves.
Further innovations and proposals were made and tested on the forums and at Grifball.info. An ongoing Grifball Ladder league was tried out twice, and proposals for a hybrid classic/ladder setup were also suggested.
Time will tell what the AGLA will look like down the road, but the future of the Sport of Tomorrow continues to look bright. From events in 2011 and 2012, both live and on Live, to the continued enhancement and expansion of the Grifball playlist, to pending release of Halo 4, Grifball fans know that the sport will always be there. The next chapter of Grifball history has yet to be written, but through the crests and troughs, the Grifball court will always be a welcome home to those looking to get hammered.
See you on the court!