The end of Summer League ’08 saw yet another change of the administrative guard and it was now up to PP MooCow PP and PhoenixRage to fly the AGLA colors. Due to Summer League’s playoffs lasting far longer than expected, time was very much an issue and the very first decision the new admins had to make was to cancel Fall League 08, a decision that received a mixed reception.
Wasn’t very happy about it. Fall league was looking like it was going to be just as competitive and exciting as summer league was, if not more. There were a lot of great teams forming around that time that competed in the FL08 Halo 3 Planet tournaments, but two really stood out – +1 Zing! and Easy as Pie. Zing was a team full of veteran players that seemed to work extremely well together, and as such they won every H3P tournament if I’m remembering correctly. Something like 8. Easy as Pie however was probably one of the most stacked teams to have ever been assembled, consisting of the SML08 champs from SYLaL as well as myself, Doc, and Crowing.
The games between the two teams were always exciting and would’ve made for a really interesting fall league. However, with the announcement that there was no fall league came the splitting of both teams. Grunts of Fury had promised to come back for WL09 (one year after they had formed), which took 3 players from EaP and one or two from Zing. Everyone else went their separate ways and what could have been a really exciting season ended rather abruptly. ~ The Silvaa
With the way the timing for everything else was working out, it was the best decision. ~ Menz / I CITI I
I joined the league right at the end of playoffs and even had a team lined up fo fall. When I found out there wasn’t a fall league my team disbanded and I was able to join up with Mandokarla. The break even gave me more time to get more experience under my belt. ~ Lambchop166
It didn’t really bother me that much. ~ Yo DrGreenthumb
Initially, I was sad. I was sad because i missed out on a chance to play with Flowers and Moocow and some other great players on Team Country. Shortly after the announcement, I got recruited by Super SI, who(I believe it was this season), had some new additions like Zeg and TnT. This actually ended up being my second favorite season because of all the stuff we played together that wasn’t grifball. Left 4 Dead, different guitar heros, and many other games. ~ D Hans / Spud H3ad
Not having a FL08 didn’t really bother me at all. It was a long time between our last SML08 match (we didn’t make the playoffs) and our first WL09 game, but we spent the time playing XXP weekends and scrimmaging teams that were much better than us. During that off-season we got to know the Green Army guys better. Goose and I played quite a bit of Grifball with Tex and Greenhorn during the break. ~ Kalbelgarion
The new admins set the launch of Winter League ’09 for December 11th, the one-year anniversary of the first Grifball league.
The new admins also realized that the cancellation of the Fall League would mean 8 weeks without any organized Grifball outside of double XP weekends. In their initial announcement, the admins outlined their plan to keep people involved. First, they offered up weekly Bum Rushes to keep the competitive spirit alive. Second, they organized weekly recreational pick-up games. Finally, they highlighted how many new games would be coming out and spun the lack of a Fall League as a chance for players to get some time in on the brand new Fable 2, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Wow expansion, and Mirror Edge.
I disliked [not having the Fall League] a lot but I understood why it happened. If we had had the FL08 it would have been rushed and unorganized. While the 8 week wait was long, it allowed people to play all the new games that were coming out around that time. ~ Blue Collar Kid
One month before the league was scheduled to start, the community was allowed to vote for the Winter League 09 map. It ultimately came down to runNOKYARDrun and MrMatt’s Grifball courts with Nokyard emerging victorious. In celebration, an “official” Winter League ’09 bum rush was held on the new court.
I loved the map compared to Mr Matt’s map. It seemed simple and straight to the point while Mr Matt’s map was complex and caused frame rate lag. The bum rushes to see the public’s opinion was a great idea. ~ Menz / I CITI I
It was nice to have a court that couldn’t be escaped from. Although it never actually happened during one of our league matches, I always told my teammates what to do if they were to find themselves trapped outside the court. It was good to see that that would no longer be a concern for the players. ~ Kalbelgarion
But Nokyard’s contribution to the community did not stop there. Because of his forging expertise, home courts were allowed for the first time. Then, as now, courts had to meet certain criteria to be used and all had to be approved by the Forge guru himself.
Signups were scheduled to run for only 4 days, from November 26th – 30th, and as with Summer League ’08, teams could signup for either Legacy or Rookie leagues. When signups closed, the Rookie League sported 13 divisions and the Legacy League was home to 11 divisions, for a total of 144 teams.
WL09 was the first season I ever played in and I made it onto a legacy team. Playing for Mandokarla was one of the greatest experience I had played in all of my career. ~ Lambchop166
The Legacy league paired many experienced Grifball teams together for some exciting regular season match-ups. Division 1 put 9th Wonders and Green Army together. Division 2 paired Red Ray with That One Team. Divisions 4 and 5 each put three dominating teams together: Grunts of Fury, Bleep Bloop, and Cheap Ass Gamer, and Punching Ghosts, Hard Liquor Chasers, and Marathon Runners.
The post season saw 24 Legacy and 32 Rookie teams pursuing their respective championships.
Click here to view GWL09 Rookie Standings.
We got slaughtered in the playoffs. We were the 28 seed, which meant that we were going up against the 5 seed in the first round – Team USA. The game was unlike any we had played. We could not do anything. I couldn’t stiffarm anyone, and our tanks couldn’t kill. We went -87 and they went +64 in a nine minute game. Snikklefritz in particular went +28. ~ Kalbelgarion
I still have nightmares about Snikklefritz. ~ Goosechecka
The Rookie League playoffs opened up with what might be considered one of the greatest upsets of all time.
This was the season when the stacked team of Ten Inches of Terror, the 1 seed, was beaten by the 32 seed in the first round. That…was unexpected. ~ Kalbelgarion
The Rookie Championship came down to Team USA vs Put It On the Pad and ultimately it was PiotP – donnieredboy, guthouse, Mr Loots, HighlndHellrazr, x C0RIANTUMR x, Silver Bullet30 (Tad Neptune),and DemonCrowley – who emerged victorious.
The race for the Legacy League Championship was intense.
Separate Intelligence was finally good (though incredibly host-dependent), riding Zeg and Lord Stanley2’s hosts to the championship. We 9-0’d both Grifball N00bs (the team now known as Way to Fail), and a still-in-their-prime Grunts of Fury on our side of the bracket. On the other side, Gaming So Hard had finished the entire regular season without having a goal scored on them (though there was a bit of cheatery involved). They ran through Power Outage in their first round game, before surprisingly losing to That’s What She Said in the second round. However, the game was disputed.
Since we were the entirety of the dispute committee at that point, Pisani and I had to put our own desires for a championship to the side and fairly decide who our opponent would be. If it was That’s What She Said, our victory would be all but guaranteed. If it was Gaming So Hard, they would assuredly win their semifinal game, and the championship matchup would likely come down to host. After a huge commotion on the forums, we ultimately decided that they needed to replay the game, and GSH destroyed them 8-1 in the rematch.
They moved on to tackle an upstart (and very lucky to that point) 9th Wonders team, and blew through them as well. That set up a match between debateably the two teams with the most bad blood between them in the entire league.
Though I was our best off-host tank, I was unable to play the first game due to a power outage. Gaming So Hard won 8-1 on Thumee’s host.
Lord Stanley2 pulled host in Game 2, and SI managed to win almost as convincingly as Gaming So Hard had in the first game.
After the game, the two teams did some trash-talking back and forth on the IRC, and eventually we decided to play game 3 on a neutral host. Both teams knew that if we’d played the game normally, whoever pulled host would win. This was a historic decision as the first intentionally neutral host championship matchup, one which would set the bar for fairness to this day.
In the final game, Gaming So Hard (Thumee in particular) stepped up and earned the win 6-3, capping off what I believe was the first full 3 game championship series. In the end though, I could finally officially consider myself one of the best of the best, having finally not lost way too early in the playoffs. ~ Menz / I CITI I
WL09 was the epic “Pisani-Overturn” that screwed That’s What She Said and gave me my first ship. <3 ~ Twizzted Status
Not only did Gaming So Hard – NKOTb4evah, iWrestle8, Twizzted Status, Love Thumee, Doc Status, PhD Spaz – win the championship, they won one of the best prizes any Grifball team could receive: their home court added into the Grifball DXP playlist.
The post-season was action packed, but the excitement didn’t stop there. Winter League 09 saw the release of Bryan Simon’s original Grifball For the Win musical video. The tail end of WL09 also witnessed the release of the now famous Rules of the Game video.
WL09 also witnessed the birth of GrifballHub.com! Hub staff put together content such as How to do the Spawn Bonk Launch, Interview with the Commish, WL09 Week 1 and 2 Highlights, February DXP Highlights, and an article detailing the infamous Gaming so Hard / That’s What She Said Dispute.
The giant cherry on top of the delicious WL09 cake was the introduction of the All-Star game. Players from the Legacy and Rookie leagues were considered eligible based on their season stats and then the community voted for the All-Star players from the odd and even divisions. Mikinater ran the voting system and once the votes were tallied the Rookie All-Stars were:
1. Mr Loots – Put it on the Pad – 38.8% with 33 votes
2. Schooly D – Team Schooly D – 33.0% with 30 votes (Won by 1)
3. SC1 SENSEI – Sector C1 – 26.4% with 24 votes (Won by 1)
4. Goosechecka – The Ways and Means Committee – 21.2% with 18 votes
ALT: HighlandHellRazr – Put it on the Pad – 25.3% with 23 votes
1. DigitalPain1o1 – Team U.S.A. – 42.9% with 39 votes
2. Madklowndisease – Good Idea, Huh MooCow? – 35.2% with 32 votes
3. Mikinater – Ball Grabbers – 28.9% with 24 votes
4. B Marshall 15 – Team U.S.A. – 25.3% with 21 votes
ALT: x360xShocKWaVe – Good Idea, Huh MooCow? – 20.9% with 19 votes
The Odd team won Game 1 (8 – 1) and Game 2 (6 – 3) and the Even team won Game 3 (5 – 4).
I was so excited to be selected as an All-Star, especially because I wasn’t that well known back in the day. It felt great being recognized by my Grifball peers and being voted in as an All-Star was definitely a catalyst for me becoming more involved in the Grifball community. ~ Goosechecka
And the Legacy League All-Stars were:
Odd Division Line-Up:
Captain and Runner: Spud H3ad
Tanks: Leggo MY Zeggo and Toktyn
Hybrids: PP MooCow PP and Bynumator
Even Division Line-Up:
Captain and Hybrid: Doc Status
Other Hybrid: II Flowers II
Runner: Scet Shin
Tanks: Shadow and Puptastrophe
And so Winter League ’09 came to a close. For the next season, the AGLA administration planned to extend the Grifball madness to three leagues: A Rookie league, a Legacy league, and an Elite league for the best-of-the-best. So what exactly happened? Join us next week as we dive into Spring League ’09, the season known for elected officials, neutral host, and the infamous Laggerz incident. Click here to share your experiences about SL09.
If you have any memories about WL09 that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.