As the summer passed and the Grifball community came off the high of the Penny Arcade Expo, it was very quickly time for the next season. The AGLA’s 2009 Fall League kicked off in early September after a very short off-season.
But first, there was one piece of PAX left to pack away. A Grifball bomb replica made by CaptainRedB3ard traveled to Seattle to be autographed by Bungie, Rooster Teeth, and Grifball.com staff members. The bomb was then put on eBay to raise money for the charity Extra Life:
I was hoping for maybe $50, may $100, something like that. I never, never thought it would get to $290 like it is right now. It’s just crazy. ~ CaptainRedB3ard
Mr Loots posted the winning $290 bid and won the bomb replica. The conversation piece won a place of honor on his mantle.
At Grifball.com, Caleb and the Amateur and Pro league admins were determined to squeeze in a 2009 Fall League. After the Fall League had to be dropped from in 2008, they were set on giving the community four leagues in 2009. As soon as PAX was over, the community was ready to go.
Right before the season began, Nokyard had a new official AGLA court to share with the community:
A new game & map variant will be available this season and we look forward to seeing how many teams decide to use it! The GrifCave variant will only be used if both captains agree – otherwise the default Foundry map should be used.
Once signups were closed, 66 Amateur League teams were registered for 11 divisions. 21 Pro League teams were set in seven divisions of three teams each. As with SML09, many teams that were in the upper-level of the Amateur League the previous season made the leap of faith to the Pro League, including my team, the Ways and Means Committee!
During the off-season we picked up new players and expanded our roster past our normal four or five person squad. We had Goose and myself, as well as Seanzie, Deep aka Melvin, Pakin, FiftyTwoNinjas, and Sp0ny. We could be flexible enough to handle the free scheduling. And much to our surprise, we didn’t get 9-0’d in a single game that season! ~ Kalbelgarion
I heard about the league from a news post on the front page of Roosterteeth. I had been playing Matchmaking Grifball for a while and after I heard there was a league, I headed to grifball.com to check it out. I had always had fun playing in Matchmaking, so I decided to try my luck in the league. My favorite memory would have to be being recruited to Green Army Jr. by Green Team Tex. I’ll never forget getting the message after posting in the Looking for a Team thread from Tex asking if I was a Runner. I was so excited to just get on a team. I never imagined that I would still be on the same team today. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
Can’t Understand Neanderthal Tone – This was definitely a tough division to pick the eventual winner, but I have to go with this smash up of players to take the division. Their team is stacked, host heavy, and championship caliber. I see these guys splitting games with division rivals BS, but every other game should be theirs for the taking. There’s no question about chemistry as many of these players have been together on various other teams. It’s even more apparent when you notice that most of those teams have been championship bound or close to. The only downside for this team is that none of the players made it to the championship on any team last season. Maybe it’ll be a quest for them, or maybe it’ll be a short lived fantasy. Only time will tell. Predicted Record: 9-1 ~ Dragon of Exile/Chanpuru Dragon
Brb Steak – Formerly the Cat in the Hat Crew, Brb Steak brings much of the same formula to this season. I don’t see any real competition for them this season except for the Neanderthal Tone boys, and trust me this will probably get very dirty and quickly too. Now the only thing that can save BS from the thought of only grabbing a wildcard is to outscore everyone, a task I believe them capable of. They have some of the hardest hitting and smartest tanks in Doc, Thumee, and iWrestle. They even have one of the most dominant, up and coming tanks in T Rich. So it’s only a matter of if these guys can repeat and even improve on last season. Because the season may be a breeze, but the playoffs will not be so easy for these title contenders. Predicted Record: 9-1 ~Dragon of Exile/Chanpuru Dragon
# Power Outage (9) – Power Outage is finally given the respect that they deserve, and all it took was winning a championship. The loss of Jlamanna could hurt PO a good deal, but 14 of 25 voters still think that they are worthy of the number one spot in the pre-season poll. Whether or not they can continue on last season’s hot finish remains to be seen and Power Outage will look to prove that they weren’t just a fluke. ~ Zeg
The Quickness (6.64) – Youngnastyman out, TnT in. That is the story of the team formally known as +1 Zing. If TnT and Co. can blend well, the Quickness has a chance to be one of the top teams in the league and a championship contender. Even if they never develop great chemistry, tQ will remain a fixture on the Top 10 throughout the season. ~ Zeg
Early favorites Dude Where’s The Elohel blanks a rookie team (The Order of the Invisible Pink Unicorn), then lost in a squeaker to Bomb Spree, 5-4. Bomb Spree then went down 5-4 to lvl 50 Spartan LFG. Way to make things interesting!
Grif Reapers down new teams Evolution and Le Mediocrity in quick fashion, but the real story was Outcast Revolution’s huge 8-1 win over The Janitors (formerly known as Happy Sumo in Your Jazz Hole). It looks like OCR is doing just fine after losing Viceraz to the Pro League. And MST beat Evolution in the first of several 4v3 matches across the league this week.
Ahoooo has first place locked up, so the real question is who’s on second? Runners-up Greater Than 2 put the 7-2 hurt down on Redemption and the New York Pineapples.
Currently, the race for the top two division slots, and consequently the division’s 2 playoff spots, is becoming increasingly tight. Pain Train currently is 7 – 1 with two forfeit wins and 38 goals scored. They still need to play Part of American History (whom they previously bested 7 -2) and LFTO: Delocated (whom they beat previously 9 -0). If this team can stay consistent with their record of victories over LFTO and Part of American History, they will end the season 9-1 and be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. If they lose one of those games, they’re still in playoff contention but will likely be tied for first place.
Collateral Damage is looking solid heading into the final weeks of play. They had a close game against Team Ninja but pulled out a 5-4 win. Team Ninja the surprise team of the Summer League is looking to continue their winning ways. They look to give CD their 1st loss of the season in their rematch. I don’t think they will. CD heads into the playoffs undeafeated followed by a 2 loss Team Ninja. Mandokarla has looked impressive of late in their victories so if they get hot you could swap out Ninja for Mando, or possbily splitting with them. ~ Revolution12009
As was the case in the previous season, neutral host was required in all Pro League games. This made for some very lengthy and close games:
CUNT stays in second this week after a win over Green Army. They beat GBK yesterday on neutral host, so next week’s results may show more first place votes that the 2 they received this week. CUNT seems to be stuck in second, and will be for as long as PO remains undefeated. ~ Zeg
The Quickness moves up three spots this week after beating Grunts of Fury. With a fairly average schedule otherwise, tQ will need to take down PO if they want to move up in the rankings and establish themselves as the favorites to win the championship. ~ Zeg
Despite being 6-0, ZL is not receiving much respect, but that has the chance to change in the upcoming weeks. Games against Grunts, Bleep Bloop, and their divisional foes will give them a shot to jump ahead or fall completely out of the polls. ~ Zeg
This was the season with the Game to End All Games. The Ways and Means Committee, then 0-9, faced off against Red Ray, also 0-9. Only one team would leave the Pro League with a win, and the other would become the new benchmark team for entry into the Pro ranks. It was a seriously epic game that lasted over half an hour. There were launches. There were epic stops. There were lols. And it was all streamed. It remains the greatest game of Grifball I’ve ever played. ~ Kalbelgarion
At the end of the regular season, the top Amateur and Pro teams prepared themselves for playoffs:
We brought Activehate into the league. Our runner at the time, I DIM3 I, had been playing some matchmaking with G0DS BESTFRIEND or however it was spelled. He came to me and said, “Dude this kid is going positive 30 every game we play (MM), you should check him out”. I think we had played against him a few times and built a small “matchmaking rivalry” if you could call it that. I don’t exactly remember how we ended up offering him a spot on the team but we did. ~ Priest XYZ
My favorite memory looking back had to be our playoff game against ~Ahooooo!~. Our leading tank and captain, halfbreed had not said a word to us all throughout warming up for the game, and continued his quiet streak into the game. Unfortunately, his play suffered as well and we ended up in a not-so-close loss. My emotions took hold and I believe I still have the mic that I crudely tried to tape back together. ~ ChocolateTigerX
Of note, PhLaSsh of Collateral Damage went +50, the largest positive K/D spread in the Sweet Sixteen. II Blue Zebra II of Yup Guppies, Neomalkin of Collateral Damage, and butchie13 of Too Bad To Be Named tied for most individual goals scored in a game at 5 each. DiverDan from Hammertime and Angel9001 from Deadly if Eaten tied for most carrier kills at 9 each.
Game one of the series went to Collateral Damage, coming back from a 4 goal deficit to win 5 – 4.
Yup Guppies answered with a 7 – 2 victory in Game 2.
The final game went to Yup Guppies with a score of 7 – 2.
In the Pro league, the situation was a bit more complicated:
BRB Steak was knocked out of the playoffs due to their captain Doc Status cheating by playing on PM Lemon’s account of They Hated It to help them beat The Good, The Bad, The Kirt (GBK). THI was trying to get into the playoffs and needed to beat GBK to make that possible. Doc Status helped them out out with the win, but THI still did not make the playoffs.
After new commish Adam Pisani got the proof he needed, he decided to remove BRB Steak from the playoffs even though the cheating was at the end of the season and the league was in the second week of playoffs and BRB Steak had already beat CUNT in the first round. Adam Pisani decided that instead of just handing down punishment to Doc Status, he would make the killing blow to cheaters by not limiting punishment just to the person, but also to the team they are affiliated with.
Adam Pisani did not want to restart the playoffs sans BRB Steak due to time constraints. So instead he just switched CUNT for BRB Steak. CUNT went on to beat Power Outage in 3(Total scores for each team: CUNT: 14, Power Outage: 13), then The Quickness in 2 (CUNT: 13, The Quickness: 5).
In the end, CUNT, with the familiar faces of x Zeg x, x0 pie x0, lol Ninj0, and Doerstopper won the Pro league championship for the Fall 2009 season. Anyone who disagreed would have to try again next season.
After the season wrapped up, there was one surprise in store for the Grifball community. Shishka, the playlist guru at Bungie.net, had announced that the December Grifball Double XP weekend would feature ranked Grifball. Finally, a chance for experienced Grifballers to play against other Pros (and maybe earn that 50, to boot!)
I thought it was awesome; I just wish I was home that weekend to play. ~xl Neo xl
Ranked Grifball was my chance to finally get a 50, so I was extremely excited about it. Then when we found out it was basically impossible to search 4v4, the team would have to split up and search separate games and that was kind of annoying. However, when the league players would get up in rank, it did provide a constant way to play against good players in the League. ~ Priest XYZ
I was happy it finally came to fruition, but having to search in smaller parties and the long wait times between games was kind of annoying. As far as I know, the majority of players in that playlist didn’t have that much trouble finding games though, since they weren’t in the small minority of us who shot up in ranking so quickly.~ Menz
I never did get that 50. ~ Nuclear Taco 42
I ended up getting to a 47 in ranked Grifball. A Brigadier is better than a General, anyway. The bird was much cooler. ~ Kalbelgarion
All in all, FL09 was one of the most intense Grifball leagues the community has ever seen. After such intensity, the staff of GrifballHub decided to try to mellow things out with a new Grifball league to fill in the between-season gaps in the AGLA. This new league, the Good Games League, will be the subject of next week’s installment of Respect Your Roots. If you have thoughts from the first two seasons of the GGL, please feel free to share them here.
If you have memories from FL09, please post your comments below.