Winter League 2010 marked the second birthday of the American Grifball League of America and Grifball was entering its terrible twos. By now, some of the old, grizzled veteran teams from seasons past had hung up their hammers and retired. Conversely, the Grifball playlist had been a regular guest on double experience weekends and was largely responsible for the recruitment of new teams and players. This mish-mash of cantankerous vets and doe-eyed noobs gave WL10 a unique flavor.
Up until now, I was just checking the XXP setlists each Thursday night, hoping that Grifball would appear. I had seen the AGLA logo on the Foundry wall, but I just passed it off as above my level. I would just have to settle for playing Grifball once a month (sometimes less). Suddenly, it occurred to me that maybe I should visit Grifball.com and see what it was all about. I read the FAQs, watched a few community videos on the Hub, and decided to join the AGLA Amateur League. I checked out the AGLA ‘Looking for a Player/Looking for a Team’ thread and found Sp0nY’s project team What the Grif?. – myherder
Grifball’s popularity in the DXP weekends was noticed by the fine folks over at HaloWaypoint who began to post Grifball highlight reels on their site. The first reel–from the Ranked Grifball XXP weekend–is embedded at the bottom of this article. The highlight reel from February 2010 and March 2010 are also available.
Grifball on Halo Waypoint!
Remember how a while back I had you all send in your highlight clips from the December Ranked Grifball XXP Weekend? Today that reel is available on Halo Waypoint (on Xbox LIVE) for your viewing pleasure.
From here on out we’ll have a reel on Waypoint from every Grifball XXP weekend, and future League reels will appear there as well. ~Adam Pisani
I thought [the highlights were] awesome. Having the reels posted on there allowed us to gain more interest for the sport. Plus, my sword tanking highlight from Ranked Grifball got on one of them!!! – Nuclear Taco 42
The reels were amazing! Hot Bikini Guyz actually learned quite a lot from watching these reels. HBG was a heavy launching team in Halo 3, so we actually picked up quite a few launches from these reels. – TacoPizzaHunter
It was a really big step for Grifball. I got so many random messages from people asking me to teach them how to Grifball it became a nuisance. – Love Thumee
WL10 brought in fresh blood not just in the player category but in the admin and map domains as well. Melvination IV stepped up as amateur league admin:
I’d also like to officially announce our two new Amateur Admins. Shadow S16, long time Pro Rules guy, will be one of them (and will be working on both Amateur and Pro things), and the other will be Melvination, a relative newcomer, but the applicant with the most impressive application. ~Adam Pisani
Melvin is a good friend of mine so I was happy for him. He definitely deserved it, and is somebody I would still support to take over as an Admin. – Love Thumee
GBWL10 also saw Nokyard introduce new maps for use in WL10: AGLA Sandbox, AGLA Foundry, AGLA Hostbox, and AGLA Neutral. The neutral host maps featured a new spawning system. Players and the host would spawn outside the map in a spawn ring and run to the teleporter of their choice. Because of the design, all spawn sites were equidistant from all of the teleporters.
Anyway, to sign up for next season you’ll have to do a few things. First decide if you think you want to be in the Pro League. The best 21 applicants for the Pro League will make it in, and they’ll compete in inter-divisional play and an all neutral-host regular season (which involves playing with the host player off the court, making the game more fair). If you want to apply for the Pro League, make note of that on your application. ~ Grifball.com Signup Notice
Signups for WL10 ran through mid-December and the season kicked off just before Christmas, on December 21, 2009.
Probably the biggest talking point at the start of WL10 was the redistribution of Pro League players, most notably the roster of newly-formed <3, comprised of Taylor Cann, T Rich Da King, D Hans, l MajorSilva l, Doc Status, Love Thumee, Lost Status, and Crowing. In fact, in the Week 1 predictions, <3 was prognosticated to go 10 - 0 in the regular season. View the WL10 Pro League divisions here.
Week 1 News: This week in the pro league, 6 teams came out with strong wins. These teams including <3(1), Teenage Mutant Ninja Scettles(2), Power Outage(3), Grunts of Fury(6), That's What She Said(8), and Zero Logic(10). AVATAD(7) was the only team on the top 10 to come out with a loss in their game vs Harmful if Swallowed. Games to look for week 2 are I'd Hit That vs That's What She Said, Grunts of Fury vs Power Outage, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Scettles vs The Rebels. These games to look for will feature some key player match ups. Will the newly revamped TWSS be able to pull an upset over favored I'd Hit That? Or will the tanking of IHT be too much. In the Grunts vs PO game, will the Grunts be able to rebound from last seasons early playoff loss to PO or will PO continue their season undefeated. And finally will TMNS's new pick up of a top runner hurt their tanking too much to beat the tank heavy line up of The Rebels, or can The Rebels get past the superb defense of TMNS. Weekly Team Awards
Biggest Upset- Harmful If Swallowed over AVATAD (6-3)
Most Dominating Victory- Power Outage over Ok, Alright… (9-0)
Closest Game- Zero Logic over Deadly If Eaten (5-4)
Shortest Game- TMNS over Red Ray (9:54)
Longest Game- Harmful If Swallowed over AVATAD (28:06)
And, in fact, <3 proved the predictions correct.
Playoff Seed and Team Record
1. <3 (10-0) 2. TMNS (8-2) 3. ZL(8-2) 4. tR(7-3) 5. TWSS (7-3) 6. IHT (7-3) 7. PO (6-4) 8. GoF (6-4) 9. tGFE (6-4) 10. Ahoooooo (6-4)
I remember substituting in Doc for Taylor Cann in Doc’s first game back from becoming banned. We beat Dragon’s team twice in a row to take the series and move on the ship. It was a tough move because TnT had played all season long, but I knew he was the weakest part of our team, so I had to make the move. – Love Thumee
<3 continued their perfect record all the way to the championship game where they defeated Teenage Mutant Ninja Scettles in a three-game series. The deciding game of the series can be found on the AGLA Grifball YouTube Channel.
Winning the championship for me [was the highlight of the season], and setting the standard for what I believe to be the greatest team of all time talent-wise. Our roster was so stacked and our goal from the start was to win it all. – Love Thumee
In the Amateur League, a handful of teams – Grif Reapers, Pro Laggerz, Hard Liquor Chasers, Bad Kidz Anonymous, Behind Enemy Lines, Connection Interrupted, Soviet Machine, and Apocalypse Ponies – were distancing themselves from the rest of the league and securing playoff berths even before the season ended. In the end, 16 teams made it to the Amateur League playoffs.
1. Apocalypse Ponies
2. Behind Enemy Lines
3. The Soviet Machine
4. Pro Laggerz
5. Grif Reapers
6. Hot Bikini Guyz
7. Bad Kidz Anonymous
8. Hard Liquor Chasers
9. The Henry Lovers
10. -1 Indian
11. New York Pineapples
12. Connection Interrupted
13. lvl 50 Spartan LFG
14. 5hort Bu5
15. Outcast Revelation
16. LFTO: Delocated
With the playoffs seeded, the Hub staff made predictions as to whom they thought would end up in the championship game. As per usual, we were ridiculously off target.
Ultimately, the Elite Eight featured these four match-ups:
(6) Hot Bikini Guys vs (3) The Soviet Machine
(2) Behind Enemy Lines vs (10) -1 Indian
(12) Connection Interrupted vs (4) Pro Laggers
(1) Apocalypse Ponies vs (8) Hard Liquor Chasers
Playoffs were a fuster cluck. First round, we beat NYP thanks to a lot of lag. Due to it being our first season, we kinda brushed it off and NYP didn’t dispute it. Second round was against Soviet Machine. We lost due to Ace deciding to fall asleep before the game (his aunt actually MADE him miss the game, idk why), so we ended up putting in one of our backups. That resulted in our downfall. – TacoPizzaHunter
The playoffs were so epic that I don’t even remember what happened…or it could be that I just didn’t pay attention since we didn’t make it again. – RallyFox
The championship match pitted Apocalypse Ponies against Soviet Machine.
WL10 was the first season my team made playoffs and we made it all the way to the championship. We beat a new team with a funny name, Hot Bikini Guyz, and a team made up of Priest XYZ, Bred4War23, I Dime I, and LT Sargent before playing Apocalypse Ponies in the final. That game was easily the dumbest game I have ever played, but it was great. I don’t think anyone else has ever played a game of “Kill The Carrier” during a championship, or even a live streamed game for that matter. We did both and still almost won because TimeGnome is the most ridiculous player ever. – RDG NHL
In the end, Apocalypse Ponies – blue collar kid, ManbearpigX2, HoboSaaz, Nolan Black, DSR Pie, and Oh Booster Seat – walked away with the GBWL10 Amateur League Championship.
With the playoffs completed, there was still plenty to be excited about. In February, rumors about Reach – especially Grifball in Reach – were flying harder than noobs on Get Off My Lawn. One of the most potent clues was found in one of the Bungie vidocs.
Speculation about Grifball’s place in Reach would continue until the day Reach was released.
Finally, in the weeks between the end of WL10 and Spring League 2010, Halo Waypoint announced and released Grifball: Expansion – a three-episode Grifball mini-series produced by Rooster Teeth.
And with that, Winter League 10 comes to a close. If you have any fond memories from playing Grifball from late 2009/early 2010, please leave a comment below.
Join us next week as we delve in the third season of the GGL–the first season featuring Achieveables! Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories from GGL Season 3 by clicking here.