I walked into GameStop on Saturday, having just being released from the clutches of work at nine to two. The tournament started at two so I was naturally feeling a little itchy. When I got to the store, having it two blocks from my job helps a lot, I began counting how many people were in the store. There were a lot but there was not 32 (the tournament cap).
I ambled about the store trying to figure out where they were going to have all of it set up (I had no idea how makeshift this whole thing was). I was feeling like there should have been more than one kiosk for an entire tournament but I would find out in no time at all how wrong I was.
I finally found the sign up sheet and when I tell you that I was the fourth person to sign it, what I am saying is that there were only four people there for the tournament.
Fast forward a few minutes - While I was meeting my opponents I was paying more attention to the GameStop employee turning their demo stations into a Halo Wars battlestation. I chuckled to myself.
I also chuckled when, what turned out to be my first opponent, said, "I think I should be a little nervous about going up against someone wearing a Penny Arcade shirt."
And so when it got right down to it I selected Commander Forge and my opponent selected Commander Cutter and then my first and last Deathmatch of that day was on. I started building quickly and efficiently but before I knew it I found myself overwhelmed by uber units that i had never seen before. It was over, despite my futile attempts, and I shook his hand.
I then watched him beat the person that I, myself, wanted to beat. It was not that he was fast as much as he was efficient and smart about everything he was doing. He saw a clearer line to the finish that I can only hope to develop. Naturally I wanted to learn a thing or two from him, so I got his GamerTag.
All in all it was a great experience and an even better learning experience. I could not have asked for a better opponent and I was not even nervous when I played... which is an accomplishment for me. He was an RTS player from the bottom of his heart. I did not think big enough, instead I only thought about people who would have played the demo instead of a lot of other RTS's.
I would like to have this experience again soon someday only next time I'll know the maps better and I'll be a more efficient opponent.
i was confident going into the tournament