Good day to you all from jetlag central. I just got back in from COD XP this weekend past, and am slowing readjusting to life in the GMT sleep timeline. Before that happens, however, it’s time to dole out some awards for this year’s XL event.
Sumo Fight Award
Winner: Jonny Pile (Shortlist)
Why: Jonny took on the inimitable Rory Buckeridge from NUTS Magazine, and while Rory seemed to think it was all very funny, Jonny was clearly up for it.
He even went as far as trying to knock Rory’s helmet off before the referee signaled for the match to begin. Jonny floored his opponent in record time, and then proceeded to ‘Splash’ him a further three times. Brutal!
Worthy mentions: Martin Gaston (VideoGamer) who saw off his opponent quickly and was gracious enough in victory to go easy to them delivering what the referee described as the ‘worst splash I’ve seen all weekend’ and the ‘second worst splash I’ve seen all weekend’.
Pit Boss Award
Winner: Lee Zaleski (The Sun)
Why: At Call Of Duty XP, there was a reconstruction of the Pit from the beginning of the COD: MW2 campaign. For those of you who can’t remember this bit of the game, here’s someone running it and racking up a pretty impressive score.
You might notice that the person playing the game on that YouTube clip clocks up a Pit time of 30.75 seconds, which in MW2 is enough to earn you the Pit Boss Achievement/Trophy.
Can you imagine getting a better time than that? And can you imagine doing that IRL? Well, Lee doesn’t have to because he did both. He clocked up a time of 18.77 seconds beating all the other gamers at COD:XP, as well as a couple of military personnel – ie Marines and Navy Seals – who were there.
In other words, Lee’s probably as good at shooting targets in real life as he is on MW2. He also knows quite a bit about wine…
Worthy Mention: Whoever came second. Yeah, that loser.
Burger Town Bros Award
Winners: Dave Cook and Martin Gaston
Why: All of the hacks were given Burger Town T-Shirts by a mysterious man who visited their hotel rooms in the middle of the night. At least I assume that’s what happened because on the second night I returned to my room after dinner to find a packet containing the fine T Shirt you see Dave, Martin and I modelling there. Aside from my good self, Martin and Dave were the only people savvy, smart and brave enough to wear theirs the next day.
Worthy mention: Rory Buckeridge who was on hand to point out that we looked like a trio of pratts.
COD: XP Patch Collector Award
Winner:Lee Zaleski (again!)
Why: Lee wasn’t the only journalist as COD: XL to walk away with a full collection of patches, but while some of his hack compatriots simply asked the PRs to get them patches (and we won’t name and shame them here), Lee actually earned all of his. All of them. He was even kind enough to give a couple to me.
Worthy mention: Jonny Pile, who eventually realised that he was never going to be able to beat Lee’s Pit record, but still collected a ton of patches.
Magnum Opus Award
Why: Will was covering the event for nearly every single publication in existence. By the time we left the convention he claimed to have broken the back of the ‘nearly 8,000 words’ he still had to file. The man’s a machine. A machine who will be financing his honeymoon with COD. In a way he’s actually earning valuable COD points with his writing.
Worthy mention: Anyone else there who was writing for more than five publications. If there’s no one who matches that description then Will is peerless.
Instant Clan Award
Winners: Waylon, Arron and Jake
Why: I decided to run the Modern Warfare 2 gauntlet at COD: XP. This means that I, along with three teammates, had to beat another team of four in Team Deathmatch on the Scrapyard Map. Then we had to beat another team of four in a Capture The Flag match on Highrise. Then we had to win another Team Deathmatch on Terminal. Finally, we had to Dominate our opponents in Dominate in the Invasion Map.
If all this sounds remarkably easy, keep in mind that the sort of gamer who attends XP. They spend ages in the multiplayer. They know every choke point, sniper nest and camp spot of every map. They have hair-trigger reflexes. Some of them even tattoo their clan name into their flesh.
Know what? We still won! And our victory was achieved in spite of the fact that we had to sit directly in front of the air conditioner that blasted us with cold air in the semi-finals, and an air vent that blasted us with cold air and spat water all over us in the finals!
Worthy Mentions: David Scarborough, Dave Cook and someone whose name escapes me for the moment who were on my team when we beat our fellow hacks at Team Deathmatch on the Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer. We then got absolutely pwned by the next team we faced in a Capture The Flag match. They completely and utterly wasted us.
All props to the Activision and Frank PR folks for a fantastic time! Now I’m off to polish my guns. And by guns I mean cutlery.