We Sign Up for Games 5s, Kick off with ‘Name our Squad’ Competition

June 25, 2008

In a vain attempt to quench our merciless thirst for multiplayer competition, we’ve entered the upcoming Games 5s 5-a-side football tournament sponsored by Microsoft & MCV. The whole affair is in good fun, though we still intend to ruthlessly crush everyone else. This is not as wild a hope as it might seem: the tournament is only open to game industry folk who may well prove to be as wheezingly unfit as we, thus allowing our natural winningness/lack of moral qualm to prevail 🙂 The best part is that the winning team will get a £1500 donation for a charity of their choosing, which in our case may or may not involve snortling and endangered perissodactyl animals.

To kick it all off (Hooyah!), we’ve decided to run a little competition of our own: what should our inevitably victorious team name be? Our heroic imminently-all-conquering foot-to-ball squad currently toil and flex without label, monicker or title – will you be the namegiver? More details on this unique title-bestowing opportunity near the end of this blog entry, so keep reading!

Last week saw the first of our weekly training sessions, which confirmed quite how out of shape we really were, with a chorus of coughings and wheezings arising after only 5 minutes of play. The venue was a nearby school hockey pitch that we swiftly repurposed as a mini football ground. It kind of worked although having to use tennis nets as makeshift boundary lines was less than ideal. To top it all off the playing surface was coated with a fine layer of sand, which meant half of the time we spent skidding past the ball and over the goal line. Apparently no points are awarded for this, which seems unjust.

Splash Damage’s foot-to-ball champions and on-pitch ambassadors are currently Arne (ao), Ben (Mantegra), Ben (Randles), Chris (Hauser), Dave (Torchy), Flavius (Flawe), Jiri (JFK), Joe (Rex-TheGrunt), Mark (static_mover), Matt (Anti), Miroslav (Draska), and William (Smooth). As the weeks go on, we’ll narrow down our final selection for the Games 5’s squad to seven players (5 players and 2 substitutes). And maybe some cheerleaders. Sorry, that was a hideous thought.

Swiftly it became clear that we couldn’t all sit on the substitute’s bench, nor could we all claim to be midfield generals blessed with such intuitive and incisive tactical genius, we had no need for pace, control or actual skill. Remarkably, we had only one injury: Mark managed to sandpaper his head open on the ground due to a rather eager skidding challenge from Dave, although Dave did manage to redeem himself later on by catching Mark mid-fall as he was going down again 🙂

The stereotype that programmers are unfit and antisocial to boot clearly does not apply at Splash Damage, with both of our two current star strikers hailing from the programming team. Perhaps uncoincidentally, Flavius and Arne also turned out to be some of the fittest of the bunch although as you delve into their background you get a better idea as to why. Flavius (unbeknownst to many in the office) is an international karate star, winning more tournaments than you can shake a stick staff at, so as you might imagine he really has got the striking power. Then there is Arne who I recently discovered would have gone the professional football route in Norway, had he not become a programmer and joined Splash Damage. Gentlemen, athletes, scholars and gifted raconteurs both, we are convinced their abundant kicking-balls-into-goal skills will strike fear into any opponent. If not, our personal hygiene and horrifically tight football strips surely shall.

This week you’ll be happy to hear we’ve graduated to a proper 5-a-side pitch, with proper rubber coated playing surface, kickboards and everything. Soon we’ll have a dugout wherein our manager may pound his fist against the roof in frustration/joy (this may require a dugout, manager, and joy). And if I remember to put a memory card in my camera this time you might even see some photos of our mishaps… stay tuned for those next week!

As hinted at earlier in the post, we’re still in need of a proper name for our football squad. With that in mind, we’ve decided to turn this into a little competition of its own, the does-what-it-says “Name Our Five-A-Side Football Team & Win Prizes”. All you need do to be in with a chance of winning NOFASFTWP is to submit the name you think best suits us in the comments section of this post. Usual restrictions concerning obscenity and existing trademarked sporting organisations apply.

Obviously honour alone will impel you to attempt to christen our team, but as a tempting incentive and a token of our appreciation we’ve even cobbled together a few prizes in the form of an official BradyGames Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars Strategy Guide signed by the entire ETQW team here at Splash Damage and a truly 1337 Tarantula gaming keyboard (in tempest blue), courtesy of our good friends at Razer. We will be announcing the winner next week, or as long as it takes for a few half decent suggestions to be posted… so get on with it!

Swag Damage