It just wasn't enough to go around!
This was the situation last November as an unexpected number of wildcard competitors crowded the 1up to take their crack at the Kong Off 2 leaderboard. With only four machines set aside for them, an elimination format was, by necessity, hastily devised. Only the best scores were able to move on to Day 2.
Eric Tessler came away the wildcard champion, with a very impressive 900,500 kill screen, good for 9th in the overall tournament standings (and beating four of the twelve "featured" players who had dedicated machines).
While Tessler (who had the opportunity to speak with Fox News about his experience at the Kong Off 2), was happy with his own performance, he and many others felt that without full access to their own machines, the wildcards weren't able to play at anywhere near their full potential.
Last month he and fellow wildcarder John Salter decided to rectify that, announcing a 24 hour online Donkey Kong tournament open only to wildcard competitors, with a cash prize purse put up by Tessler and Salter themselves.
The prizes are:
$250 = 1st
$100 = 2nd
$100 = first kill screen
$100 = first player to beat Eric Tessler's Kong Off 2 score of 900,500
$50 = player whose first Jumpman lasts the most screens
$50 = player whose fourth Jumpman lasts the most screens
$25 = ??? (to be announced after the completion of the tournament)
The tournament is today only—Saturday, January 19th beginning at 12:00 AM PST and ending the following midnight.
Most of the Kong Off 2 wildcard players plan to participate. Organizers Tessler and Salter (obviously) cannot compete. Steve Sanders does not have a live stream, and some players, such as Ross Benziger, may not play due to other commitments.
Here are the streams!
Allen Staal: http://www.twitch.tv/muscleandfitness
Jeff Harrist: http://www.twitch.tv/jcharrist
Jeff Wolfe: http://www.twitch.tv/milehighdt
Ross Benziger: http://www.justin.tv/vondummpenstein
Chris Icenhour: http://www.twitch.tv/sevenup1203
Mitchell Elliott: http://www.twitch.tv/marinomitch13
Steve Wiltshire: http://www.twitch.tv/konghusker
Mike Groesbeck: http://www.twitch.tv/mikegmi2
Melkon Dombourian: http://www.twitch.tv/melkond
Daniel Desjardins: http://www.twitch.tv/danman123456
Daniel Dock: http://www.twitch.tv/dd0ck
Robbie Lakeman: http://www.twitch.tv/lakeman421
Jonathan McCourt: http://www.twitch.tv/jmckong
During the competition, world record contender Vincent Lemay also plans to get in a few world record attempts on his stream (he's still playing from a back room at the 1up).
I'm rooting for Allen "Mr. Awestralia" Staal! If nothing else, I want Allen to top his personal best of 402,500.
(Allen's stream is also the one I'll recommend to any strangers and newbies out there... you WILL be entertained.)
I'll also get behind Jeff Wolfe (pictured right), just for the sake of him utterly kicking the ass of my one-time world record on the "No-Hammer Challenge" on the Japanese version of Donkey Kong, and coming within a single rivet of being the first-ever hammerless Donkey Kong kill screen. It was an awesome game, and didn't get nearly enough credit. The title is in the right hands.
My pick to win the Wildcard Off? I'm gonna go with point-pressing pioneer Ross Benziger... assuming that he plays. I'll be blunt: I think he's the best Donkey Kong player in the group.
Results coming after the event.
Gentlemen, start your Kongs!