Despite the problems internally the Tournament Website was increasing in popularity. Starting off with just seven hits in April 2001 the quantity started to grow to an average of 100 hits per month. Atheistically the website went through one major change during its time on Geocities. The content slowly grew with a wide array of tournament profiles as the biggest draw to the website. These ranged from serious information about the Mega Drive's hardware to fictional characters that had been born from ridiculous conversations within the tournaments. This time of the websites history saw many bizarre pages come and go with perhaps the most surreal of these being an auction page and a pub guide [which have not been included in the archive - Admin].

Virtua Racing was regarded as breaking
the predictability of the previous six tournaments
at the Seventh Tournament

In September 2001 the Sixth Championship ended when Doc Shakib beat Lord Dilks on Golden Axe 2. The Mega Drive Championships then went on a two month break. At the time this was the longest intermission between two tournaments. The Seventh Championship was the beginning of the road that has seen the tournaments change from a repetitive, dull event back into the passionate, enjoyable competition it is today. Although the initial change was a relatively simple one it was a stroke of genius from Baron Von Hooton to suggest that the games are randomly selected from a pool. By the time of the Seventh Championship seven games had been chosen to be entered in the draw. Super Street Fighter 2, Virtua Racing and NHLPA Hockey '93 were added to the original four games. NHLPA Hockey '93, Pete Sampras Tennis, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Virtua Racing were selected for the Seventh Championship. This time the league was a closely contested competition between Doc Shakib, Lord Dilks and Mr Smith but by the final game, Lord Dilks Vs Mr Smith on NHLPA Hockey '93, only Doc Shakib and Mr Smith had any mathematical chance of winning the tournament. In a memorable game Lord Dilks beat Mr Smith 3-2 and gifted the title of Mega Drive Champion to Doc Shakib. Lord Dilks's victory pushed him up into second place, while Mr Smith slumped into third. Even though the "Baron Von Hooton" Draw System had saught to randomize the games there were still a lot of fixtures featuring the same games. It would only be a matter of time before the three new games became as predictable as the old four, however, at the time it was a much needed breath of fresh air that revistalised the Mega Drive Championships.

"It was a great day for the tournaments when Doc Shakib won the Championship. It needed to have its duopoly broken for its own sake, and I think I speak for Mr Smith when I say I was happy Doc Shakib won. It was a deserved victory and one that confirmed the belief that he was a major threat in the tournaments. I would like to think that I played my part in his victory by edging out Mr Smith with the winning goal on NHL '93 in the last game of the Seventh Tournament." - Lord Dilks

Super Street Fighter 2 sparked
new life into the tournaments.

The Eighth Tournament marked the first anniversary of the Mega Drive Championships. It had been an eventful year and the tournaments had struggled to make it this far. Although the final standings were uninspiring, with Mr Smith winning, Lord Dilks finishing second, Doc Shakib third and Baron Von Hooton holding up the table, the Eighth Tournament was much more tolerable than many of the preceding championships. The biggest problem was the novelty of the new draw system wore off quickly and half the games played were the same dull ones from the early championships. Once again Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had been drawn but the removal of Mystic Cave Zone shortened the length of the game and made it more tolerable for those who did not enjoy it. The unpredictable NHLPA Hockey '93 made its second appearance and threw out a few shock results. Pete Sampras Tennis was also drawn, however, the first outing of Super Street Fighter 2 added a much needed spice to the Eighth Mega Drive Championship. If the Seventh Tournament had been a provisional reprieve; the Eighth certainly proved the competitions had something to give and the execution was stayed indefinitely. Yet it was more than obvious that more changes were needed if the tournaments were to avoid a repeat of the Sixth Tournament, with the predictable nature of the competitions, which would soon seep into the three new games and sap away their enjoyment, the biggest concern. Desperate for some sort of change it was decided to rush headlong into an idea that had been in circulation since the early days and create two divisions for the league.

"Division Two had been an idea since around the Third Tournament and it was only after the Seventh that we really gave it some serious thought. When the Second Division actually happened it was great, as everybody had something to play for." - Mr Smith

The Second Division would be added in time for the Ninth Championship. This was the first time since the First Mega Drive Championship that the long-term tournament members collaberated together to produce something that wasn't souly for their own benefit. It was decided early on that Division Two should have some different games to the First Division, but that there should remain a few 'core' games that were used in both leagues. Eventually it was settled that Eternal Champions, European Club Soccer, Micro Machines 2, NBA Jam, Pete Sampras Tennis, Road Rash 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 would be used in the lower league. Two months were set aside to find three new members. Sir Jackaman, Professor Mizutani and Private Mary were the three who battled for the honour of being promoted to Division One. Sir Jackaman was the one who claimed the Division Two title after an amazing seven wins in succession left him eleven points clear of second placed Professor Mizutani. While the Second Division had been a sucessful competition, Division One was struggling. By the end of the first leg Mr Smith was top of the table, followed by Lord Dilks, Doc Shakib was in third while Baron Von Hooton languished in the relegation place. The atmosphere was also once again tedious and infuriating; Golden Axe 2, Pete Sampras Tennis and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 were all drawn with Super Street Fighter 2 the only 'new' game to appear from the draw machine. Baron Von Hooton was expected to be relegated, however, for reasons unknown Doc Shakib decided to forfeit the second leg meaning Baron Von Hooton needed just two points to secure his First Division status. Not only did Baron Von Hooton get the required points a run of three victories in four games pushed him into a position where he challenged an out of form Mr Smith, who had slipped from top stop, for second place. Lord Dilks won the Ninth Tournament with a comfortable seven-point margin. Doc Shakib was relegated to Division Two and Sir Jackaman promoted to the top tier of Mega Drive gameplay.

Ninth Tournament Members: Doc Shakib, Mr Smith, Sir Jackaman, Lord Dilks
Private Mary, Professor Mizutani and Baron Von Hooton

Another idea that came to fruition in the Ninth Championship was that of the Tournament Knockout. The original idea required an eighth member in order to successfully work, however, it was adapted so that, in the event of an odd number of members in the final, a series of byes would exempt members from the first round. Originally the byes were based upon league standing, but this was revised befor the Fourteenth Tournament so that byes are now awarded for achievements in the previous Knockout. The biggest change between the league and knockout was that for each fixture of the knockout the game was drawn seperately. It was feared that the duopoly that has dominated the Mega Drive Championships for so long would be just as dominate in the new Knockout but, as of yet, there has never been a Mr Smith Vs Lord Dilks final. Sir Jackaman who had proven his credentials in Division Two was the first member to win the Knockout. His path to victory had seen him beat Lord Dilks, Private Mary and Baron Von Hooton. With his victory in the Knockout and his triumph in Division Two the question at the back of everybody's mind was 'how well will Sir Jackaman do in the top tier?' This was never properly answered.

European Club Soccer was used in the
first Knockout Final. It was also the
first game to be used in Division Two

An eighth member was included in the Tenth Tournament. General Pink became the fourth man in the Second Division and was lined up against Professor Mizutani, Private Mary and the former Mega Drive Champion, Doc Shakib. The draw for the Knockout saw General Pink selected against a much-fancied Sir Jackaman on World Cup Italia '90. Yet the underdog did the unthinkable and beat the previous winner 10 goals to 6. It was clear from this result that Sir Jackaman was not as invincible as his previous form had shown and with his league opposition now consisting of Baron Von Hooton, Lord Dilks and Mr Smith things were not going to be easy. When the league fixtures kicked off Sir Jackaman found himself struggling. A close 5-4 victory on NHLPA Hockey '93 against Baron Von Hooton was to be Sir Jackaman's only points scored. Annihilated 10-0 by Mr Smith on Golden Axe 2 and unable to secure a single (tennis) point when Lord Dilks hammered him 6-0 on Pete Sampras Tennis. Sir Jackaman was bottom of Division One at the end of the first leg.

General Pink - Played just one
game in the 10th Tournament Knockout

Goal difference separated Mr Smith and Lord Dilks at the top of Division One and Baron Von Hooton and Sir Jackaman at the bottom, as the focus switched to Division Two, however, it was at this point the tournament went wrong. Private Mary had already abstained from his Knockout clash against Mr Smith and opted to disappear on holiday without informing anybody affiliated with the tournaments of his decision. General Pink also considered it to be too much trouble to attend the Second Division and both he and Private Mary were removed from the Mega Drive Championships. This created a huge problem as with two hours until Division Two was shedualed to begin there were now only two members left to battle in that league. Lieutenant Gareth was drafted in on a temporary basis and shocked everyone as he went on to beat Doc Shakib and Professor Mizutani to the title, in what was a very tight league. Private Mary and General Pink were not the only ones who chose to miss games in the Tenth Tournament. Sir Jackaman did not appear in the second leg and his games were forfeited. This secured Baron Von Hooton's place in the top flight and gifted him with another third-place finish. Lord Dilks went on to win the Tenth Championship after a 2-0 win against Mr Smith on Golden Axe 2 in the final game of the tournament. Lord Dilks also managed to win the Knockout in which he faced former Division One rival Doc Shakib in an NBA Jam final.