The game of Pete Sampras Tennis was over, Lord Dilks was champion, the trophy was lifted and the Mega Drive switched off. This wasn't just the end of a tournament, this was the end of the Mega Drive Championships. The Thirteenth Tournament had done exactly what was intended; ended the series of competitions with a bang and not a whimper. A variety of games, spectator seating, the return of Captain Maltby and excessive quantities of coffee all helped make this the most frantic and enjoyable tournament to date. We breathed in the tournamentless air with a sense of the unknown: four years of 16-bit history were over and it was time to turn to the page.

This was not the time for an end, but the opportunity for a new beginning.

The Fourteenth Mega Drive Championship will take place on Wednesday 6th July and will see the biggest changes to the competition ever.

The Tournament Administration
Since the establishment of Division Two, at the Ninth Tournament, power has resided with the "Founding Fathers"; Doc Shakib, Lord Dilks and Mr Smith operated a simple democratic system with a 2 to 1 vote required for mesaures to pass and Baron Von Hooton also possessing a considerable influence. For the Fourteenth Mega Drive Championship the Tournament Administration comprising of Lord Dilks and Mr Smith will control all decisions regarding the competitions, replacing the old and ineffective democratic system.

New Venue
The Fourteenth Mega Drive Championship will take place at Bramcote Memorial Hall. After considerable research this was the most suitable venue for the competitions; complete with stage, kitchen and ample power supply, it is believed the competitions will be able to expand to three divisions before an alternative location is required.

New Points Scoring System
Ever since the First Tournament three-points have been awarded for a win. It is the belief of the Administration that this makes draws nothing but defeats with a different name. While this system works well for football, it is not so good for Mega Drive and so, from the Fourteenth Championship onwards, two-points will now be given for a win.

New Members, Two Divisions
The first attempt at establishing a Division Two lasted for just two tournaments and it is hoped that the new Division Two will last considerably longer. Eight people, two divisions of four, will battle at the Fourteenth Mega Drive Championship. Captain Maltby, as the lowest placed member at the Thirteenth Tournament, will drop into the lower league. One of Baron Von Hooton, Doc Shakib, Lord Dilks or Mr Smith will be relegated this tournament, while two of Captain Maltby, returning member Lieutenant Gareth, and new members Dame Yada and Earl Holbrook, will be promoted to Division One.

New Games
For the first time there will be researched and balanced game pools, with correlation between those used in Division One and Division Two. It is hoped that the Division One games will require a greater deal of skill, while those in Division Two, although more luck based, will provide an opportunity to get used to the styles required for the top league. Ten games are used in each division.
Division One: Ball Jacks, Golden Axe 2, Micro Machines '96, NHL '96, Pete Sampras Tennis, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage 3, Super Street Fighter 2, Virtua Racing and World Cup Italia '90.
Division Two: Ball Jacks, Eternal Champions, FIFA Road to World Cup '98, Golden Axe 2, Micro Machines '96, NHL '96, Road Rash 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage 2 and WWF Super Wrestlemania.

Tournament Knockout
This competition was mothballed following the Eleventh Mega Drive Championship, but it now makes a welcome return. This competition will give members from Division Two the chance to overthrow their Division One counterparts. Lord Dilks holds the title of Knockout Winner after beating Princess Charlene on a Pete Sampras Tennis final at the Eleventh Tournament.

New Competition
The Golden Leaf Challenge Cup is a new competition born from the Street Fighter Challenge warm-up that started at the Twelfth Tournament. Division One members will play in a Super Street Fighter 2 knockout, while Division Two members will take part in an Eternal Champions Knockout. The two winners will then go head-to-head on Super Street Fighter 2 in an attempt to claim the Golden Leaf Challenge Cup.

Previous Mega Drive Champions have been rewarded with a small plastic silver painted cup, but from now on the Mega Drive Champion will receive a real trophy to hold onto until their title passes to another member. The Knockout Winner will have their name engraved upon a new shield that, although wasn't around then, features the names of the competition winners from the 9th - 11th championships. Small trophies have also been bought for the Challenge Cup winners and one for the winner of Division Two.

It is with great anticipation we look towards the Fourteenth Mega Drive Championship in the hope that all these new changes will make this competition bigger and better than all those that preceeded it.

"It's not just an all right drive, or a reasonably good drive, it's a Mega Drive and that's what the tournaments aspire to" - Baron Von Hooton

"Let's not look back on the past but instead look forward to the future. The Mega Drive Championships are becoming bigger and more passionate." - Captain Maltby

"I'm honoured to be part of the Mega Drive Championships. I'm looking forward to being part of some pure Mega Drive action. Much button mashing will occur." - Earl Holbrook

"How could the 13th [tournament] be the end? We are the tournament lads and the Mega Drive Championships have become a part of us. What we've built since January 2001 is incredible." - Mr Smith