Ever since Captain Maltby retired at the Fifth Tournament, it cannot have been much fun for Baron Von Hooton at the Mega Drive Championships. For the past three tournaments he has finished in last place, not having the ability to challenge Doc Shakib, Lord Dilks or Mr Smith for the top three places. When Captain Maltby retired it was mainly because he was finding the tournaments boring and although the introduction of a draw system has varied the games played at the tournaments, Baron Von Hooton still finds himself adrift. While he picks up the occasional win on Golden Axe, is virtually secured a victory on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 against Lord Dilks and has taken advantage of NHLPA Hockey's randomness, his role in the tournaments, as whipping boy seems secure.

All this is about to change as from the next Mega Drive Tournament when a second division will be added to the league. Sir Jackaman and Professor Mizutani are two of the names who will battle to be promoted at the Ninth Tournament while the third member has yet to be decided on. While there are a few options available each person on the shortlist comes with pros and cons. Ideally we would like to see Captain Maltby rejoin the competition and try his hand in the lower league, but so far he does not seem willing to pick up his controller again.

There are also going to be different games used in Division Two to the seven currently used in Division One. Eternal Champions, Golden Axe (the original), Micro Machines 2, Road Rash 2 and Streets of Rage 2 have already been decided on and a couple more will probably be added before the Ninth Tournament starts.

The only problem of a second division is how it will effect how the tournaments are run. Currently each decision altering the tournaments must be agreed unanimously and securing the agreement of Baron Von Hooton, Doc Shakib, Lord Dilks and Mr Smith is difficult, as all four want to do as well as they can at each tournament and do not want to do anything that might compromise their league position - getting division two was hard enough, but having seven members agree would be impossible. One method of possibly solving this issue is to change to a democratic system, however, neither Lord Dilks or Mr Smith seem keen to lose their veto. Another new way in which the tournaments could be run is by simply keeping unanimity in Division One and those in Division Two having no say in the competitions. This is opposed by Doc Shakib and Baron Von Hooton who, over the course of the next few tournaments, are the two most likely to face the threat of relegation. Lord Dilks and Mr Smith also have doubts in case the long term future sees new members come in that cause them to be relegated. The issue of how the tournaments are run will need to be decided pretty soon.

One thing all four members have agreed on is the introduction of a new competition to the tournaments. A knockout will run alongside the league and will feature both members from Division One and Division Two. It is expected that this will produce a great deal of passion, with the lower league members wanting to beat their opponents from the higher division. In each fixture games will be chosen at random from both the Division One and Two game pools. Although eight would be the ideal number of players to enter the first knockout, with seven it has been agreed that the Mega Drive Champion (currently Mr Smith) will receive a bye into the semi-finals.

The passion increases as we look forward to putting the ghost of tournament predictability to rest. The Ninth Mega Drive Championship is coming soon...