THE PORTUGUESE MEGA DRIVE WARRIORS ARE BACK TO DUST OFF THEIR CONTROLLERS!!
After a lengthy consultation period following winning the second consecutive European title, it’s now time for a revolution of the Portuguese Mega Drive Championships! The organisation has changed hands - but the competition is expected to remain the same in intensity and fierceness.
All the veteran warriors are expected to come back and fight in the 12th Portuguese Tournament – in which the feat of victory would grant them a spot in the Portuguese National team for the 2010 European Championship!
The contest will be a blend of generic and innovative concepts. The first round sees players picking their own games and rules (like the European Championships) meaning everyone has a chance to show off their skills at the games they feel they perform best on, however, those who prevail to be the best of the best will play a series of gruelling 4-Way games.
It's expected that the competition will break down in 4 groups. The elite players will be seeded based upon their standings in the pre-European Qualification campaign last year.
Alberto Campos: The experienced and versatile Alberto is probably the most consistent player on the history of Portuguese tournaments - a feat that is surely linked to his status of owner of all games! He’s not easy to beat on ANY game, despite not seemingly having any particular strength. He dispatched his opposition to easily qualify for the 2009 National Team and has been a top performer in both 2008 and 2009 international tournaments.
Dário Pelixo: Seemingly strong on every single type of game and virtually unbeatable on an admirable number of games, Dário has risen to the top of the national scene with 2 titles in the last 5 tournaments. Like Alberto, he was part of both 3-man teams that saw victory in Europe in 2008 and 2009. Attempting to strike fear on the opposing players by confidently announcing his game picks will ahead of everyone else – and there's no doubt the other members will feel their confidence sapped when sitting next to him during the tournament.
Pedro Bragança: After an uneventful debut at the 9th Tournament and skipping the 10th, Pedro showed his 16-bit skills and prowess by taking the 11th Tournament by storm, which marginally granted him a place on the Top 8 Finals for the decision on the national team. Easily proving it was no fluke, Pedro advanced in all 3 stages of this competition to qualify as part of the national team and contributed to Portugal’s European victory with some very solid results. Despite having participated in two domestic tournaments, he has to be considered a major force already.
João Pires: Formerly knowing for his loud showboating antics, as well as being photographed holding aloft pizza boxes, fire extinguishers, rubbish bins, etc. João was a strong competitor in the three 2009 European Qualifying tournaments. His Stage 1 victory at the 9th tournament and 3rd place finish at the 10th virtually sealed him a place on the Top 8 Finals, where he finishing in the top 4, barely edged out by Pedro on the final team decider. He now faces a tough task ahead in keeping up his improved form. Being awarded a seed will most likely be a help!
Ferdinand Menendez: Winning the 2008 European tournament with Alberto and Dário, and following this feat with the 9th Tournament title, Ferdinand looked set to stay on the team. A semi-final at the 10th and 2nd Stage at the 11th were good enough for him to easily reach the top of the qualifying standings. However, in the Top 8 Finals everyone started from scratch and Ferdinand found himself crashing out. His skill, however, remains unshakeable and he's the most fiercesome of the Tier 2 seeds.
Arsénio Ferraz: Affable and likeable, Arsénio surprised everyone by winning the 8th Mega Drive Tournament after a run of seemingly scratchy results. Since then he has failed to regain that level and has stood as a mid-carder ever since. Qualified for the Top 8 Finals by default, as a replacement for the absent Pedro Mendes, but crashed out in 6th place. In spite of this, Arsénio is still ranked high enough to be classed as a seed!
Luis Xavier: A natural with a pad in his hands, he excels at puzzle games where he shows his mind-game skills that often lead opponents to desperation. His niche, however, is fighting games. He showed his gamesmanship skills after protecting Pedro Mendes and disposing of higher-regarded Dário and
Alberto on the 9th Tournament, granting him the final berth that ultimately was enough for him to quality for the Top 8 Finals. He didn't go very far, but no-one will feel comfortable having to play him on any game!
Fátima Campos: A long-lasting warrior, Fátima had a strong run of consistent results during the early Mega Drive tournaments - years of experience sparring against her passionate big brother (Alberto Campos) paying off. Life moved on, separation and other interests ensued along with the arrival of a new fierce generation of gamers and, with Fátima's performances sinking fast, it seemed she was destined to be an bit-player. Yet, she found her way into the Top 8 Finals after an unexpected, impressive, 3rd Place finish at the 11th Tournament. She is probably the most unpredictable factor at the national tournaments.
David Magueijo: Long time front-runner shockingly missed the Top 8 Finals by a combination of unlucky and unlikely factors - for his seemingly secure place was usurped at the 11th tournament where he crashed out of the contest early (which had only happened once in the past 5 tournaments!) Fátima had to reach at least the semi-finals (while she was apparently on a downward spiral) and someone from outside the top 8 had to take the title against all the top competitors. Turns out David was unimpressive and ended up nearly bottom of the 1st Stage, Fátima went on to the podium and Pedro Bragança won the tournament in only his 2nd outing. David was narrowly and shockingly eliminated. However, every other player knows of his ability - he's the unseeded player no-one wants on their group!
Hugo Vieira: Usually a challenger for the 2nd Stage. Hugo might lack versatility but he's very strong on a number of games. The tournament's format will work by his side.
Armando Dias: Often joking he only appears to make numbers, his ability is uncanny and he's often tipped for a surprise run ever since his first appearance. Can never be underestimated.
Veteran Orlando has been one of the few players to survive from what is known as the first generation of challengers! He never ceases to produce strong performances even though he doesn’t practice!
Pedro Mendes: Although his performances haven't been overly impressive, with seemingly no specific game a strong point, he did qualify for the Top 8 Finals - even though he was unable to attend it. One controversial semi-final appearance and another Stage 2 appearance in 3 tournaments show he can produce the goods, in spite of his suspect means.
Street Fighter 2 (A lot!): A number of players have showed their passion for this classic fighter, and in previous tournaments where players could freely pick any competitive game, both versions of Street Fighter ranked high on the list. Shouts of "Hadoken" and "Shoryuken" will naturally echo through the room a number of times.
Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine: A puzzle game that combines pressuring the opponent with advanced piece-placement skills, more often than not this game grants some spectacular duels. It has been a classic in previous tournaments and there's no indication that will change.
Mortal Kombat: Out of the 7 matches on the 11th Tournament, 6 of them ended up with fatalities. Nuff said!
Virtua Racing: The 3D arcade racer sparked a very high degree of interest through the players after it was announced as the semi-final game for the 9th tournament. A strong war ensued between many players, posting their best laps on-line - and a number of them took a liking for the game in the
Micro Machines: There just CAN'T be a Mega Drive tournament without some miniature racing!