In posts of the last previous days I mentioned how was participating in a studio-wide EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis tourney. My partner and I made it through the first round which was an elimination round. On Friday, strangely enough, the second round was a round-robin format consisting of the three remaining teams.

The second round started at the lunch hour and we were lucky enough to get some catered sandwiches to fuel us in the competition. My partner and I were up first and we faced a team also from skate. Our opponents were a dude who sits next to me, Alan, and the most senior producer on our team, Jason (not a guy you want to make mad). It wasn’t really close as we beat them three games to one.

Our next challenge came from Need for Speed consisting of some pretty senior guys on the corporate ladder. One of them had even worked on a tennis game previously. It was a long and hard fought battle. We won four games to three with the tie-break going 7-5 in our favour.

Since we went 2-0 in the round robin, we were automatically into the finals. Our opponents would be the victory between both the teams we beat. In the end, the other skate team prevailed, making it all an skate final.

While the previous rounds were played in a small room with a TV and Wii, the finals were held in the largest auditorium on our campus, in front of the entire Black Box studio. We went from playing on a 46″ TV to a projected screen that about 20 feet high. When we were called down to play, I was only slightly nervous and was pleased that a select few were cheering for me.

The match did not start well. My partner was broken immediately putting us down a game right away. I knew a quick break was crucial since the set was so short. Unfortunately, they held quite easily. Down 2-0, it was a must win game on my serve. I’m not sure how I did it but I held serve at love (or close to it). Down 2-1, it was another must win game where we had to break them. We didn’t even come close.

Even though we had beaten them earlier in the day, we faltered at the worst possible time. For second place, we got $50 gift certificates to Future Shop and a medal that had two tennis racquets and a tennis ball on it. The winners got a $100 gift certificate, the same medal, and this is the part that matters, their names engraved on a large trophy.

I still feel the sting of defeat but am glad we at least made it to the finals. I am for sure going to enter into the next studio-wide gaming tournament because hey, who doesn’t love free stuff?

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