Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to attend one of the “Best of” beer pong tournaments throughout the country know just how fun these weekends are. Sure the majors are awesome, and mid-majors have their charm. But if you want to see pong at its most fun and competitive, the “Best of” tournaments have it down. Therefore, we at Pongstars.net bring you the official recap from Best of The South.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, you need to get informed! The Beast of the East on the East Coast was the first to attempt this style of tournament, wherein regions assembled squads of 10 to battle it out to determine who had the deepest talent pool. Since then the Best of the Midwest, Best of the West, and Battle of the South have followed that structure.
The most recent of these tournaments was the first annual Battle of the South, which took place November 4th-6th in Dallas, TX. Though smaller than its counterparts around the country (with only six squads in attendance) the trash talk and levels of excitement were up to par. Squads came out from Lafayette, Albuquerque, Dallas, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City.
Early favorites for Best of the south, as determined by facebook shit talk (FST, the most trusted source for pong news and statistics), were undoubtedly ABQ and Louisiana. The ABQ players felt their extensive experience all but guaranteed a finals matchup.
The Louisiana boys, though relatively new to the pong scene, reveled in their status as “unknown” players, knowing they ran deep with solid shooters. Of course, anything can happen when you step up to the table, especially when you have to rely on ten different players. The other four squads had every chance to pull off an upset and take the whole thing down.
$1,000 Singles Beer Pong Tournament
When I found out the format for the singles, I was at first skeptical. Four prelim games for seeding, and everyone made the bracket. Though there were ten tables set up, I was very worried about finishing that long a tournament in time. Things got underway pretty quickly though, so I’d have to save my worries for another time.
This singles tournament was a proving ground for a lot of relatively unknown players. Compared to the rest of the country, the South is still “developing” in the pong world, and so most players didn’t know each other. Sure there’s the certainty of FST, but Battle of the South was the first real meet and greet.
There was one player that everyone knew competing in the singles, and he wasn’t a part of the South at all. Maryland’s Mantis was in the neighborhood and decided to stop by for a quick singles win, and everyone in the South was eager to knock him out. He seemed to revel in the antagonism, but didn’t bring out the Mantis everyone hears about on the BPong forums (I didn’t get spit on even once!).
Eventually prelims ended and Joseph “PeeWee” Lyle out of ABQ was in the lead, with a 4-0 +18 record. Bracket play got underway and was running pretty well until it was time for the bar to close. Luckily it had gotten down to the final eight before being postponed. For the record, Mantis was not one of the eight.
The singles were finished the next day, and four different cities were represented in the final four. Trevor Banks (Louisiana) took fourth, PeeWee (ABQ) took third, Cam Johnson (Dallas) took 2nd, and Michael “1-Esler” Kesler (Oklahoma) took first.
“I’m just glad I was able to show we can play a little bit of beer pong here in Oklahoma. Other than at the WSOBP this was definitely the deepest field I’ve been a part of. In the semis I was trying not to laugh at being called one “s” ler. After I took down the finals I was just thinking how ugly that first game must have been to watch, and how happy my pregnant wife would be to hear that I’m bringing home some diaper money, ha!” – Kesler, Oklahoma Squad Captain
Best of the South Beer Pong Main Event
After months of insults and rivalry, it was time to settle the score for the South. It should be noted here that originally there were supposed to be eight squads competing, with two out of El Paso, TX. Unfortunately, the El Paso boys are making it a habit of dropping out of big tournaments only days before they happen (as they had done at Best of the West earlier this year), and both squads backed out at the last minute. They won’t be hearing the end of that for a while.
After prelims the top two squads were Louisiana and ABQ, with the former undefeated and the latter’s only loss coming from the Louisiana boys. Oklahoma and the San Antonio Minors were knocked out in the playoffs by San Antonio and NTexas, respectively. This put the top two seeds against the last remaining Texas squads in the semi-finals.
ABQ faced San Antonio in what turned out to be a brutal matchup. After losing the first two games of the matchup, ABQ was in dire straits and looked to be going out in third. In some of the loudest, most rowdy games, however, they were able to pull off the last three wins necessary to go to the finals. Louisiana made shorter work of the NTexas squad, and the predicted finals matchup took place.
A lot of pressure was riding on this finals, as most of the FST that took place in the months leading up to the event was between ABQ and Louisiana. Apparently youth beats experience, however, as Louisiana all but routed the ABQ boys with a 4-1 victory. Glad I voted for winner takes all…
“I feel we had the most talented, strategic team out there, it just wasn’t our day.” – Manny Marquez, Albuquerque Squad Captain
“Winning BotS was exciting, but just another step for Louisiana Pong. The whole event was just another reason to show how deep of a squad we are. Overall, the event was a success and I’m speaking for all the guys from LA when we say we can’t wait till the next one. Thanks again to the lads who put it on!” – Trevor Banks, Louisiana Squad Captain
WSOBP VII Satellite Beer Pong Tournament
There were a lot of scores to settle after the previous day of pong, and what better way than with a multi-partner satellite? Better than the grudge matches, however, were the new teams that had formed over the weekend.
“I told one of the Louisiana guys I’d play with him, but I don’t remember his name. Hopefully he finds me!” – PeeWee
Of course, most players were hungover and struggling just to stay standing. In the end two teams had maintained themselves well enough to go undefeated to the finals. The hybrid team Roll the Dice (Gabe Montoya and Blain Sonnier). And the Louisiana boys of Hey There (Shawn Comeaux and Aaron Boudreaux).
A word of warning to anyone who attempts to watch the finals video. It is 45 minutes of possibly the worst shooting ever filmed. Most people think of a long finals as a battle between amazing shooters. As was the case with the recent 2 hour Midwest satty finals. This was no such spectacle. In the end of the painfully tragic game, Gabe and Blain pulled off the win.
“It felt great taking down BotS with all my boys from Louisiana. Feels good to prove everyone wrong. Maybe we finally earned a little respect. As for the satty victory, I couldn’t have done it without my partner Gabe Montoya. He is a great shooter.” – Sonnier
“We shot great to get there, just disappointed the finals wasn’t impressive. But a win is a win I’ll take it.” – Montoya
After all was said and done, the weekend was a great time and lived up to the hype. Texas organizer Colby Callat deserves a big thanks for pulling it off.
“It was a great weekend to get the South together. The trash talking the month before up until the day of was only bettered by the trash talking on the tables. To have Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico in the final four of the singles was great. Battle of the South was incredible. Everyone stepped up and brought their A game.
It was great to see the different teams for the satellite that you normally wouldn’t. I am hoping we put together a South squad to go up against the Midwest at the Series. The South has guys to compete with some of the best in the country. It was a blast and I want to thank everyone for coming.” – Callatt
It would be great to see a national-scale tournament utilizing the “Best of” format. Hopefully the powers that be can make it happen in the near future. Until then, back to boring ol’ 2v2! Also, congrats for the winners of this main event being added to the Beer Pong Champions archive!