Mercury Squad Phoenix, the Phoenix, Arizona group that owns and operates the Killer Queen arcade cabinets housed at Bonus Round held their first open tournament this past weekend. We’ve reviewed Killer Queen and covered the first nationals tournament, BumbleBash previously, so if you don’t know what it is, shame on you. In short, Killer Queen is a ten player arcade game where 2 teams of 5 go head to head. Think of it as joust on steroids. Each team has 4 drones and 1 queen bee. The queens job is to capture gates that allow drones to either gain “speed” and move quicker, or become a warrior. Oh, and stay alive, as the queen only has 3 lives. The drones job is to gather berries and fill the hive, ending the game. They can also choose to become warriors and kill the enemy queen and other drones. They do so by grabbing a berry and entering a warrior gate. That’s not all though, as they also have the option to ride a snail, because who doesn’t like snails? Filling the hive, killing the enemy queen 3 times, and riding the snail into a gate are the 3 ways to win. This leads to plenty of strategy and team work. The controls are super simple, with only a joystick and a jump button allows you to get up to speed quickly.
Now that you have a basic understanding of KQ, let’s jump into the tournament. Phoenix’s first open tournament saw a total of 13 teams compete, with people from New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Iowa, San Francisco, Kansas City, and of course Phoenix compete. Those who flew in early could get some practice, and drinks in at Bonus Round Thursday night. Friday morning though, Mercury Squad Phoenix treated out of town guests to a hike of Papago Park, followed by lunch and more booze at Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe. Rounding out the itinerary for Friday was the First Friday Art Walk and Killer Queen play at Bonus Round. Saturday is when the tournament officially kicked off, with doors to Bonus Round opening at noon.
Those competing in the tournament were gifted with two buttons pins and a perler bead figure. Reps from tournament sponsors Oskar Blues Brewery and 12 West Brewery were in attendance handing out free pint glasses as well. Moto Glass also had some Cactus Clash themed pint glasses for sale, as well as Cactus Clash steins for the tournament winners. Trophies for the top three winners were custom made medals, as well as a cash payout. Not too shabby for a $10 entry fee.
To determine seeding in the tournament, teams were split into 3 groups that played a round robin series. From there, teams were split into a double elimination bracket. Play was delayed however as some last minute maintenance had to be done to fix a broken joystick on the gold cabinet. While we waited for bracket play to begin, some obligatory Malort was consumed. All of a sudden the cabinets were fixed. Thanks for that Chicago. The team I competed on, the Taco Bell Conquistadors, feel in Group B, and lost every match in group play. This would put us up against another Phoenix team in bracket play against Cowbois Beesbop, where we lost 3-0. This wasn’t the end of our story, as we rallied an beat fellow Phoenix team Hey This Looks Fun! 3-0. This put us up against Bye Felixia, a team made up of people from San Fransisco, Portland, Minneapolis, and Iowa. A familiar score of 3-0 knocked me out of the tournament, and back to some Malort, because it tastes like defeat.
Bye Felixia would then find themselves loose 3-0 to Phoenix team Dank MayMays, who ended up 4th after a 3-2 defeat to Sedona My Face, a team made up from 5 different scenes. Minneapolis would claim victory in the tournament, with Fons Pszczoly beating Sedona My Face in the finals 4-1 after dropping the first set to them 4-2. He’ll Yeah, a team made up of Portland, Kansas City, and Minneapolis took open 3rd place with their only losses coming to Fons and Sedona.
In addition to playing in the tournament, we also gave away 3 Steam codes for Genetic Disaster, a cooperative rouge-like twin stick shooter. The press release game says to order in some pizza, grab some friends and beer, and get ready to accidentally kill each other with friendly fire. It seemed like a perfect place to give away codes for. To give them away, I came up with 3 categories. The first one was for the most steam games in their collection, because that’s exactly who needs a free game. Xander Peterson from San Francisco got that honor with 798 games. No, seriously, 798 games, he proved it. The next category was most hours spent on a single game on Steam, which Chris Baldwin from Minneapolis won with 2,634 hours in Dota 2. Chris has spent a third of a year of his life playing Dota. Finally, Matt Woelful, also from Minneapolis, got the third and final key for most hours spent on Steam in the last two weeks. Matt spent a total of 80 hours on PUBG in the last two weeks like it was his full time job. Is there really nothing going on in Minneapolis? Anyway, congrats to our winners, and thanks to Mercury Squad Phoenix for putting on such a great tournament.