|Match Date||Saturday, August 16th, 2003|
|Tommy Vercetti - 53.80%|
44 for - 14 against
|Tommy Vercetti - 52.43%|
Donkey Kong Always Has A Close Match (DKAHACM).
Going into this contest, Vercetti was the Playstation 2's version of Master Chief. He was a hot new character with a legitimate fanbase, but as such was very overestimated. Many people had Vercetti not only scoring some upsets, but winning the contest outright. The Top 50 list was used as a backbone for a lot of the reasoning, but then DK came along and helped people to realize that FAQ hits amount to squat.
There was a general feeling of DK having a chance to win this from a few people, and while most realized that Vercetti was very overestimated after this match they still believed that he would beat Donkey Kong fairly easily.
Whoops. It was clear when the match began that we were in for a classic, what with Vercetti jumping out to an early slim lead but doing everything in his power to choke it away. For the first 30 minutes of the poll, Vercetti couldn't get his lead above ten. It took until the 0:30 update for Vercetti to get on track, in which he enjoyed an update win of over 100.
Normalcy seemed to hit the poll as Vercetti extended his lead past 200 before the poll's first hour was over, but DK was able to hit back quickly. In one update, he took Vercetti's lead from over 200 down to just under 150. But Vercetti was quickly able to recover, and he was able to spend the next two hours building a 500 vote lead. It wasn't pretty, but it was a lead nonetheless.
DK began fighting back again at this point, but the best he was able to manage was a 50-50 stall for awhile. Vercetti was able to do his thing fairly easily en route to fighting off DK's efforts and building a lead of nearly 600 votes.
But then the morning vote came, and all hell broke loose in the poll and on the boards. Vercetti's fall from contest contender to contest bust was not a nice one, and you can imagine how his loud-mouthed supporters were being treated on the boards. In the poll, the morning vote was very nice to DK. DK began chipping away at Vercetti's lead little by little, and though Vercetti was able to hold his own every now and then, DK was able to win the morning vote overall and get Vercetti's lead under 100 by lunch. A couple of nasty updates in DK's favor helped this along considerably.
By this point the board was going nuts, much like they always do when the board favorite is in trouble. The big argument here was "Donkey Kong is a legend!" versus people wanting the two points from this match. Things got even more crazy when DK and Vercetti stalled at around the 100 vote barrier for a good two hours, before DK went nuts and took off all 100 votes in all of two updates. One update later, we saw one of the single coolest updates of all time:
14:00 | Vercetti | 50% | Kong | 50% | Lead of 1 | TV down by 3
The only thing that sucks is that updaters didn't put votals in the updates at the time (in fact if you look at Ngamer's chart, it didn't become a trend to do this until the latter stages of this very match), but it's still awesome to see a poll freeze with a gap of one vote. One update later, DK reaped the benefits of an update victory of over 100 votes, the first triple digit update score since the match was a mere 30 minutes old.
The match looked to be over, but Vercetti was quickly able to fire back. It only took two updates for him to get his lead back. Just when Vercetti looked to be in control of the match, DK fired back with another 100+ vote gain to retake the lead. One update later, Vercetti scored a 90+ vote update to take the lead back yet again.
The two characters went back and forth like this for hours, which led to arguably the best seesaw battle of the 15 minute update poll era. Whenever one character looked to be in control of the match, the other would come back one or two updates later and take the lead again. The two characters put on an absolute clinic, and the match wouldn't be decided until the evening vote.
And as everyone knows, this classic battle had a very anticlimactic end. After DK and Vercetti went at each other like gladiators hour after hour, Vercetti caught fire with the evening vote and put this match away in a flash. He turned a deadlock into a lead in the hundreds with the same speed that he had in the early stages of the match, and at the time most people blamed bracket voters for DK's failure to close the deal.
If you look back at this match, Vercetti's bracket advantage wasn't all that large. DK simply isn't good at bringing in votes at night, and it caused him to lose a match that he probably could have won had he begun putting up a fight earlier in the match. Knowing what we know now, I think it's safe to say that it wasn't bracket voting, but DK's night vote failures in general that cost him his match.
As for the board, they were mostly happy given that they favored Vercetti in this one. But all of the people who thought that Vercetti had a shot against Mega Man weren't doing much talking after his near-loss against Donkey Kong. This match was a sign of things to come for both characters; both Vercetti and DK have each gone on to have similar matches against other characters, though neither is anything more than a midcarder in the contest setting overall. But for one nice 24 hour period, they were the stars of this thing.
Okay, maybe it does get more hilariously embarrassing than MC/DK '05. Vercetti entered the season hyped to possibly make it to the semifinals... Yeah, then he almost lost to Donkey Kong. What is it with people almost choking to Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong letting them come back?
This match was basically the same as Master Chief vs. DK, but with more lead changes and more random wacky pull-aways and the like. At the end of the day, Vercetti was the winner… sort of.