The Board Game Master:Part Five
The Board Game Master, Part 5
Previously in The Board Game Master...
Roobina battled her way to the top of the Kacheekers tournament, securing her first ever trophy and the first of three necessary to achieve her goal of the Triple Crown. She Armada finals match began and she played through some tough opponents, ending up in the loser bracket but eventually winning her way back into the main rounds. She defeated her second to last opponent and we left her at the last Armada match of the day.
She would go up against an Armada champion, a Biscuit Uni named Fred.
"Congratulations on all your accomplishments so far," Fred spoke kindly to Roobina. "It isn't often that a first time competitor makes it this far in the tournaments. You should be very proud of yourself."
Roobina was grateful for the kind words but a little bit in shock after how her last opponent, Pumaroo, treated her. She shook Fred's hand and smiled. "Congratulations to you too for making it this far, this should be a good game."
And with that the two sat down for battle, attempting to claim as much of the board as possible and taking out their other pieces.
"You know I've won the Armada championships twice," Fred said as he claimed one of her ships.
"I've heard about you," Roobina said. She knew all about Fred, he was one of her idols as she was growing up and learning the game. For her it was incredible to be able to play against all the different players who she studied and geeked out over on the television. She was able to keep her fan-girling to herself and remain steady in the competition.
"And I've heard about you...the fans have been going wild for you, you've already created a legacy for yourself," replied Fred.
Roobina smiled and took out a couple of Fred's ships. She pushed forward in the game, gaining more and more territory until she finally defeated the Uni.
"And with her second tournament win, Roobina claims the victory!!" The announcer was shouting, the crowd was going wild. Fred smiled and shook Roobina's hand across the game board.
"A well deserved victory, keep it up through the Geos tournament," said Fred, he seemed genuinely happy for Roobina. It was nice knowing she had the support of, at least some, of her competitors. The next day would be very hard, there was a lot of pressure on her to succeed. Both from herself and from the audience.
The day of the Geos final had arrived and the news all last night was about Roobina. It seemed like every show was talking about her, the newcomer to the scene who had taken the tournaments by storm. She was playing better than every first timer before her and was on track to become the next Triple Crown winner; winning Kacheekers, Armada, and Geos all in the same year. The stadiums were packed with fans, people wearing Roobina t-shirts and holding up flags and banners. She was trying not to focus too hard on the press and attention because she didn't want to lose focus or get caught up in it all, she knew she'd have plenty of time after she won. For now, she had to focus on Geos.
She wasn't the only first time competitor in the Geos final, her best friend Mazey was also there (much to her earlier surprise), and there were two other first years. This was abnormal for Geos, but it seems like some of the top competitors were taken out early. She sat down for her first match, against another first timer named Utwina, a Tyrannian Meerca. And they began battle. Geos is tough because you never know what your opponent is doing until it adversely affects you or them, it's hard to strategize around moves you don't know that are being made. There is a strong element of skill, but also a healthy dose of luck needed. It's all about being able to adapt to new information. Roobina was skillful in her playing in this first round and was able to complete her four shapes before Utwino even finished two.
Roobina's second round was a bit tougher, she was playing against a very offensive player named Terry, a Red Grarrl. His strategy was to block her at every move or bomb her as often as possible, worrying about his own shapes after he stopped her from making all hers. It was to no avail though, as she was still able to learn the patterns of Terry's movement to get one step ahead. When you play Geos you cannot be predictable when revealing your moves to your opponent.
Without time to breathe, Roobina went into round three. She had no idea what was going on elsewhere on the tournament floor, she didn't know how Mazey was doing or if she was eliminated yet, but she hadn't been able to look around and find her. Her matches were going by at a rapid pace. Now she was facing Yuri, a Blue Yurble who had just won his way back from the loser bracket. He started off strong, completing two shapes by the time she finished her first. It seemed like every time she picked a place on the board, he had already claimed it. She changed up her strategy a bit, being more sporadic, which led to her getting some lucky blocks and bombings in. Within a few minutes she had caught up and overtaken him. Yuri's demeanor changed and he was clearly getting stressed, causing him to fumble through the rest of the game and leading to Roobina's third win of the day.
This was it, she was moving on to the final Geos round. All she had to do was win this game and she would secure the Triple Crown, a lifelong dream of hers. Her whole life of gaming, her time and practice in the smaller tournaments, her playful games with her friends like Mazey, it all came down to this.
She approached the board and stood, waiting for her opponent when she saw Mazey coming up the stairs.
"You did it girl," Mazey said, smiling and hugging her. "You made it to the final match!!"
Roobina was beaming, she was so happy to see her best friend. "I know, I can't believe it. Just one more match, I don't know where my opponent is though."
"I'm right here," Mazey smirked.
Roobina was in shock. Mazey!? Mazey, who she had never played Geos with was now going to be going against her. Mazey, the friend who encouraged her to do this was now the one thing in her way to victory.
"I know, I should've told you I was entering," said Mazey. "I love Geos so much, but I was always so shy and embarrassed to play it with someone as good as you. I didn't think I could match up so I kept it to myself. Turns out...we are apparently on the same level."
Roobina couldn't be upset with her friend for deceiving her, she know how much this means to her and knew it probably means the same to Mazey. "I'm excited to finally get a chance to play against you," she said to Mazey. "Good luck to both of us."
"Good luck," Mazey smiled.
And the two sat down and started their game. They didn't say a single word throughout the match, they were both laser focused. The crowd was also dead silent, as well as millions of Neopians watching at home with their breath held. No one wanted to make a single movement that might influence the players either way. The game dragged on for ages, with Roobina bombing Mazey and Mazey blocking Roobina's shapes. No one even knew if they'd be able to complete all their shapes before the board was filled. And then the whistle blew...
"The winner of the final round of Geos is..."
The anticipation in the crowd was palpable, waiting for the announcer to finish his sentence. He dragged it out for almost thirty seconds, leaving the world in wonder...
The crowd erupted in cheers and Roobina broke down in tears. She had just won the Triple Crown, one of the hardest titles in the entire gaming world. She ran and hugged Mazey.
"Thank you so much for pushing me to do this, thank you for being my best friend, and I'm sorry it had to come down to a match between us."
"I'm so proud of you, and I'm so happy we can play against each other now. I'm coming for that title next year," Mazey was smiling and laughing.
Roobina walked across the stage to meet the host and announcer who was there with her final trophy and a giant crown for her, representing the Triple Crown. As she strutted around the stage with all her adornments she just absorbed the moment. She played with her heroes, with her friends, and she played hard. All her practice had paid off, and the encouragement of those close to her propelled her to victory. She proved that even though you may stumble sometimes, like in the Armada finals when she ended up in the loser bracket, that you can bounce back if you work hard enough for it. She hoped to be an inspiration to Neopians everywhere that if you want something, you should chase it, because you just may get a hold of it.