Alright, now for the fun part: announcing the winners.
The first match was brutally competitive -- monitoring and ultimately judging the winners of this contest became tricky due to all of the hacking out in the open that took place, some forms of it more amusing than others. I can't say we've ever seen that before on Destructoid, but we do appreciate the enthusiasm towards winning these great computers at the risk of being permabanned for life. There was no shortage of that! Regardless, I hope everyone had fun with it anyway and improved their Tanked-Up skills overall. Special thanks to Nitrome for lending us their games.
A FLASH FINISH IN THE COMMENTS
Congratulations to Tim48o, Wedge, Meep Jeep, -H-, and Reaprar -- the top five consecutively (and legitimately) high-scoring players before things got "interesting". It's hard to tell which one of these guys was on top at the last minute, so we'll do a tiebreaker in the comments below. The first three to comment will win $300, $150, and $50 respectively and seats in the final tournament. If you know one of these guys I'd get them on the phone right now, as two are about to be eliminated! Exciting, isn't it?
But wait, there's more! The top five score hackers will also receive a supply of HACKS cough drops and Dtoid stickers: Congrats Dyslexic, RedRabbit, Blacksheep, KamikazeTutor, Weirs for coming clean on the hacks. Special thanks to our matlocking unofficial IRC crew, too!
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
Among all the hacking attempts one stood out: a way to win the contest without reverse-engineering the actual game file, interrupting server communications, or altering the system's short-term memory, thus technically not breaking our contest rules. A white-hat hacker (name withheld by request) took the time to write in and detailed an external software tool that enthusiasts use to bring their computer's CPU clock to a grind, allowing a player to complete any part of a game through artificial slow-motion. Both flash games and retail games (not involving a live multiplayer match or time-based session) are vulnerable to this tool, so unless we're sitting there over everyone's shoulders we're not likely able to catch these guys in the act. Obviously, that changed things and will affect the tournament going forward.
You have to laugh -- isn't it ironic that a tournament giving away hyper-fast computers could be gamed best by emulating the slowest computer possible?
NEW WEEK, NEW GAMES
We've listened to community feedback closely and I believe we've come up with a great solution: Since the various hacks are nearly impossible to monitor across a few thousand players in real time we've decided to change things up a bit for the next two rounds.
1. Simply play the tournament, get your score in, and random winners will be selected to win cash prizes.
2. Winners from each match will move to the final match which will may be played in a ladder or deathmatch but absolutely skill based: a PC game that allows multiple Dtoid judges to monitor and record activities in real time. Could I be more intentionally vague? Hint: It requires a keyboard and mouse!
Look for a new game early next week and more random prizes like Intel Quad-Core Processors to be issued out next week just for playing the game and submitting a score.
Can you guess what it will be? Check out Nitrome's web site for a hint!
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