The humble beginnings of the 1.04 Duel community 2002-2004
I started in 2002 when 1.04 first came out. I used to love fighting games, so I was naturally drawn to saber duels.
I was one of the few guys who was still on 56k ..so I carried around 200-400 ping on every server I went.
Around that time, I ran into a great Swedish dueler named Lizzano who would 10-0 every duel game, becoming one of my inspirations. To this day, it still seems strange to me that even the oldest euro duelers still do not recall who he is, but I'm fairly certain that his style, much like the more well-known Swede player Papewaio, served as the progenitor to the modern dueling style.
For some reason I joined a german clan called =-RaK-=. They were a bunch of nice guys..but being german, they spoke almost that exclusively, so I never felt like I fit in, especially with my 400 ping.
Lizzano eventually introduced me to the Darkside duels servers which tracked win/loss stats of any given player. They were almost exclusively North American (NA) servers, and this as also my introduction to the NA community. I remember that 'stat-whores' would hide their names as Padawan in order to protect their own stats when stronger players joined the servers. Some of the best players I remember from Darkside was Windforce, who much like Lizzano, wiped servers out consistently but yet a forgotten name in the community today. I also met Acrobat, one of my oldest friends that I know in jk2. Other good/decent players I remember from NA Darkside: jet chan, genesis, typhon. From the euro Darkside servers, I've only heard of, but never played PaNick, who according to many euros was one of the best at the time.
During this period there was concurrently another set of stat tracking servers called BWN servers. They featured well remembered NA clans such as sdf, skx, fots, <<aim>>, wov, master, sin, and a whole bunch of others.. with sdf being perhaps the well known. In my opinion, many of the so-called 'best players in the world' from these clans were completely overrated (eg: viper, xexx, vega, protoman, spathi).
Also worth mentioning is there was a well known tournament during this time that I remember Acrobat won matches against almost all the best players of the time before falling to sdf Omniscient in a closely contested game.
Great players of 2003-2004:
Many of the older NA duel clans dissipated during this time period, but some new ones were formed, such as LM and JSA. Of the former sdf players, the one who really developed was YoungBlood (YB), who quickly took the duel community by storm. For a couple of years, he was untouchable (although his exceptional 25-35 ping probably contributed a bit, and for those who are wondering, yes there is a WORLD of difference between even 35 ping and 50 ping). He was without a doubt, one of the top 5 NA duelers of all time. ICE, flashflood, and Tragedy were also some great duelers that I remember. Another great dueler, president zer0 came to prominence during this time in the euro community. His style, much like Lizzano's probably influenced a great number of modern european duelers. There were several other duelers around this time too with whom I thought was even better than zer0, such as pax mop, pax simi, and president slayer.
2005 and onwards: To be continued....if and when I feel like writing this much crap again
- darthy the historian (<3 miso soup, impy, scorpy, jamby, acrobat)