As I mentioned at the start of this adventure, the faction consists of 7 weeks of round robin competitions followed by a championship competition.
Over the course of the 7 weeks, 15 people competed against each other in round robin competitions. During that time our scores, our win totals, as well as our tie games, were all recorded and tracked till finally on the night of the Championship, our standings were revealed in our match ups for the championship game.
To begin with, it’s worth noting that all skill levels compete together. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been throwing knives your whole life or if you’ve been throwing knives only for the last 7 weeks, we were all competing together. There is a certain logic to this since getting to play against more experienced people helps us hone our skills, and ultimately all you can do is practice.
When I began I was at the bottom of the rankings. Out of 15 people I was pretty much 15th (I was 13th but that’s mainly because two people joined after I did.) I was thrilled to learn as a result that I had moved up to 10th position. I made the top ten! For someone who was always bad at sports, this was a big deal to me.
During the Championship, you had two shots at winning. Everyone starts out in A block. When you get knocked out, you get knocked into B block. If you win B block, you get a chance to face the A block winner in a final showdown. If you get knocked out of B block, that’s it, game over.
The person I was partnered against was a friend from the weeks before. Bats was a cool person with an appreciation for Dr. Harley Quinn, and someone I knew for a fact had spent almost every day at In the Air since discovering the place and falling in love with knife throwing. Here is a recording of me in the first round.
The competition was fierce. Unlike with the round robins, instead of 2 rounds, we would face off with three. The first round went to me! I was so excited. But then excitement got the better of me and my next two rounds I was overtaken by Bats, and so I was bumped down to B block.
I spent the next hour getting to alternate between watching the matches as they went and enjoying a chance to try some of the yummy food that everyone had brought to share during the tournament.
When B Block came around, I faced off against my opponent. She had joined the Faction a few weeks late but had picked up knife throwing quite quickly. From there it is really a matter of practice and figuring out how not to be intimidated by everyone watching you throw. Or at least that’s what it was like for me.
I managed to win the first two rounds and so was moving on to the quarter final rounds.
And who should be my opponent again but BATS! Here I was facing off again against the person who had just knocked me out. Still, you never know, so up I went to try my luck. Bat’s proved she deserved to be ahead of me though with a clean win, though I would like to think I still made her fight for it.
I made it to the quarter finals and I made it to the top 10 of my faction. Not a bad place to be for someone who only just picked up knife throwing. I could see the improvement I was making and even Edge remarked that I had shown noticeable improvement. It means a lot to me as someone who was very much always the girl who was considered bad at sports, bad at anything physical. To find out I’m pretty good as something as cool as knife throwing has been a real treat.
The final champion was Gigantor, who honestly deserved it. I’ve spent a lot of time watching him throw simply to try and figure out how he manages to conserve movement so well. I swear the guy barely moves and the target just sprouts knives in the bulls-eye. It’s impressive.
Sadly, with faction being over, it also means that my ability to go throwing regularly is somewhat in question. Between my financial situation being what it is, and my life being what it is, I couldn’t really afford to sign up for another week, even though it is a very good deal.
For this reason, when the open house for the faction nights came up again, I took advantage of the situation and went to it. It was another championship, a sample of what it is like. As in regular faction, there is an assortment of experience.
I was excited to bring some people who I thought would enjoy the event. It’s often difficult for disabled people to find the opportunity to try cool sporting events in an accessible environment or without people just assuming we can’t do it if the first thing they try doesn’t work. So finding a place like In the Air Guild that does do that, is a big deal and I’ve been making a point of trying to spread the word among people like me.
There was a pretty huge turnout at the event, so the first round was amazingly long. I won my first match, against the very person I had brought with me to experience the event. Again I found myself in the Quarter finals, only this time I won this match too!
I was in the Semi-Finals!
My match was against a young man I had seen there before and I knew he was good. Quiet and somewhat unassuming, he was the kind of young man I suspect has had experience with being excluded, bullied. Some people might think I mean that he was creepy, given the horrible rhetoric going around lately about bullied young men. No. I mean that I got the feeling that this was a young man who was taught to be quiet and who learned that lesson well.
He was a really skilled young man so I knew I was in for a tough match. Still, I held my own, losing by a lot fewer points than I would have expected. It was both close but not really. One of those games where I knew I would lose unless I seriously lucked out and he somehow missed his shot or knocked his knives out. But you never know!
I lost, but it was an honour losing to him as much as it was losing to Bats.
This young man went on to win the whole Championship, so the fact that I held my own feels twice as good! In fact I may have lost by less than his opponent in the finals.
I had such and amazing time getting to do this. It’s a skill I definitely would like to continue working on and improving, I just need to figure out how to make it happen. I have my own knives so that’s a start.
If you are in Ottawa, consider heading out to In the Air Faction. It’s a really fun time, and there’s drinks and food too. Additionally since it is right by the movie theatre, it’s a great place to meet friends before a movie, throw a few knives and then head across the parking lot to the theatre.