I can’t believe it. I’m in. I’ve infiltrated the inner circle of Gamer’s Abbey. And you wouldn’t believe what I’ve discovered. It chills me. To the fucking bone.
Get this, right? I’m fucking around at the Game Grid in Lehi. Just waiting for some Melee, yeah? Tim, fucking Tim, messages me to see if I can help run the brackets. I go rigid. This was the opportunity I needed. Now I could finally see what heinous shit goes down from the inside.
So, he sends me the spreadsheet for the Thursday tourney. I open it, and time freezes. This? This is not what I expected. Venue fee? $69. Tournament entry? $420. And what the fuck does it mean a portion of one’s humanity? Payout? 1% of the total pot gets given out. The 99% remaining goes to Tim. Not to streaming equipment. Not to gaming equipment. Just straight into Tim’s offshore bank account, never to be seen again.
I couldn’t believe it. The stories were true. Tim was using Game Grid tournaments as a giant cash-grab pyramid scheme. And I just became their newest member. The bottom of soulless money-grabbers determined to suck the fun out of Utah Smash forever.
A week later, I spoke with Tim again. “How does the power feel?” he asks me. His eyes glow with predatory instinct, trying to corner me into servitude. It’s taking everything I have to not let the fear show. I crack a smile. “It feels like everything I hoped for.”
“Good.” he says. He puts out his hand. A seemingly friendly gesture. I take hold, expecting a simple handshake. But something was off. Something was in his hand. The hand that was slowly crushing mine into dust. He releases his grip, never letting his eyes leave mine. “For your work.” he says. I look down at the wad of money in my hand. Five hundred fucking dollars sits in my aching palm.
I look up at Tim, a question on my face. The smile he gives me makes me want to do nothing more than run screaming. “Consider it a gift.” He turns and leaves. I stand still, not wanting to move, breath, or even blink. Anything to make sure I arouse no suspicion. A gift. Bullshit. It’s fucking hush money. I got paid so I wouldn’t let word out.
They’re fucking watching me, man. They think I don’t know, but they can’t hide it. Every time, every fucking time, I enter a Game Grid. I see their shifty little eyes dart to me and away. I’m not safe. I’ll never be safe. But I had to get it out. I had to tell Utah the truth. We’re being played! Tim and his fucking goonies are playing Utah, man! They’ll take our money until we’ve nothing left! They’ll spread tournaments so thin that Utah will have its talent shrivel into worthlessness! They have to be stopped! The madness must stop!!!
I’m going to go into hiding. I won’t be safe here. Don’t look for me. I’ll slip away into nothing, never to be seen again in Utah. I hope this information helps. Somebody has to do something. I’ve done all I can. Take the mantle, Utah! Fight the good fight!
Now that I’ve capped the extreme end of this debate, can we just let this shit go? Just do what you want. Go to whatever tournament you want, and just keep playing Smash. If you don’t like how tournaments are run, don’t go. If you like them, go. Capitalism, baby.