E.Keogh relives the trials and triumphs of their glory days, when they were very nearly probably an elite esport athlete.
Wii Sports is the all-time ultimate challenge for any gamer. The Wii came out on November 19th, 2008, and was sold with a free game that no one could complete. Even as an adult, its final boss haunts my every waking moment.
Wii Sports’ challenging nature played no small part in paving the way for all competitive esports. As someone who considers themselves a highly competitive casual gamer, Wii Sports puts the fear of God into me. I’m super duper good at games, by the way - I almost went pro a few years ago before I ruptured a ligament while trying to defeat the main boss of Wii Sports.
It all started when I was 10, and from then on, I would play until I developed calluses on my hands. From all the intense training, you know? I started with tennis, where I would go on to become the next Andy Murray. Playing tennis against my already-better cousins was maddening. You could practically see the steam coming out from my ears. I played for hours by myself just to get better against the generic premade Miis. From this practice, I then played against my friends, and eventually went on to even defeat my dad. It took a lot of patience, and commitment, but one dodgy controller later, I was ready for the next lesson: baseball.
I always refused to call it that - it was rounders. Nevertheless, I was determined to learn how to win. It took me ages to get the hang of using a Wiimote in place of a bat. I didn’t have the vocabulary to express it at the time, but the number of times I “missed” now drum up a few words I probably shouldn’t put to print. In the end, after the controller had slipped out of my hands more than once, I had a long and illustrious career as the best batter for my team of Miis - a record of hundreds of home runs, and only 30 misses. I had learned the way of Wii Sports rounders and had become better aware of my surroundings.
Bowling was the next challenge. Too many controllers were thrown at the telly, as I refused to use the safety straps. I wasn’t about that life. Most of the near misses at my telly were down to the lack of strap. Most, but not all. Other times it followed a loss when the bowling ball went askew and didn't land me a strike. I trained under the random Mii that was assigned to me. She was wise beyond her years and taught me how to not throw the controller at my telly in a desperate attempt to get a strike.
Bowling was followed by golf. I trained under… I’m going to be honest, I can’t remember who taught me golf...so let's just imagine a really cool training montage. My Mii strutted up to the green in what I can only describe as a clown costume. Using my skills from rounders and bowling, I knew what I had to do. I failed miserably, and my first swing put the ball about 5 meters in front of me. I wanted to cry. I restarted the game because I wasn't having that as my first shot of the game. When I started again I got a good 50 meters between me and the starting position. Golf was by far the most boring of the sports, but by the time I challenged my friends, I was probably better than Rory McElroy himself.
The last sport I needed to perfect my technique in was boxing. I was drained of energy, I had been broken down by the other trainers, only to be met with the strongest, most fierce and scary trainer of all. Matt.
The look in his eyes frightened me to my core. The man looked like he’d seen horrible, horrible things. His voice didn’t match the man that stood before me, with no arms or legs. “RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT” he’d shout optimistically. I felt unsafe, I felt like he was teaching me a lesson far beyond my abilities. I punched so hard out of fear that I dislocated my shoulder. The controller slipped out of my hand, and I struck Matt straight in the face. I kicked the controllers across the room and yelped in pain. He didn’t even flinch, he was a God. I got up, picked up my controllers, and continued cautiously. Nothing happened. Without saying anything about it, Matt had taught me fear was something I controlled, and that the only thing to fear was fear itself.
I was ready.
The screen turned black, and I heard Matt's voice. The sound of a bell dinged, and on the screen was a ripped shirtless Matt. I tried everything - dodging, weaving. But he was too fast and powerful. He beat the ever-living daylights out of my Mii. He had won. I bounced the controller and Nunchuk so hard off the wall, it left a dent. When we moved out, the dent in the wall was still there. I felt anger I hadn’t felt in years as I touched it one last time, vowing that one day, I would annihilate him once and for all.