|Match Date||Friday, August 19th, 2005|
|Pac-Man - 41.61%|
1 for - 87 against
|Pac-Man - 38.36%|
It took a damn long time before we saw the final match of the first round cause the first round itself to go out with a bang. In 2002, the final first round match was Crash Bandicoot vs Ulala. In 2003, we were stuck with Mega Man vs Mr. Resetti. Spring 2004 saw a decent match in SSBM/MGS2, but the only stunner there was the prediction percentage. And Summer 2004? Samus vs Lara Croft. Puke.
It took until 2005 for the first round not to have that "get this the hell over with" effect, and it was all thanks to Kuja getting his ass whipped by a glove. But most people figured that this was a one-shot luck deal and that we'd go back to seeing our standard fodder killing as the final match of the first round. In Summer 2005, that match was Ocelot/Pac Man, and virtually everyone simply picked Ocelot without even considering otherwise. This wasn't like Magus/Knuckles in which Knuckles had a couple of people actually suggesting that an upset could happen; virtually no one figured that Pac Man would do anything other than lose in this match, and that this was possibly Pac Man's final match in his contest career. His seed has gradually slipped with each contest (he'd be a 14 if you prorate this bracket to four divisions of 16), and he was nearing his end.
The only person I even remember considering the possibility was RPGuy in the stats topic, and his post was more of a "look at how you can manipulate the stats into saying whatever you want them to" situation. And to my knowledge, no one even bothered responding to the post because they didn't consider the possibility of Pac Man actually winning the match.
However, as the match drew closer, some people began to theorize that Ocelot would underperform; not lose, but that he would get in a close match and win by less than 52%. But even then, no one figured that Pac Man would win this match. Pac Man is the same character that got killed by Luigi, lost to Lettuce Kefka and was one of two 1 seeds that bombed to hell in 2002. Ocelot meanwhile won two tough matches against (what we thought were) two tough opponents before respectfully bowing out against Bowser in Spring 2005 not two months before this match took place. Surely, Pac Man had no chance in hell.
Yet for whatever reason, as the minutes wore on and the match drew closer, there was... a very odd air about this match. Yes Pac performed like crap in three contests leading up to this and had yet to win a match of any note, but there was a feeling on the board that maybe Pac did have a chance after all. The obvious reason is Ocelot not even being a percent above Kefka in the Spring 2005 stats. Pac Man almost beat Kefka, so hey, what's to say that he couldn't almost beat Ocelot?
Though Pac Man almost beat lettuce Kefka, so that theory was quickly dismissed. And because Pac Man was likely behind SFF in the stats in both 2003 and 2004, it was a bit difficult to give him an accurate rating based on either contest.
The match would eventually begin, and the odd feeling that everyone had about this match possibly being close was soon realized. During the board vote, which was easily Ocelot's strongest time in all three of his Spring 2005 matches, Pac Man managed to take a slim early lead. He didn't exactly run away with the match in those first few minutes, but many a Board 8 poster called the match once the first poll update was logged in. Pac Man was up by 29 votes, and if Ocelot was doing this badly during his best time, most people figured he was pretty much screwed.
And he was. Sure Ocelot spent the next two hours giving himself a lead of 250, but Ocelot is historically known for tanking with the day vote. And no sooner did Ocelot get his lead of 250 did Pac Man quickly stall Ocelot from gaining any more votes. Pac then began shaving votes off of Ocelot's lead, and despite a few recovery attempts by Ocelot while this was going on, the reality that Pac Man would soon pull off one of the most hilarious upsets of all time soon set in.
All that was left at this point was for Pac Man to catch the morning vote and seal it for good (and pretty much everyone expected him to even though Ocelot was still periodically stalling votes; he was that bad during the day in all three Spring matches); the morning vote came, Pac Man expected caught it, then proceeded to slowly build a lead of 2500 votes before midnight.
This wasn't like Magus/Knuckles in that the heavy favorite (Magus) turned out to be a board-hyped bust that shocked people when he lost. Ocelot was the heavy favorite, but when he himself proved to be a board-hyped bust, most people didn't really care. The upset was simply too funny and Pac Man himself too overdue for a big win for people to get up in arms about Ocelot tanking worse than the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
Actually, I take that back. No one could ever tank worse than the Tanks (because the Yankees tanked, lol get it?) in the 2004 ALCS.
The truly funny thing was that despite the reactions being vastly different, Magus and Ocelot had a lot in common. No Oracle picked either of them to lose. No Guru picked either of them to lose. The BOP however had a discrepancy, but not a large one: no one picked Magus to lose, while a vast three people picked Ocelot to lose. Even the prediction percentages were similar. Hell, Ocelot even made a "last stand" in which he cut off votes from Pac Man's lead but would go down as an overrated bust regardless. Granted Magus cut 1000 votes from Knuckles to Ocelot's paltry 250, but it's the principle.
The difference came in the board's reaction to each loss. Magus/Knuckles was just damn ugly all around. However when Pac Man finally got his big win, most people found the match to be hilarious and celebrated as such. This may have also had a lot to do with Ocelot only being worth one point and Magus seven, but that's a minor technicality <_<
On a more serious note however, both Magus and Ocelot still have potential in these contests. Everyone knows what Magus's deal is, though Ocelot is a tad different. I'm always an advocate of pictures not making a difference of more than 1-2%, but this match falls right into the grey area of pictures perhaps making the difference between a win and a loss for Ocelot.
In one corner, we had Pac Man, who seemingly has the picture advantage hardcore over every character he faces in a contest match. In the other corner, we has Jolly Saint Ocelot. The man literally looked like Santa Claus in the match pic, and it was only a matter of time before one of those blasted faded melting cartoon pics did in a Metal Gear Solid character in one of these contests. One could even go as far as to say that Liquid Snake could have beaten Frog with a better picture.
If Ocelot gets an in-game pic from MGS 2 or 3, I'm willing to bet that he wins this same match fairly comfortably. Unfortunately, we don't know the match pics in advance and can't factor in their wild card affect when filling out our brackets. I'd petition for CJayC to release all first round match pics with the release of each bracket (or at the very least, to make each picture as even as possible), but he's probably too busy with a little-known thing called real life and a career. Sucks to be the rest of us.
With this match's conclusion, the first round had come to an end. It was the best first round we had had since Spring 2004, complete with upsets, controversy, board explosions, and our first-ever bracket in which someone did not have a perfect bracket at the end of the first round. This was a true testament to how awesome a job CJayC did in constructing this thing, as well as him finally using the stats, ditching the company caps and making the bracket as strong as possible while still taking the time to allow in the board-heavy characters (Manny Calavera) and to make the matches as difficult to call as possible. And in some cases, he came up with glorious upsets by accident. Truly, the Pac Man upset was a microcosm of the first round of this contest.
Match Trends Edit
Before this match, the end of Round One, the number of perfects left filled up the entire leaderboard. After this match, none remained.
This result still baffles me. Ocelot's impressive showing in the Villain's Contest, the good performances of Metal Gear Solid characters that year; none of it mattered. Say what you will about pictures making a difference, but Ocelot's blurry old-man-watercolors couldn't stand up to Pac-Man's Technicolor charms. A narrow win put the Pac back on the map to give him his first win in three years, and easily his most impressive one of his contest career.