DENVER, Colorado – PNG stocks tumbled over the last month while operators struggled to keep the computers on. Literally. Offices emptied out on September 29th, while IT staff and support headed to Denver, Colorado for a ping pong tournament, dubbed the PNG Pong Smash Championship. With the number of attendees rivaling ComicCon, and most of the competitors dressed up as comic book heroes, it was a spectacle to behold. The inaugural event was the brainchild of IT administrator Willis Ututchmee from Chesapeake.
90% of the industry is staffed by IT personnel, and they love ping pong almost as much as Anime and Jolt Cola! We thought this is a great way to get everyone from all over the world into a room for a face to face challenge and team building. What we got was far more than that! – Willis, enthralled with the success of the competition
Designed as a round robin tournament centered around individual oil companies, the event was initially planned to take place over the course of 5 days. With the expected turnout nearly doubling, and 21,000 estimated competitors from the IT and IS world, it was no wonder it was extended to nearly 3 weeks, and moved into a larger venue.
The stadium used is home to the Denver Broncos, who had to postpone a game so the Ping Pong battles could take place.
I don’t know about these Ping Pong Pang freaks you know, sounds like a bunch of nerds getting together to play with their balls. But that’s the same as baseball so what the hell man. We can’t compete with that. – Denver Broncos QB, Peyton Manning
Alistair Spock became the PNG World’s highest ranking Ping Ponger, defeating all but 2 Pong Assailants during his battles. Ashiro Kamizoko, an IT administrator from Japan’s Mokohiro Oil was a close second, taking a disappointing loss to Alistair in the 4th round.
Third place was awarded to Brenton Anerton of Calgary, a recent university grad now employed with Bendovus. After Anerton’s loss, the coach from Bendovus quickly stated that with the new Ping Pong facility at the Beau Tower, and Anerton working a 2 day week to train for 2014, they were confident he would be the champion in the future.
As the tournament played out, most matches ended like a football game in Manchester. Reports from local police of fighting, pulling hair, and even biting had to be dealt with. It seems the competition was fierce, and everyone that showed up was there to win at any cost.
Organizers were dismayed by the lack of networking, and have plans to hold sit-ins and friendship seminars at next year’s tournament in Houston. If the event plays down and becomes more cordial, there are plans to move it to Calgary for 2015, and then rotate back to Denver for 2016.