In the three+ years following the first MGS1 tournament hosted by MGSR, the game, community, and Twitch channel experienced remarkable changes. With the success of the 2020-21 MGS2 Very Easy League, the community wanted more! For the viewers and runners, the MGS2 league showed the promise of future competitive events.

Thus 16 players entered the MGS1 All Bosses League, played on the PC version on Easy difficulty. Not only is this the largest competitive event organized by MGSR, it gave a very needed shot in the arm to an underran category for Metal Gear Solid.

While we are in the bye week before the playoffs, let’s take a look at some of the players, the community’s favorite matches, and the overall impact of the League!

“It’s beautiful to see the amount of encouragement that goes on behind the screens”

ShardOfKingdoms, League Participant

Structure of MGS1 League and its origins

The organizers of MGS1 league (dlimes13, Plywood, and Tyler2022) learned much after the MGS2 league. The main issue being the length of the event. Due to the round robin structure involving 11 players, holiday bye weeks, and a playoff period, the league lasted from October 2020 to January 2021. This left the players and organizers burnt out on the game. Additionally, some matches were not broadcasted on the Twitch channel and instead played in the MGSR discord. This was a necessity due to logistics, but the organizers knew it would be better for future leagues to broadcast all matches on Twitch.

Thanks to the interest of the community, we had enough players to split 4 groups of 4! This allowed an accelerated schedule for round robin and made every match exceptionally important in regards to the playoffs, as only 2 players from each group could advance. Advance planning split the 8 games a week into 2 broadcast days: Saturdays and Mondays.

The groups were announced April 4th with the following seeds based off of leaderboard position.

GROUP FA-MAS (Mondays)
Plywood (1)
Tyler2022 (5)
smokinace007 (15)
Okamikaze (16)

GROUP Claymore (Mondays)
VolcanicAkuma55 (2)
MetalGlennSolid (3)
vermillionnoel (7)
iLL_Pazzo (9)

GROUP SOCOM (Saturdays)
NickRPGreen (4)
Bruschetta_Bros (8)
Makarov360 (12)
Spartyy (14)

GROUP Stinger (Saturdays)
SolidTony (6)
Hau5test (10)
DanSpence94 (11)
ShardOfKingdoms (13)

With a mixture of newcomers and veterans, the league was a go!

Trailer by Social Media Team Member IrqPliskin

Week 1 Highlights

“Speedrunning for myself was all fun but having a goal in mind to get better…is a great purpose.”

Hau5test, League Participant

The beginning of the league saw some very exciting and standout matches. For newcomers to the game, their Week 1 race was the mark for how well they could improve in the next three weeks.

Spartyy vs bruschetta_bros: A match that ended up being pivotal to Group SOCOM, Spartyy looked to be in a healthy lead by the end of the run until a certain rodent changed the course of events! “I liked Bruschetta vs. Spartyy because it was surprising.” – iLL_Pazzo
Tyler2022 vs Plywood: A tense race between two veterans of MGS1 that came down to the end game!
Okamikaze vs smokinace007: One of my personal favorites, as two very green players get the chance to face off! It’s a race that goes to show how being new to a game doesn’t mean you can’t put on an entertaining show. “Both runners had drastically different ideas and ways to tackle their problems they had in the run.” – Hau5Test

Week 1 saw the introduction of Hau5Test’s wonderful stat tracking spreadsheet, which you can view here! It includes data based off of the results screen, luck, execution on various strategies, among other things.

Week 2 Highlights

MetalGlennSolid vs VolcanicAkuma55: My favorite match of the league’s group stage, hands down. A wonderful display of skill throughout that came down to luck in the end! Just take a look at the beautiful execution on display at Revolver Ocelot. “It was so full of hype and to watch it in the company of other runners who were popping off just as much as I was when they both hit Grenade Ocelot made the experience so much more real for me.” – ShardOfKingdoms
iLL_Pazzo vs vermillionnoel: Not to be outdone, the other Claymore group match was comparably intense to MetalGlennSolid vs. VolcanicAkuma55. Once again, this match came down to luck…what a sweaty finisher!

Week 3 Highlights

“[The League] lit a fire, that’s for sure.”

smokinace007, League participant

While the people advancing to the playoffs were mostly settled, that didn’t stop the hype train in Week 3! Multiple players getting personal bests during their races in the final week kept people on the edge of their seats.

NickRPGreen vs bruschetta_bros: A race to determine who got top billing going into the playoffs, this race went back and forth considerably!
SolidTony vs ShardOfKingdoms: A race with a twist, the competitors saved Meryl instead of sacrificing her! Did they explode from Ocelot’s bomb trap? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Impact on the Category and Community

Before the league began, the fastest time achieved happened in July 2020, with dlimes13’s 1:02:53. The world record steadily decreased, leading to the first 1:01 achieved by me, the first 1:00 achieved by VolcanicAkuma55, to the present where VolcanicAkuma55 breaks the hour barrier! In fact, 9 people achieved faster times than dlimes13’s former world record following the creation of this league. When over a dozen people begin competing intensely, it pushes the category as a whole. Several strategies were developed over the past month, utilizing the quirks of the PC version like the weapon hotkeys.

Perhaps the most inspiring aspect is how someone so fresh to the game can take their gameplay so far and so quickly! VolcanicAkuma55 demonstrates that you do not need to be a veteran at a speedgame to achieve great results.

“It’s very interesting and exciting. I almost feel that racing is easier than going for PBs because I know that I’m going to complete the run and don’t have to worry about resetting or not.”

VolcanicAkuma55, League participant and WR holder

Just like the MGS2 Very Easy league before, leagues bring the community together. Making prediction bets in the Twitch chat with channel points keeps people glued to their screens, anxiously awaiting the outcome of races! Community members get involved in commentary, creating images, videos, spreadsheets, tools, and resources to push the hobby forward. After all, the hobby can only live with passionate work and engagement, especially with games as old as Metal Gear Solid.

Due in part to this league, the game has over 29 active players!

With the league coming to a close, there is plenty of excitement for future MGSR competitive events. Racing provides opportunities for learning new games, developing better strategies, and strengthening community bonds. Races teach speedrunners the value of not resetting runs, a common trap.

“It’s both a teaching moment that the nerves can kick in hard…but it also opens up much more where one can improve”

“I think races are the best way to improve”

“I would absolutely participate in another MGSR league, this has been really fun and a great experience for me”

Hau5test, League Participant
iLL_Pazzo, League Participant
ShardOfKingdoms, League Participant

Excited for the playoffs? They start Saturday, May 8th @ 6:30 PM Eastern! Watch on our twitch channel!

Hau5test vs. VolcanicAkuma55: 6:30 PM EST
MetalGlennSolid vs. SolidTony: Approx. 7:45 PM EST
NickRPGreen vs. Tyler2022: Approx. 9:00 PM EST
plywood_ vs. bruschetta_bros: Approx. 10:15 PM EST

Thanks to Hau5test, iLL_Pazzo, ShardOfKingdoms, and VolcanicAkuma55 for answering interview questions for this blog post

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