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OK, so the MFO F-Zero subforum as a whole has been pretty apathetic to keeping to tradition recently, with regards to generating a user-voted 'Player of the Year' poll, a general review of the year's overall activity and a user-voted 'WR of the Year' poll for each of the six main F-Zero titles. Given that it's now February and much of the gloss has been rinsed off the interest in creating such featurettes for each particular subsection of the forum, I still feel that one of the most exciting and potent awards - 2011's MV Player of the Year - is worthy of a retrospective, and it is with a belated breath that this topic is now open, and will remain to be for the next 7 days.
The three most damaging players of 2011 were BPA, tbk and Peutos. Other active players, with particular note to SpeedMcJonJon who had a decent year and RichardTaro who set some high level times, kept the general relevency levels of MV up, but it was the aforementioned triarchy of pilots who seized the initiative in taking MV to ever greater climes, with new world records set, time total barriers shattered and strategies innovated and improved upon. With that said, it is to be noted that BPA will not be a part of the poll for this year, for the simple reason that in the two categories this site's rankings rely on -- AF and PRSR -- BPA's statistics faltered. tbk and Peutos both improved theirs by some margins, and so it is that these are the two left standing for your vote to be accounted for.
tbk (Tim Buettner) made an absolutely triumphant return to MV in 2011, with a fallow period of activity stretching some years. tbk's initial advances came in his old stomping ground of fast laps, where he took a veritable smorgasbord of world records on just about every track. While BPA took many back, tbk asserted himself quite strongly on some tracks, evoking the most determined play seen in BPA in a long time and in some cases forcing the world champion to admit defeat. tbk pounced at every opportunity to beat stalwart -- and longtime world #2 -- Yazzo's flaps, and before long tbk was within range of BPA's flap time total, a magnificent effort considering he was barely sub 6'40 at the start of the year. With this courage in mind tbk went about making dents in a lot of his 5-lap times, and using the accumulated knowledge built up in the years since his last serious foray into MV, tbk made good on closing on Yazzo in this department too. By the end of the year tbk had even the temerity and strength to set an almighty 5-lap WR on QF, rubber stamping his thunderous progress in 2011.
If tbk was Clint Eastwood asking if you felt lucky, punk (and you had to be pretty damn lucky to escape his wrath), Peutos was the punk asking to test his luck against the very best. Peutos (Ettore Mafucci) was the outstanding new player of MV, the default rookie of the year and the only other challenger to tbk in the POY stakes. Joining in March, Peutos made an astounding climb to rise from outside the top 40 to 5th, a 9 month journey that none of us could have predicted. His already brilliant Championship PR notwithstanding, Peutos mastered the arts of time trial and flap running in no time, but it was his deft touch in Grand Prix that truly engendered him to the higher echelons. A natural gift for reading CPU patterns and a general talent at Jimmy bumping and other techniques led to fast times on tracks such as B1 (ranked #2 for much of the year) and BF. His ingenuity in strats also lead to a surprise flap WR at PF, using the Wind Walker to sublime effect.
The size of Peutos's gains are striking at first glance, with an AF cut of roughly 80%. tbk's by contrast is approximately 50% , but tbk was working at an already higher level than Peutos and his stats would be altered more significantly with any PRs set by BPA, RichardTaro or Peutos, than Peutos's when he soared through the 10-40 AF graveyard. In outright WR terms tbk set a ton more than Peutos, but ended the year holding comparitively few owing to BPA's fightbacks. Nevertheless it can be argued that tbk was as innovative as Peutos in 2011, with his strategies being more subtle than Peutos's gamechangers (his mine strats on Q4 flap, QF course and his GP strat on K1 being examples). Both players were informative posters with vigour, enthusiasm and informativeness.
With all this in mind, it's time for you to make a vote. In the case of a tie after the 7 days, we will simply have a joint POY -- both players are worthy winners.
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