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Quote:About the APL (Written by Nano):

What's in a name? In the case of APL it is self explanitory, it is the premier league in the world of ARC.

"How did it get to be so respected?" many new arcers have asked me over time.

This is how.

At the start of TEN in 1998 during the summer, with the ability to create private games finally possible, the stage was set for some long awaited clan battles to take place to determine who was the best clan on ARC. SexyBooty, Gortex and Pharcyde set to work to get the very first tournament on ARC started, called Clanwars. It would be a bracket style elimination tournament, basically as soon as you lost a game, you were out. This created a pressure filled exciting tournament, with legendary clans such as COUGAR, uFo, Pink Bunnies (PB), Egg Yolks of Destruction (EYoD), Tiny Bubbles with Attitude (TBWA), ZULU, Area51, Clan Ogre (CO) and more competing in this very first 4on4 ARC tournament.

After some exciting games TBWA defeated CO in the semi finals to advance to the final, and the Pink Bunnies in an epic game with EYoD that lasted 203 minutes, defeated them to advance to the clanwars finals. It was Pink Bunnies verse Tiny Bubbles with Attitude in their first final meeting, and they would go on to develop a great rivalry that would continue on in the future. PB went on to win the championship game comfortably 3-0 and became the very first championship ARC clan.

Preparations were then soon underway to build on the exciting first clanwars and turn the tournament into a league. APL was born. It was the year 1998, winter time, and 16 clans were eagerly ready to start competing with their chance to win and be known as the best clan on ARC. The old clans were back, PB, CO, TBWA, uFo, ZULU, NoF, as well as some new talent on TEN like EgO who were putting their hand up to start battling for the ultimate title. SexyBooty was still at the helm, and before the playoffs began that season the league had a week off as SB wrote a huge multiple page preview of the playoffs which only further enhanced the hype and excitement of the very first APL playoffs series.

In each playoff game the lobbies were packed with over 60 people as everyone waited for any leaks of information from the game such as score or time reamining. Eventually after some classic playoff encounters the same 2 clans remained as from Clanwars, PB and TBWA were going to fight for the very first APL championship. PB had won their previous encounter in the finals of clanwars 3-0, so people were expecting a similar result again, however the game proved to be a classic match that would go down into APL and ARC lore.

The score was leaked into the lobby early on, TBWA was up 1-0. People were suprised that there was a cap so quickly and even more so suprised it was by TBWA. Suddenly another update, TBWA was up 2-0 with about half the match gone. The lobby was in a flurry of text, TBWA was really taking it to PB this time. Suddenly a PB member left the game after the second cap, and Bosh subbed in for PB. After a little bit of time it was announced that PB had capped to take the score to 2-1. PB was fighting back but did they have enough time to get another one everyone thought, it was very improbable. With only a few minutes remaining in regulation it was leaked to the lobby again, score was 2-2 all heading into overtime! PB was fighting back with all of its will, TBWA was trying to hold on desperately, both clans wanted this bad. Mintues passed, everyone was waiting for the next update, who would be the first APL champion. Finally it was told to the compacity filled lobby, PB had won 3-2 in overtime to become both the first clanwars and first APL champion.

APL only continued to grow in prestige from then on. The following APL in 1999 spring, still had many of the old clans from the original clanwars as well as some hot new talent in clans like SiD. Competition was as fierce as ever as all clans battled their way until the finals were between TBWA and CO. For the first time PB wasn't involved in the finals, but TBWA was still there and looking for their own piece of glory after getting twice denied and having to regroup after a particularly heartbreaking loss to PB in the previous finals. And for CO they had finally reached the championship game after being so close before, getting knocked out in the semi finals the previous two seasons. In a game in complete contrast to the previous APL finals, this game was a low scoring affair as both teams played with grit and determination, with TBWA eventually getting a flag out and winning the APL 1999 spring season 1-0 over CO.

It was summer time again in the year of 1999, a full year since the first Clanwars tournament was held and the APL was now entering its fourth season including the Clanwars tournament. This was a landmark season for APL on the organisation side well, as SexyBooty had aquired sponsorship from Diamond to give RIO MP3 players to the winning clan. ARC had gone professional. Many of the old stalwart clans of the APL were STILL around ready to give their all as well as new clans entering such as Confederate ARCers of TEN (CAoT), DL and Saucey Nipples (SN).

One of the brightest stories to come out of this season was the fairytale run of DL. A newer clan not many had regarded as a chance for the playoffs, let alone a threat for the title, had suprised everyone and ended up all the way into the semi finals against APL veteran clan TBWA. In a close victory for TBWA 2-1, DL was finally out the race but not before winning many fans and proving once again that with the desire and determination any clan can be a threat for the APL title. TBWA was once again in the finals, having made it to the championship game in every one of the four seasons so far which was truly a great accomplishment. On the other side facing them this time was new clan Saucey Nipples, a clan comprised of both excellent new talent and experienced APL veterans. In the first time that APL held a 3 game finals series, SN won the first two games in close scorelines 1-0, and 2-1 to become the APL champions of summer 1999.

Unfortunately the TEN games network that ARC was hosted on during all this time then went down after that APL season, and there was a wait of about 2 years before a new game network called WON picked up ARC. Finally though after 2 years it looked like it would be possible to run another APL, and under the new leadership of Ghent and Dedwhisper, APL 2001 Spring got underway.

For the first time in its history neither PB or TBWA were participants of this APL, and it was time for the new guard along with SN to continue on the APL tradition. Many great new clans had arisen on the scene since the last APL including Xtreme Machines and DeadEye Fighters. CAoT had also joined those clans as a large title threat that season also. A fundamental change also occurred in ARC before that season, the game could now be played in a higher resolution and weapons had been given more range, changing ARC's gameplay.

The APL continued on into this new era, and in two highly contested semi final series, SN defeated CAoT and XM defeated DeF, to setup a finals matchup between the defending champions SN and new riser XM. APL returned to a single finals game format that season, and the defending champs Saucey Nipples prevailed over XM winning 2-1 in a close game to become the second back to back champions after Pink Bunnies, bringing an end to APL 2001 Spring.

The next APL season was held later that same year in Fall 2001, and it was once again a highly contested title chase. CAoT had merged with DeF to become CaDF, TBWA was back, many previous SN members had joined up with a new clan 2Cool and on top of this stats from servers were introduced. Players kills, deaths and team scores were now shown to the lobby so people could follow their favorite players and teams in real time. The downside of this was that ingame server crashes and spikes were more common, but the games went on in one of the most competitive APL seasons ever. The APL had also introduced a 3 game series for both the semi finals and finals this season.

In the regular season CaDF showed the rest of the clans that they were truly focused on the title, being the first clan to go undefeated during the APL regular season. Semi final time arrived, and CaDF was matched up against TBWA, a clan that had reached the finals in every past APL it had participated in. In a great series, that included the longest APL game ever played (2 hours) in the second game, CaDF came out victorious 2 games to 1 to advance to the finals. They now faced 2Cool who had defeated mOd? in the other semi final playoff series. In the first game of the best of 3 game final series, CaDF won convincingly 3-0 to take the 1 game lead. But 2Cool came fighting back hard in the second game to take a 1-0 victory and force a deciding third game for the APL championship. In a tense low scoring game, CaDF came away with the 1-0 victory and the title of APL 2001 Fall champions.

The next APL was not held then until a year later in 2002 Fall. CaDF and TBWA were back, so were SN again, to give the league 3 of the 4 previous APL championship clans competing at one time. Other clans were well into the title hunt this season as well including Team Wonite, The n00b Team and Raging Mercanaries, showcasing another very competitive APL season.

After a very tight regular season, defending champs CaDF again went undefeated (1 tie against TBWA). CaDF was showing everybody it was ready to defend its title. The semi finals arrived with matchups of CaDF and TBWA again, and SN versus TW. In a tight series, CaDF defeated TBWA 1-0 both games to advance to the finals with a chance to defend their title. Meeting them were SN, who had escaped a close controversal series against TW, 2 games to 1. CaDF now had a chance to be the third clan to win APL seasons back to back. In the 3 game final series between CaDF and SN, it was again closely fought matches, with CaDF taking the first game 1-0. CaDF were then able to secure the second game in a 2-0 victory to become APL 2002 Fall champions.

In seven APL season's since clanwars 1998, only four clans have won the championship and earned the right to be known as the best ARC clan for that time period. It is a very select few that taste what its like to be part of a clan thats named "APL Champion, Best Clan on ARC."

There have been many classic games and memorable moments over the course of seven seasons, and it is impossible to write about them all here. If you are interested in more details on classic encounters of the past, seek out the members of the clans who were competing during those years, and ask them to tell you their own APL story.

Everyone that has played in APL has got one.