The Sounders have their Xbox jerseys, the Storm has Bing, so it's only fitting that Rogelio "RJ" Anguiano would head into the Big Buck HD World Championship in Chicago today with an officially sponsored Shorty's tee.
You might remember RJ's shot at the title last year. Now he's back, competing for up to $15,000 in cash, after a year's worth of extremely committed nerding out: He bought his own Big Buck machine in January, the "offline" version that doesn't require a gaming license, but still about $5K worth of hardware and software. With his three 12-hour shifts as a nurse at Virginia Mason—apparently the perfect work schedule for video game mastery—he's been practicing 10 to 15 hours a week all year. He's even been recording levels with his iPhone camera, to help memorize some of the 150-odd different boards in the game.
Has the work paid off? RJ ranked 5th out of 64 in the qualifiers leading into today's tournament—and when we talked to him after his first game in Chicago earlier this week, he had just beaten top-seeded Tenneseean Bryan Stooksbury 2-1 in his first friendly match.
(And speaking of Shorty's, don't miss their 16th Annual Shorty's Pinball Tournament on Sunday, with doors at 11am and play starting at noon.)
The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner, Paul Hughes, and Mary Traverse.