July 30th, 2016 - The phenomenal Robbie Lakeman wasted no time on the first day of Kong Off competition in securing his place in Sunday's bracketed finals.
On the very first quarter-drop of the tournament, Lakeman scored 1,135,300, not merely guaranteeing that he would make the cut (while putting heavy pressure on his world-record rival Wes Copeland), but in doing so, managed to pull off the highest score ever achieved at a Kong Off.
Mirroring the Day 1 results from last year's Kong Off 4, 2nd and 3rd place were held by the always-reliable Dean Saglio and Jeff Willms, followed by strong showings from Jason Wade and a focused Steve Wiltshire, who came determined not to repeat history. He ended up on the wrong side of the bubble in 9th place at the very end of Day 2 of the Kong Off 4. His 1,043,600 is not a lock, but is likely to hold up.
The million mark has yet to be breached by anyone else in the field, but rest assured, it will be. Vincent Lemay came the closest with 993,500.
|Billy "USA" Mitchell honoring his long-running tradition - taunting Canadians - while Jeff Willms (right) works to cover the exchange rate|
Tanner Fokkens who became the youngest Donkey Kong kill-screener in the game's history last year at the tender age of 16, holds 7th position.
Ending the day in 8th place, defending Kong Off champion Hank Chien managed 851,000, but will have his work cut out for him if he wants to survive to Sunday.
Here are the full standings as of the end of Day 1:
Sadly, Steve Wiebe, whose role in The King of Kong is one of the reasons we're all here in the first place, encountered a last-minute family emergency and was unable to attend this year's event. His presence is missed, but the show must go on.
Will Copeland pull ahead of Lakeman? Will Chien have the opportunity to defend his title? Might the great Saglio finally get a chance to walk away from a Kong Off with the belt?