There's no disputing the fact we're one of the most popular teams in the MTM 2 Gaming Zone today. Some, however, never look below the surface and simply focus on the 68 tourney wins we amassed in a single year (2001) or see us out in force in the Zone and think, "yeah, I wanna be apart of that". As enticing as those things may seem to random on-lookers, here on SLO we take more pride in our strong friendship and team camaraderie, as well as the enjoyment derived from racing and rumbling with one another. We're by no means perfect, and problems/disputes, as in any group setting, sometimes disrupt the normal flow and calm of our team. The thing that has allowed us to continue on and grow is how we handle them, which is expediently and privately. Once we've aired it out and cleared everything off the table, it's back to business as usual, which is fun and good times!
At present our team roster consist of 36 members. We're comprised of pure rumblers, pure racers, and racer-rumblers, and I think it goes without say we're extremely effective on both sides of this game. We've never held "traditional tryouts" whereby people are hired based on performance. We choose to randomly select potential members based on the following: their attitude, their ability to get along in a group environment, and their sense of sportsmanship. That person is then sponsored by one of our members for a 3-week trial, and after completion of that trial, a team vote is cast to render a decision.
We've never had officers or any protocol indicative of a formalized rank structure. Everyone on SLO dictates how the team is run in the form of voting. We do have what's called a "Board of Directors", who's charge is to bring closure to team issues that exceed a reasonable period of time without resolution. They're not called into action very often, but they're role, although narrow in scope, serves as a necessary aspect of our team format.
In retrospect our history seems to be an almost fairytale-like story: Four guys who went by the names jdak (SLO_JDAK), nmeily3047 (SLO_N8), TurboTA (SLO_TurboTA), and dunlop200g (me...SLO_COPE) just happened to end up in a room together back in November of 1999, and after a month or so of racing, decided to bring 8 other players into their informal group:
It was shortly after the introduction of these players into what was strictly a "group of racers" that we all agreed to form a team, and on March 11, 2000 we took our very first step into the Gaming Zone. The former "nmeily3047" had changed his name to SLO_N8 shortly before we got the idea to form the team, but I think he chose SLO to suggest an intentional irony to his meteoric rise as a dominant racer, which he was...and is! The letters, however, were given meaning by TurboTA - one of the original foursome, who's now retired from the game. His name will forever remain on our team roster as an "Honorary Member", partly as a show of respect, but mostly as a gesture to denote his monumental contribution to this organization. A few of the other members who helped start SLO have gone on to pursue other interest in life as well, but the basic nucleus of this team has remained very much intact membership wise.
Our uncompromising friendship resides at the core of who we are...and the way in which we care about and support each other definitely validates that. We don't know how to do it any other way, and the truth of the matter is that's just fine by us! We're content to stick with what's got us where we are today, and make no mistake, we're only going to get better!
Finally, you'll always hear discussions about "what team is the best". We choose not to participate in such conversations since they're subjective at best, and well...pointless at the very least. This team provides for us what we want and need to enjoy this game, as well as each other's friendship. If you can say the same about your team, then in your eyes, it should be considered the best!