ITL Online 2024: 450k

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I’ve been participating in International Timing League Online for the past few years. It’s a remote StepMania tournament that runs from March until June with a focus on personal improvement: while there are winners, there are over a thousand other participants who are trying to reach their own personal goals or maybe outdo their rivals.

The way it works is that the International Timing Collective releases a pack of songs to play from, and each song is worth a certain number of Score Points (SP) based on its difficulty. While you can certainly play as many songs as you like, only your 75 highest scoring songs count toward your SP total, which means you’re encouraged to push your limits. There are also some bonus points you can earn which, along with your SP, amount to your Ranking Points (RP) total.

This also means that players can easily be grouped into tiers based on their RP total. On the Collective’s Discord server, there are channels intended for players who have earned 75k, 150k, 225k, 300k, 375k, 450k, and 525k RP. It’s a great way to find people who are at your play level – and to see who you want to add as a rival so you can easily compare against their scores.

My goal this year was to reach 450k RP. Last year I reached around 410k, so it would be a tall ask—although those aforementioned bonus points weren’t around last year, so the equivalent would be closer to 435k—still a big bump given I’ve been playing this game for over two decades and haven’t seen anywhere near that level of year-over-year improvement.

Suffice to say, I did it! I resolved to play five one-hour sessions per week, and barring a few maladies, I mostly stuck to it and reached my goal with a few weeks to spare. Playing more often did wonders for my stamina and accuracy. Here’s the moment preserved in VOD form:

Yep—despite the skill on display, I haven’t even cracked 100th place

Anyway that’s what I’ve been up to in my free time! Movin’ my feet really fast and having a fun time doing it. I mentioned this in the video, but I’m deeply grateful toward the tournament organizers, coders, stepchart artists, rivals, and other fellow players that make this event so special.

Oh also I work at Apple now, which is cool. Seeya!

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