The Elite Hall of Fame

Derek Clark

by Steve Bryze

Derek Clark

The Upstart {Matthijs' Version} Derek Clark is the reason we are all here today. He's the reason you get to read this bio, the reason we get to enjoy this contest, and the reason that Goldeneye speed running has remained so stable in popularity so many years after the games release.

Derek began his gaming career in the world of Mario Kart, where he joined the site at 50th place (Elite F) in 2000. His quick rise to King status earned multiple awards, including Player of Winter in 2001. He was also one of the first to have a personal times page online, the design which has not stood the test of time well (It looked good back then!). He also made a cool vid or two for Kart, including the very awesome ChocoHero run. He eventually put the controller down at King B and 30th place in the world, though he's dropped quite far since then.

Around the end of his Kart career, Derek happened upon the Goldeneye boards and site, and began playing quite seriously. He quickly became an "upstart" here too, jumping into the top ten after only a year of competition, and providing great proof for his times. After coming close to the then-record 2:29 on Statue 00A, Clark set out to improve the strategy, and quickly got his first 300 point stage and WR sweep with 2:28/2:27/2:28. After the records were taken to 2:27/2:27/2:27 by GE legend Randy Buikema, Derek would become obsessed with the level, to the point of playing constantly, hoping for the 2:26 to show up. His 2 second PR and one of the most prolific World Records of its time would eventually show up, and Clark was hailed as "The Statue Master". He would continue his GE hot streak, as a major unwhoard after the Illinois meeting would bring him to his highest rank of 4th. Derek's interest in Goldeneye began to wane in early 2003, and he retired from Goldeneye competition in 7th place.

While his Goldeneye legacy is one to be revered for ages, Derek's biggest impact on the world of GE came in the form of his Goldeneye World Records Page. Combining news, statistics, awards, and his own indelible humour and wit, the page continued to give new life and more meaning to active competitors in setting new WRs and breaking barriers that some thought might not be broken. While the decline of GE WRs has caused the site to become very infrequently updated nowadays, it's still one of the mainstays of The Elite, and its archive will bring back many memories to old gamers, and insight into the history of the league to newcomers.

After Derek himself became a mainstay of the boards and rankings, he changed everything for the entire community, giving us a permanent home on March 27, 2002 at The merging and organization of the Goldeneye and Perfect Dark communities, rankings, and videos all under one supersite has allowed The Elite Empire to grow into what it is today, and Derek has been there every step of the way. For years, he took it on himself to pay for the domain, keep everyone up to date with the latest happenings in his news posts, organize and host videos from both his computer and some (semi)dedicated servers, and create billions of pages for the sole entertainment of those visiting his site.

As of writing this, The Elite is just past its 800,000th hit, something that would have been unimaginable to Derek at the time of its creation. This popularity is a testament to just what he has meant to us: everything. Derek has been much more than a Webmaster to most people in The Elite. He's highly regarded as the most popular person in the community because he is just that: a person. Anybody that has talked to Derek at length understands this, that he is just one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He's helped others through emotional times in their lives, and the entire community was behind him in support when he was going through periods of distress himself. As anonymous and brutally meaningless the Internet is at times, Derek has always brought meaning to his colleagues. Through his personality, raw human emotion, and very extensive vocabulary (wtf is "mastitic"!?!), Clark has become a star. A deserving champion in the 2004 contest, and a very impressive 3rd place in 2003 has propelled him to the Tournament of Champions in 2005. His loss to Ngamer in that tournament does nothing to hurt the legend and importance of this worthy Hall of Famer.

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