The event was spurned by further anger at A's third baseman and noob combo aficionado Brett Lawrie. Lawrie recently criticized both the Royals and their fans, saying,
And the way their fans approached everything, I hated it. The way their fans were antagonizing everything, you know, I got a first-pitch missed curveball up in my head and everyone leaps up in their seat like Bruce Buffer is about to come out. That’s not how we’re doing things. Shame on their fans for antagonizing everything that went on there, because that had a lot to do with it. Shame on the players and their team that went with it.
Kansas City wished for retaliation, said first baseman Eric Hosmer. 'Hell yeah,' he exclaimed. 'We thought about what we could do, 'cause we were hundreds of miles apart, so we eventually challenged them to a few games of Halo 2.' Hosmer went on to say that the A's were 'extremely butthurt' and that they accepted the invitation almost immediately.
Lee Judge, reporter for the Kansas City Star, was invited to cover the event, but he reportedly had no idea what was going on. 'He had no idea what was going on,' Mike Moustakas explained. 'He thought we were watching a movie competitively or something. I guess he had never seen an Xbox. He kept calling it a Nintendo and asking where the joysticks were.'
The video game of choice, Halo 2, originally came out in 2004, but the high-definition version Royals and Athletics players were using was a part of 2014's Halo: Master Chief collection for Xbox One. It was a mutually agreeable game; Kansas City players enjoyed the scrappy nature of play, while Oakland players enjoyed being able to take and use any vehicles they happened upon.
The games themselves were generally long and exciting but almost unanimously won by the Kansas City Royals. Hosmer and Moustakas criticized Lawrie's play in particular. Lawrie, they said, scoured the battlefield, concerned about his own score to the point of stealing kills from his own teammates and camping the Royals' spawn points so he could hit them immediately in the knees.
'Halo is a lot like baseball, actually,' Christian Colon told us shortly after finding the rocket launcher and immediately destroying Scott Kazmir at close range. 'In baseball, you play hard, help your teammates, have fun, and compete. Halo is the same, except there are also explosions and laser gunships.'
Shortly before press time, the Royals and A's finished their final fight, a battle in which the A's players coughed up a late lead in overtime to Salvador Perez's winning headshot on Josh Donaldson.