When Jesus Ortiz came up with a simple game to keep his troops entertained between battles, he could hardly have guessed at the success that his new invention would quickly gather throughout the whole of the GCPS.
What started in the rusty hold of a corporation warship has exploded into a galaxy-wide phenomenon, with leagues and tournaments of various levels played out the length and breadth of the GCPS, all under the watchful control of the DGB. The game has taken spectacle to whole new heights, with enormous stadiums seating hundreds of thousands of fans, star players with armies of fanatically devoted spectators and Corporate sponsorship that runs into numbers even a Forge Father would have trouble counting.
But there are those who don’t follow the official game. Those who either can’t afford or don’t want to toe the DGB line. These people find other ways to satiate their love of violence and sport, in dark corners far removed from the spotlight and fanfare of the arenas, and more importantly, far away from the prying eyes of the DGB itself. These people are responsible for the most violent, underground and dangerous form of DreadBall to exist – DreadBall Xtreme.
Xtreme matches are by necessity much more informal affairs than their officially sanctioned counterparts. The authorities – both the DGB and the Council, to say nothing of the corporations themselves – take an understandably dim view of the practice, and are ever eager to catch the perpetrators. Matches are arranged in great secrecy, generally between the sponsors themselves, who will agree on a location sometimes only minutes before a match is due to begin.
Taking place in abandoned warehouses, prison basements and even the holds of starships, matches usually play out over an area littered with obstacles and traps to catch the unwary – some left deliberately, others simply the result of a hurried clearing of a space large enough to play in. The players themselves lack the sophisticated, purpose built armour and equipment of their more glamorous counterparts, wearing whatever they can scrounge, borrow or steal. Indeed, it is not uncommon for DBX players to take to the pitch with no armour at all. It is a sport where casualties occur often and bloodily, which is all to the good as far as the spectators are concerned.