"OK. This is going to sound stupid. I've read all over the matrix about Urban Brawl and it always gets really vague when it explains the origins and where these corps get their teams. I figure if anyone is going to know, it's the wise old sages of Shadowland."
"It all started long ago, in a galaxy far away..."
"REALLY?! You're saying it was space aliens?"
"… I don't even know why I bother anymore. Kids today, got no respect for the classics."
"OK fresh meat, take a seat while your grand-pappies Matador and Hatchetman go into story time."
"It all started, what, 15 years ago now? A nice man in a suit and a big pocket book wanted to revitalize a neighborhood, kind of like our lovely barrens. But the area he wanted to build in was smack in the middle of a turf war between two gangs. Being eurotrash, they decided to settle their near-constant turf fights with a heavily armed and lethal game of soccer/dodge-ball It meant the nice man was getting no help from the locals except his surveyors killed and their work torn up. It was putting the project way behind, and more importantly costing them money."
"So this nice man had a great idea. He went to the two gangs, and offered to sponsor their lethal soccer games with rewards of cash and valuable items to the winner. Since they were going to frag each other anyway, they were happy to take Mr. Suits money. Meanwhile the suit was lining up his legal department, and started selling black market vids and payperview streams of the gangs blasting each other to hell."
"It was a match made in heaven. Soon the gangs were too busy trying to win purses to mess up Suits work, and Mr Suit was making a fortune selling the videos and streams. Corporate execs got a kick out of watching street slime kill each other, what would you guess?"
“Take note of the old Shadow adage. Nothing, NOTHING is free.”
"True that. But it didn't stay small. Real teams and leagues started kicking off. The corps saw a lot of potential for this new 'sport', and they got into it with their own teams in a big way. It came to the states in a big way, and back to Europe after the EuroWars ended. I think only Pueblo Council and the Yucatan areas still ban it. Officially and as far as anyone knew until recently, the corp teams are formed from people from their own security forces or was hired on specifically for Urban Brawl."
"That's where I come in. One of my buddies got caught by Aztechnology Security on a run when it went sideways, about seven years ago now. I called in some favors and found out that he had 'volunteered' to enter the Aztechnology Urban Brawl team, the Tenochtitlán Volcanoes. Ever notice how most of the Volcanoes are whiter then Fastjacks' backside? That should have been a clue.
It took a while, but we were able to find out which upcoming match he'd be playing in. We blasted through Brawl security, got to the holding area for the team and pulled Sharky out. We crossed the border back in the CAS and next thing I knew Sharky's brains were splattered all over the inside of our escape vehicle. They'd stuck a cranial bomb in him and hadn't even told him. I found out later that it was pretty common practice for the corp teams. Captured runners make great urban brawlers, you fight for their entertainment or they blow you up. And what do you know, they never have a shortage of people who have broken corporate law."
"Keep that in mind when you decide to watch the big game on the trid. Go Seattle Screamers!"