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Jim Coudal's Match Preview

Resetting the Score

Where we are is a function of where we’ve been. Sort of.

On Friday, February 6th, this season of Layer Tennis started with a special exhibition match in which a single Photoshop file was passed from designer to designer in ten cities around the world. The "serve" for that circumnavigation of the globe was created by Scott Hansen and so it seems fitting somehow that five months later Scott has won the coin-flip and will start the final match of the Playoff Semi-Finals. LT symmetry, catch it.

The first season of Layer Tennis started on September 28th, 2007 when Scott's opponent today, Shaun Inman faced off against Kevin Cornell in a match that set the bar very high for the dozens of live Friday matches to follow.

Today's players have been involved in some of the smartest and most popular matches of all time. When Shaun played Chris Glass to conclude Season One, their match totally destroyed what little convention existed in Layer Tennis at the time. Shaun's Layer Nine that day literally and figuratively expanded what we thought a volley could be. Commentator John Gruber called it "the best shot of the entire Layer Tennis season."

All the First Round playoff matches this season were excellent but last week's match between Scott and Jason Koxvold deserves special attention. The match was competitive surely, but that became secondary to a whip-smart, enigmatic narrative and consistent mood.

Commentator Kevin Guilfoile said that it "might have been the most entertaining and artful and meaningful Layer Tennis match we've ever had." The work was complex; motion, design and custom audio were created in service of a real story. And the fact that it was all done under the relentless ticking of the fifteen-minute time clock, made it almost impossibly delicious.

A lot of what we think Layer Tennis is and especially what it can be is the result of the play of Scott and Shaun. The winner of this match will play in The Finals on July 10th but given how we have gotten to this point, the really good news is that anything we expect from today is bound to be wrong.

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Congratulations to Mig Reyes, Layer Tennis Season 3 Champion. jc-12.20

Thanks to all the players, commentators and fans who made Season Three of Layer Tennis a big success. And thanks to the crew at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and all the folks at Adobe Creative Suite for making it possible. Watch this space (or sign up for Season Tickets or follow us on Twitter) for news about some special exhibition matches being planned and about Season 4. jc-12.20

Cast your votes on The Championship Match. Both Finalists will receive invitations to play in the post-season tournament for Season Four. jc-12.17

Here's how the voting works. Decide who you'd like to declare as winner and then simply tweet their first name following a hash mark. Either #mig or #noper and, this is important, also include #lyt in that tweet. We'll leave the voting open all weekend and announce our Season Three Champion on Monday. jc-12.12

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