WELCOME: Yaz and Soriel To The Altador.com Team!

I am very excited to announce that both Yaz and Soriel are joining the Altador.com team.  Yaz will be moving her page over to Altador.com and will be doing her daily predictions exclusively on here.  You can find all her work under her column, here.  Soriel will be hosting all his statistics exclusively on our site as well.  You can find them all towards the top of the site where it says “Altador Cup Stats”.

I am also pleased to announce that Tails, Niku, and Neon will continue posting for the site.  If you would like to write for the site, please send me a PM (username: Alex) on the forums.  I know some people had PM’d me earlier in the year asking if they could be a writer, but if you would like to be a writer for the site please just PM me again as I have lost some of the those original PMs.  Newcomers start out as a guest writer, but if they do well and come back another year they have the opportunity to have their own column.  This is exactly what happened to Niku who did a great job for the site last year.  I personally don’t plan on writing for the site this year, but I will continue to do administrative behind the scenes work.  Also, big thanks to “Dude” who agreed to help me again this year with behind the scenes administrative work.

And finally I am glad to announce that a Live Chat Room has been added to the site.  There’s a link at the top of the page, or you can just visit Altador.com/chat.  I recommend keeping a tab of it open while playing yooyuball.  It’ll make a sound why somebody posts something new.  Or you can disable the sounds by clicking where it says “sound”.

I hope everybody has a great Altador Cup this year!

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ACVII Predictions

Hey guys! If you haven’t heard already, I’m Yaz, and I’ll be writing for Altador.com starting now! I’ve been playing in the cup since ACI, and have been playing for Kreludor since ACIII. My username is volcanic, and you’re all welcome to neomail me on neo or PM me here anytime with any thoughts if you want to talk to me directly. (: You’ll have to forgive some of my poor formatting, I’m still new to WordPress.

Now that that little introduction is over, let’s get down to business. The predictions below in dark red are ones made before the tournament format changed, factoring changes finals might bring and in tiered format.

Tier 1  

 

 

     

 

 

For first place, you can see that I put Meridell. This is quite a jump. The best that they have ever done is 5th, and yet, I’m saying that they can take home the gold. Why? MD has the YYB, plain and simple. They would have been a terrifying force in the top tier last year with a run at the championship themselves, if only they’d managed to glean enough altogether points for top tier. This year, I’m betting they will. Last time that MD was in this position, I expected great things, and they fell so hard that hardly anyone remembers how good they were. Call me stupid, but I’m betting on them again. It’s a different game now, with different teams on top, and I feel like this is MD’s year. In second, I have Tyrannia. They made a vast change last year. Their side games dropped (slightly) and their YYB rose significantly. This is exactly what the AC has been begging to see since TY arose as the side game masters. Finally, I think TY is making the change… and this year, I think they’ll either drastically rise or drop back down to where we’re more used to seeing them. I’m taking a gamble. I’m thinking that TY isn’t going to be prone to freeloaders, and that they’ll have every opportunity to make their stand this season. Let’s see how it goes. 😉 

Krawk Island, as we know, is a formidable team. They have the best yearly average, and I think we all expected them to make the comeback that they did. Many probably think they have a great chance at winning again, but… Well, now that they’re back, their freeloaders will be back, too. KI dipped in size last year (though they are still by no means small) and pretty much everyone left at that point was the diehard KIer we know and love. Now, they’ll have some freeloaders back, and while I don’t really expect that to harm their overall gameplay much, I think it will hinder them too much to put them first. 

Fourth, I have KD. I feel like that if KD was going to win any time soon, it would have been last year. Last year was their best YYB year ever, and while that doesn’t mean necessarily that they’ll depreciate in YYB, my guess is that their time at the top is starting to wear on them. They can’t make that championship spot, and basically, the longer they stay in the top tier, the less and less likely that they’ll actually win. If you’ll remember, pretty much every year before this, KD has been expected to drop back out. Now, however, KD is recognized as a powerhouse, something that was still foreign even last year. KD has had something of a veil that somehow made everyone think that they’d drop back down to anonymity each year, but they’ve lost it. Now, they’re completely susceptible to freeloaders, because the majority of people now think that KD is in the top tier to stay. Since KD is the smallest powerhouse (though, now that I think about it, I’m not so sure anymore), freeloaders affect them more than their larger rivals. In fact, I feel so strongly this way that I nearly put KD out of the top tier altogether- however, KD’s three-year reign at the top of the DRR has convinced me to give them one more year in the top tier. They’re very good at getting all points possible during the DRR, so I’ll leave them be for now.

 

Tier 2  

 

 

  

Darigan Citadel, I’ve made fifth. Last year, they nearly had top tier- and I wouldn’t be surprised if many people put them there. I kept DC in second tier because they just make too many mistakes. They have the strength of a first tier team, but they lose too many points in places where they shouldn’t, struggling with teams they should sweep because DC can only get themselves motivated against powerhouses.  

Next, I have MQ. They are actually a pretty large team, but they couldn’t hold it together for finals, and I think that the bit of freeloaders that they’ll pick up next year will push them into the second tier. They had what it took to make it last year, but they couldn’t seem to go the distance–MQ has been a team prone to fatigue and inconsistency, and I feel that they won’t be able to pull top tier next year. 

I predict a rise for RI. They had the YYB of a top tier team last year, but they just didn’t have any sides to back it up, so they didn’t get near enough points to compete with the big boys. This year, I’m predicting that they’ll gain some side game strength, but lose a touch of YYB strength. That means I think that they’ll gain enough overall pointage to make second tier, but they won’t have the YYB strength to make a big threat. 

I gave LD quite a big comeback, but I still don’t predict them at a competitive level. In fact, this is probably a stretch. The reason I put them here is because ACV RI made a fantastic comeback to fourth, the best they’d had since their winning year. Well, ACVII will be the second year after LD’s win–just like ACV was the second year after RI’s win. I don’t expect identical results; after all, I put LD in 8th, a far cry from fourth. I simply expect that this is LD’s time to start to recover, if they ever will. 

Tier 3

 

 

 

 

 

For my favorite pre-cup prediction of the year, I put FL in 9th. Why would I do that? Well, yes, it’s kind of ludicrous, but FL improved last year for pretty much the first time since the AC started. I really don’t think that they’ll just fall back into their same pattern, and if they do, I’ll be disappointed. I’m going to predict that they’ll improve again. Maybe this is drastic, but there have been tons of drastic jumps over the course of the AC, and this is one I’m trying to catch before it happens. 

As for the reigning champions, I predict 10th. Not so large a fall as LD, but maybe a bit worse than others. VP will be a team to watch for ACVII- they’re the smallest team to have ever won, and I wouldn’t be shocked if this completely changed their post-win year to something we have never seen before. 

Haunted Woods I put in 11th. I’m afraid I’m going to have to stop predicting an improvement. Until we see that HW can keep up some consistent gameplay throughout the cup–even after losses–there’s no reason to expect them to use their strength to the fullest. 

Brightvale showed a lot of promise last year, and while I hate to predict someone in the same place as last year (twice in a row nonetheless…), I don’t see much of a difference. If anything, I simply expect BV to upset less but increase in their average strength. Basically, gaining consistency but losing their surprise factor. 

Tier 4

 

 

 

 

 

For SK, I actually expect a drop. People expected them to recover from their fall last year, but they didn’t. There isn’t much hope for that left, so I expect that more  dedicated players will drift away, leaving SK with memories of what might’ve been. 

I expect a very significant drop for TM. I think that last year was their shining moment–something that won’t be repeated. If TM hadn’t gained so many points so early from surprise and managed to hold on to their upper-level standings with exceptionally balanced overall strength, I don’t think they would’ve done so well. Call it what you like, I think TM’s ACVI was a one-hit wonder. Strengths fluctuate every year for every team, and the odds are unlikely that TM will be so perfectly balanced again. 

Mystery Island has lost their spunky, constant upsets that we have come to expect from them. They’ve settled down, gameplay-wise, and that means that I don’t expect them to recover just yet. Sure, they could gain strength–but so could any other team, and I don’t see it happening for MI this year. 

Moltara is still quite a young team, so I don’t expect them to hold still for long. I’m predicting a slight increase, but nothing earth-shattering. Just a little tier hop. 

Tier 5 

 

 

 

I have Kiko Lake falling into the bottom two because, just like MI, they stopped upsetting last year. Without any particularly strong game, I don’t see them being quite as good. This’ll be a down year for them.  

AL, I have last. I hate, hate, hate, hate predicting stagnancy, but AL simply had the worst YYB record the cup has ever seen last year, so I predict them last. I realize they had 17th, not 18th- but they REALLY upset, having never touched YYB for the entire year until finals. I don’t think their strength changed, I think MT just didn’t expect it. There have been no plots, no changes, no nothing for me to expect AL to change from their bottom-of-the-pack consistency that they’ve had since ACI… so I won’t predict it. 

Now that the tournament format is different, there are some changes that need to be made. The major difference is that balanced teams with more overall strength than YYB strength now have the advantage. Basically, teams that rank highly during the DRR and fall during finals, if our understanding of the new format is correct. If we’re being honest, that means that the new tournament is exactly KD’s cup of tea. Assuming KD stays steady with the pattern they’ve held at the top of the DRR for the last three years (which is in no way certain), KD has a very real chance of taking home the cup at last.

The door to possible championship also opens up to TY now that the format has changed. TY has had killer side games for years now, only really gaining YYB strength last year. In the past, this meant that no matter how high TY rose by gaining points through side games, they’d most likely lose in the end because they’d never win in finals without sound YYB. Without finals, if TY can sustain a first place position, they’ll keep it.

Other teams that this structure may benefit include TM, AL, FL, BV, and possibly DC. These teams as well as others (to some extent) have had noteworthy side game records that do nothing for them once the cup hits finals time. Now, those side games will gather up points throughout the cup, and these teams won’t need to prove their placing with a final showdown in YYB.  The position earned by each team during the long days of toil in each and every game is now a team’s only position.

Now, how would my predictions go with consideration to the new format? I’d definitely push KD further up, especially because they aren’t getting the hype I had expected after last year. Teams with one or no side games to back up their YYB would take a drop, perhaps MD, RI, and KI. I’m not quite so well versed in side game records as I am with YYB strength, so it’s definitely a bit more complicated to predict now. Along with other slight adjustments due to the general focus of teams, I tentatively edit my predictions to these:

  1. KD
  2. TY
  3. KI
  4. MD
  5. DC
  6. MQ
  7. LD
  8. RI
  9. BV
  10. FL
  11. VP
  12. HW
  13. TM
  14. SK
  15. MI
  16. MT
  17. AL
  18. KL

There shouldn’t be any major changes from my originals other than some shuffling within what used to be the tiers (because finals will no longer mix up the placings). Feel free to rip these to shreds, I’d love to discuss them with you!

-Yaz

Tournament Format Changes

From the news yesterday:

“It’s been rather busy around here, what with all the changes being made to the Altador Cup tournament… What? You haven’t heard about the changes? Well – I will try to give you the quick run down. Now listen carefully! The Altador Cup officials have decided to change the tournament style up a bit, I hear. The biggest change is that there will no longer be a Finals bracket. Instead, there will be four rounds with each round lasting six days long– hold on a moment, will you? I need to take care of something.

Oh good, you’re still here. Anyway, as I was saying, each round will consist of three brackets with six teams in each bracket. And yes, don’t worry, we still have all 18 teams. Apparently each team will only play teams in their bracket, and each bracket is randomly generated. There is more, of course, but we won’t hear about it until the Altador Cup starts. Now move along, I’m rather busy as I still need to check the inventory on fan freebies that will be handed out soon… *mutters and walks away*”

Well, we’re getting a new system this year. Tons and tons of people are complaining already, but we really don’t know everything yet. People seem to be forgetting that *tons* of people asked for a shorter AC; this one will certainly be shorter.

We do know that there are three groups of six teams, four six-day rounds of play, two teams play each other twice in each round, no finals, top overall team at the end wins.

What we don’t know yet is how exactly the pools will be determined — will they all be random, or just the first round? We also generally don’t know how this will be balanced and fair (though I don’t think anyone should assume at this point that TNT doesn’t have a plan, as much as we like complaining about TNT). Also, we don’t know anything about potential break days yet, though I personally hope we have one after each round.

That’s about all the information I can think of, and I hope this works out well this year.

Team rosters revealed

Five teams have announced changes to their rosters in the lead up to this years Altador Cup.

Team Altador announced it traded off right defender Timu with Team Shenkuu’s right forward Foltaggio.

“This has changed our team formation from 1+3 to 2+2,” Altador team captain “Trapper” Remis said, “we are hoping this will give us the extra firepower needed to get off the bottom of the ladder.

“We cannot keep using the excuse that we are rusty after 1,000 years slumber in the seventh tourney.

“Timu went to Shenkuu for a spiritual meditation journey and fell in love with the land. When she came back, she pleaded to our management to negotiate a trade.

“Team Shenkuu seemed more than happy to accept Timu into their team. We wish Timu all the best in Team Shenkuu.”

Team Shenkuu captain Mirsha Grelinek said she is a little bit over-pleased with the trade.

“This makes me the only forward on the team and all the limelight will be on me,” she said, “Personally, I hope our new 1+3 formation will stop goals getting scored against us, and we will return to the glory that we once had.

“Foltaggio blamed himself for our fall in the standings, and when Team Altador offered to negotiate a trade, he jumped at the opportunity.

“He said he felt being on Team Altador would get the pressure to succeed off his shoulders because they seem to be a very relaxed team… Plus he would get free slushies. It was really a win-win for all parties involved.”

Team Brightvale and Team Roo Island have also announced a trade in their rosters, with a Roo Island’s right defender Gordo Gunnels traded with Brightvale’s team captain and left defender, “Squeaky” Tressif.

“Squeaky” Tressif said he decided it was time expand his horizons and learn other team’s playing styles.

“First, we tried to negotiate a trade with Team Lost Desert, we have a close relationship with that team, but the team was too close-knit to give up any of their teammates.

“Then we went to Roo Island. Lilo Blumario, Fenny Vail and Jair Tollet stated they did not want to change teams, but Gordo Gunnels jumped at the opportunity.”

A representative Brightvale team management said the trade of Tressif with Gunnels went better than expected. Now the team has a skeith and a grarrl, we are sure the size of the two players will help us rise in the standings.

Roo Island team management said it is thrilled to have “Squeaky” Tressif on the team.

“Someone with that much knowledge and experience will no doubt be an asset to the team.”

Gordo Gunnels said “I like Brightvale. Brightvale is smart and has lots of food. Maybe I can get lots of food too… Oh, and learn a thing or two while I’m there.”

The final change in the team rosters was the announcement that Mystery Island’s star forward Bertie Shurtz has retired.

“I love my team,” Ms Shurtz said, “but my life must come first.

“I am very excited to announce that over the off-season, I got married, and I am now expecting my first child.

“My replacement is a highly skilled young man, and he’s also quite handsome (And ripped with muscles), I’m 100 per cent sure he will be a hit with the fans. Especially the ladies.”