Small Teams and SOTAC

Hi! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Chaos. I was a regular poster here last year, as well as the year before that. This is my 6th year with Team Darigan Citadel. I reached All-Star for the last two years in a row, and levels 18 and 16 the two years before that, so I’m trying to do well this year, but…

Well, I’d planned on posting here more often, but honestly, I’m not quite as into the Altador Cup this year as I usually am. Because of the new YYB. Now, I know many of you are probably tired of complaints about the new YYB, so I’ll just say this: aside from the game being frustrating and simply NOT fun, it really hurts my hand and wrist to play it. Seriously, I played 10 games in a row during the practice phase, and my hand hurt for 5 hours afterwards! And I don’t even usually have a problem with keyboard-based games. But with most keyboard-based games, you get some kind of break from holding down the keys. Either you’re just tapping the keys, or else you hold down the keys to move but you stop frequently to do other actions in the game. With the new YYB, you’re just constantly holding down the keys- for hours at a time, if you play like I used to- and frequently holding down more than one key at a time, and quickly having to switch between keys.

So even if I could deal with the broken auto-switch…and the broken goalie…and the fact that sometimes you can score super-easily by just walking up to the goalie and shooting the ball directly into the net, while other times you can’t avoid the other team stealing the ball and bouncing it all around the field, causing you to wander around the pitch for an entire minute as the insane auto-switch tries to prevent you from reclaiming the ball…even if I could deal with all that annoyance, the game still hurts my hand too much for me to be able to play it.  So even if I wanted to play, I couldn’t do it without injuring myself. And it doesn’t help that, even with the timer fix, the game still takes significantly longer to play than the old YYB, because you have to watch the cut scenes for longer before you can hit a key to skip them.

OK, I promise this has a point beyond just me ranting about the new YYB! It actually relates to the performance of teams this year.

As I mentioned, I’m a loyal member of DC. I’m also a member of a DC chat group where you can only be an official member if you’ve reached All-Star at least once for DC. Here’s my point: it seems like a very large portion of our All-Stars physically cannot play YYB this year due to pain from the keyboard controls. Many of us have various disabilities or old injuries, or just can’t handle the strain. Some people simply refuse to play because they hate the game, but most of us literally cannot play. It’s so bad that our entire chat group is now officially qualified as “semi-retired,” because most of us aren’t playing YYB this year. And we’re arguably the most YYB-heavy chat group in the (formerly) most YYB-heavy team in the AC.

So I’m not surprised that we’re not doing too well this year. Sure, we currently still have a high ranking, but that’s because we started out with an easy schedule. And now it will be worse as we wear ourselves out going up against one tough team after another.

I didn’t want to say anything before because I didn’t want to jinx it or talk down my team, but I didn’t think we could be beat KI, I didn’t think we could beat VP, I didn’t think we could beat TM, and I don’t think we can beat TY today. Because I knew the situation- that most of our All-Stars aren’t playing YYB this year. For those keeping track, DC lost to KI and VP, and drew with TM. And if we draw with TY today, I’ll be happy.

Now, I’m no freeloader, and it’s not in the nature of people in my chat group to be freeloaders either. Which means most of us are focusing on sides. Specifically on SOSD and MSN, as those games now take the shortest amount of time to rank up in- they’re faster than YYB for ranking up. So it also doesn’t surprise me that we’ve got a pretty good record with both MSN and SOSD, with only one loss in MSN and only one loss and two draws in SOSD.

Of course, SS is largely being ignored- those capable of playing YYB are focusing all of their energy into YYB to try to pick up the slack for those unable to play, and those who have turned to side games are playing the fast and easy side games, which would be MSN and SOSD. So nobody wants to bother with SS, which takes even longer to play than YYB yet is worth only half as much in terms of rank points.

I imagine the situation is similar with other large teams. None of them are doing very well this year, with the major exception of KI. Sure, we all expected LD to fall, due to the winner’s curse and the loss of SOTAC, but did anyone expect them to fall this far? They’re now sitting at the bottom of the 4th tier. LD is below FL and KL in the standings. Can we take a minute to process this? Lost Desert is beneath Faerieland and Kiko Lake in the standings.

And RI being in 10th place? Last year, they recovered and made the top tier! Meanwhile, SK and MI have failed to recover from their relatively poor performances last year, and seem as if they may do even worse this year.

The large teams are falling, while some small teams are ruling, with TY and VP being in the top tier, and TM currently holding 6th place above the 7th place KI.

I do believe that one factor is the new YYB. Here’s the thing about small teams: they’re better able to organize and create strategies, because they are small and are therefore more easily able to get in touch with the majority of their members. In past years, small teams could create strategies to focus on a particular side game, thereby taking points away from a large team. The large teams weren’t as focused on the side games in the first place, and were less organized anyways due to sheer size, so a small team which could convince most of its members to go all out on a particular side game could pack a big punch. In the past, TY did it with SS, and VP and TM did it with SOSD.

And now? Now, large teams aren’t as focused on YYB. Large teams are more split, with many members focusing mostly on sides while others stick to YYB. And they’re still not as able to be organized or create cohesive strategies, because there are so many members.

Small teams can now focus their efforts into YYB and take a YYB win from a big team, in the same way they used to be able to focus their efforts into SS and take an SS win from a big team: because many members of the big teams just aren’t playing those games much, so a concentrated effort from a small team can hit hard.

Of course, groups like SOTAC also have an impact. For those unfamiliar, SOTAC stands for “Secret Order of the Altador Cup,” and they’re a group of All-Stars who switch teams every year. They came into being as a group of RI All-Stars in AC3 (though they weren’t yet called SOTAC at that time)…and RI won that year. The next year, in AC4, SOTAC migrated to SK. And that year, SK came in second, while RI- with the loss of the SOTAC members- fell further in the standings than any other previous winner had ever fallen. In AC5, SOTAC went to LD, and LD won, while SK fell further in the standings than ANY other team, winner or not, had ever fallen before. This year, SOTAC has gone to medium-sized team Kreludor…and KD is currently in first place, while LD seems poised to take the record from SK for farthest fall.

But SOTAC is no longer the only team-hopping group of All-Stars. This year, a group called the Stealth AC Group- itself an offshoot of SOTAC- has joined VP. Most people expected that after VP’s performance last year, more All-Stars would be joining the team. In fact, some All-Stars had already joined VP last year because of VP’s excellent performance in SOSD in the previous year. But this year, in addition to that, VP has also gained a group of former SOTAC All-Stars who have split off from SOTAC and formed their own group.

At the same time, a group called Dream Team 2011 has formed. Former SK All-Stars who were disappointed both with SK’s performance and all the drama that embroiled SK last year, they formed their own group and elected to join TM this year. Again, some people expected that TM would gain All-Stars this year, seeing as how TM’s performance in SOSD in AC5 was similar to VP’s SOSD performance in AC4. But TM has also gotten a SOTAC-like dedicated group of All-Stars.

When joining small teams, these groups of All-Stars can make a major impact…especially when the large teams are split down the middle with a major portion of each large team unwilling or unable to play the new YYB.

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Final Results!

Lost Desert won the Cup, so congratulations to them- I know they’ve been striving for 1st place for a long time!

That means Kreludor got 2nd place. Good job to them- they’ve been a strong team every year they played, and they just barely missed out on a trophy last year when they came in 4th, so I’m sure they’re glad that they finally got a trophy.

Darigan came in 3rd place. Personally, I’m just happy that we got a trophy instead of a participant medal. This makes us the only team to have a complete collection of trophies (gold, silver, and bronze). It also makes us the first previous winner to get another trophy.

So Roo Island came in 4th. It must be disappointing for them that they’re stuck with a participant medal, but they proved that they could recover from the winner’s curse, and since they didn’t make the top 3, they probably won’t be swamped with freeloaders next year, so they have a good shot at making the top tier again next year and doing better.

Maraqua won the 2nd tier, coming in 5th place- the same spot they got last year. Virtupets got 6th- the best they’ve ever done, and a huge climb from last year’s 12th place finish. I believe they hold the record for the biggest climb in the standings in a single year.

Krawk Island came in 7th place, continuing the tradition of the previous year’s winner coming in 7th the next year (broken only once by RI, who came in 9th after winning the previous year). That means that Meridell got 8th place, which must be pretty disappointing for them after just barely missing getting into the top tier.

Terror Mountain beat Tyrannia, proving that SOSD and MSN together are worth more than SS (there was some confusion about this for some reason, but I’m pretty sure all side games are weighted equally).  That means that TM won the 3rd tier, taking 9th place, an improvement over their 13th place finish from last year. That puts Tyrannia in 10th place.

Shenkuu took 11th place, meaning that they fell 9 places from their 2nd place finish last year, further than any team has ever fallen in a single year. Haunted Woods got 12th place- despite their seeming recovery near the end of the second half of the DRR, they’ve continued to place worse every year. But there’s always hope to turn it around next year.

Brightvale won the 4th tier, coming in 13th. Mystery Island got 14th (which nobody would have believed at the start of the AC). Faerieland managed to beat out Kiko Lake and come in 15th- in all 5 ACs, FL has come in either 15th or 16th place. Good job to FL for coming in above 3 other teams. That means that KL got 16th place.

As most expected, Altador won the consolation tier, getting 17th place, while Moltara got stuck with 18th place.

Looking at the final standings, Maraqua has the best record in YYB for the year, 25-6-7, and Darigan was just narrowly behind with a YYB record of 25-5-8.

Tyrannia has the best SS record, 33-3-2. TY also has the best side game record overall.

Terror Mountain, of course, got the best SOSD record, 36-0-2.

Kreludor had the best MSN record, 29-4-5.

Layton Vickles of Darigan was the top goal scorer of the year.

If you look at the standings after the finals- as opposed to the official standings based on the final matches- then the standings are as follows:

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

Of course, the true official standings, after the finals matches, are as follows:

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

Well, as soon as the excitement of getting the final results has died down, it will be time for the cherished yearly tradition of Complaining About the Prizes.

Random AC Facts

So, the AC is over for the year. I really couldn’t even guess about who will win in the final matches- they’re all so close. It’s likely that we won’t get the results until Tuesday, so we have a wait.

So, some random facts about the AC:

Lost Desert is the only team that has never, in all 5 ACs, placed worse than they did the previous year. (In order from ACI, they got 5th, 5th, 3rd, 3rd, and this year they’ll either get 1st or 2nd.)

Kreludor has also never placed worse than they did the previous year, but KD didn’t participate in all 5 ACs, as they sat out in ACII. However, KD is the only team that has actually placed higher each year than they did in the previous year that they participated. (They got 9th, sat out, 6th, 4th, and this year they’ll either get 1st or 2nd.)

Haunted Woods is the only team that has placed worse than they did the previous year for all 5 years of the AC. (They got 1st, 7th, 8th, 10th, and this year they’ll either get 11th or 12th.)

Aside from HW, Kiko Lake is the only team that has never made an improvement on any of their previous final standings. However, KL didn’t participate in all 5 ACs, and they didn’t actually get worse every year that they participated. (They got 13th, 14th, sat out, 14th, and this year they’ll either get 15th or 16th.)

Tyrannia is the only team to get the same placing for three years in a row (they got 11th place for ACI, ACII and ACIII.)

Faerieland is the only team to end up in the 4th bracket (13th-16th place) for all 5 ACs. Kiko Lake has also been in the 4th bracket for every AC in which they participated, but KL didn’t participate all 5 years. Altador was in the 4th bracket for 4 years in a row, but this year they dropped to the new 5th (“consolation”) bracket.

Krawk Island holds the record for being in the top 4 for the most consecutive years- they made the top 4 from ACI through ACIV (four years in a row), before falling to the second tier this year. Shenkuu, Roo Island and Lost Desert have all made the top bracket 3 times in a row.

The only team that could possibly tie KI’s record next year is LD- if LD makes the finals again, they will have been there 4 years in a row. RI has been in the top 4 a total of 4 times (meaning they’re tied with KI for total number of times making the finals), but those times weren’t in a row, as RI dropped to the 3rd tier last year before making it back into the finals this year. If SK makes the finals next year, it will be their 4th time, but it won’t be their 4th time in a row, since they dropped to the 3rd tier this year. If DC makes the top 4 next year, it will also be their 4th time, but again it wouldn’t be in a row, as they didn’t make the finals for ACIII or ACIV.

RI fell farther in the standings the year after their win than any other team did after winning the previous year (RI fell from 1st place to 9th place).

Shenkuu has fallen farther in the standings than any other team has ever fallen when compared to their standing from the previous year (they got 2nd last year, and will get either 11th or 12th this year).

Kreludor’s total climb in the standings is larger than that of any other team (they got 9th in ACI and will get either 1st or 2nd this year). No other team has managed to climb that many spaces from where they placed in ACI.

Roo Island managed to recover from the winner’s curse faster than any other team, only missing the top bracket for one year. Darigan recovered the second most quickly, missing the top tier for 2 years in a row before making it back in.

If you participated from start to finish in all 5 ACs, and stayed on the same team for all 5 ACs, then Darigan is the only team you could have been on. This is because the first AC was single elimination, so if your team lost, your team was eliminated and you had to switch teams if you wanted to keep playing. The final round was DC vs HW, so you had to either be on DC or HW by the final round, or else quit before the end. In ACII, all teams that didn’t make the top 4 were eliminated, so if you wanted to play to the end, you had to join one of the teams in the top 4. Since HW didn’t make the top 4 that year, it wasn’t possible to stay on HW from start to finish, as it was in ACI.

The trophies from ACI aren’t clickable, so even if you quit when your team was eliminated and just got a participation medal, there’s no way to prove what team you were on from the start, unless you were on DC or HW. That means that only DC and HW team members can prove that they’ve been entirely faithful to their team for all 5 years of the AC (HW members could choose to quit before the finals in ACII, and the medal is clickable, so they could prove that they’ve never played for any team other than HW).

But DC is still the only team that you could play for from start to finish in all 5 ACs and prove it with your trophies. You know, that’s another thing that makes me glad to be on DC. I can show, with my trophies, that I’ve been with DC since day one of the very first AC, and joined DC on day one of every subsequent AC, and never wavered from my team.

Alright, so those were some interesting (or not) facts about the final placement of teams over all 5 ACs.

Oh, and I did manage to make All Star this year, so I’m glad I accomplished that. And I’m wearing my official Darigan shirt from Zazzle again right now.

DRR Retrospective

Well, the glitch in the finals has been fixed, so get playing!

Now that the DRR is over, I’d like to talk about all of the teams and how they performed this year. Sort of a mini-spotlight for each team. And I’ll be mentioning the finals, of course. Good luck to all the teams (except Lost Desert, since my team is playing them, XD.)

Kreludor

KD was an (almost) unstoppable force in YYB for a good part of this year, and they have a great record in the side games, too. They’ve always been a good team, but they’re still waiting for their trophy. They missed out on the top tier in ACIII and ended up in 6th, and last year they actually made the top tier but ended in 4th place. KD seems to keep improving every year. If they don’t win this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them back in the top tier next year. KD is actually my next favorite team after my own, so if Darigan doesn’t win this year, I hope that KD does.

Lost Desert

Lost Desert had a good season, obviously. I actually feel really sorry for LD. In ACII, they just barely missed the top tier and ended up in 5th. In ACIII and ACIV, they made the top tier but ended in 3rd both times. This is a good team that has been waiting a long time to finally win the Cup. Yet lately, they seem to be falling apart due to in-fighting. Can they pull it together and finally get the win they’ve been trying to get for years?

Darigan Citadel

I’m really proud of the way my team has performed this year. We finally managed to break the winner’s curse and get back into the top tier. Last year, it seemed we might achieve that- we were a major contender for the top tier for most of the AC, but we went downhill towards the end and dropped back to the second tier. We improved this year and ended the regular season in 3rd place. We haven’t been doing as well for the last several days- our All Stars tend to quit playing once they reach All Star. But many believe that our All Stars will come back now that we’re actually in the finals and have a shot at a trophy.

Roo Island

RI didn’t start off too well this year, but then they surprised everyone by becoming a real powerhouse in YYB and rocketing to the top tier. Up until the last few days, it was still uncertain who was going to get that final spot, but RI managed to snag it. I admit, I’m a little jealous of RI- they’re they team that recovered from the winner’s curse the most quickly, despite the fact that last year they fell further than any team had ever fallen after winning the previous year. With the other teams focusing all their side game power into YYB during the finals, I’m not sure that RI really has what it takes to win it this year, but they should be really proud of finishing in the top tier.

———

Meridell

After falling to the 3rd tier last year, I really didn’t think MD would be able to make the same improvement they did in ACIII and get back up to 5th place, but they did. It must be disappointing for MD that they just barely missed the top tier. Will MD fight hard to win 5th place in the finals- or are they too depressed about narrowly missing the top tier to care where they end up in the second tier?

Krawk Island

As most people suspected, KI suffered from the winner’s curse and ended up in the second tier this year. But they’re still a solid YYB squad, and not an easy team to face. It will be pretty funny if they end up in 7th place (which they probably will if VP can manage to beat them) since it’s kind of a tradition for the team that won the previous year to end up in 7th place the next year (even though RI broke that pattern last year.) There’s been a trend this year of previous winners recovering- can KI make the same recovery next year? Somehow, I don’t think it’s likely. It seems that many people stopped wanting to play for KI after they finally won the Cup, and Dasher Soley’s retirement won’t help, either.

Virtupets

VP certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations this year. They surprised everyone last year with their excellent performance in SOSD. And this year, it seems they managed to transfer that effort into YYB. And they still don’t have a bad record in SOSD, either, even if they’re not the SOSD force they were last year. For a while, it even looked like they had a real shot at the top tier, but a second tier finish is still great for this team, and they should be proud of themselves for their improvement. Of all the teams in this tier, VP might actually have the most to fight for- they want to end as high as possible, since no matter what they do, it will be a big improvement for them over the previous 4 years.

Maraqua

Predicted at the start of the cup to be the team to watch this year, MQ ended the DRR in a disappointing 8th place. Their team spirit seems low at this point, and I’m not sure how much effort they’ll be putting in now. But many MQ members are confident that they’ll do better next year, and it’s definitely possible.

——–

Haunted Woods

After a slow start, HW really turned things around and became a great team in YYB. Unfortunately, it happened too late for them to rise above the top spot in the third tier. But they’re likely to win this tier, and it seems they’re on the road to recovery, so next year could be a good year for this team.

Tyrannia

TY truly proved themselves as the masters of side games this year. In ACIII their skills in SS shocked everyone, and in ACIV they became good at MSN as well. This year, they also had a decent record in SOSD. Their SS record is the best of all the teams this year. Their MSN record is the 4th best (and the three teams above them in MSN are the teams in 1st-3rd place overall.) Their SOSD record is almost as good as VP’s, and also almost as good as the SOSD record of 1st place team KD. Unfortunately, it seems like TY had to give up almost all their skill in YYB (and they didn’t have too much to begin with) in order to spread themselves over all 3 side games. Unless TY can refocus their side game effort into YYB, they’ll end up in the bottom half of this tier. If they lose to SK and then beat TM, they’ll end up in 11th place, which will be pretty funny, as TY ended in 11th place for 3 years in a row before jumping up to 8th last year.

Shenkuu

Well, as I mentioned before, I predicted before the start of the cup that SK would fall. SK must be really disappointed with their 3rd tier finish. Will they care enough to bother fighting for a “good” spot in the 3rd tier? Regardless, they can probably beat TY and TM- two teams that are very weak in YYB- and end up in 10th place.

Terror Mountain

TM was actually really good at SOSD last year, but they were overshadowed by VP’s amazing SOSD skills from last year. This year, TM became a true SOSD powerhouse, ending the season with only two losses and no draws in the game. I was actually disappointed when their streak got broken- I was hoping they’d be the first team ever to be perfect in a game throughout the entire cup. Still, they did a really good job on SOSD, and this year there was no one to overshadow them. They may be able to beat TY in YYB and end up in 11th place, and even if they end up in 12th, it will still be a slight improvement from last year.

———–

Brightvale

Brightvale had a strong start and then fell hard (some say it was because of botters on the team being iced, which has given this team a bad reputation.) BV has a terrible record in all the games- except SS, where they actually did really well throughout the season. With the other teams in this tier doing so badly in YYB, BV could win this tier, which will be a definite improvement over their last-place finish the last time they participated in the cup.

Mystery Island

MI is the other major contender to win this tier. But with this team being so unpredictable, who knows? No one expected MI to fall so far this year. No matter what they do in the finals, they’ll finish in a lower spot than they’ve ever finished before. Maybe they can turn things around next year.

Kiko Lake

KL seems like a largely ignored team. But they’re getting a bit famous for their upsets. They broke VP’s SOSD streak last year, then broke TM’s SOSD streak this year. They also pulled off YYB upsets on the first day of the cup both this year and last year. More recently, they managed to upset MQ in YYB, and they’ve also pulled in some random side game wins against top-ranked teams. Maybe they can pull another upset in this tier, but as that doesn’t happen very often for this team, I kind of doubt it. They’ll probably end up in 15th place, which is one place below where KL finished the last two times they participated in the cup.

Faerieland

Poor FL looks destined for another 16th place finish. Though there are two teams below FL this year, 16th isn’t actually a better spot than they got last year. But hey, at least they’re not in last place. FL improved slightly in YYB this year, and got some unexpected draws in side games against fairly good teams.

———-

Altador

Ending up in the so-called “consolation” tier must be a real downer for AL. I think AL is probably the most ignored team in all of the AC- FL are the underdogs that everyone roots for, while other low-ranked teams are famous for their specialties in various side games, or their upsets or unpredictability. Still, AL will almost definitely win this tier, though I imagine that’s not much of a comfort.

Moltara

As a new team this year, nobody really knew where to put MT in the standings, but most people didn’t expect them to languish in dead-last place for the entire cup with absolutely no wins in YYB. Probably their best accomplishment is the fact that they’ve pulled off several draws and a couple wins in SS against top teams, and they’ve also managed to win MSN several times against the lower-ranked teams.

——–

Anyways, sorry that I couldn’t post for a while. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around for the final exciting days of the DRR, when the 3rd and 4th place spots were still up for grabs. But as I said, I was in Washington visiting a friend that I only get to see twice a year, so I really didn’t have time to post.

Day 29 Analysis

I think the biggest news of the day is Haunted Woods’ win over Meridell. HW drew in YYB and SOSD and won MSN and SS. HW really is becoming a powerhouse…it’s just too bad that they waited so long to do it. MD is now already out of the first tier, and they still have most of the toughest teams yet to face.

Maraqua beat Altador, but AL sneaked in a win in SS. Darigan beat Shenkuu, winning all games except SOSD, which was won by SK.

Krawk Island beat Mystery Island with a W-L-W-W. Some are still hoping that KI can actually make it to the top tier. They’ve got a lot of tough teams coming up, but it’s possible for them to do so, as they stand in 6th place right now.

Virtupets beat Terror Mountain in all games except SOSD, meaning TM is still on track to end the season with a perfect record in SOSD.

Kreludor swept Moltara, and Lost Desert did surprisingly well in the side games against Tyrannia, ending up with a W-D-W-L. It’s looking like the first tier is pretty much a lock for LD and KD.

Roo Island beat Kiko Lake, but got a loss in SS. RI is now back in the first tier, but they have a lot of tough matches ahead of them- it really doesn’t help that they gave up points to a low-ranked team.

Finally, Brightvale swept Faerieland. Still, it’s looking like FL will be able to stay out of the bottom tier.

Anyways, I’m leaving in a little bit to get on a plane and fly to Washington, DC, and I won’t be back until Monday. Of course I just found out like a couple of days ago that I’m going to be doing this. I really hate to leave during the Altador Cup, and I usually try not to, but I only get to see my friend like twice a year ever since he moved away for grad school, so I can’t pass it up. All that is to say that I won’t be posting for the next few days. Though I will still try to play YYB from his house. Yes, I’m going to spend part of my visit with my friend playing YYB. My dedication to Darigan is somewhat unreasonable.

Day 28 Analysis and Day 29 Predictions

Well, first I have to say something about Terror Mountain’s win on day 27, since I didn’t post yesterday. I wanted to congratulate TM for actually beating Mystery Island in YYB, and well as beating them in SOSD and keeping their perfect record.

Other interesting results from day 27 were Virtupets beating Roo Island in YYB (though RI won all the side games) and Maraqua drawing Kreludor in YYB (with KD winning all the side games.) Most of the rest of the results were expected sweeps by top or mid-ranked teams over very low-ranked teams.

Anyways, on to day 28. Darigan and Maraqua drew in YYB, while Darigan won all the side games. Both DC and MQ have powerful YYB squads, so a draw makes sense.

Altador managed to get a win in SS against Roo Island, while RI won all the other games. If RI wants a chance at a top tier finish, they really need to watch out for low-ranked teams taking points off of them.

Brightvale swept Moltara- no surprise there. Faerieland got a draw in SOSD against Lost Desert, while LD won all the other games. Kiko Lake won SS against Virtupets, with VP winning all the other games. You really do have to watch out for side game wins from those low-ranked teams.

Shenkuu got an unexpected draw in YYB against Kreludor, and KD won all the side games. But does this result really matter? KD is unlikely to be knocked out of the top tier at this point, and it’s too late for SK to make any significant movement in the standings.

Krawk Island got a W-L-D-L against Tyrannia- pretty standard for a TY game. Haunted Woods won YYB and SS against Terror Mountain, while TM took wins in MSN and SOSD, keeping their perfect SOSD record in tact.

Finally, Meridell won their match against Mystery Island, winning all games except for SS, which MI won.

Predictions:

Shenkuu vs Darigan

Shenkuu hasn’t been performing very well in most matches, and they’re probably tired out after managing to draw with Kreludor yesterday. SK probably doesn’t have the ability to take down a top team at this point.

Maraqua vs Altador

Maraqua needs a sweep.

Haunted Woods vs Meridell

I’m calling it a draw, because HW has become quite unpredictable, managing wins and draws against top teams in the second half. Probably the most interesting match of the day. Can MD hang onto the top tier until the end?

Krawk Island vs Mystery Island

Unfortunately for MI, they’ve just been doing terribly. KI should be able to win this one. I wouldn’t be looking for a sweep, though, since MI rarely gets swept.

Virtupets vs Terror Mountain

As (almost) always, VP wins YYB while TM wins SOSD and possibly gets wins or draws in the other side games.

Lost Desert vs Tyrannia

Again, as always- LD wins YYB while TY gets wins or draws in the side games.

Moltara vs Kreludor

Kreludor sweep.

Roo Island vs Kiko Lake

RI needs to sweep if they want to climb into the top tier.

Brightvale vs Faerieland

Interesting match. FL can probably get some points here somewhere.

Day 26 Analysis and Day 27 Predictions

Darigan came pretty close to managing the complete turn-around on Brightvale that they wanted- they won YYB, MSN, and SOSD, and also managed to get a draw in SS, which is BV’s best game.

Kreludor swept Altador as expected. Tyrannia also swept Kiko Lake, which isn’t too surprising. Also, Meridell swept Moltara.

In a slightly more unexpected sweep, Terror Mountain swept Faerieland. I thought FL could get a win or at least a draw in YYB, but apparently TM worked hard and got the sweep.

Roo Island continued to prove their strength by beating Mystery Island, with only a draw in SS keeping them from a full sweep.

Maraqua beat Lost Desert with a W-L-D-D. LD really hasn’t been living up to expectations in the second half. However, at this point, it probably doesn’t matter- LD has most of the toughest teams out of the way, and can probably hang onto the first tier until finals.

Haunted Woods beat Virtupets with a W-W-L-L. HW really seems to have turned things around in the second half. It’s too bad that they did so poorly in the first half that it’s too late for them to make it into the first tier. Virtupets really needs to step it up if they want to have any hope at all of getting back into the top tier.

Finally, Krawk Island beat a discouraged Shenkuu as expected, with a W-L-D-W.

Predictions:

Darigan vs Altador

Likely a sweep for DC, and a good chance for DC to pick up some more points and remain in the top tier.

Mystery Island vs Terror Mountain

MI should be able to get YYB, while TM shouldn’t have much trouble getting all the side games.

Meridell vs Tyrannia

MD will obviously win YYB, while TY is expected to pick up wins in SS and MSN. MD will probably win SOSD.

Maraqua vs Kreludor

This one is a bit tough to call. MQ has definitely become a force to be reckoned with. But I’m giving the edge to KD because, despite the fact they’ve stumbled against a couple teams in this half, they’re still playing very well overall and are in first place.

Haunted Woods vs Kiko Lake

HW sweep.

Krawk Island vs Faerieland

Probably a sweep for KI, but it’s always possible, in pretty much any match, that FL will get a win or draw in some random side game.

Shenkuu vs Brightvale

SK can beat BV at YYB, and will also probably win MSN. BV has a good chance at winning SS (BV’s specialty) and SOSD (SK’s worst game.)

Virtupets vs Roo Island

With the way RI has been demolishing everyone in YYB lately, RI can probably get the YYB win here. VP will probably get some side game wins.

Lost Desert vs Moltara

LD sweep. LD really needs to pick up some points in these “easy” matches so that they can climb back up in the standings and assure their position.