Day 5: King Kelpbeard’s Speech

After the dust settled on the fourth day of play, Maraqua emerged with a second straight victory. After beating Meridell with a WLWW, Elon managed a DWWW against his hated rival, Krawk Island. Quite the nice turn around for a team who opened up with loses to Terror Mountain and Kreludor. Known for their slow starts, Maraqua is apparently wasting no time this year making sure it is known they can play yooyuball with the best.

Virtupets took on Lilo and the Roo Island crew, who was looking a little unpredictable. To that point, RI had beaten Lost Desert and Mystery Island and lost (greatly) to Haunted Woods. Distractions didn’t phase Sloth’s team. MVP contender XL Striker 3.8 brought home a WWWD. VPETS is looking powerful; they have wins now against Tyrannia, Kreludor, and the Roos.

In one of the most watched games every year, Mystery Island went to take on Lost Desert. Since Altador Cup II, Lost Desert has only managed one win against a team they have traditionally placed a lot better than. Mystery Island wasn’t going to let the champs end their losing streak against them. MI handed Lost Desert their fourth straight yooyuball lose and took a WLDW back to their hut.

All good things must come to an end, even if you’re Terror Mountain. After beating Shenkuu, Maraqua, and Lost Desert, Meridell flew in and shut out the blue and white. Meridell is getting pretty confusing. The knights lost to Tyrannia, beat Darigan, lost to Maraqua, and then beat Terror Mountain.

A big congratulations to Moltara for picking up their first win yesterday! The newest Altador Cup team beat the hosts with a WLLW.

Predictions:

Brightvale vs. Lost Desert: WDDW

Darigan Citadel vs. Mystery Island: WWDD

Haunted Woods vs. Krawk Island: DWDD

Virtupets vs. Terror Mountain: DLWW

Kiko Lake vs. Meridell: WWWW

Moltara vs. Maraqua: WWWW

Altador vs. Faerieland: DDWW

Shenkuu vs. Roo Island: DDWD

Tyrannia vs. Kreludor: WLDD

Lost Desert has done nothing but lose in yooyuball and Brightvale is by no means an easy team to beat anymore. Lost Desert just doesn’t look up to playing lately.

Though Mystery Island did just beat the defending champs, we all know Mystery Island play their hardest against LD for whatever reason. Darigan will be Darigan.

Haunted Woods and Krawk Island is a weird game. I think Haunted Woods could easily tie Krawk Island in yooyuball. If HW gets that tie, I don’t think Krawk Island has the power to win any side game against Haunted Woods.

Virtupets vs. TM will be a close one. This one is really just gut. Terror Mountain lost to an unpredictable Meridell and has a good amount of side game power. They just can’t give up yooyuball.

Both Shenkuu and Roo Island are by no means playing spectacular yooyuball right now. Someone has to win though. I think Shenkuu could ride the high of getting a win against Brightvale while Roo Island is a little bummed about that horrific lose to Virtupets.

I trust the old power rather than the new. Kreludor has looked great in yooyuball; wins against MQ and HW and draw with Virtupets. I see them as more consistent in that game than Tyrannia.

Predictions to date: 19-8

 

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Day 3: 100% Chance of Blizzard

Terror Mountain stepped up to the plate and delivered another home run. This time though they beat a team even more respected: Maraqua with a DWWL. What has gotten into Terror Mountain? TM has traditionally been a third tier team and Maraqua was without a doubt a preseason favorite to make the finals. (Not to toot my own horn, but I predicted a Terror Mountain victory.)

After faltering against Tyrannia, expectations were not that high for Meridell going into their game against their arch-rival, Darigan Citadel. Don’t tell that to the knights though, Meridell upset the purple and black with a surprising WWLD. While this certainly raises questions about how far Meridell can go, you can’t ignore that you have to think now how good Tyrannia is? Tyrannia beat Meridell in yooyuball just the day before……….

The defending champs found little love from a now Dasher-less Krawk Island squad, getting handed loses in yooyuball, make some noise, and shootout showdown. Lost Desert isn’t doing much in convincing us that the ‘curse’ isn’t hitting them at the moment.

Haunted Woods shocked everyone but themselves today by nearly sweeping contender and team just coming off a brilliant game against Lost Desert, Roo Island. Is this the Haunted Woods of old? The goonies have had a history of slow starts and showing signs of life at the end of the cup, maybe they’ve just finally learned their lesson and want to join the rest of the competitors again.

Virtupets Space Station edged out Kreludor narrowly with a DWWL. VPETS is clearly wasting no time brushing up their resume for a spot in the finals. Don’t be too hard on Kreludor though – they lost to Virtupets twice last year and still got the first seed going into the finals.

In the other games, Brightvale and Tyrannia swept up the home team and Kiko Lake. Also, Shenkuu won, but drew all three side games with Moltara. Shenkuu has some questions to answer – teams are supposed to sweep Moltara. Mystery Island beat Faerieland while giving up draws in slushie slinger and make some noise.

Predictions:

** Darigan Citadel vs. Brightvale: DWLW ** UPSET SPECIAL

Altador vs. Moltara: WWWD

Shenkuu vs. Kiko Lake: WWWD

Tyrannia vs. Virtupets: WDDD

Kreludor vs. Haunted Woods: DWDW

Roo Island vs. Mystery Island: DWDW

Faerieland vs. Krawk Island: WWWW

Lost Desert vs. Terror Mountain: DWWD

Maraqua vs. Meridell: WLLW

I just feel like Brightvale will be able to pull through. With two nice wins, confidence has to be high. They also handled Mystery Island very well and seem to be in form. If they can get the draw in yooyuball, I think they can handle the side games.

Shenkuu surely has to pull through one of these days, right?

Tyrannia and Virtupets both seem to be in top form, but Virtupets just beat three time finals contestant Kreludor. Virtupets has earned my faith.

The Battle of the Haunted Moon is today and it looks to be the best one in years as Haunted Woods just destroyed Roo Island. Kreludor has been a top notch team for years and they did put up a fight against Virtupets despite the lose.

Terror Mountain looks like a team that well….isn’t Terror Mountain. Hell Lost Desert is about to freeze over. Terror Mountain looks like they can at least draw in yooyuball and is by no means a bad side game team. Little did we know at the start of this cup that we could have Terror Mountain open with wins against Shenkuu, Maraqua, and Lost Desert.

Maraqua vs. Meridell is a gut feeling. Maraqua has to turn it around eventually. We know by now that there is skill buried somewhere in that team. It needs to come out now before another late start begins to nail up the coffin.

Predictions to date: 12-6

(Other writers, feel free to take the featured article spot. xD I’m just putting it so it is a Day 3 article is on the top of the page.)

Day 2: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Shenkuu?

The first day of the sixth cup wasn’t without the expected fireworks. In match-up of former champions, Lilo got the best of Lost Desert’s younger squad and pulled out a win for Roo Island in yooyuball and SOSD. Lost Desert managed wins in Make Some Noise and Slushie Slinger. We just have to wait now to see what this really means. Is Roo Island the real deal or has Lost Desert fallen from grace?

Kreludor silenced many doubters when they refused to give Maraqua any wins at all yesterday, conceding only draws in MSN and SOSD. Maraqua has become somewhat notorious for their slow starts, so it wouldn’t be wise to count them out yet.

Shenkuu seems to be having a recurring nightmare. Last year on the opening day they lost to the returning Kiko Lake. Now they were swept by Terror Mountain. While Terror Mountain is somewhat of a rising power and looking at throwing their hat into the ring for the race to the second tier, Shenkuu without a doubt was hoping to be able to claim their former glory and jump the likes of TM. Shenkuu didn’t even do this bad against Terror Mountain last year – they won both yooyuball games last year in the regular season. Is Shenkuu now stuck in the third tier? Is Terror Mountain climbing the ladder?

Brightvale also got a nice upset for the second straight opening day. Nearly sweeping Mystery Island wasn’t nearly as shocking as beating Darigan Citadel, but it was still quite pleasing for Kayn and company. This game raises a lot of the questions the SK/TM game raised: Is this simply Mystery Island getting stuck in the lower tiers or is Brightvale on the move?

In quite possibly the biggest upset of the day, Tyrannia beat Meridell in yooyuball. Tyrannia is simply supposed to take some side game points and be happy. Meridell was a popular preseason pick to make the finals and they got beaten by a team that didn’t beat any team that ranked higher than fourth tier last year. If Tyrannia pairs their past side game skills with this kind of yooyuball power, we have a new competitor on our hands.

In the other four games, Haunted Woods swept Moltara while Krawk Island, Darigan, and Virtupets all won with a WLWW over Altador, Faerieland, and Kiko Lake.

Predictions:

Brightvale vs. Altador: WWWW

Meridell vs. Darigan: WLWD

** Terror Mountain vs. Maraqua: DWWW ** UPSET SPECIAL

Krawk Island vs. Lost Desert: WLLW

Mystery Island vs. Faerieland: WLDD

Haunted Woods vs. Roo Island: WWDD

Virtupets vs. Kreludor: DLWW

Kiko Lake vs. Tyrannia: WWWD

Moltara vs. Shenkuu: WWWW

Old rivals clash in Meridell vs. Darigan today. Meridell should probably consider showing up after their last game against Tyrannia, but it won’t be easy against a contender for the championship.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Terror Mountain will beat Maraqua today. I think if Terror Mountain can sweep Shenkuu, Terror Mountain will be able to muster enough power to at least draw Maraqua in yooyuball. Plus, Terror Mountain is just a better side game team than the fish.

Lost Desert goes from one former champ to another. I already had more faith in Krawk Island than Roo Island, so I don’t see a brighter future for LD.

Virtupets and Kreludor will be close in the space battle. I trust Kreludor’s consistency to pull them out on top.

Predictions to date: 5-3

Day 1: Let The Craziness Begin

Brightvale vs. Mystery Island

AC V Results: WLWL (MI victory) and WWLL (BV victory)

This game will tell a lot put these two four tier teams perhaps. Both are without a doubt looking to make the jump back up to the third tier (or even higher) and have to be able to beat teams like one another if they’d like to make a solid case for that right.

Prediction: I just don’t trust Mystery Island this year at all. They have some power, but who knows when it will actually show up? Then I look at their history and see second round loses to Tyrannia and Terror Mountain. Brightvale also started out great last year when they manhandled Darigan. Brightvale wins with a DWDW.

Darigan Citadel vs. Faerieland

AC V Results: WDWD and WWWW (DC victories)

Prediction: Darigan is a contender this year, while nobody really has their eyes on Faerieland. DC sweeps.

Lost Desert vs. Roo Island

AC V Results: DWWL (LD victory) and WLLW (RI victory)

The defending champs have to go right to work and fight off another team from the AC V finals. Lilo’s team has become a popular pick for a repeat appearence in the top four while Lost Desert has to fight for respect as the lucky team bearing the weight of the ‘curse’.

Prediction: Lost Desert will feel the weakest blow the ‘curse’ has ever delivered this year. They’ll still be contending for a spot in the finals. Lost Desert will (surprisingly?) win with a DWWL.

Maraqua vs. Kreludor

AC V Results: WDLW (MQ victory) and DWWW (KD victory)

In another possible championship match-up, Maraqua will try and finally live up to their hype while Kreludor will look to make the finals for a third straight year.

Prediction: It’ll be a close one. In the past, Maraqua has traditionally been a yooyuball power while faltering in the side-games. Kreludor is scary consistent in all four games for the most part. I think Maraqua will outlast Kreludor and pick up the coveted yooyuball win and trump Kreludor with a WLLD.

Meridell vs. Tyrannia

AC V Results: WWWL and WLDL (MD victories)

Meridell barely missed the finals and tumbled down the rankings during the playoffs last year while Tyrannia was sent packing back into the third tier. Meridell of course is expected to win yooyuball, but needs every point from the side-game champions if they want to finally be able to play for gold.

Prediction: Meridell will pick up the win in yooyuball, but how many points will they get from the sides? Meridell did better in the first round last year against most teams, I predict a rewarding WDWL result. (Against Tyrannia, you take every point you can get.)

Terror Mountain vs. Shenkuu

AC V Results: WLLL and WDLL (Shenkuu victories)

It’s scary to think that Terror Mountain finished higher than Shenkuu last year, but here we are. Terror Mountain is a fringe team now, we know they’re better than the likes of the fourth tier, but not quite up to par with the pack that’s trying to make the finals.  Most are forgiving Shenkuu of their absolutely dismal showing last year and expect something a lot a better this time around.  Anything less though, and Shenkuu may join the likes of teams like Haunted Woods who fell from grace and are now stuck in the third tier.

Prediction: I do think Shenkuu will do better this year, but Terror Mountain will pick up some steam too. Shenkuu wins with a WDDL.

Krawk Island vs. Altador

AC V Results: WDWW and WDWW (KI victories)

Prediction: I predicted a Krawk Island appearance in the championship game and Altador in the bottom two. Krawk Island wins with a sweep.

Haunted Woods vs. Moltara

AC V Results: WWWW and WWDW  (HW victories)

Prediction: Haunted Woods showed signs of life last year while Moltara picked up no wins in yooyuball in the regular season. Haunted Woods sweeps.

Virtupets vs. Kiko Lake

AC V Results: WLWW and WLWW (VP victories)

Virtupets is now the sweetheart of the cup, trying to go from dead last to fighting in the finals. Kiko Lake showed some nice victories against Shenkuu and Maraqua last year, but was in the bottom tier at the end of the day.

Prediction: Virtupets will get better this year. They’ll win against KL with a WDWW.

 

My Altador Cup VI Predictions

1. Darigan Citadel: I can find no fault in this team. They’re huge, they’re powerful, they know how to play, and they’re in it to win it.  Yooyuball is their forte, beating everyone at least once last year with the exception of slippery old Maraqua. Not only can they play yooyuball though, they can beat you in the side games at the same time having a more than adequate grip in Make Some Noise and Slushie Slinger. Look for us to have our first repeat this year….

2. Krawk Island: Man, if this happens. I don’t think I’ll be able to take my eyes off of it. Could anything be more perfect than Darigan/Krawk Island championship game?  Regardless, Krawk Island is back. Just one year after Dasher brought home gold, Krawk Island barely missed making the finals yet again. As reigning champions, Krawk Island beat Darigan,  future champions Lost Desert, Roo Island, and tied Kreludor in the second round. Now out of the watchful eyes of the curse, a new, younger Krawk Island will look like the KI of old.

3. Maraqua: Finally. After years of being one of the most powerful yooyuball teams, being inconsistent in play, big wins, and tragically missing the finals just by the hair on their chinny-chin-chin, Elon has finally made it to final four. We know Maraqua can play yooyuball, the chain keeping them back was always those pesky side-games. There appears to be progress though; WAM seems to be more than able to handle teams they’re better than and pick up draws against teams that made/will be competing for spots in the finals. If any progress is made Elon can say ‘Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last (from the second tier)’

4. Virtupets: I know I told myself that Kreludor would make the finals, but I think Virtupets has a lot more to gain while Kreludor has a lot more to lose.  Virtupets hasn’t peaked yet and will keep going up. This is kinda crazy and mostly just a gut feeling, but I’m calling a Virtupets invasion of the finals.

5. Shenkuu: Returning from the cellar, Shenkuu will have something to play for. They won’t be seeded highly going into the finals, but Shenkuu will be playing for respect after a horrible year in AC V.

6. Kreludor: It’ll be close, but they might barely miss the finals. I think Kreludor may have peaked? They’ll have the top seed in the second tier for sure.

7. Lost Desert: The returning champs will be a power this year, the rankings might not show it though.

8. Roo Island: I just don’t have faith that they’ll have the same force they did last year. (Fun fact, if my predictions ring true, Darigan will be the only top eight team from last year to be in the same tier this year.)

9. Meridell: I just don’t have much faith in Meridell either. I don’t like their side games and they don’t seem consistent enough to me. Someone has to miss out on the top 8.

10. Terror Mountain: TM will gain some power this year. Look for them to break into the top eight in AC VII.

11. Brightvale: Kind of like Terror Mountain, but I have more faith in TM evolving into something that might break the wall that is around the top eight.

12. Haunted Woods: The goons will never be consistent. They’re a good team, but they just need to get their act together.

13. Tyrannia: More of the same from Tyrannia.

14. Mystery Island: I have no reason at all to have any faith in this team.

15. Kiko Lake: Better than AL, FL, and MT.

16. Moltara: Surely they have to get better, right?

17. Faerieland: I think they can beat Altador when it counts.

18. Altador: Hi.

Before we think I’m horribly crazy, I was right about the top three last year. Cut me some slack.

Looking Ahead: Trying to Predict Altador Cup VI (Part II)

After Krawk Island won Altador Cup IV, the classic championship hangover was expected to linger over into Altador Cup V and hold back the powerhouse from greatness. Going simply by how Krawk Island placed, it did. Dasher’s team placed seventh just as Darigan and Haunted Woods did after their championship years.

Don’t let Krawk Island fool you though. Seeded sixth going into the finals, Krawk Island beat Darigan, Shenkuu, Roo Island, Lost Desert, and Virtupets during Altador Cup V. KI also had a better yooyuball record than second place Kreludor and was one of the only team to win over 20 games in three of the four AC games. They still had power I believe, it’s just Altador Cup V had a lot of good teams.

Chances: Krawk Island is one of those teams I don’t think you’ll ever be able to write off. While it certainly is possible for Krawk Island to win it all if they make the finals, making the finals will not be an easy task. Personally, I have Maraqua, Darigan, and Kreludor already written in on my ‘Top 4’, but as for the fourth team, it’s a toss-up that could easily land favorably for Krawk Island.

Meridell came back from the depths of the third tier and made it known they would not go quietly into the night. Barely missing the finals thanks to Roo Island, Meridell slipped up in the playoffs and was handed eighth place. (I can’t completely fault them though, it’s hard to play for fifth place and you already have it, but you wanted first)

Chances: Meridell was a yooyuball powerhouse last year; the knights beat every team last year at least once with the exception of Roo Island. Where Meridell falters, of course, is the side games. All three of their side game records are below average for a team that was looking to make the finals. Meridell certainly has potential, but are they spectacular enough to make themselves one of the top four teams in the cup? Every point counts this year for Meridell unless they revamp their side game powers. Any would help really, you can’t have a third tier team (Haunted Woods) do better than you and expect to play for the gold.

Lost Desert claimed their gold last year. LD has been eerily consistent through the years in all of their games with the help of their well-structured fan base. That is all in the past now though. They now have to deal with the pressures and doubts that come with being the defending champions.

Chances: Defending champions have been doing better and better each year lately, but Lost Desert certainly wasn’t separated from the pack last season (Roo Island had just as many yooyuball points and Darigan had more). Teams are ready to pounce if (and probably when) they slip up. Expect Lost Desert to put up a fight though. Krawk Island was less than one point away from the finals last year. It is possible for a defending champ to make the finals now after all these years.

If Hollywood was to make a movie about an Altador Cup team, it would without a doubt be the story of the little team that could: Virtupets. After finishing dead last in Altador Cup II and 14th in Altador Cup III, Virtupets came out of nowhere and dominated SOSD, leaving only two blemishes on what would have been a perfect record. Surely they couldn’t repeat that, right? Yes, they instead went up to sixth place while beating the likes of Darigan, Maraqua, and Meridell in yooyuball.

Chances: When suggesting that Virtupets could be trying to make a claim to them playing for the gold, it is kind of hard to take seriously at first. Cellar-dweller Virtupets? In the finals? The thing is though, they’ve earned the right to be discussed. The robots earned more yooyuball points than Kreludor, more SOSD points than Darigan, and more SS and MSN points than Roo Island. You can’t really predict Virtupets this year on anything other than gut feeling. Nothing like this has ever happened in the cup. They’re so small, have risen so much, and have such potential in big games. I have to ask you this though: Has Virtupets done better every year since AC II?

Leaving the feel good story, we head to the one that probably made fans cry. Altador Cup V was supposed to be Shenkuu’s year. Krawk Island had finally won and had made way for Shenkuu to finally win gold in their fourth trip to the finals. It’s really pretty scary what happened to Shenkuu. Their train really did fly off the tracks and into a wall labeled 11th place.

Chances: The good thing about flying off the radar is that nobody really expects anything from you the year after. Shenkuu was carrying the eyes of Neopia in Altador Cup V and can now finally breathe. For the first time ever Shenkuu isn’t returning from a trip to the finals. While Shenkuu doesn’t have any pressure after finishing 11th though, they also still have their potential. We all know the team is capable of being a team playing in the first place match. (I certainly do, being beat up by Shenkuu was a hobby for Kreludor in AC IV.) Of course an 11th place team making the finals is an outside chance, but they do have a chance.

Looking Ahead: Trying to Predict AC VI (Part I)

After the craziness that we now call Altador Cup V ended, we were left without a real front-runner for winning the cup this summer. With Lost Desert having won AC V, the teams I would call the original powerhouses (LD, KI, RI, and DC) have now all won gold. Someone either now has to step up to the plate and shake things or dare I say even repeat?

Of the teams that have yet to win a cup, Kreludor has without a doubt had the most success. Since sitting out in the second cup, Kreludor came back and placed fifth, placed fourth, and won the silver last year. What got them there is their notorious and consistent skills in the side games. Even more importantly though, they can beat you in yooyuball on any given day. With their yooyuball and side game skills put together, Kreludor is a force to be reckoned with in the regular season.

What could stop them from winning this coming cup though? In the two years Kreludor has made the final four (first seed both times at that), they have only won one game out of four. I don’t know if it is either Kreludor isn’t/wasn’t motivated or whether the other teams really stepped up their game when it really mattered. Regardless though, they still lost and seem to have a bit of playoff issue.

Chances: I would be very shocked to see the purple and orange miss the finals. I would be somewhat surprised to see them win though. Kreludor has had two chances in the finals and has fallen short both times.

The new kids on the block of the Altador Cup are lead by Elon Huglis and Maraqua. Maraqua came out of the cellar of forgotten teams and went 13-2-0 in the second of the double robin of Altador Cup IV before placing fifth. The pressure was now on for Altador Cup V. Maraqua was seemingly the trendy pick for the team to make a surprise splash into the finals. They didn’t live up to expectations at first at all, but thanks to another late season dash and a stellar post-season performance again, Maraqua claimed fifth for the second year in a row.

Maraqua has two things going for it that every team needs to win the cup. They can play yooyuball and they go crazy in the playoffs (They’ve won all four of their playoff games the past two cups!). What could hurt them? A team like Maraqua can’t have slow starts like those that they did in Altador Cup V. Though the fish did improve their side game skills between AC IV and V, they were still a little lacking. If a team is lacking in side games to begin with and depends upon their yooyuball score, they need every point they can get if they expect to make the finals.

Chances: Maraqua has a real shot of winning this year. Maraqua kind of has the opposite problem Kreludor has though; I’m not worried about Maraqua showing up when it matters the most, it’s will they be trying to win fifth or bring home to the gold to their king? They have to bring their a-game all season – the slow start in AC V kept the team with the best yooyuball record out of the finals. (If Maraqua has earned just a half point more, who knows who would have won……)

Darigan Citadel came roaring back last year. The Altador Cup II champions boasted the cup’s second best yooyuball record (Only behind Maraqua) and fourth best make some noise fan base. DC is a huge team, dedicated, consistent, and is looking for the gold and nothing else.

Darigan doesn’t have any one thing you could say would hurt their chances of winning like Maraqua and Kreludor. They have consistency and appear to show up in the playoffs. With DC, it’s more of just a question of will they be able to match the hype they stir up for themselves.

Chances: I really like Darigan this year. They appear to have it all; it’s if other teams know they bring the same intensity day after day, can they beat it?

Roo Island exploded in the second half of the season last year. After placing a disappointing ninth in Altador Cup IV and looking like they’d have to compete to be able to even make the top eight at the start of the fifth cup, Roo Island stood up and said enough is enough. Lilo’s team went 12-1-2 in yooyuball to close the season.

The Rooligans quietly were the second best SOSD team in the cup and had a yooyuball record equal to that of Lost Desert. Slushie Slinger and Make Some Noise bring them down though – Roo Island had the worst records in those two games out of the teams that made the top eight. RI needs every point they can get if they have those scores bringing them down. It would be foolish to assume that they can make the finals again if they have a slow start. Maraqua was less than half of a point away from being the finals rather than Roo Island

Chances: Roo Island is a powerful force in yooyuball and SOSD and can ride momentum like nobody in the cup, but I think the negatives outweigh the positives right now.  They will be skating on thin ice this year and if anything goes wrong look for the ice to crack.