ACIX Power Rankings (Week 1)

After seven complete days of the Altador Cup, some very surprising results have come. While many projected Roo Island and even Altador themselves to make a surprising run in this year’s Cup, these two teams have instead crumbled and have fallen into the bottom tier. Another shock can be found in team Kreludor’s performance, maintaining top five and top two tier status with a very solid Alabriss 1 showing and a current strong Minitheus 2 position.

With that being said, the first week has also engendered some mundane, expected results. Farieland still remains in the bottom tier with Brigthvale, and Terror Mountain continues to have a difficult time moving out of the third tier. Meridell and Krawk Island have also had a challenging time starting their campaign for the gold trophy, as both have proven themselves to be average (read: standard) teams.

But, without further ado, I present to you the first week power rankings. Note that these power rankings only include the top 8 teams based on the last week of performance, and if you want a good indicator of overall position, simply refer to the results/standings page here: http://www.neopets.com/altador/colosseum/standings.phtml. Also, these power rankings take into effect ASG’s but will not be directly mentioned in this article, as some may perceive that as a demeaning thing.

Enjoy!

1. Virtupets 

VP completely swept every single team in every single event in their first Minitheus 1 bracket. Of these wins, teams include two triumphs over DC and a very incredible clean sweep over the illustrious Meridell squad. Moreover, not only have they won every game, but they have effectively decimated their opponents, averaging 8.8 YYB points compared to the 4.4 of their opponents. Their MSN power is also incomparable with any other team in the AC, and thus they can always rely on side-games to pull them through. However, I doubt it will ever come to that, because VP’s YYB strength is not a laughing matter. Perhaps the only negative thing that can be said about VP was their relatively easy strength of schedule in week 1. As time progresses, however, that will change and we shall truly see the real VP in full.

2. Moltara

Though Moltara didn’t always decisively sweep their opponents, they escaped the strong Alabriss 1 bracket undefeated and unscathed. Their only true challenge of the Cup came when they faced off against LD on day 1, losing SS and SOSD in tight 5-4 battles. But, however, their YYB prowess and decent MSN capabilities catapulted them past LD, KD, KI, and MQ, only losing three total events, drawing two, and still managing to win fifteen. The reason Moltara placed so high is definitely due in part to an intense strength of schedule. Moltara players and fans, well done. You deserve a rest and an easier bracket for the next week or so.

3. Haunted Woods 

Though HW had a very easy Vaeolus 1, they proved themselves as true contenders in the last two days of the first bracket pairings as they averaged 8 YYB points and 15.5 SS, not to mention the 10+ SOSD and MSN. These averages alone are more than any other team put up over the time, demonstrating that HW only increased in power as the cup continued. Hopefully, they will keep this pace up as they will be paired with much more difficult teams. After all, Terror Mountain, MI, KL, and BV definitely are not the most difficult teams in the tournament. With their average scores, however, it is difficult to place HW outside the top three. HW fans most certainly have a right to complain with this placement.

4. Kreludor 

Many considered Kreludor to be just an average team coming into this Cup; boy, have they been proving wrong. After thwarting MQ, RI, LD, and KI decisively (or nearly decisively), KD reaffirmed themselves as a possible top tier squad, and at worst a second tier team. Their only losses came to the second ranked Moltara who put up unbelievable numbers on day 3, making a win virtually impossible for the inferior KD. One thing is definitely certain for KD, however: their SOSD power is almost unparalleled, with the exception being VP and maybe HW on a good day. In my opinion, KD’s stellar performance may have been the most shockingly good result of the first bracket pairings. Good job, KD!

5. Darigan Citadel 

It is truly difficult to determine how good of team DC really is given the fact that they played (and got slaughtered by) VP twice in the first five days. They also had a difficult time managing MD on day 1, as they were handed a theoretical loss. With that being said, DC’s daily averages ameliorated over time, and they were truly showing themselves to be a solid and sound team, just like they always have been. Did I place DC a little bit too high on this list? Probably. However, I definitely like the progression I see from this as of late, and I am curious to see how they fare against similarly rated teams.

6. Meridell 

Beating SK, FL, AL, and DC all in one round, MD has definitely shown themselves worthy of a spot on this top 8 power ranking list. Though their averages seemed to remain the same or get slightly smaller as the round went on, the heart and passion of the players has certainly not waned in the slightest. Like DC, it will be interesting to see how well MD does when pitted against teams of the same skill and experience level. Honestly, it’s just too difficult to accurately judge their performance when they either played top tier teams or low tier teams. As of now, however, MD has earned this sixth spot due their YYB and SOSD power, and hopefully they can retain that strength in future brackets.

7. Tyrannia 

TY had very impressive results in their first round matches, but seventh is the highest I could give them due to strength of schedule and only decent averages. TY, like usual, seems to be especially adept at side games, typically encountering no threats in SS and SOSD, and only slight difficulty in their MSN match against KL on day 3. But, much to my pleasant surprise, their YYB also seems to be relatively strong, thus giving them an edge over the solely powered side-game teams. As of now in round 2, however, TY is putting up incredible results in the Alabriss 2, and thus I predict that they will be a top 5 team in the next power ranking edition. For now, though, seventh will have to do.

8. Kiko Lake 

I had a difficult time choosing the team to occupy this last spot, as I thought both KI and KL were truly deserving of it. In the end, KL gets the spot just because of their strong performance against TY in the Vaeolus 1. However, KI had a significantly stronger strength of schedule, but the results just weren’t there. KL also has developed some phenomenal YYB and MSN power, making them almost impossible not to include on this list. With that being said, I can see the argument for KI, and thus I am expecting some unhappy people. Oh well, not everyone can be happy. Good job, KL!

 

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The Problem With the New Caps

As I’m sure you have all heard, TNT has implemented a new cap amount system, limiting each user to 68 games of YYB, 762 games of SOSD and MSN, and 139 games of SS. While many originally thought that this new feature would somehow help the cheating issue, it doesn’t really seem to affect it at all. Furthermore, the only way it truly changes anything in the Cup is that the cheaters are only capable of reaching a certain amount of rank points per day. However, according to the AbsoluteCorruption page, not even 10 players managed to reach the 3,174 point cap by maxing out on every single game. Therefore, here are the three chief problems with the new caps.

Firstly, YYB is even more minimized in essence. According to the ranking point system, one can obtain more points solely playing Slushie Slinger (834) than playing YYB (816). The 816 rank points that YYB offers also isn’t too much more than the 762 points one can earn by maxing out SOSD and MSN. Since, out of the 3,174 daily points available only 816 can be from YYB, a mere 26% of your overall rank is figured towards YYB. If you ask me, however, 26% isn’t much more than the overall average of 25%. In my opinion, TNT needed to bring YYB to the forefront of the Cup like they claim it still is. Instead of doing that, TNT decided to completely ignore the fact that YYB is still the central game. But, then again, is it really?

Secondly, as mentioned earlier, the maximum amount of points is only 3,174. Thus, it is theoretically possible that someone could simply max out the entire cup. According to the AbsoluteCorruption page, the first member maxed out all four events in a single day in a mere 19 hours. As of now, two to three members are on pace for maxing out two days consecutively. What does this mean? Well, it means that the extreme diehard players, at one point or another, will find themselves in an awkward position of wanting to play but not being able to. Plus, what insanely elite player only plays 68 games of YYB per day?? This, just like the first problem, shows that TNT wants all-stars to focus on multiple games instead of simply YYB. This is slightly irritating.

Lastly, the new caps truly create a lot of down time even for the active players, like myself. For instance, personally I love YYB and SOSD, and thus I’ve been maxing out SOSD daily and still playing 50 or so YYB games on the side. However, the sheer boredom of being maxed out of my favorite game (SOSD) made me consider playing Slushie Sling…and I did…once. I’m simply saying that a lot of people are going to get rather tired of not being able to play their favorite game and being forced to resort to not as fun side-games.

Therefore, here is my suggestion. Raise the SOSD and YYB caps to 800 and 100 respectively; keep MSN the same or lower it. On top of that, lower SS to under 100, because who seriously wants to play 139 games of that??

Anyway, those are just my thoughts on the new cap system. Feel free to share yours down below.

PS: As of now I am rank 5, playing 1524 SOSD and 63 YYB.

The Freeloading Saga: Demise of the Altador Cup, or No True Problem?

In order to keep peace, I have, on my own will, edited this post. I apologize for any hurt feelings, but my intentions were just to cause some controversy. The regular season reports will be written in a serious manner, and I admit that I have not represented Altador.com in a way that is pleasing and respectful to all of the readers. My deep apologies.

Hopefully you are fired up for the Cup, however, and I intend to write 5 power rankings, 3 interviews, and 2 impression reports throughout the duration of the Cup.

Again, please forgive me. Though I do not believe I personally harassed anyone, I will admit to purposefully swaying the truth in order to make a point and in order to stir up some excitement.

I was not asked to take this down. It has been my choice, so please respect that. One thing needs to be clear, though. I am not a man who cusses who blatantly insults people. If you see someone by the name of Pepe swearing in the comment section, that is simply not me.

Thanks, and peace be with you fellow players. Though we disagree, and though I have wrongfully distorted important facts, one thing still remains in common: we all want the trophy.

I look forward to my next 10 reports this year. It was always in my intention to write these 10 regular season posts in a serious manner, and I realize now that I should have written the 3 pre-season ones in that light as well.

Sorry.

– Your reporter, competitor, and friend,

Pepe

ACIX Pre-Season Predictions

Now, I know that my previous predictions haven’t been insanely accurate, but that won’t stop me from giving it another go! This year has been even more difficult than other years, because the ASG’s are still up in the air on where to land (though reports have disclosed some of this information). Also, with the bogus bracket system and supposed “invisible brackets” (according to fellow reporter Tails), the overall results are harder to predict than ever. Usually, it could be somewhat easy to have an idea on what the future results would be solely based on the YYB power that the team held. However, since YYB isn’t any more important than the other three side games, it is virtually impossible to accurately guess the results. My reporting career for this website is at risk by doing this…but I must! Sit back and sharpen your pitchforks!

18. Haunted Woods 

Remember back in season 1 when Haunted Woods was the team to beat? Oh…you don’t? Well, I do! And let me tell you, they were the real deal. Oh wait, that’s back when only 10,000 people played. Let’s be honest here, the Haunted Wood’s players are truly class-acts, but they aren’t made for the rigors of the Altador Cup. Over the course of the past five years, HW has only fallen in the overall standings and are losing any power that they had previously. Plus, throughout the course of the Altador Cup, YYB and SOSD have consistently been their best games. With the lack of emphasis placed on YYB as of late, their demise and last tier performance is essentially inevitable. I’m sorry HW players and fans, but it is simply not happening this year.

“I’m bored and miserable” – Koukla_angie, HW player season 8 and 9 player

17. Virtupetz 

Perhaps the most unpredictable team in the Cup, Virtupetz has proven themselves once again to be the most ignorant team around. Before their victorious season 6, almost every player had a downcast attitude and would have rather committed suicide than to play another YYB game. Then…they won. Not only did they win, but they also decimated Krawk Island, powerhouse at the time, in the final. VP is also the most inconsistent team in AC history. They are the only team to have won the Cup and finished last place in a span of five years. Their playing base changes constantly and ASG’s are the only thing keeping their space heads above the metaphorical waters of Maraqua. Simply put, VP is screwed. Oh…sorry…no disrespect intended.

16. Brightvale 

Throughout the years of the Cup, Brightvale has consistently been one of the most popular teams to join. According to a repository found on the Neopet boards, Brightvale has actually been the most joined team in the last half-decade, even beating out Krawk Island and Darigan Citadel, mammoth powerhouses. However, the popularity has never helped them, as their best results has only been 12th place. Virtually, they are a constant 3rd or 4th tier team, and I highly doubt that things will change. Just like HW, BV’s only power has been in YYB, and therefore the new AC system has truly screwed them over. I think the BV players should use some of that Neopet wisdom and ditch their team as soon as possible. It may not be the best philosophy for a team-spirit, but it is the only way that they can possibly garner a podium position.

“I’m a bit annoyed both at myself and at TNT for implementing this bogus system. I virtually have no hope for the upcoming years nor do I give a crap anymore.” – Anonymous BV All-star, via personal message

15. Moltara 

Moltara could actually stand a chance at being a somewhat decent team if they attracted some veterans along the way. Whenever they first entered into the Cup realm, the team was more than 90% comprised of rookie players or freeloaders, with only a very tiny bit of level 10+ contributors. This trend has not only stayed constant with Moltara, but now the player base is only further repulsing All-stars. Essentially, the powers that be at Moltara have no true understanding of the point system that TNT utilizes, nor do they have any concept of trying to obtain decent scores. Thus, until these Moltaran players start using their “higher logic,” whatever that means, they won’t be able to even compete for a third tier position. Just listen to these “respected” players leak some knowledge to their naive teammates:

“Hi everyone. Year went by fast. Looking forward to being part of Team Moltara again. I played real hard last year” – Anonymous Moltara player, rank 2

“You can truly contribute to your team if you just score one sosd goal and play for a solid hour. It works pretty well and will help us win.” – Tecbook, Moltaran player, rank 12

14. Altador 

Despite a surprisingly decent season 8, Altador still continues to garner absolutely no respect from the fellow AC players, myself included. To be honest, any team can have a lucky season. And, even though Altador has slowly crept up from being a fourth tier team, they haven’t really proven themselves to be any better than the third tier except for last year. In this way, I don’t expect them to have a remarkable season. Though their YYB power may be enough to catapult them into the top 10, their SS and MSN weakness will only thwart them of any real opportunity to win or even come close. Then again, this site is named after them to some degree, so I better be careful about what I say…

“This year I’m going to give it my all. I’m highly considering supporting Altador this year.” – katy_n12, Beginner rank 

13. Faerieland  

While one can blame the faerie theme for attracting young girls and thus creating an influx of terrible players, let’s be honest with ourselves: FL just plain out sucks. Every single year, according to the AC repository, FL has finished in the bottom fourth tier and have obtained numerous last place finishes. Even though in season 7 and 8 there were talks of ASG’s and All-stars themselves joining them, these rumors were quickly debunked and have not been mentioned for ACIX. After all, what All-star would want to join this team? My guess…no one. And, if they do want to join FL for the upcoming year, then maybe they need to get their head out of the clouds, if you know what I mean.

“As long as Faerieland keeps its name the same, no knew good players will want to join it. The freeloaders still continue to come in, and that is the true demise for this atrocious squad.” – Anonymous, via private message, four-time All-star

12. Terror Mountain 

In the past few years, Terror Mountain has shown some signs of greatness. Their YYB, MSN, and SS abilities have all increased by about 40%, and their MSN powers especially have given even top tier teams some trouble. However, their SOSD scores have gone down nearly 70%, and they are basically guaranteed a loss in that category unless they are playing a fourth tier team. Plus, with an average placement of 10.63, these Terror Mountain players are accustomed to sub-par results. Also, though Terror Mountain obtained a decent second tier finished last year, they have never been a team capable of improving on their results. In other words, whenever they have a semi-decent year, they always follow it up with a poorer results. As per usual, I would expect that to be the case for this ACIX Cup. However, some players are more optimistic than I am.

“I can’t comment on last year since I wasn’t around, but yes, I am optimistic about this year because I fell (sic) like we as a team are going up in both number of players and the competitiveness of those players.” – krazyfroggy1995, beginner player for Terror Mountain

That quote can hardly be considered credible, however, since the player has never been on the Mountain squad before and because he has hardly truly played or contributed greatly to any team that he’s been on.

 11. Darigan Citadel

This is perhaps the first prediction that may be considered “absolutely crazy.” Though some may have a point calling this pick crazy, let’s look at the facts. Ever since season 4, DC’s best finishing position has only been third, making them a consistent second tier team. Moreover, they have even shown signs of dropping down to the third tier on select occasions. ASG’s and All-stars have realized this, as has their overall player-base. Many DC players have also noted this unfortunate change and are very pessimistic going into this year’s Cup. Plus, according to the repository, DC’s winning percentage in all four games has taken a negative turn for the worse, including YYB, which used to be their saving grace. In simple terms, DC has only been decreasing in talent and popularity, and I hypothesize that they will continue that trend into season 9. Unless a major change occurs between now and the start of the Cup, I don’t see them doing anything truly special.

“To be honest [Pepe], I fully realize and understand that our team [DC] isn’t even close to what it used to be. the all-stars aren’t anything special anymore, and the freeloaders are just annoying the veteran players. it’s honestly pissing me off.” (sic) – Anonymous, via private message, former top ten AC player in terms of ranking points

10. Tyrannia 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the winner’s curse. ‘Nuff said…ok, fine, I guess I can analyze them a little bit. TY has always been a semi-solid team until last year when they shocked everyone and blew them out of the water. Honestly, TY’s player-base has been lacking as of late, and not much enthusiasm can be found in their camp. Though TY has had the most solid progression of winning percentages and overall improvement in final standings, I doubt that it will be enough to catapult them to another victory, or even first tier position. Best of luck to them, but I ultimately think that the winner’s curse paired with the lack of excitement will be simply too much for them to overcome. Prove me wrong, though. And TY fans, sharpen your pitchforks and chase me down!

*Tyrannia was picked in 15th place by yannick_boy, an expert predictor on the Neopet forums. Though he has not spoken yet as to why he picked them so low, it is a common trend in most of the predictor’s formulas.*

9. Lost Desert 

Ever since the ASG’s that propelled them to victory in season 5, LD has been a decent team, but not a spectacular powerhouse. And, let’s be honest here, without the aid of ASG’s in the earlier seasons, LD would not have even come close to winning the stacked season 5 Cup, nor would they have garnered a decently large fan and player base over the past few years. This is shown by their 13th place finish (4th tier performance) a year afterwards, to which some die-hard fans solely cried “Winner’s curse!” in an attempt to discredit ASG’s. Moreover, much like DC, their winning percentages have decreased in all four games, especially in YYB and SS, the two games that allowed them to place fairly high. LD is simply a former solid team (get it?) that is now not so solid. After all, how can a sandy region truly be built on solid foundations? But, at least fellow reporter Tails is willing to admit when his team has not truly earned victory.

“Back in the day where freeloaders and trophy hunters were the huge problem in the Altador Cup, Team Lost Desert won it. During the duration of the event, I broke news of the most infamous All-Star Group, SOTAC’s presence in Team Lost Desert, and how the factions of the Lost Desert (i.e. Generalist SoLiD and YYB focused S.A.N.D.Y.) united against their seemingly elitist bullying tactics and loss blaming towards dedicated members and casual newcomers alike, discouraging potential future all-stars from playing, infuriating regulars, and permanently damaging our otherwise excellent reputation for good sportsmanship.” – Tails

8. Kiko Lake 

I almost don’t even want to write this report on Kiko Lake. I personally do not believe that they deserved their fairly high-ranked finish in season 7, nor do I believe that they could have obtained those results with ASG’s and benefit of the doubt by TNT’s bogus bracket systems. Season 8 was truly a wake-up call to all KL fans who thought they generally deserved to placed in the second tier. Though some claim that they simply stopped trying due to the ridiculous changes implemented by TNT, others genuinely believe that TNT has screwed them over. With all due respect, such claims are simply lunacy and border-lining absurdity. As long as the strong player-base for KL continues in this mentality, they will never achieve the results that they “deserve.” Then again, finishing in the second tier or high third tier is way more than they truly warrant. Based on attitude and no strategic prowess, KL should be finding themselves in the fourth tier of teams. Feed up with this paragraph, KL fans? Good. Fortunately I don’t care, cause I am equally as pissed.

To put it into perspective I will recount the night of June 27th right after the results from the previous day. Kiko Lake scored a 5 in YYB a 10 in SlSl an 8 in MSN and a 7 in SOSD members of SoLiD (the official Lost Desert support group) saying things like “at least me made their bots work harder” and “wow Kiko Lake should be ashamed that they feel the need to cheat to win”. This was especially disheartening because I can personally vouch for the fact that at least 5 separate members of KLOWNS maxed in Slushie Slinger. – Lady_Elegant

By the way, five separate people maxing out in SS is no big deal. Even MI had, on average, ten members each night maxing out on SS, and even contributing to other games as well. Man up.

7. Krawk Island

Though Krawk Island has been accustomed to being in the first tier, or high second as of late, even members of KILL are realizing that perhaps they aren’t as powerful as they used to be. In the past three years, KI’s winning percentages for YYB, MSN, and SS have all decreased significantly, with a moderate increase in SOSD being the only positive thing to glean. But, KI will always have there loyal fan base and will always retain masses of All-stars who have consistently been playing since season 2 or 3. However, as the next generation of young players begins to make their presence known in the AC standings, KI, I believe, will soon be like Darigan and maybe even Roo Island. Plus, if ACIX continues to employ the odd bracket system that we have seen in the past few years, KI will just keep getting screwed over. I truly do feel badly for KI players, though. Because, besides maybe Shenkuu or Meridell, Krawk Island has been the unluckiest team in the Cup.

“Though we have been unfortunate, I think if we keep playing hard we can win or at least get first tier this year. Time to play hard tho and not take anything for granted.” – Anonymous, quadruple All-star for KI

6. Shenkuu 

From a powerhouse team in the earlier seasons to a bottom-dwelling team in the past three years, SK has truly embarked on a twisty and inconsistent AC voyage. What was once a side-game specialist team, SK had turned into a YYB power and then lost it again along with any MSN power that they gained. In this way, it is difficult to predict which SK will show up in season 9, but I do have hope for this fantastic franchise. Based on the forums and neoboards (and personal reports that I have received), the SK player base is again very large and many All-stars have expressed desire to join them. Some people have even gone as far as claiming that ASG’s are considering to land and support Shenkuu, but most of those rumors have been either ignored or discredited by SK players/fans. With that being said, SK players seem to be in very good and excited moods and appear more than ready to tackle the challenge that season 9 will undoubtedly offer!

“I’m so ready for this year guys! Shenkuu FTW!” – notoriousniicole, SK player and supporter

 5. Kreludor 

Since season 4, KD has consistently been a top tier team. Only last year in season 8 did they fall outside of that top tier in recent years, and even then they only dropped to the second one. To be honest, last year’s results was actually very high considering the supposed “winner’s curse” and perhaps departure of some ASG’s. KD, therefore, proved to all of Neopia and every player, including themselves, that they are capable of competing on a very high level without the aid of any elite groups. This demonstrates that their general player base has a decent amount of a talent, and that they do not plan to stop their tremendous performance in the near future. It will be interesting to see where they end up, but best of luck to them anyway! After all, we wouldn’t’ want Yaz to be unhappy.

“Two more days until sign-ups? Ah…I can’t wait. I’m ready to rock this cup and blow it out of the water!” – quirkygirl1, Kreludor contributor, rank 16

4. Mystery Island 

Though Mystery Island is another back and forth team, MI’s player base has remained virtually the same. While speculation of elite groups circulated in their solid season 7 performance, almost all of those rumors have subsided with evidence against them. In this way, MI has developed a sense of loyalty and have also dedicated more of their time to the Cup. After talking to many All-stars who have played for MI in the past (or are currently playing for them), almost all of them have said that massive amounts of new contributors are planning to join MI, most of whom have promised All-star status. After their thirteen position drop in only a year, however, the question remains: will enough new people join MI to propel them to their previous status? And, even if these new players do come out of nowhere, will the former All-stars still be motivated enough to help pull them through? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then maybe MI can land in the first or second tier. I may be going off of intuition here with this pick, but let’s hope that I luck out.

“I’ve seen many new players come into the MI camps and I am impressed with their work ethic and dedication. I truly think that they will be capable of doing great things this year.” – Anonymous, via private message, 6 time All-star and former MI player

3. Roo Island 

After an eleven position improvement from season 7 to season 8, many of the players and fans of RI have been greatly encouraged to continue playing for this squad. Also, with a decent influx of All-stars, RI has never looked so promising, except for maybe season 3, in which they were the overall victors. Though RI lost some power in the side-games while keeping YYB somewhat strong in seasons 4 through 7, they seemed to have regained that strength and have proven themselves worthy of a first tier position. Unless the trend breaks significantly, it is difficult to imagine Roo Island not being one of the top teams in this year’s Cup. Plus, with the fan base as strong as ever, will anyone truly be able to challenge their manpower and dominating forces? As long as they ameliorate their SS power just a little bit more this year, I feel like RI could potentially be your season 9 champs.

“Though the DC reign is over, I am not sure about RI’s. They have done well without an ASG, so maybe this year they’ll surprise us.” – deepston, unbiased supporter of various other teams

2. Maraqua 

Though there have been speculations that ASG’s may end up in the watery land of Maraqua, I highly doubt that. First of all, they are too small and have been consistently decent without the aid of elite groups. Second of all, there are much better ASG team candidates than Maraqua. In terms of play itself, however, Maraqua has, as of late, been in the running for the championship for the past four or so years. They are also the second best placing team to have not won a single AC, behind Meridell of course. If MQ can garner the support of just a few more All-stars and thwart some of the freeloading crowd from their system, perhaps this will be their season. As per usual, however, MQ could also find themselves outside of the first tier, leaving all predictors and reporters greatly perplexed. Whatever the results, however, I suspect that MQ will at least finish in the top half. Is second place too high? Maybe. But sometimes you have to be a little bit crazy to keep the reporting job for this site.

“I’m thinking about joining Maraqua for the Cup this year! Though this is my first Cup, some friends of mine are Allstars and I want to be one too.” – _new_dawn_

 1. Meridell 

As I have predicted for the past two years, Meridell, I believe, will win this year’s cup. Why? Well, firstly they have been one of the most consistent teams in the past three to four years. Secondly, their player and fan base has grown to massive proportions, making them primes candidates for elite groups and ASG’s to join them. And thirdly, even without the aid of ASG’s, they have proven themselves capable of obtaining great results on their own power. Though Meridell lost some of their YYB and SS power last year, I am more than confident that that will be able to regain it, as it is their chief focus for this year’s cup (according to some of the powers that be at Meridell). In the end, it truly depends on whether or not TNT decides to screw them over. In season 7, I still believe MD was the best team, and many other members would agree with me on that. As long as Meridell players continue to play solidly and thoroughly, however, anything is possible for this squad.

I’m pissed off of losing. It won’t happen again. Nuff said.” – Anonymous, via private message, two time All-star, top 5 AC player

Hope you enjoyed these predictions. Are your pitchforks ready to impale me? Good! Bring it!

100 Hours Until Bloodguilt

It’s true, ladies and gentlemen. After 11 months of anxiously waiting for the next Altador Cup, it is finally here! As a matter of fact, according to the Neopets AC homepage, the sign-ups begin in approximately 100 hours. What does this mean? Well, in simple terms, it means that ardent lovers of the Altador Cup will join forces with other Neopians to form the various teams that comprise the Cup. In a more sophisticated fashion, however, it means much more…

In 100 hours, bloodguilt starts. Things get personal. Every year around this time users begin to accuse teams of cheating (before the Cup even starts), and they also try very methodically to predict where the All-Star Groups are going to land. What does this chaos and judgement engender? For lack of a better word, it creates a virtual world of pain and anguish, sometimes even frustration. Every good user, after all, must defend his or her team from oncoming affronts by the opposing squads.

Therefore, is the Altador Cup even about the games anymore? Or, dare I say, is it more about the dedication and loyalty of the teammates, who are willing to murder anyone who blasphemes against their sacred club?

Ladies and gentlemen, your bloodguilt awaits…

 

First Bracket Analysis: Alabriss

After five grueling days in the Altador Cup, the first set of brackets finally come to a close (so I am assuming). Each team has played the other five clubs in their ladders, and the final results for the Alabriss, Minitheus, and Vaeolus brackets are in. In this post, I will give an analysis on how each team performed in the Alabriss bracket along with whether or not they actually deserved their placing. As always, feel free to expostulate yourself in the comment section below. It is always great to have reader feedback. But, without further ado, here we go:

Alabriss:

logo-1Darigan Citadel has been superb in the first five days of the cup. They not only completely swept Mystery Island and Lost Desert, but they put up a strong showing against Meridell and Kiko Lake. Ultimately, DC proved themselves to be one of the top teams in the Alabriss bracket, but maybe not actually number one like the standings page says. After all, in their match against Meridell, they lost both Yooyuball and SOSD, the more seemingly important events. In this way, Darigan Citadel technically suffered a loss on May 31 (day 1). They recovered nicely, however, and now find themselves atop the metaphorical mountain that AC is. kreludor

Despite losing three out of five of their yooyuball matches as well as a pair of Slushie slinger and SOSD defeats, Kreludor ends up in a very respectable position for the first bracket. However, Kreludor’s placing just comes to show how ridiculous the TNT standings are yet again. Not only did they play Meridell twice instead of playing DC, but they also got beaten by MD both times. That doesn’t sound like a true second place team in one of the toughest brackets to me. KD has obviously lost some power in this cup, and the only way they have a chance of being in the top tier is if they get lucky and have some extremely easy brackets from here on out.

logoMeridell technically did not lose a single match thus far in the Cup, and they had to compete against DC and KD twice. TNT has completely screwed MD over, seeing that they have thoroughly beaten every opponent. To be honest, the lower placing that would be logical would be second…not third. Hopefully TNT starts to reward teams that go 5-0 in Yooyuball, instead of hurting them for falling a few times in Slushie slinger. With that said, Meridell is still in top contention for the cup. If they keep playing the way they are now, by all standard rules of logic, they should win the Altador Cup. TNT might have another story in mind, however.

After starting off in first place for the first day and a half of competition, Kiko Lake suddenly dropped a few places all the way down to fourth. Kiko Lake still maintained their slushie logo-11slinger power and continue to put up decent results in Yooyuball. SOSD and MSN have been the shortcoming for KL, and I am sure they are working on how to improve in those areas. From what I have heard, Kiko Lake is a very calculated team. It will be interesting to see how much better KL does when they are placed into a fairer bracket.

logo-16Lost Desert only put up a decent result against Mystery Island, affirming themselves to be correctly ranked at fifth place. They got decimated by virtually every other team in the Alabriss bracket, and against KL they only managed to win MSN (which is KL’s area of struggle). Thus, it can be deduced that LD will not be the first repeat winner, like some have predicted. Actually, to be honest, LD might not even place within the bounds of the top ten in this cup. If they want to, they will need to improve on their YYB and SOSD abilities. As of now, they are severely lacking. logo-8

Mystery Island has been a huge disappointment thus far. The loss of some elite groups and some all-star core base has really injured them dramatically. This can be seen when examining their results, as they have only garnered one win (SOSD) in the whole entire first round. When placed into an easier bracket, I am sure they will level out. However, MI will not be in contention for tier one or tier two, seeing that they have no power in any particular discipline.

NOTE: As you can tell, this is only an Analysis for one bracket. In the future, I will probably pick two brackets to examine. However, since TNT decided to put the top six teams from last year all into one major ladder, I am forced to only analyze one. The others are replete with far too inferior teams to acknowledge. Sorry.

TNT Still Has Not Learned

Upon looking at the Alabriss bracket, I realized that the same thing as last year is happening yet again: the brackets are ridiculously uneven. In one bracket you have Faerieland, Altador,  Shenkuu, and Moltara. In another ladder you have Mystery Island, Kreludor, Meridell, Darigan Citadel, and Kiko Lake. Maybe I’m just especially unhappy because my team is in the cheapest bracket of the cup. However, this is insanely unfair for each team in Alabriss,and I for one wish that TNT would choose the schedules better.

With that said, I would like to congratulate Kiko Lake on a great start. I am busy traveling right now, but I will post some predictions and a power ranking within a few days. Keep playing!