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 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.

Last Chance for Lost Desert

No team has made the final four in 4 consecutive Altador Cups and I don’t think any team ever will. Ultimately, this means that this is very likely Lost Desert’s last chance to win the Altador Cup for a relatively long time (~2 or 3 AC’s.) The team that was often commended for its sportsmanship, never-say-die attitude and consistent performance showed cracks within their interior shell. Lost Desert has had a history of infighting within its groups (Solid, Gold, Sandy) that have led to a tense atmosphere and the destruction of Gold. The team gained a notorius number of noobish freeloaders and a reputation that was usually befitting to all previous champions aside from the Haunted Woods in ACI (in which a different format was used.) How do I know that the solidarity of the team has been shredded completely? Even their major supporters are thinking about leaving whether they lose or win. Let’s not forget that their performance is buoyed by several former Krawk Island supporters and Sotac, both of whom may ultimately give the team the boost they need in the finals but both groups are unlikely to give them such support the following year. Camaraderie is important to create a supportive environment. For now it appears, Lost Desert has lost theirs. Unlike  previous champions however, there is doubt as to whether they will win or not.

June 30th: Witty Title

Well, we have the last of the double round robin results. Krawk Island has to feel played – they took yooyuball and slushie slinger from a top four team (Roo Island) and don’t make the finals. Nonetheless, they deserve congratulations. They have let their game slip as little as possible.

Nothing else really crazy happened yesterday. Kiko Lake beat Meridell in slushie slinger. Darigan didn’t win any side games against Tyrannia. Lost Desert beat Virtupets. Not many evenly matched matches the last day of the double round robin.

Finals Predictions:

Kreludor vs. Roo Island: Kreludor

Kreludor just has more firepower. If the dorks can redirect any side game power to yooyuball, they can win.

Lost Desert vs. Darigan Citadel: Darigan Citadel

I see Darigan as a team that will just go berserk in the finals and as a team that can easily focus soley on yooyuball. Lost Desert also hasn’t been the most consistent team lately.

Second Tier:

Meridell vs. Maraqua: Meridell

Maraqua is crushed. This was their year to make the finals and they aren’t there. Meridell is happy to not be in 11th again. Not to mention that Meridell has a better record in everything but shootout showdown.

Virtupets vs. Krawk Island: Virtupets

This is the hardest to predict. It will really depend on if Krawk Island has the morale to play without a shot of winning the cup. Virtupets on the other hand is very well organized and is thrilled to be here.

Third Tier:

Haunted Woods vs. Terror Mountain: Haunted Woods

Haunted Woods is a second tier team in the third tier.

Shenkuu vs. Tyrannia: Shenkuu

Tyrannia can’t play yooyuball.

Fourth Tier:

Brightvale vs. Faerieland: Brightvale

This is hard to say too, but I’m going Brightvale.

Mystery Island vs. Kiko Lake: Kiko Lake

You know what, I’m going Kiko Lake. Mystery Island fails to show up when it counts and I doubt they’ll show up to claim 13th.

Fifth Tier:

Altador vs. Moltara: Moltara

I’m going to think Moltara will be able to pull together and get that first win. 😛