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Altador Cup IV
The news, hot off the press, from TNT themselves as they unravel their own coverage for Altador Cup IV.
Krawk Island - Date posted July 6th, 2009
Krawk Island, which had failed to win the Altador Cup tournament in three previous trips to the finals, took advantage of top-seeded Kreludor's surprising defeat to claim the trophy that they've desperately sought for so long, overtaking a weary Shenkuu team in the tournament's championship match.
A well-rounded squad with no apparent weaknesses, Kreludor entered the finals as the only team to earn 20 or more wins in each of the tournament's four activities during the double round robin phase. In squaring off against Shenkuu, however, they ran into a team prepared to play the match of their lives and show far more hustle, intensity, and sheer will than anyone who'd seen Kreludor get the best of them just a week earlier could've imagined.
It seems almost a shame then (although certainly understandable) that by the time Shenkuu reached the finals they were throughly spent, unable to maintain the level of focus and execution that had pulled off the greatest upset in tournament finals history. It was into this fortunate situation that stepped a Krawk Island squad who, determined to not be turned away a fourth time, seized upon their opportunity to make good and finally "win one for Ol' Dash."
The Final Teams Announced
Altador Cup Finals - Date posted July 2nd, 2009
With the second phase of the Altador Cup's double round robin coming to a close, the tournament's finalists have now been determined. The four teams competing for this year's title are Kreludor, Krawk Island, The Lost Desert, and Shenkuu, with the Darigan Citadel narrowly missing a spot in the finals and finishing fifth.
The tournament's final round will begin this Thursday, with top-seeded Kreludor taking on fourth-ranked Shenkuu. In a matchup between the two and three seeds, Krawk Island will be squaring off against The Lost Desert. The winner of each pairing will then advance to the final match, where the tournament's champion will be decided.
As for those whose teams are no longer in the running for the tournament's title, have no fear - you'll still have an opportunity to play meaningful matches while the cup's winner is being settled. The teams that completed the double round robin in the other three groupings (5th through 8th, 9th through 12th, and 13th through 16th) will face off to decide the tournament's final rankings.
As an example of the impact this could have on the Altador Cup's final standings, let's say that the team that finished 8th gets hot and wins a few matches. They could then wind up with a ranking as high as 5th overall for the tournament. Therefore, this weekend's contests are far from being mere "consolation matches," so be sure to make every game count!
Darigan Citadel's Comeback
Top Surprise - Date posted June 22nd, 2009
As this year's Altador Cup reaches its midway point, there have been some surprising performances in the tournament, both good and bad. Perhaps the most significant surprise has been the dominance of the Darigan Citadel, which appears to have completely bounced back from last year's 7th place finish.
After losing their first Yooyuball match against Kreludor, Darigan has been nearly impossible to beat, reeling off a dozen victories and only two ties without a single loss. They've hardly been slouches about side games, either, reaching ten or more wins for the three side games during the tourney's first phase.
Speaking of their recent success, team captain Layton Vickles said, "It's been totally different this time around, as if we're re-learning how to have fun playing all over again. After winning in Year 9, there was just this incredible amount of pressure to come back and repeat, and that tension really worked against us."
That's certainly a sentiment that Roo Island, last year's champions, can relate to right now. At the tournament's halfway mark Roo Island stands as, far and away, the tournament's biggest disappointment, losing more than half their contests. While most experts doubt that Roo Island is capable of mounting a second half charge toward the finals, as the old sporting clich� goes, one should never underestimate the heart of a champion...
Kreludor at the Crossroads
Contenders? - Date posted June 15th, 2009
After finishing sixth last year, expectations for Team Kreludor were far loftier entering this year's Altador Cup than ever before. And yet, hardly anyone foresaw the kind of dominance that they showed during the tournament's first week, reeling off an impressive six straight Yooyuball victories.
Not everyone's been convinced by Kreludor's performance in the early going, however. As one tournament insider (who declined to speak on the record) stated: "Kreludor? Pfft... they've just been beating up on a bunch of sorry teams. Who have they really beaten? Faerieland? Altador? Virtupets? Meridell might've been a quality win in the past, but they're losing as many as they win nowadays. Granted, Kreludor beat Darigan on Opening Day, but Darigan's playing like an entirely different team right now. No way Team Kreludor would beat those guys today."
Giving their detractors even more ammo, Kreludor's streak ended with a slump that featured draws against Krawk Island and Maraqua. As matches against the Haunted Woods, Shenkuu, and Roo Island loom in the near future, it seems like Kreludor's season is at a crossroads - will the team prove it deserves a spot among the sport's elite, or has the time come for them to slink back to the middle of the pack?
Kiko Lake Returns
Splahes Back - Date posted June 8th, 2009
After missing last year's tournament due to a landslide that left them trapped for days, the Yooyuball squad from Kiko Lake made their return to tournament play this past Tuesday. It turned out to be a triumphant return, as Kiko Lake's team scored an impressive victory over Maraqua's scrappy Yooyuball squad, as well as wins in two of the match's three side contests.
"It was really important to get out there and get that first victory, to give ourselves something to build on after what happened last year," team captain "Poke" Cellers stated after the match. "Especially with all the changes we've had in our lineup, bringing in a new goalie during the offseason and moving Ditan and Meela to new positions... yeah, today's win is huge."
Unfortunately, the momentum from their Opening Day win failed to carry over into Kiko Lake's second match, as the team was thoroughly overmatched by a Kreludor squad that's looked unbeatable during this tournament's early stages. So, while Kiko Lake's team appears to have shown up with plenty of fighting spirit, are they really ready to compete against the tournament elite? Perhaps not yet....
Brightvale Pulled from Tournament
King Hagan Declares - Date posted May 29th, 2009
In a move that's sent shockwaves throughout Neopia's Yooyuball community, King Hagan has issued an official decree that his kingdom of Brightvale will not be participating in this year's Altador Cup tournament. According to His Majesty's proclamation, the decision was based upon a recent decline in the quality of work being done by his kingdom's scholars.
"It has been my personal observation," the King stated, "that in the weeks leading up to the arrival of this grand sporting spectacle, there's been far too much banner-making and memorising of chants going on. As a result, the very foundation upon which this kingdom's reputation is based, its scholarship, has fallen prey to a serious case of neglect. Therefore, until my subjects have shown an ability to strike a harmonious balance between work and play, we shall forthwith be suspending our participation in the Altador Cup."
When asked to respond to claims that the real reason behind Brightvale's departure from the Altador Cup was a string of embarrassing losses to rival kingdom Meridell (which is ruled by Hagan's brother King Skarl), His Majesty gruffly declined to comment, stating that "such accusations are not worth dignifying with a reply."