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Neopedia : Annual Gormball Championship

A game of Gormball
Each year, on the twenty-third day of the month of Gathering, Neopia's Gormball Championship is held. On that day, challengers come from far and wide for a chance to battle it out and determine who's the best in all the land.

A survey of past championships proves that anything can (and likely will) happen once the tournament gets underway...



Thyassa the Chia Year 2 - Champion: Brian *Disqualified*
Runner-Up: Thyassa
Third Place: Ursula

This year's inaugural championship was a scandal-ridden affair, which concluded with Thyassa being declared the winner after Brian was disqualified for using a rigged ball. Despite his many protests to the contrary, the Scorchio's twitching eyebrows were a dead giveaway. Also of interest was a last-minute scratch by Dr. Sloth, who was sidelined by a mysterious prior commitment. Sloth's replacement, a Korbat named Kevin, was obviously outclassed, yet managed to show some promise for the future. Year 3 - Champion: Thyassa
Runner-Up: Farvin III
Third Place: Gargarox Isafuhlarg

After last year's controversial decision, Thyassa was under a great deal of pressure to prove that he was worthy of being regarded as a true champion. This year, though, all such questions were put to rest, as the sure-handed Chia put together a dominant performance and won a second straight title. A major surprise, though, was the strong showing by Farvin III, who used his ultra-powerful hearing ability to sense how close the ball was to popping. This extra-sensory advantage allowed the Alien Aisha to overcome his lack of familiarity with the game and make a strong showing, but in the end Thyassa's savvy and experience were simply too much. Ursula the Usul Year 4 - Champion: Ursula
Runner-Up: Gargarox Isafuhlarg
Third Place: Ember

Given his strong showing last year, Farvin III was this year's odds-on favourite. However, many suspected foul-play, as a sudden ear infection waylaid the Alien Aisha's attempt to make a bid for the title. Luckily, those responsible for the deed were unable to capitalise on their trickery, as an Usul named Ursula rallied to pull through and get a much-deserved win. Known on the Gormball circuit as a tireless worker whose sense of fair play and dedication to the sport are unmatched, Ursula found that many of her fellow competitors were actually glad to see her come away with the title, especially after she'd come so close two years earlier. Brian the Scorchio Year 5 - Champion: Brian
Runner-Up: Farvin III
Third Place: Kevin

Ever since his disqualification at the first championship, Brian had hardly been able to make it out of the first round during subsequent tournaments -- all the attention about what sort of dirty tricks he might have up his sleeve had made him too nervous to concentrate. However, after his surprising win this year, observers of the sport fell into two camps: those who believed that he'd finally been able to play fair and win, and those who thought that he'd simply found a way to keep those twitching eyebrows of his under control. Year 6 - Champion: Thyassa
Runner-Up: Kevin
Third Place: Gargarox Isafuhlarg

Making good on the promise he began showing some years ago, Kevin has finally earned a place among the Gormball world's top players. After a surprising third-place finish last year, this Korbat Gormballer managed to come in second and prove that his success was no fluke.

The biggest story this year, though, wasn't Kevin, but rather the triumphant return of Thyassa. After winning the first two Gormball championships, this precocious Chia became increasingly frustrated with all the training that was necessary to stay on top. After taking a few years to pursue other interests, Thyassa came back this year with something to prove. Despite some signs of rust during the first few rounds, Thyassa managed a return to his winning ways, overcoming aggressive challenges from Kevin and Gargarox Isafuhlarg. Ember the Fire Faerie Year 7 - Champion: Ember
Runner-Up: Farvin III
Third Place: Brian

In an unprecedented event, Ember blew away her competition, finally taking her place as a Gormball champion. Though Brian muttered about the possible use of faerie powers, most agreed he had no right to call anyone else a cheater and should be pleased that he placed third. Meanwhile, Farvin III earned Runner-Up for the third time, much to the alien Aisha's dismay. Rumour had it that, after his latest narrow loss, Farvin planned to train for a solid year, hoping this would give him the edge he needed to finally claim first place, a position that had long been just out of his reach. Though most figured Thyassa would easily win this year, the Chia's game was a bit off due to a bad case of Sneezles. However, he promised to return and claim the title of champion for the fourth time. Year 8 - Champion: Ember
Runner-Up: Farvin III
Third Place: Thyassa

Surprising even veteran fans of the sport, Ember took home the gold for the second year in a row, thanks to her relaxed, laidback playing style. Gormball after gormball steamed in her hands, indicating imminent explosions, but the Fire Faerie never lost her cool. The Fire Faerie balanced a zen-like calm with intent concentration, which her competitors scrambled -- and failed -- to match. Ursula was spotted storming off early in the game, already soaked, and vowing to spend the entire next year on top of Mount Usalin, training harder than ever.

Thyassa seemed strangely distracted; reporters overheard him muttering about devoting more time to training for a new game called Yooyuball, but when interviewed, he denied all. Farvin III Year 9 - Champion: Farvin III
Runner-Up: Ember
Third Place: Ursula

Farvin III finally wrested the title from Ember in a nail-biting game that went into overtime. While Ember was as focused as ever during the first part, Farvin's superior hearing enabled him to keep pace with her. Then disaster struck -- at least for some of the players. A meteor had hit Kreludor during the month of Relaxing, dislodging fragments from the moon. In a bizarre coincidence, one very large fragment abruptly lost its stable orbit during the game and struck the Space Station. The impact momentarily interrupted power and lights in the Gormball room, and when it returned, Farvin III was the clear winner. Dr. Sloth Year 10 - Champion: Dr. Sloth!
Runner-Up: Zargrold
Third Place: Ursula

In a surprise substitution, Dr. Sloth came back from... whatever he was doing and participated in the championship, leaving Kevin happily on the sidelines. Dr. Sloth played a fierce game, bringing several of the contenders to tears with his perfectly timed releases. Only Zargrold seemed to be enjoying himself; sadly, both Farvin and Ember were distracted by the implications of an evil overlord in their midst and were unable to maintain focus. Meanwhile, Gargarox fell apart during the second half of the game, reportedly due to a bad batch of Grobleen Salad. He promised fans he'd bring his best game to the next tournament, however. Gargarox Year 11 - Champion: Gargarox
Runner-Up: Ursula
Third Place: Farvin III

Half an hour before the tournament, Dr. Sloth was reported missing, so Kevin stepped in again to fill the big fellow's shoes. Despite avidly watching the professionals throughout the last tournament, Kevin did not appear to have learned anything. Perhaps there was nothing he could do, however, as Gargarox played a perfect game, taking home the gold with humble pleasure.

Ursula was not at all pleased with her performance during the championship, having sacrificed another entire year to a chilly life on Mount Usalin just to take second place. Year 12 - Champion: Ursula
Runner-Up: Thyassa
Third Place: Brian

Ursula came ready to win and never changed her mind. Early in the game, she seemed jittery, holding the ball almost too long, but it may have been a psychological tactic. If so, it worked, as one player after another regretted overconfidence. Despite the pressure, Thyassa nearly won, but was quite chivalrous about his defeat, telling Ursula that she had earned it.

Ember was unable to play due to petrification, while Brian came in third to a resounding lack of cheers after he made a crack about faerie cheaters. Kevin Year 13 - Champion: Brian *Disqualified*
Runner-Up: Kevin
Third Place: Ember

Year 13's tournament began with a standing ovation for Ember on her safe return to the sport. What followed was no celebration, however, but a tough game dominated by Brian. Brian's victory was short-lived, as it was almost instantly discovered afterward that, yet again, he had used a rigged ball. Whether he would be invited back for the next tournament was reportedly under review. Kevin, however, was ecstatic to learn that he'd won his first ever Gormball gold. Year 14 - Champion: Thyassa
Runner-Up: Ursula
Third Place: Gargarox Isafuhlarg

This year's event was strangely crowded, with tickets selling out months in advance... right after the end of the Altador Cup. Ursula played a hard game, knocking out several opponents in the first few rounds. Then she and Gargarox got into a set of back-and-forth plays as serious as a case of the Scourgies. The stand-off was broken when the ball exploded on Gargarox and then the next ball immediately popped in Ursula's hands. Thyassa went on to triumph. Year 15 - Champion: Ember
Runner-Up: Zargrold
Third Place: Brian

If last year was crowded, then this year was crazy! Fans of Gormball turned out in record numbers, standing in line for hours to get seats for the big game. The weather was pleasantly cool and foggy right up until the first gormball was tossed... and then a torrential downpour soaked the field. No one was more steamed than Ember (literally), but she fought through her anger and pulled off a major victory. Ursula, on the other hand, was very off her game this year. She admitted she'd spent her training time elsewhere -- something about a game camp? Perhaps the Usul has other hobbies after all.