Altador Cup VI Predictions
Another year has come and gone, and the Altador Cup is once again approaching. Hordes of fans are already stretching their fingers and clearing their throats for the biggest competition in Neopia. A chance to help their team achieve greatness. But only one team can win the Altador Cup. One team out of eighteen. So which team could win it all? Which team could lose it all? As an Altador Cup veteran, here are my predictions.
Maraqua – 1st
This pick is highly controversial, and I’ve had a fair share of people saying I should change it. Well, let’s look into it. Maraqua didn’t exactly have their best year last year, but it was still very good. They let a few matches slip, and they didn’t seem as strong as they were in the ACIV. Maybe it was the massive recruiting they did that brought them down? Maraqua barely made the 2nd tier, but they showed that they deserved the tier, beating Meridell and Virtupets for 5th. Maraqua definitely has the power to reverse a tier, but they have to get into the tier first. This will be the case here. I think if Maraqua can get into the 1st tier, they can win it. But that may be a big if.
Roo Island – 2nd
There’s no way I’m underestimating the power of the Rooligans again! Last year I predicted Roo Island to get 8th, and well, they didn’t. Roo Island recovered from the winner’s curse faster than any team and finished the cup in 4th, narrowly losing to Kreludor and Darigan Citadel. 4th is a good spot to end in though, as Roo Island will escape the majority of the freeloaders that will likely flock to the top three teams. I don’t even think Roo Island was at full power last year, but I’m expecting a mighty change this year. If Roo Island improves their Slushie Slinger and Make Some Noise records, they could become the first repeat champion.
Darigan Citadel – 3rd
Much like Roo Island, Darigan Citadel made a slightly unexpected rise last year. They lost to the Lost Desert, but they beat the Roos for 3rd. Not bad at all, as they get a bronze medal into their collection. I don’t see much of a change in Darigan Citadel this year. They may get a trickle of freeloaders, but I think the plenty of all-star minions are more than prepared to counter them. Darigan Citadel is in it to win it, again.
Kreludor – 4th
Rounding out the top four in my predictions is Kreludor. Kreludor dominated in the ACV, having amazing records in every game, and finally placing as the runner-up in the championship battle. This year, the only place they want to go is up, into 1st place. Will they be able to do it, though, since the second-to-first pattern was shattered last year (in a big way.) Kreludor may be in for a tough year. Freeloaders usually join the second place team, and that would not bode well for tiny Kreludor. I could see Kreludor getting hurt pretty badly from this. But like I said before, that pattern was broken. Will freeloaders avoid Kreludor? I think (and hope) that Kreludor will escape the brunt of the freeloaders and be able to make it into the top tier. Maybe I’m wrong about the pattern, and it will work again.
Krawk Island – 5th
Krawk Island got the winner’s curse last year, so they naturally fell from the top. Krawk Island really didn’t do that badly, though, and they almost made it into the top tier. This year, Krawk Island starts their journey fresh again. Normally teams that are freed of the curse don’t rise, except for Roo Island, but I think Krawk Island will be able to make a swift recovery. Roo Island was close between tiers last year, and that’s where I place Krawk Island, but with the short end of the stick.
Haunted Woods – 6th
Do you think I’m crazy for placing Haunted Woods in 6th? I did too, at first. Analyzing time! Haunted Woods started off last year with a difficult schedule, facing many strong teams in a row. Haunted Woods was at 17th at one point. 17th! Haunted Woods eventually rebounded with a powerful style, and it came down to a points battle between Haunted Woods and Maraqua for 8th. And that’s where Haunted Woods lost. Losing all hope, they sank to 12th. ACVI will hopefully be a different story, schedule pending. If Haunted Woods has luck on their side, they can definitely shake up the standings.
Lost Desert – 7th
All hail the champions! Lost Desert achieved the Neopian dream and won the ACV. Loyal supporters have celebrated, but now they know what they are in for. The curse of the cup. It may seem a bit cliché to place Lost Desert in 7th, but it makes sense. This is where Haunted Woods, Darigan Citadel and Krawk Island all ended up. I see Lost Desert falling in power as a certain group hops to another team, but many loyal mummies are going to hang on for the ride. Lost Desert will likely still be a force to be reckoned with.
Virtupets – 8th
Virtupets is the underdog team of the ACV. They were predicted to be nothing, but they became something. 12th place to 6th place is a huge rise. They did this by increasing their strength in Yooyuball over Shootout Showdown. I don’t think Virtupets has enough strength to make it to the top tier, though. In fact, I think Virtupets might be overwhelmed by freeloaders for their climb. This year will really test the strength and motivation of the robots.
Meridell – 9th
I think this is the team that I’m most under-estimating. To be completely honest, I don’t have confidence in Meridell. Meridell was a good team last year. They had an exceptional Yooyuball record, but lacked power in the side-games. Their downfall was the finals, where they got beaten by Maraqua and Krawk Island, and ended in 8th. Not their best finish, and it won’t attract many newcomers. There’s also the pattern that Meridell seems to rise and fall every other year. That means a fall this year. Meridell can humiliate me by getting more strength in the side-games.
Shenkuu – 10th
Last year, Shenkuu was one of the two teams that basically every prediction had as the champion. That was obviously not the case last year. Somehow, Shenkuu fell all the way to 11th, becoming a middle-tier team. The common explanation is freeloaders, who joined the team because of the second-to-first pattern. Well, good job, you broke it. So why am I predicting Shenkuu in 10th? Shenkuu can’t escape freeloaders. They seem to be a pretty big magnet for them, no matter where they are in the standings. Aside from that, I think it will take more than a year for Shenkuu to recover to their former glory.
Terror Mountain – 11th
I find it funny that I have my own team at 11th, but I’ve seen many other people placing Terror Mountain higher. I guess I have no bias. Terror Mountain had a landmark year in the ACV, getting 9th and becoming Shootout Showdown champions. Terror Mountain showed their true power a few times, so they have a decision to make. If they continue to go with side-games, they would probably hover around the same tier and placing. The other choice is following Virtupets’ lead once again, and focusing on Yooyuball. I hope to see Terror Mountain continue to evolve this year.
Tyrannia – 12th
Tyrannia seems to like 11th place a lot; they ended in that position once again last year. Tyrannia is the champion of the side-games. They are almost unbeatable in that area. Unless you have a strength in the side-games, then it’s doubtful you can take anything but Yooyuball. And that is where Tyrannia’s weakness is. If they had a little more power in Yooyuball, they would no doubt be in the top tier. Tyrannia might be too small to split between all four games though. Only time will tell if Tyrannia plans to tussle with the toughies.
Mystery Island – 13th
Mystery Island had a terrible year last year. I predicted them in 4th, and I honestly thought they could do it. Nope, they SOMEHOW crashed to 14th. And with them went most of my confidence in Mystery Island. I don’t think Mystery Island can recover from that. I can’t even explain it. I suppose they’ll have to sneak Yooyuball wins again to rise. At least 13th is a little better.
Brightvale – 14th
Looking at other predictions, I feel that Brightvale is over-hyped. Many people have them placed higher, and I don’t know why. Sure, they started off well, but they became the usual Brightvale again. Besides having a good Slushie Slinger record, they didn’t do much. I think Brightvale will stay in the same tier, but they’ll be much stronger than the teams below them.
Moltara – 15th
To put it bluntly: Moltara failed last year. They lost every single match, except for one of four in the finals. I think many Moltarans want to forget their debut, and start again with a flash fire. Moltara will likely lose every single freeloader that joined them, so that will leave the dedicated core of Moltara back for a second year. Can they rise any higher? Doubtful, but 15th is a good jump.
Altador – 16th
Altador is the host that unfortunately does not have the “most”. Altador did not have their best year last year, but they still managed to keep themselves from not getting swept a lot. Why are they 16th? Honestly, I am optimistic with Altador. I think they are better than a 5th tier team.
Kiko Lake – 17th
Kiko Lake had a pretty average year last year, but they did add a couple of strong upsets to their already impressive resume. Can anyone say snapping the Shootout Showdown streak for the second time? Kiko Lake ended the ACV in 16th. I don’t see much changing for Kiko Lake. It’s been said before, Kiko Lake does not have much to offer, except for fans of Kikos. I see them narrowly avoiding last place, though, as explained below.
Faerieland – 18th
Last place. Somebody has to take it. I’m predicting Faerieland to be cursed with a little thing called The Faerie’s Ruin plot. TFR was a popular plot that focused on Faerieland, and will likely attract many new players to the team. New players don’t always mean new all-stars. Veterans are already loyal and secure in their own teams, and will probably not switch to Faerieland. Faerieland already isn’t that strong to begin with, so I think they might lose everything they achieved last year, and become last again.
So there are my predictions on the Altador Cup VI. This has been the hardest year to predict in Altador Cup history, and I know I could be wrong in many different places. I hope to see some stunning shocks and upsets this year. See you in the coliseum!