The Neopian Times Discussion: The Altador Cup
Sky: June, aka the month of Running, is almost here, which means that the annual Altador Cup is just around the corner. Even though the tournament has not arrived in Neopia yet, Altador Cup fever has, as we are seeing Neopians all around the world bringing out their various signs and banners on the team that they support, while at the same time creating some intense rivalry between their family, friends, and coworkers. With me today to discuss the upcoming tournament and what happened last year is one of the voices of the official Altador Cup Commentary, Augustus the Disco Ixi. Welcome to the Neopian Times Discussion, Augustus.
Augustus: Thank you, Sky, it’s a pleasure being here today.
Sky: Okay, let’s get started with the most important question surrounding this year’s tournament, regarding the team from the Lost Desert. Will they be able to defend their title again in this tournament?
Augustus: That’s a good question. First of all, if we look back at how past champions have fared when they were defending the title as Altador Cup Champions, one of the observations that we see is that previous winners such as the Haunted Woods have all failed to defend it, all falling to at least seventh place. Based on that alone, it’s definitely possible that the Lost Desert will fail, but I’m not suggesting that the Cup is cursed, unlike some conspiracy theorists or the other Altador Cup analysts who are suggesting that it is. This is only what, the sixth Altador Cup, so it’s hard to tell if there is a pattern of some sort that is emerging from the tournament.
Sky: So that means that we shouldn’t be writing the team off yet, is that correct?
Augustus: You’re absolutely correct, Sky, we shouldn’t be writing off the Lost Desert as non-contenders. Knowing them, they will try their best to secure wins and possibly the Cup, so they’re pretty much not going down quietly or without a fight against their opponents.
Sky: That’s a valid point that you make there, Augustus. However, if winning the Cup is considered to be a ‘curse’, as some Neopians would put it, and the Lost Desert does fail to retain its title, then who would be considered to be the contenders and/or the frontrunners in this year’s tournament?
Augustus: It’s hard to say who would be considered a frontrunner and/or contender, but I guess that the teams in the Top 8 will most likely be the ones going for the championship. I mean, if we take a look at the teams that were in the Top 8, we can see that they had either a strong performance or an excellent showing during the tournament’s duration, but it's more likely that we'll see someone from the first bracket take it all. As we can see from last year’s results, we saw the stunning comeback of two previous Altador Cup winners, the Darigan Citadel and Roo Island, after their poor performance in previous tournaments, placing third and fourth, respectively, although Darigan actually improved from their surprise fifth place standing from the fifth cup. Kreludor maintained its strong showing that it had in previous tournaments, so that team will most likely be a contender. And of course the ‘Meridell’ of the tournament, Virtupets, placing sixth overall after placing no higher than tenth or so in previous tournaments, but we’ll see if they can continue their strong showing this year.
Sky: What were the biggest surprises that shook the fifth Altador Cup?
Augustus: As previously mentioned, Roo Island, coming back strong from their seventh place finish to secure a berth in the finals. We thought that it would take at least a couple of years before they were fully recovered, much like what we saw with the Darigan Citadel, but we were proven wrong, but that also tells us that anything is possible with the Altador Cup.
Sky: What about the disappointments of last year’s tournament?
Augustus: Two teams that were extremely hyped about, but failed to live up to the promise. I’m talking about Shenkuu and Moltara, of course. Shenkuu was in second place during the fourth, so it made sense that they would be considered the frontrunners for the Cup. Ultimately, they caved under the pressure during last year’s tournament, falling to an unprecedented eleventh place after placing no lower than fourth in previous tournaments. Moltara was a wildcard coming into the tournament, seeing as they were the newest team to join, but it was wildly speculated by nearly everyone once they joined that they would have a strong showing, based on what Shenkuu did when they joined the Cup in its second year. Instead, what we saw was a flat out disappointment as that team ended up in last place with a poor overall record even worse than Faerieland.
Sky: Speaking of Faerieland, recently they were in a spot of trouble after the city crashed into the ground by a certain sorceress, who shall remain unnamed even if the majority of Neopians know who I am talking about. Even though the city has recovered somewhat from this incident, how do you think this will affect the team at all, if it does have any affect?
Augustus: Who knows for sure? This is one team that one should keep an eye on to see if they will attract a larger fanbase, and as a result, a higher rank, this year, all because of said plot. However, it is obvious that their current colour scheme for their logo and uniform, pink and purple, will be out of date now due to the fact that Faerieland is no longer in the sky anymore, so we will see a change to reflect what has happened to them.
Sky: Other than Faerieland, are there any other teams that we should be keeping an eye out for?
Augustus: As mentioned before, the Darigan Citadel and Roo Island, to see if they will become the first team to win a second Cup and possibly start a dynasty. Kreludor should be interesting to watch as we’ll see if they can win their first cup under pressure or if they'll suffer the same fate as Shenkuu. Speaking of Shenkuu, let’s just hope that last year’s poor performance was just a blip and hopefully, they can recover from their bad form. Then there's Krawk Island, for similar reasons to the Darigan Citadel and Roo Island, as well as seeing them if they could make a strong comeback and make it into the finals much like what we saw with those aforementioned teams.
Sky: One last question before we wrap this interview up. Who do you think will win the tournament this year?
Augustus: With the depth of the competition, especially in the first bracket alone, it will be tough to call, but I’m going to predict a tournament victory for Kreludor.
Sky: Thank you for your time, Augustus. That wraps it up for this edition of the NT Discussion. Just a reminder that the majority of what was discussed with Augustus is merely a prediction and may not actually reflect what happens in the Altador Cup. Until the next edition of the NT Discussion, this is HighSkyDragonFlyer, aka Sky, the Cloud Shoyru, signing off for the Neopian Times.
Author’s note: As a reminder, the majority of the questions asked are predictions, so please do not neomail my owner, lupe_hunter_7, if the predictions turn out to be false.