A History of Altador Cup Prizes
It’s Altador Cup time! Every year since 2006, Neopians far and wide have flocked to Altador to support and play for their favorite team. The crazy commentary, the team spirit, and everyone’s favorite fanatic Techo all make for a memorable event each and every year. For approximately a month, Neopians focus almost exclusively on racking up points in Yooyuball, Slushie Slinger, Make Some Noise, and Shootout Showdown in order to help their teams and rank up to All-Star status! The excitement of winning a close match, the team comradery, and an environment of friendly competition and sportsmanship are all reward enough for participating in this legendary event each year. However, the Cup adds a bit more incentive to get that last game of Yooyuball in by producing a fantastic prize shop each year. Over the past 11 editions of the Cup, the prize shop has always been a highlight of the event. Exclusive and exciting prizes are always available for dedicated participants. Just like the Cup’s squads and format has changed over the years, so has the prize shop. In this article, I will go through each edition of the prize shop and discuss some notable prizes and trends. Since there have already been 11(!) editions of the Altador Cup, this article will be slightly different than my previous history of prizes articles (Daily Dare and Festival of Neggs, check them out!) since the prize pool has expanded to such a vast extent over the years that it would just be too much to cover in one article. Instead, for each prize shop, I will talk about (1) how it relates to the winning team, (2) the common prize with a design for each team featured that year, (3) the Yooyu type released that year, and (4) the prize I feel is most memorable. I am very excited to talk about how the Cup and its prizes have evolved over the years and what better place to start than Altador Cup I!
Note: I will only be covering the main prize shop in this article. Any Staff Tournament prizes, Sign-Up prizes, or other random prizes awarded throughout the history of the Cup are not included.
Altador Cup I
Tournament Winner: Haunted Woods
Common Prize: Team Keyrings
Yooyu Released: Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Yooyuball Field
This is where it all started, the Altador Cup I prize shop set the precedent for all of the great future prize shops to come for this event. The Haunted Woods won this inaugural edition of the Cup and to honor that victory, a Halloween Paint Brush was a featured prize in this shop. Also featured in this prize shop were various plushies of memorable Altador Cup characters, Yooyuball-themed Battledome equipment, and assorted books related to the Cup. The common prizes for this shop were fun keyrings that featured the logos for each team. The Yooyu was also released in this prize shop, immediately becoming a beloved petpet throughout Neopia. The most memorable prize in this shop has to be, in my opinion, the Yooyuball Field, which allows players to practice their Yooyuball skills even in the off-season!
Altador Cup II
Tournament Winner: Darigan Citadel
Common Prize: Team Keyrings
Yooyu Released: Darigan Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Altador Cup
Runners up from the previous year, Darigan Citadel took home the gold in the second edition of the Altador Cup. The prize shop for this edition of the cup featured various Darigan items, including a Darigan Paint Brush, a Layton Vickles Action Figure, and the Yooyu for this year. The Darigan Yooyu is the bane of almost any Yooyuball player’s existence with its unpredictable bounces and turns, but after this edition of the Cup, it became a lovable petpet for any Darigan fan. Once again, keyrings were awarded featuring each team’s logo as the common prize. I am always a sucker for puns so I could not help including the Altador Cup (yes, it is an actual “cup”) as the most memorable prize for this year.
Altador Cup III
Tournament Winner: Roo Island
Common Prize: Team Flying Discs & Team Slushies
Yooyu Released: Fire Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Slushie Slinger Plushie
Roo Island, taking second in the previous edition of the Altador Cup, was able to take home the Cup during Altador Cup III. Unfortunately for them, there were really no prizes celebrating their victory in this edition of the prize shop. An interesting element of this prize shop though was the inclusion of two common prizes, team flying discs and slushies all showcased team colors and flavors for this year! These two sets of items took up most of the prize shop, with only eight other items besides these two sets being awarded in the entire shop. The Fire Yooyu, my personal favorite Yooyu, was released to Neopia for high-achieving players as well. My most memorable item for this prize shop is the Slushie Slinger Plushie, which features that kindly Tuskaninny that somehow manages to run the most hectic slushie stand at the Altador Cup year after year.
Altador Cup IV
Tournament Winner: Krawk Island
Common Prize: Team Slushies & Team Posters
Yooyu Released: Yellow Yooyu, Red Yooyu, Blue Yooyu, Green Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Reusable Altador Cup Grocery Bag
In keeping with the trend of second place teams winning the Cup the next year, Krawk Island finally won their first Cup in Altador Cup IV. Once again, there was almost no indication of their win in the prize shop for this year, although there were two Roo Island team items that celebrated the team’s win the prior year. Like the prize shop for Altador Cup III, two sets of common team prizes were awarded in this prize shop. Team slushies made a return appearance alongside one of my favorite common prizes, team posters. These posters featured the team logo surrounded by team colors that go perfectly in Altador Cup fan’s Neohome. Interestingly four different Yooyus were released this year, featuring basic colors that are not featured in the actual game of Yooyuball. The Reusable Altador Cup Grocery Bag is my most memorable item this year for any Neopian who wants to show off their Altador Cup fandom when shopping for groceries!
Altador Cup V
Tournament Winner: Lost Desert
Common Prize: Team Snowglobes
Yooyu Released: Snow Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Slushie Slinger Home Edition Game
The trend is broken! The second place team from Altador Cup IV, Shenkuu, did not win this year, with the third place team from the prior cup, Lost Desert, taking home the top prize. However, this prize shop was not filled with desert-themed prizes, but with pirate-themed prizes to celebrate Krawk Island’s win the previous year. Even odder, the common prizes for this year were snowglobes, which do not seem very fitting for the year the Lost Desert wins. Adding to that, the Yooyu released this year was the Snow Yooyu, which is mostly likely the Lost Desert’s least favorite Yooyu to play with. Overall, even though the Lost Desert won the Cup this year, the prize shop had a rather cold feeling to it. The winner of most memorable prize this year goes to the Slushie Slinger Home Edition Game, for all those slushie lovers who cannot contain their love of slushies to just one month!
Altador Cup VI
Tournament Winner: Virtupets
Common Prize: Team Mugs
Yooyu Released: Mutant Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: King Altador Yooyuball Statue
Virtupets really stepped it up this year. After never finishing higher than sixth in any previous edition of the Altador Cup, the team from the Space Station went all the way to win the Cup! Following the trend of previous prize shops, this year’s shop featured Lost Desert-themed prizes in honor of the winners of last year’s Cup. Colorful mugs for each team were the common prizes this year and the unpredictable Mutant Yooyu was unleashed to all of Neopia. My most memorable prize from this year is the King Altador Yooyuball Statue, which shows that even royals still love to play a fun game of Yooyuball!
Altador Cup VII
Tournament Winner: Kreludor
Common Prize: Team Pillows
Yooyu Released: Faerie Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Yooyuball Goal Bed
The Cup once again returned to space this year, but this time with a different team. Kreludor took the next step to take home their first Altador Cup. One would expect that this prize shop would feature prizes related to Virtupets, who won the Cup the prior year. However, only two items, a jersey and a book, highlighted Virtupets win. Other teams such as Maraqua and Roo Island had items featured in this very comprehensive prize shop, even though they had not won the Cup recently. The common prizes for this year were pillows, perfect for any Neopian who may have played just a little too much Yooyuball and needs a nice nap. The magical Faerie Yooyu was available to anyone who amassed over 25,000 points over the course of the Cup as well. If one were looking for a place to put all those team pillows from this shop, the perfect place would be the Yooyuball Goal Bed, my most memorable prize from this year. Dreams of Yooyuball are ten times more likely when using this themed resting place.
Altador Cup VIII
Tournament Winner: Tyrannia
Common Prize: Team Yooyu Plushies
Yooyu Released: Robot Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Neopet Trading for Beginners
Tyrannia’s win in Altador Cup VIII proved that a team does not need fancy technology to take home the Cup. This team relied heavily on team cohesion and spirit, which paid off handily for them. Team jerseys featuring both Kreludor and Virtupets, the previous two winners of the Cup, were prominently emphasized in this prize shop. The common team prizes were adorable Yooyu Plushies that had the Yooyus wearing miniature team jerseys, perfect for all the up and coming Yooyuball players. The Robot Yooyu was released this year, meaning that the entire set of playable Yooyus was finally available to the public. My most memorable prize for this year is the book, Neopet Trading for Beginners. I think this is so memorable is that it really does not relate to the Altador Cup in any way, unless of course it is talking about trading players between teams. Hmmm…
Altador Cup IX
Tournament Winner: Haunted Woods
Common Prize: Team Shields
Yooyu Released: Tyrannian Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Unsettling Fan Made Artwork of Lyvon Cibaire
Haunted Woods became the first two-time winner of the Altador Cup during the ninth edition of the event. It was a huge moment for the team, as many believed it almost impossible to win the Cup a second time. However, this prize shop featured many items from Tyrannia (the previous year’s winner) including the Yooyu released this year. The Tyrannian Yooyu was discovered and awarded for Neopians everywhere to enjoy! The common prizes for this year were shields, which were both fashionable and practical for use in the Battledome. Now, I never said that most memorable prize had to be the best prize and that statement certainly true for my pick this year. The Unsettling Fan Made Artwork of Lyvon Cibaire is certainly… unsettling, but that is probably what makes this prize so memorable!
Altador Cup X
Tournament Winner: Kiko Lake
Common Prize: Team Yooyuballs
Yooyu Released: None
Most Memorable Prize: Autographed Yooyuball (staff signatures)
The tiny land of Kiko Lake defied all odds to take home the top prize in the historic tenth of the Altador Cup. Along with Kiko Lake’s historic win came an equally unique prize shop. The common prizes for this year were actual toy Yooyuballs colored with each team’s colors. In my opinion, these yooyuballs are extremely cool and are great representations of team spirit. However, this was the first prize shop where a Yooyu petpet was not awarded as one of the top prizes. This prize shop also did not feature any prizes, besides the common prizes, that actually focused on a specific team. Most of these items focused on the Altador Cup as a whole, which was an interesting change to the prize shop. Among those prizes, the most memorable has to be the Autographed Yooyuball (staff signatures). How cool is it to own a Yooyuball with all of the Yooyuball-loving staff members’ signatures on it!?
Altador Cup XI
Tournament Winner: Mystery Island
Common Prize: Team Armour
Yooyu Released: Water Yooyu
Most Memorable Prize: Altador Cup Team Pennant Dress
After years of coming up just short, Mystery Island made that final push to win their first Cup. While this year’s prize shop did not feature any Mystery Island specific prizes, it did feature some other team jerseys and action figures. The common prizes for this were different types of team armour, perfect for any particularly tough match of Yooyuball. A new type of Yooyu was also awarded as the top prize this year in the form of the Water Yooyu, an especially rare type of Yooyu not typically seen in the wild. My most memorable prize for this year is the Altador Cup Team Pennant Dress, which is the perfect prize for anyone who cannot seem to pick just one team as it features all team pennants in one handy dress!
Eleven editions of the Altador Cup have come and gone, leaving a long and exceptional legacy of prize shops and prizes. Any Altador Cup fan looks forward to seeing what prizes will be awarded for all their hard work playing for their team. As we look forward to the twelfth edition of this legendary event, we can only speculate about what sorts of unique prizes will be showcased this year. All we know is that they are surely going to be fantastic additions to an already great history of Altador Cup prizes!