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An Inside Look At Meridell's ACXV Campaign


by michaelruss

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This Altador Cup exclusive brought to you by:

     The Free Potato - You can count on us!

     The dust has now officially settled on Altador Cup XV! For the 2nd time in the past 3 seasons, the Knights of Meridell have earned a podium spot with a narrow second-place finish. Fans of the rustic medieval land were taken on a wild ride this year as the team put together another historic season for the ages.

     Meridell raced out of the gate, opening their season with a marquee win in the “Clash of the Kingdoms” over neighbouring Brightvale. After defeating another perennially strong team in Kreludor, the team continued to gain momentum by downing second-place Virtupets just before the first bye day.

     A major highlight in the second week of action was the team’s traditional rivalry match against Darigan Citadel. For the first time ever, both teams entered ranked #1 and #2 respectively in the standings. While Darigan managed to end Meridell’s 9-game winning streak in Shootout Showdown, the Knights remained undefeated by taking the remaining 3 games.

     Following the second bye day, Meridell defeated the Lost Desert to set a new team record in the round-robin era with 13 consecutive wins. However, the team would suffer their first loss of the year when eventual champion Kiko Lake pulled off a major upset. The Knights rebounded well with three straight sweeps, concluding the regular season and clinching another team record – 16 round-robin victories.

     The finals bracket featured intense competition between Meridell, Brightvale and Kiko Lake in a frantic 5-day conclusion. Meridell’s concession workers slung slushies at a furious pace and their legions of fans stretched their vocal cords to new limits. A particularly noisy outburst from the Knights’ supporters against Mystery Island led to a new team-record score in a 12-3 Make Some Noise victory.

     After the last whistle blew, the team anxiously awaited word from the Altador Cup Committee as to how the final results would be tallied. Tense moments ensued as the Meridell squad was invited to wait in the royal castle alongside King Skarl himself. After nearly a week, a messenger finally arrived bringing news of the team’s podium finish.

     We caught up with long-time captain Wizard Windelle, the iconic Techo who has played a tremendous role in Meridell’s success over the years:

     TFP: You’ve been a part of Meridell for all 15 seasons now and served 13 years as captain. What was this Cup like for you?

     Wizard: The end result was disappointing for sure, but Meridell had another great year. To place on the podium for the second time in the past 3 seasons is something very few teams have accomplished. We definitely wanted to finally “bring the Cup home to King Skarl” and it nearly happened for the first time ever. Our fans have been very patient with us over the years, so the loss definitely stings a bit.

     TFP: Speaking of the King - we understand the team was invited to stay at the castle with King Skarl while you awaited the results. What was that experience like?

     Wizard: It was interesting to be sure! Everyone knows the King has a fiery temper at times, and we certainly worried that he may not take it very well if we didn’t win. After that messenger arrived…things were tense at the royal dinner, to be sure. Ethel tried cracking a joke about a Peophin and a tin of olives, but we couldn’t even get a smile out of him.

     TFP: Kiko Lake was the only team to defeat you this year in either round. What are your thoughts on their team?

     Wizard: Oh, we definitely have tremendous respect for the program they’ve built over there. They have truly become an Altador Cup dynasty. To have your only losses come to the league champion is probably the “best” way to take a loss if you have to. I’ve heard they have a very extensive training budget with all the items people have donated to their efforts over the years.

     TFP: On a personal note, you finished ranked as the #1 goal-scorer for the first time in your career. How does that feel?

     Wizard: It’s definitely an honour, considering all of the amazing players in this event. It’s funny, I’ve even heard that some scouting reports state that scoring is one of my weaknesses! We’ve got a great Yooyuball team, though. Everyone has their role to play and does it very well. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates supporting me.

     TFP: Do you have anything you want to say to Meridell’s fans?

     Wizard: I truly believe our fans are the greatest fans in the league. The support that they have given us over the years is unbelievable. When we played Mystery Island on the last day of the finals bracket, the crowd noise was absolutely deafening! And I definitely think it’s something that the team feeds off and helps to drive our success.

     TFP: What are your thoughts for next season? Do you expect the whole team to be back?

     Wizard: Right now I’m still planning on it! We have a talented squad that’s played very well together since ACVIII and we’ve developed great chemistry on the field. I think a lot of teams right now really seem to believe in their roster. If you look around the Cup you can find a lot of very cohesive units that have played together for a long time. So I think we’re going to look to build on what we accomplished this year and come back strong in ACXVI!

     As noted in our exclusive infographic below, Meridell set numerous team records this season. While the end result was not what the players and fans were originally hoping for, from a statistical perspective there were still many great accomplishments. Several records (such as the Yooyuball and Slushie Slinger winning streaks) are especially noteworthy given that the Altador Cup used to last for much longer.

     Many offseason storylines still abound for Meridell. Will the Knights finally clinch their first championship in ACXVI? Will King Skarl demand any changes to the roster or the overall program? TFP will keep you covered throughout the offseason with all the latest news and rumours. In the meantime, the Knights will have plenty of time to celebrate the new silver trophy in their cabinet!

     

     

 
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