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An Altador Cup in Review

by parody_ham


Looking back on this year’s Altador Cup, I’m so happy and proud to call myself a Darigan Citadel fan. Leslie’s the name, super-fanning is my game. During this year’s Cup, I wrote down my experiences for your reading pleasure. It’s almost winter, but that just means it’s only 8 months until game time.

     Entry #1: 25th day of Hunting

     It’s time for the Altador Cup sign-ups, I’m so excited! But you know what makes me even more excited? Free swag! This year, it was the Altador Cup Dream Parade Background. Who doesn’t love being surrounded by a bunch of Neopians (even prop Neopians) who are stoked for the Cup?! It’s been a long fifteen-year ride, but I am Darigan Citadel all the way, woo hoo! This Darigan Uni is ready to bring her A-game in the cheering section.


     Entry #2: 2nd Day of Relaxing

     My favourite day of the year is here: Altador Cup opening day! (And for those on the Faerieland team, it just happens to be Queen Fyora’s birthday today, so happy birthday to her). As soon as my team hit the field, the crowd went wild. Streamers poured from the stadium onto the stands as fireworks announced the first game of the season. Noise-makers and foam fingers in paw, soda hats and giant banners at the ready; Citadel fans were all geared up for the big game. Neopians in face paint shouted from the seats while offering words of encouragement and excitement.

     Truly, there’s nothing quite like it. The energy you feel in there is electrifying, it stays with you throughout the year. Once you feel it once, you’ll never forget it. It’s a chill that rides down your back, a pulse-pounding moment of shared energy.


     Entry #3: 10th day of Relaxing

     I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Why is it so hard for our team to make some noise? Like, I know some fans are really giving it their all—shouting their lungs out with gusto—but others are merely golf clapping and calling it a day. Are we not proud Darigans? Should we not then shout with boundless enthusiasm for our beloved team?

     After ten straight days of being out-shouted, I made it my personal goal to get DC back on the map. I came armed with cheers, face paint, those giant foam fingers, confetti, sparklers, and a whole bag of megaphones. No matter what, I would ignite a fervour that no other team could ignore. A stadium so packed with Citadel support that no one could forget it.

     You wouldn’t believe what a pep-talk, some free stuff, and a great voice for screaming can do to boost morale. Darigan supporters came in droves. I met tons of new friends as we all showed our support.

     I made sure to write down some of my favourite cheers: “we gotta rise up! Rise up!” while lifting my hoofs. A bunch of us joined in. Another cheer Neopians liked was, “here comes the Citadel—the moment you’ve been waiting for! Here comes the Citadel—the pride of the skies! Shoot it, score it! Yooyuball for it! GO DARIGAN!”

     And you know? After all of my efforts, we won! We made so much noise the entire stadium couldn’t help but notice. I think this will be my every day next Altador Cup. It’s so much fun to inspire Neopians!


     Entry #4: 15th day of Relaxing

     In my mind, I’m Yooyuballing along with my team, and I’m their secret weapon. And while playing this game, I gotta get the highest goals-per-game possible. It takes practice, a lot of heart, and an eye on the Yooyu at all times. When I’m running that field, I see the opposing team in my periphery. They’re ready to tackle me down, but I’m a dodging machine! Passing to my team captain, Layton Vickles, as he slithers down the field with breakneck speed. He passes back to me and I deftly swing that Yooyu into the net. I’m seeing it fly, faster than the Neopian eye, and hitting that net. The better we drill, the faster we fill all the nets with our Yooyuball skill.


     Entry #5: 20th day of Relaxing

     Ugh. Bye day. Why is there even a bye day, anyway? There’s only so long I can do chores when my mind is just begging to see a Yooyuball match. I did some food shopping for the house, watered the plants, ran 3 laps around the neighbourhood, did about 40 push-ups, read or book or maybe two or three, and sang some songs to keep me sane (“You’ll be back like before—I will fight the fight and score the goal! For your game, for your plays! I will love ya through those glory days”).

      I stopped counting specks of dust on the floor and flakes of paint on the wall after the third time. Sometimes I wonder when life will begin again and then it hits me! Tomorrow is game day. Meridell versus Darigan Citadel, the most anticipated match of the year!

     Cooking up something fast, I shovelled it into my mouth and ran to bed, dreaming of faerie Yooyus. I gotta be first to the ticket gate tomorrow. It’s going to be an epic match!


     Entry #6: 23rd Day of Relaxing

     In the field of fandom, we call the most intense super fans “quad-maxers.” These are the Neopians who go above and beyond to sling slushies for entire stadiums of Neopians, shoot goals like nobody’s business, sling Yooyus at an unapproachable pace, and scream like their lungs have never screamed before. These are Neopian heroes, my friends, for their hard work and efforts are the backbones of their team. And this year, for the first time, I considered myself among their ranks. Everyone cheered me on as I slung my very last game of slushie slinger for the day. Covered in sticky syrup, I was exhausted, but you know what else? Proud. There’s nothing quite like helping your team reach for the top.


     Entry #7: 25th day of Relaxing

     You wouldn’t believe who I met today. THE Techo fanatic. The myth, the fan, the legend. He’s every bit as energetic and passionate for the sport as they say. But you know what? He’s also the coolest guy to hang around. He’s really supportive of other fans and is a surprisingly good sport. High-fiving, shaking hands, fist-bumping, it’s all really great to see. When I sat beside him, we chatted game records, our favourite player (I mean, it’s Tandrak Shaye. He’s so cool), and even our favourite slushie flavours! Turns out we both love the Very Berry Pink slushie because it turns your tongue bright red!

     When our team came out on the field, you could’ve sworn we were the only Neopians in the whole stadium. Our voices resonated so much that it caught the eye of our favourite player! Tandrak gave a wave and a wink when he saw us and my heart nearly stopped.

     After we watched the match together, I asked for the Techo fan’s autograph. He happily obliged and gave my signature book a brand-new pair of googly eyes. It sat above his scribbled signature which together looked like a shouting face.

     A Neovian peddler, a spectacled green Skeith who was wandering the stands with his big, old-fashioned camera came upon us and said, “you wanna memorialize this moment?” And yeah, of course we did! The two of us did our best fanatic faces as the photographer gave us a thumbs-up. Worth every Neopoint.

     “Say Altador!” he sang.

     “Altador!” we shouted.

     I’ll never forget this day as long as I live.


     Entry #8: 3rd day of Swimming

     Another year has come to pass. Trumpets announced the end to a month of friendship, fun, non-stop action, and pulse-pounding excitement. A representative from Kiko Lake, Meridell and Brightvale stood atop the podium with broad smiles and action poses as the medals around their necks shone in the Altadorian sun. That same Neovian peddler now stood on the field, snapping photos that will live in Neopian eternity. Fans of these teams hugged, bounced up and down, cried tears of joy… it was a nice sight.

     I’m feeling a little sad that it’s over, kind of like that bittersweet zeenana slushie flavour. But then again, our Citadel did so great! Fourth place just gets me even more fired up for next year. And there’s nothing half as great as seeing my guy, Tandrak Shaye, shaking the paws of each of the top three teams. At the end of the day, we’re all here because we love the game, and it’s great when the players share that love with each other. Next time Shaye’s doing a signing, I just gotta get his autograph.

     And you know what’s great regardless of who wins? The prize shop! I mean, just look at that clockwork dress! It’s SO cool. Plus, that slushie stand foreground? It would look perfect in my neohome. I made sure to grab a stamp for my collection and a brand-new duffle bag to hold all of my DC fan goodies.


     That’s everything, an Altador Cup in review, full of amazing memories and even more amazing Neopians. Even months later, I'm still stoked about it. Looking forward to Altador Cup XVI, it’s going to be a great year—I can feel it.


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