Kick-off Approaches (2 Jun 2006)


The scene is Altador Colosseum, where the most diehard Yooyuball fans in Neopia have gathered on the grounds outside the stadium to witness the arrival of their favourite teams. The perimeter is lined by tent clusters and makeshift campfires where all sorts of tasty foods are being roasted up and passed around for everyone to enjoy. Although a spirited chant celebrating one team or another will rise up from time to time, the teams' fans have been on their best behaviour, with no incidences of hooliganism reported. "This is shaping up to be such a glorious event - we'd all hate to see it brought down by that sort of business," said one fan, a Kreludan supporter who'd made the long trek all the way from Neopia's moon.

Much to the fans' delight, the teams began turning up around ten o'clock this morning. Each squad is getting one hour inside the colosseum to conduct a practice session every other day until the tournament begins. Eight teams (Altador, Brightvale, Darigan Citadel, Faerieland, Haunted Woods, Kiko Lake, Krawk Island, and Kreludor) got their turns today and the other eight (Lost Desert, Maraqua, Meridell, Mystery Island, Roo Island, Terror Mountain, Tyrannia, Virtupets) will hold practices tomorrow. After their practices, most of the teams' players have been stopping by for a few minutes to meet with fans and sign autographs outside the colosseum. "I've been camped out here for a couple of days now, but getting to meet my beloved Darigan squad has made it well worth the trouble," one of the Citadel's fans proclaimed. "Why, I even got an autograph from Kep Bonnefie... she normally doesn't sign for anyone!"



Good News and Bad News (7 Jun 2006)


In a stunning turn of events, Kiko Lake's Holbie Pinnock suffered a terrible injury around 4:30 this afternoon. Pinnock, an inexperienced young forward, was only added to the lineup after starter Helmo Timm had, herself, gone down with an injury around the end of league matches. Apparently, Pinnock's injury occurred when a strap on the sling of Kiko Lake's Relle Felson broke just as he was shooting the ball. The broken strap caused the Jetsam's sling to go hurling into the air, striking young Pinnock in the back of the head and sending him sprawling to the ground. Tests conducted in the trainer's room revealed that Pinnock was suffering from nausea, blurred vision, and recurring headaches, sidelining him for the foreseeable future. With her team facing the prospect of having to play shorthanded for the rest of the tournament (almost certainly ending their hopes of winning the Altador Cup), forward Helmo Timm pleaded with the team doctor and coaching staff for a shot at returning ahead of schedule. Despite their initial protests, the brave Peophin finally convinced Kiko Lake's staff to give her a chance. Sporting a cast on her mending right foreleg, Timm ran through some light contact drills and showed an encouraging lack of hesitation in forechecking and going after loose balls. Helmo only has a few practices left to convince the team that she's ready to join the lineup for Kiko Lake's first round match this weekend. As of this writing, though, her chances of getting the start are certainly looking better than anyone would've expected this time last week.



Kick-Off! (9 Jun 2006)


At last, the day everyone's been waiting for has arrived, as the first round matches of the Altador Cup tournament are set to get underway. Taking a moment to analyse the brackets, there are a few matchups that promise to provide plenty of fireworks during the early going. For example, in a battle that's being billed as "The Moon vs. The Goons," those creepy competitors from the Haunted Woods are squaring off against Kreludor's scrappy squad of relentless battlers. While there's no telling which side shall emerge victorious in this torrid test of wills, the one thing you can be sure of is that it'll certainly be entertaining.

Another major storyline that's emerging just before the start of the tournament's knockout round is the pairing of Brightvale and Kiko Lake. As mentioned in the last report, Kiko Lake has suffered from a recent string of injuries that have left the team on the verge of collapse. With recovering star forward Helmo Timm set to make her return to the lineup, Kiko Lake fans must've been devastated to learn that they'll be facing the dreaded Brightvale squad in Round One. Brightvale, notorious for their use of roughhouse tactics, will almost certainly try to take a cheap shot at Timm and put her back on the sidelines for good. Will she be able to answer the challenge and lead Kiko Lake to an unlikely victory, or will the bruisers from Brightvale simply be too much?



Round One Results! (13 Jun 2006)


The final whistle has blown and the last cloud of dust has settled. Eight teams remain in the Altador Cup tournament, while eight somber squads will now pack their belongings and begin the long trip home. By far, the biggest surprise of the first round was Krawk Island's stunning upset of the tournament's Altadorian hosts. In the early going, the Altadorians showed no ill effects from their thousand-year layoff, staggering the swashbucklers with a dizzying display of crisp passes and mind-bending shots. As pirates are wont to do, however, the Krawk Islanders weathered the storm and found their sea legs in time for a ferocious comeback. The game's deciding score was a brilliant goal by Krawk Island's "Dasher" Soley, who sent a one-timer sailing past the grasp of Altador's diving goalie after curling around a screen and receiving a perfect pass from defender Nitri Cassale. Altador attempted to mount a final rally as time ran out, but netminder Garvin Hale easily preserved the win with a routine save.

Taking a look at the other results from the knockout round:

Faerieland's trio of undersized forwards were no match for the brute strength of Mystery Island's Volgoth. The mighty Mynci blasted through Faerieland's feeble defensive attempts and led the islanders to a surprisingly lopsided win.

Despite a brave effort from Helmo Timm, Kiko Lake's anemic offense was unable to generate much of an attack against Brightvale's suffocating defence. Though disappointed by the loss, many of Kiko Lake's fans said they were thankful that Timm was able to play the whole game without suffering any further injuries (and promised that they'd be back, better than ever, next year!).

Darigan's defenders relentlessly pounded their counterparts from Terror Mountain, breaking their spirit early in the match and making them look unusually disorganised (even by Terror Mountain standards) the rest of the way. It didn't take long for this match to turn into a rout, and once it did, it was obvious that Terror Mountain's players had given up and were simply "mailing this one in." The closest, most hard-fought match of the first round took place between Kreludor and the Haunted Woods. Despite coming into this contest as serious underdogs, the Kreludor squad showed no fear as they chipped away at one of the tournament's most vaunted defences. Kreludor managed to stay in the game till the very end, when a breakaway goal by Zo Junior sealed the victory for the Haunted Woods.

In squaring off against the Lost Desert, the Space Station's fate was sealed when none of their other offensive players were able to step up and make the Lost Desert pay for double-teaming Keetra Deile. With the opposition's star forward neutralised, scores by Azar and Cayle proved to be more than enough firepower for the Lost Desert to earn the win.

Meridell took an early lead in this fairly high-scoring affair, as Maraqua's defenders were totally outclassed by King Skarl's trio of speedy forwards. Elon Hughlis single-handedly got the Maraquans back in the game, though, despite being double and triple teamed for the entire match. In the end Hughlis's heroic effort fell short, though, as he was simply unable to keep pace with the Meridellian arsenal all by himself.

The second biggest surprise of the knockout round was how Roo Island was able to overcome Tyrannia's talented defence and sneak away with a victory. Time after time, forward Lilo Blumario would either draw a double team and then pass to his unguarded teammate (who, more often than not, made the most of their scoring opportunity) or, facing only single coverage, blow past his defender for a high percentage shot on goal.

So, now that the first round has drawn to a close, the early speculation surrounding which player might win the tournament's Most Valuable Player award has centred on forwards Lilo Blumario (Roo Island), "Dasher" Soley (Krawk Island), and Volgoth (Mystery Island). That being said, any player whose team fails to advance beyond the second round (no matter how good they've been) should hardly expect to hear their name called when the post-tournament accolades are handed out....



Round 2 Sign-Ups have begun! (14 Jun 2006)


There are 8 teams left in the Altador Cup tournament and round 2 will begin in a few days. If your team was eliminated, fear not! You can select one of the remaining teams to continue on! (It's a good idea to do so... the more you play, the better your prizes.) ;) If you were on a team that advanced, it's a good idea to stay put, but you have the option to switch if you like! Beware of angry teammates, though!



Round Two Begins! (15 Jun 2006)


The time has come for the Altador Cup's Quarterfinal Round to get underway! The second round's pairings have been announced . here is a closer look at the match ups:

In a battle of tropical rivals, Krawk Island's second foe will be their next-door neighbours, Mystery Island. After the pasting they put on Faerieland in the knockout round, Mystery Island enters this match as a prohibitive favourite. Keep in mind, though, that Krawk Island has already sent home one heavily touted opponent (Altador), so what's to stop these underdogs from doing it again?

Considering that they've already duked it out twice on the battlefield, tensions are sure to be high when the teams from Meridell and the Darigan Citadel face-off in the Quarterfinals. In the first round, Darigan looked impressive against a lesser opponent (Terror Mountain) while Meridell fought off a courageous comeback led by Maraqua's Elon Hughlis. Will Darigan's defenders be able to lock down Meridell's feisty trio of forwards, or will the Citadel buckle (yet again) in the face of some "real" competition?

The third Quarterfinal match up features two of the toughest teams to score against in the tournament, Brightvale and the Haunted Woods. This contest won't be pretty, and there probably won't be a lot of scoring, but it'll almost certainly be a nail biter that goes down to very last second. It's a shame to think that, regardless of which team survives this match, the victor will most likely stagger into the next round completely exhausted and probably get bumped off.

During their first round match against the Space Station, the Lost Desert was able to shut down the Virtupets offence by double-teaming their star forward, Keetra Deile. Tyrannia tried the same tactic against Roo Island.' Lilo Blumario in the knockout round, but their failure to stop him proved to be Tyrannia's undoing. So now, in the Quarterfinals, the Lost Desert's suffocating defenders will square off against Roo Island's star playmaker. Whichever side can manage a repeat of their success from Round One should emerge victorious and advance to the Semifinals.



Round Two is over (19 Jun 2006)


Round two is over and the results are being tallied! Winner announcements and signups for the next round will be coming shortly. In the meantime, you can hone your Yooyuball skills by playing a few practice rounds if you like.