FUMBBL Cup IV: The Hunt Begins
Editor's Note: As you are surley aware the FUMBBL Cup IV has already ended. This article was written as a preview of the event but due to the delay the current GLN issue suffered we were not able to present it earlier. We are sorry for that but be asured that this article still is worth reading, plus you now get the chance to directly compare the predictions with the actual outcome.
On 21 Sep 2005, the FBBA (FUMBBL Blood Bowl Association) headquarters announced the dates for the most prestigious event in all of FUMBBL, the FUMBBL Cup. Thirty-two teams, each a proven champion for having passed a rigourous series of qualification matches, would compete for this most illustrious and sought-after awards in sport. Entries came flooding into the FBBA from all sources: The top ranked teams in the sport today; the most famous coaches; the legendary teams with long histories of triumphs (and failures); relative newcomers off the streets, staking a claim to fame, and even whoever showed up off the streets! They all clamoured for one of the few entrance tickets, to be one of the 32 with dreams of one day being called The ONE.
At midnight of 25 Sep 2005, the action began with a BANG!! Would-be spectators push and shove for standing-room only views of the action, while those on the outside clamor for details! Who scored? Who got hurt? Who walked away with a place in the next round, and who just walked away? The suspense was incredible, and the spectators were getting their money's worth in every event!
All the heavy hitters are here, including Synn's Fun with Goats, a massive chaos team and crowd favorite for the extreme carnage generated, but just unlucky enough with the ball to be outscored and eliminated four times, thus failing to qualify for the Cup. That's the beauty of the qualifiers - lose and you're out of your current highway to the FC, but if you're brave enough you can jump right back into another qualification run. Such was the case with AFK_Eagle's legendary skaven team, the Weapon Masters. Although eliminated by a well-coached human team from the Long Lived Teams category, coach AFK_Eagle rebounded with one of the most unlikely and remarkable series of victories in FC qualification history! A staggering lineup of super-heavy hitters (orcs, dwarves, chaos) awaited them, and the hospitals were not disappointed -17 cas in three games, including two dead and 6 niggled rats - but though the Weapon Masters wobbled and shook, they didn't break, stubbornly scoring despite reduced numbers and earning their right to be in the Final 32!
But just getting there is only half the battle. Also qualified are such elite teams as the Orcs teams Butcher Boyz and Da 'Ard Boyz, two teams as tough as they come. Naama's Rhazgul's Judgement will put half your team into the injury box before you can blink, while the elves of kfoged's Nandorins have been in championship tournaments before and know how to win. What started to look like a very bashy cup this year - almost 2/3 of the first 16 contestants were either orcs or chaos - has evened out with the late inclusion of a large number of dark elf teams and a few skaven.
So who's the odds-on favorite to win this year? We have some stellar teams in the field, and the average coach ranking is an incredible 173! Average team rating? No less than 278! (And that's without counting the amazing Blood Falcons who are bringing their beefy TR 747 with them to the dance, which raises the average to 293...)
Ok, fine, there's no clear cut favorite, as they're all stellar teams and coaches. So who do you root for? The two wood elf teams, bravely facing possible doom at the hands of all those murderous orcs? The undead, who sacrificed much of their team just to qualify? The Nandorins or Blood Falcons, winners of so many tournaments between them? Or maybe you like blood and guts in your morning coffee, and will be cheering on one of the massive orc and chaos teams, screaming with glee at every casualty. Any way you look at it, the FUMBBL Cup surely is one of the year's most spectated and anticipated events, and is sure to provide ample entertainment for everybody!
Editor's Note: The Cup is done, and the Nandorins took it. There were many exciting matches and teams to be seen, though, and a lot happened. Additionally, there is the as yet unawarded Spectator's Team of the Tournament Award. Head over the the forums and cast your vote now!