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European Challenge League
It's been about two weeks now that the first edition of the European Challenge League has ended. We all had the pleasure to play in and witness very exciting matches this season, especially in the knock-out stage following the regular season. We had amazing newcomers, still strong old stagers and excellent teams performing barely below the top level entering this tournament to fight for recognition, glory and - of course - the league title.
So in the following paragraphs I would like to congratulate the Top 3 teams, thank the people and groups of people that helped running this project and have some closing thoughts, reflecting the first issue of this tournament.
At the top we have The Knights of Malta. You guys started as one of the teams being invited to the ECS season 2. You were thought to be part of the Top 12 of Warband's teams however you've met your masters in both title contenders Castellans as well as in your German rivals Irish Rebels. Being knocked out as the last place in your group surely must've hurt, but you didn't resign, instead you became hungry for wins, blood thirsty to win a title and you joined the ECL. And you played outstanding, having an almost perfect record of 4 wins and 1 draw. If someone doubted you being worthy of the title by the time the final approached, they were convinced by your performance in that match! Chapeu! You are a worthy first champion of the ECL!
Secondly we have the Fortunate Fustigators, another team being favorites on the title. Just as Malta they've had to drop out of the ECS last of their group after a decisive loss to Legend and a close defeat in overtime by Russian side Heroes. But unlike Malta, FF, who joined the competitive scene for the first time in the ECS despite its already long life span, had to qualify for it, and they achieved that quite comfortably. Just like Malta, FF did not resign and fought on, trying to crown themselves as league champions. In the end however the stronger Malta side had the upper hand in a very close final after you two have drawn previously. With a little more focus and training you ought to join the top tier teams of the scene. I really hope to see you guys in our next tournament!
BRO, the Battle Ready Orphans, as they call themselves, are around for quite a while now, however for now they were mostly seen as a group of people seeking fun and playing together, and finally joined the competitive scene this season. They first tried to qualify for the ECS but failed in a very close match against French side FraG in the first round of the qualifiers. They took the few weeks time between their knock out and the start of the ECL to practice and managed to land the 4th spot in the table despite losses against FF and WQ, qualifying for the knock-out stage. Losing to Malta in the semi final they were up against 3rd placed The Turk in the Bronze Match and won very comfortably with 9-1. It was definitely a pleasure to see you guys play and come back and learn from the losses you experienced. You were not thought of as a main contender for the title beforehand, but you definitely showed us what you are capable of. You are improving from match to match and I really hope I'll be able to see you in the next tournaments!
At first Deacon: He has been hosting tournaments for quite a while now and the ECL, as well as the ECS, was his idea. Although he wasn't responsible for most of the executive admin work he was always available for advice and councel if needed.
Secondly Surkan: I have to admit that I was objecting Surkan acting as an admin at first. I can't really say what it was, but I had a feeling he would not be suited for that kind of work. However my intuition has been proven wrong, Surkan showed great effort and properness, doing almost all of the executive admin work while Deacon and me were lazily sitting behind, claiming to have something else to do which might or might not be the case. Anyways, I'm grateful Deacon brought Surkan on board and ignored my concerns and I really hope Surkan will continue working with us on community projects!
As always, the tournaments we hold are not possible without proper servers. I therefore want to thank SaBo for donating 3! German based servers exclusively for this tournament as well as the ECS server sponsors for allowing us the usage of their servers once the ECS came to an end, namely Wolfpack, SimRai, Gameservers, MarkModz and of course TaleWorlds. You are the base of competitive play in Warband. Without you none of this would be possible!
Although this was the first ever season of the ECL, we've had a great amount of streams recorded by mainly two people. Thank you Volcom, who streamed most of the games this season, for your tireless effort and engagement in streaming. You and your co-casters (xls, Cramer, Magnus and Maximou) made it possible for everyone in the scene to watch the most exciting matches of the season over and over again! Also thank you to Captain Lust and his co-casters (Viktor, Aeronwen, Purzelblume, Killfacer, bomba and Kelsier) for your streams, especially the ones of the Grand Finale and the Bronze Match. You are working constantly to improve the quality of your streams and I have to say, you always manage to improve what's already seen as perfect by some! Cheers for that!
Big thanks to Aeronwen for providing the logs of the ECS servers whenever needed. Thank you to Scar for his councel and input on certain issues. Thank you to Fietta who helped out with being the referee for certain matches. Thanks once again to MuivirT for his randomiser, it makes admin life so much easier! Thank you Belendor for creating the medal graphics for this post! Also thank you to Transit for allowing all our gamble addicts to bet once again on the results of the matches by creating the betting thread!
Last but not least I want to thank everyone participating in this tournament. I really hope to see you in the next one!
Yes, there have been some incidents, mainly the familiar one happening during the Bronze Match of BRO and The Turk overshadowing everything else. We've had a similar incident during the final of the first edition of the ECS. The solution at that time was to include an ID-based Admin Right System, which worked for the following WNL. However that script has been made unfunctionable upon patching of the WNL admin mod for the 2015 Nations Cup. In my opinion the best solution is to reinstate that system into the admin mod for the next tournament, if we are able to find a coder capable of doing it.
Other than that I would say that the tournament ran rather well and none of the problems that rose up during the ECS occured here. I would call this project a major success and am looking forward to continue having it running parallel to the ECS or a similar tournament!
Thank you for reading,