Sergeant Knight at Arms
European Challenge League
It is my pleasure to announce that the second issue of European Challenge League has been successfully brought to an end. First of all, congratulations to the top three teams:
Slow and steady, Fearless performed on a very competent level throughout the entire tournament. They had a strong start, taking 12 rounds unexpectedly against Rising Rivals, and continued their winning streak all the way through the group stage, disturbed only by their narrow loss against Tranquility in Week 3. Fearless continued to perform all the way through the knockouts, eventually taking a well-deserved victory in their third match-up against Rising Rivals.
Fearless, featuring their well-known roster with some exciting new additions, have shown themselves to be a well-rounded, coherent team with solid tactics and good teamwork. Apart from their undisputed in-game skill, they have also sported a well-mannered and fair demeanor throughout the league, and as such are an all-around perfect fit for the winners.
Entering as one of the favourites, Rising Rivals instantly lost their first match without a single round. They didn't give up, however, and so began their slow claw back from the bottom. Making it through the group stage with a new team, they continued to fight hard through the knockout stages and managed to take it all the way to the finals, where they lost to Fearless again, the only team that could defeat them in the entire tournament.
Rising Rivals are a team that has shown considerable skill and unwavering fighting spirit, and can be proud of their hard-earned silver.
After a difficult start against BoM, Tranquility ascended to the top of the league, beating on their way the champions Fearless. They succeeded in reaching the bronze match through a mixture of skill and a bit of luck on their side (in the form of some default wins). Although they eventually lost their semifinals match against Rising Rivals in a nerve-wrecking game that went to a tie-breaker, their bronze medal is well deserved!
European Challenge League has been the first major tournament to offer more casual and less experienced teams a chance to enjoy Warband competitive scene to the fullest, and, as such, I am honored to have helped continue that tradition for yet another season. This game is lucky to have a very diverse community and, while not all teams are able to compete at the very top, they all contribute to create a unique experience in our tournaments with wealth of opponents from all tiers. However, the level of competition in major tournaments is extremely high, which unfortunately leaves a lot of teams with very little playtime or a frustrating run of crushing defeats. As such, we are proud to create an environment where such teams can get some additional enjoyable playtime, valuable competitive experience and a real chance at victory, and feel encouraged to grow and evolve in a fun and relaxed environment.
Then again, some see the more relaxed atmosphere of the tournament as an opportunity for abuse. This season has seen an unprecedented number of cheaters - or, rather, caught cheaters - and players attempting to misuse the system in one form or another. Incidents ranging from double teaming attempts to disrupting official matches have caused a substantial number of delays and replays in the tournament, including the need to re-do semifinals and the grand finals. While these kinds of incidents have been occurring for a long time, they often go unpunished or looked over, especially in the more casual tournaments, thus encouraging shady players to keep up their activities. I am pleased to say that the admin team I was part of this season has gone to great lengths to uncover and investigate such incidents, and has always acted upon each piece of information that has been brought to our attention. I would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of consistently taking a stand against aforementioned behaviour, and urge all players to stop supporting cheaters either actively or passively, by turning a blind eye to it.
Regardless, the tournament was full of intense matches, great plays and surprise moments. The competition was strong, winners unclear to the very end, and medals hard-won. It is my sincere hope that most of you had an exciting time and a lot of fun, and came out of it with sharper skills and closer bonds with your teams. Until the next season!
I would, first of all, like to thank each and every team and player who participated in this tournament. Your dedication, hard work and enthusiasm for the game is at the core of every competition. None of this would be possible without people who are willing to train hard and fight with their all for the title.
Also, huge thanks to everyone who put their free time into organising this tournament, and making sure it runs as smoothly as possible. So, first of all, to my fellow admin team:
Surkan - For organising the league, coordinating the admin team, initiating discussions and votes when needed, helping with the grandfinals fixtures, and otherwise making sure everything runs seamlessly.
OGL - For formulating tournament rules and maintaining the league table.
Anchor - For managing team rosters and substitutions and taking care of server bookings.
Gorlock - For keeping the streams information up to date and organising re-enactment of RR vs Tq tiebreaker map - no small task and first time to ever have been done in the history of Warband.
Next, I would like to thank our streamers:
BRO_Warband - Our most reliable streamers. Thank you for covering such a large number of matches in a professional manner.
Nexoner - Consistently catering to our Russian-speaking part of the community and covering a lot of matches.
KURWA_TV - Providing a more relaxed point of view, and some much needed comic relief. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal fanbase of 8 viewers - we do it all for you!
Tq - For covering a large number of matches, even though they withdrew their streams at a later point.
SaBo - For streaming ggez vs BoM.
Smiley - For providing us with a recording of a match from his point of view, always interesting to see.
This all wouldn't be possible without kind people donating the servers:
SaBo - For the German servers.
Alene - Fort the French servers.
Polish NC Team - For an additional FR server.
And last, but not the least, thanks to Duken for designing our stylish prizes. Their shine is second only to that of the champions who earned them.