An Open Letter to Team Altador
It would be rude for me not to ask you on this open letter how are you all doing. How are things going over there? Was the aftermath party successful? Was the aftermath cleanup party successful? I heard everyone had a great time~
Another cup has passed, and the odds of the Cup were against you once again for the 12th time. Everyone knows this, it was predictable at this point. It has already been pointed out there that Altador, albeit the hosts of the Cup themselves, don't even know how to play their own games. It's a stigma that has been slowly soldered into the minds of Neopians for many years. And to me, that just feels... sad.
To start off, ever since the month of Awakening I was looking forward to this year's Altador Cup. It felt alive to see the hustle and bustle of players scoring goals across the colosseum, whilst cheering on for the team you've chosen. Shooting goals, slinging slushies, and making noises had never been so nostalgic in my life. However, at the back of my head, I always wondered how the hosts of the Cup were doing. I've always wondered... how Altador was doing. It turns out, it wasn't going well. Everyone knows this, even their own players. Every year, I felt this feeling of second-hand embarrassment like I've never felt before. With this, I would like to bring up a question to the people of Neopia...
Who is the strongest team in the Altador Cup to you?
The answers to this question are ultimately subjective, as fans would brag and argue that their chosen team is the strongest. It can also depend on the performance of each team, as we fans are so easily manipulated by looking at scores and numbers. But let me ask you again, who is the strongest team in the Altador Cup to you? Is it the mighty Meridell? The dangerous Darigan Citadel? The tough-skinned Tyrannia? The terrifying Terror Mountain? (See what I did there?)
If you answered yes to any of those teams, as acceptable of an opinion that is, I would politely disagree.
In my most humble opinion, I believe that Altador is the strongest team in Neopia. Shocking right?
Now before any of you start laughing—I'm talking to you, the rest of Neopia—I will point out a few things. Yes, they are one of the weakest players in the Altador Cup based on performance. Yes, they have been stuck on double-digit positions for five years. Yes, they are considered as one of the underdogs of the Cup. Yes, you may be right about those statements, but here's the catch. Have you ever felt the stress of hosting an event, and trying your best through every Yooyuball match, while you are being ridiculed by your own fellow citizens on a daily basis? Of course not, because you're too busy winning the Cup, and Altador has other things to worry about other than the Cup: Hosting the Cup in general.
Management is not a walk in the park, we all know that. It requires a lot of planning, a lot of preparing, and a lot of implementing of said plans before this major event starts. Other teams could simply be concerned about the performance of their players through rigorous practice. However, Altador has to do that same level of practice, while at the same time doing all the preparations for the Cup, making sure the Cup follows through strict protocol, and making sure all necessary peripherals are well-kempt: from cleaning up locker rooms to training numerous types of Yooyus. These well chosen players of Team Altador live their lives everyday questioning their skills, and official sports committees keep questioning on why they still host the Cup in the first place when their very own hometown gets swept by the brooms of other teams match after match after match. It's almost dishonorable to see that you can't even be good at your own game. But look at where we are, Altador still stands before us hosting another year of this Cup, brave and brazen, chin up high, cheers all over.
Plus, Altador seems to be, by sheer coincidence, the perfect location for any annual sports event. Could you just imagine other lands hosting your Cup instead? Terror Mountain's chilling temperatures could freeze players. Moltara's hot-iron caves could set players ablaze. Maraqua's underwater paradise would be an unfair advantage to anyone who can breathe underwater. Lost Desert's middle ground can leave players wandering around the desert for hours. The spooky forests of the Haunted Woods would give even the bravest of players a heart attack. Mystery Island's shores could bring players into a month-long vacation. Trust me, their shores are too good to be true. Virtupets can turn the Cup into another one of Sloth's diabolical plans to turn Neopia into mutants. Hosting the Cup at Darigan Citadel wouldn't feel right when you realize they'd be hosting the Cup on the Petpet Arena. And good luck hosting the Cup in Tyrannia while battles are happening on the Obelisk. I could go on talking about this, but I won't.
Apologies for my passionate rambling about predictable current events, but this is what we should see about you, Altador. There's a reason why it's called the Altador Cup. It's not the Shenkuu Cup, it's not the Meridell Cup, it's not the Faerieland Cup. It's called the Altador Cup. You balance skill, sanity, and management to the highest degree to maximize the enjoyment of other players. You even still have fans that cheer you on every year, to which I say to the fans of Altador: You are all amazing for supporting them all these years.
You are the reason why I tried my best for this Cup, even though I know that my team will be placed at some lowly position this year. I am a firm believer of good sportsmanship, the right balance between work and play, and the very essence of having fun. At my darkest of moments, when I lose my morale from getting swept by the broom of many powerhouse teams, I always remind myself about Altador, and the physical and mental strength that they have to handle beyond the colosseum to keep the show going. That kind of strength gives me the motivation to keep going, and doing my best every day. And that makes me happy~
You may be underdogs, you may be one of the weakest in scores, but you still keep at it. You still host the cup for us. You still play the game for us, for everyone, for yourselves. No other team could do that, because while all the other teams are too busy getting the Cup, you're too busy keeping the Cup alive.
Citizens of Neopia, please give a round of applause, a toast, and a 'hip hip hooray!' to the land that made this Cup possible for the 13th consecutive year in a row! Here's to another year of good sportsmanship!