A Brief History Of The Champions Cup

KLONDIKE, CP Army Headquarters – The sixth edition of the Champions Cup is closing in, with details set to be announced imminently. However, it is a tournament that has not existed in the CPPS army era – with past editions running from 2012-2016. So what is this tournament and what makes it different from the Legends Cup, March Madness and Christmas Chaos?

The original Champions Cup was launched when I was CPA Central CEO in March 2012, initially filling the gap between Christmas Chaos and Legends Cup. However, after this it would be a fixture of the autumn/fall calendar, taking place before the Christmas Chaos tournament rather than afterwards. The format was unique in its concept, bucking the trend of the usual straight knockout layout of previous tournaments.  16 armies would be placed in groups of 4, and would face all three armies in their group. Armies received one point for a drawn battle, and three points for victory. At the end of the group stage, the top two in each group would go through to the quarter-finals – with each round drawn live on the CPA Central XAT chat.

The Champions Cup has produced some interesting results, with no army winning the tournament more than once. In fact, it is a tournament that no army has even reached the final in more than once – with ten different armies reaching the final in the first five Champions Cups. This tournament was also famously the first time that the Army of CP had ever won a structured CPAC tournament, when they won Champions Cup II, with previous failed attempts to win the other major tournaments from 2009-2012. Below is a short summary of each Champions Cup from 2012 to 2016.

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Champions Cup I – Ninjas beat SWAT in inaugural Champions Cup

The first ever Champions Cup was met with excitement, as armies were keen to try out the new format that this tournament offered. Surprisingly, it was the Ninjas and Special Weapons and Tactics that would end up getting to the final. SWAT were the surprise package of the tournament, due to the fact they were expected to finish third in their group behind Dark Warriors and Nachos. A surprise victory over Nachos in the group stage saw them reach the Quarter-Finals, where they swept aside the Underground Mafias Army, who maxed 3. In the Semi-Finals, SWAT then produced another shock as they beat one of the tournament favourites, the Army of CP.

There are no pictures available, all you get from the CPAC website of the final is an advert for ‘huge domains’.

The Ninjas on the other hand were expected to get this far, as they were consistently placing within the top three. On the route to the final they topped their group of three, and would then narrowly defeated the Nachos in the quarter-finals and then a small size advantage was enough to beat the Croatian army the Metal Warriors in the Semi-Final. In the final report there is not much detail, but it is clear that the Ninjas had a superior size advantage of nearly 15 troops in the final, reaching sizes of 35+. This was therefore enough to take the victory in a unanimous judging verdict.

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Champions Cup II – Army of CP finally win major tournament with victory over Doritos

The second Champions Cup took place in its now famous October slot, and two new armies in the ACP and DCP would end up in the final. Both armies were actually in the same group at the start, as the ACP finished second behind the Doritos, after a heavy defeat for the clovers. The Army of CP faced the Nachos in the Quarter-Finals and narrowly won that encounter without their leadership present and then were victorious over the Dark Warriors in the Semi-Final. The Doritos had achieved the more superior sizes in this tournament, as they comfortably defeated the Light Troops and Ice Warriors on their way to the final.

There was a unique format for the reporting of this tournament final, with a live blog as the battle went along, including commentary and a live video feed. The Doritos in the first room, Stadium, had a small size advantage and started the battle the stronger of the two armies. However, as the battle went on the Army of CP would grow in confidence and began to have a size advantage of their own. The battle would go to overtime, as it was too close to call, but due to a slight edge in tactics in the overtime room, the Army of CP took victory. Following defeat, Mustapha would then attempt to boycott CPA Central and declared war on the Army of CP.

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Champions Cup III – DW victorious over IW in battle of the Warriors.

It is the final that most of the community had anticipated, with the largest armies the Ice Warriors and Dark Warriors reaching the final. The Dark Warriors won in 3-0 victories over SWAT and Water Vikings in the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final respectively. The Ice Warriors on the other hand had defeated the Pirates in the Quarters, and easily swept aside tournament holders the Army of CP in the Semi-Final. The Ice Warriors, prior to this battle, had won the last two CPA Central tournaments, the Conquest Games and Legends Cup V, while the Dark Warriors were looking for their first tournament win in two years. However, the Dark Warriors came in as favourites for this battle with consistent placements at the top of the top ten.

The final battle saw before armies have 50+ in the pre-battle room. In the berg at the start of the battle, which we can see in the picture above, the Dark Warriors dominated as they took hold of the battle early on. The Snow Forts, in the second battle room, was then deemed ”incredibly close” by the judging team, as it was effectively deemed a tie. The third room was a small margin of victory for the Ice Warriors, as they edged out the Stadium. However, due to the Dark Warriors dominance in the first room, it was deemed in a 4-1 judge vote that this was enough to win the battle as a whole. The Dark Warriors were the third army in three years to win this tournament.

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Champions Cup IV – Nachos win another tournament as they beat Water Vikings

This was a big tournament final for the Water Vikings, after losing to RPF in the Legends Cup Final that summer. They were strong favourites to win the final, placing top of the top ten, well above their opponents the Nachos. They had a tough route to the final, as the Water Vikings defeated tournament holders the Dark Warriors in a close fought Semi-Final, with both armies hitting 40-50+, as well as the Army of CP in the Quarter-Finals. The Nachos had a far from convincing run to the final, with sizes of 20 to defeat the Snow Ninjas and similar sizes in their victory over the Rebel Penguin Federation in the Semi-Final.

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The Nachos upped their game for the final, as they managed to reach 35+ before the battle began. In the first two rooms, in the Ice Berg and Stadium, the Nachos took victory as they had ”quick and impressive tactics”, whilst performing complex formations such as the N and X formation. This meant that they were able to overcome their opponents, despite a small size deficit. The Water Vikings took the last room, the Skateboard Park, by a considerable margin, but this was not enough to overcome the earlier parts of the battle. Therefore, the Nachos were victorious in a 2-1 score, as they took the Champions Cup crown.

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Champions Cup V – Night Rebels lose to dominant Rebel Penguin Federation

The Night Rebels surprised everyone by managing to reach the final of the Champions Cup, defeating the Thugs and Golds in the knockout stages to face their close allies in the final. NR had been achieving high spots in the top ten and were achieving similar sizes to RPF, so it was not going to be a foregone conclusion in the final. The Rebel Penguin Federation had a slightly harder route to the final, defeating the Blue Troops in the Semi-Final and tournament holders Nachos in the Semi-Final. Despite the Nachos being favoured to win their Semi-Final battle, the Rebel Penguin Federation stormed to victory in a 4-1 judges verdict.

The Rebel Penguin Federation were dressed in blue for the final, whilst the Night Rebels remained in their usual uniform. The battle was close, with both armies achieving sizes of around 25-30. The first room was the stadium, as they then moved on to the Ice Berg and Mine. Size remained close throughout, with NR’s slight edge in size diminished as the battle went on. The RPF performed complex formations, such as a triple line in the opening room, giving them an edge with creativity and tactics. The Rebel Penguin Federation gained momentum throughout the battle, as they managed to outperform their allies. Ultimately, the judges voted 2-1 in favour of the RPF – who won the last ever Champions Cup in the original CP Armies.

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This is a unique tournament that fits the mantra of CPAHQ’s new mission statement. It is an innovative format that breaks the convention that we see in other tournaments, which has seen the usual suspects reach the final. Over the years, armies have struggled to replicate success as the group stage tests different areas of an armies ability, such as resilience. Hopefully, the sixth edition of the Champions Cup will create more history and interesting stories that we can remember, and it will no doubt match the prestigious history that this tournament holds.

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