The Most Thorough Gormball History Lesson, Part 3
Welcome back to the third and final chapter of The Most Thorough Gormball History Lesson. In the first part, we discussed a bit about the game, how to play, and I shared my best tricks with you so you can dominate in this years competition. Then in part two I shared with you a bunch of information about the eight...erm...nine competitors and what they all bring to the table. In this part I will be putting everything in context, going over roughly 15 years of the Annual Gormball Championship. Now that this year's game is all wrapped up with a nice bow on top, this is perfect for you to read as you get some well-deserved rest for all your hard work and training!
While not every year will be recapped in full, the highlights of each year are detailed below.
Year 2 - Champion: Brian (..?)
The inaugural championship took place in Neopia's second year and opened to much fanfare. The lineup included eight competitors: Thyassa, Brian, Gargarox, Farvin III, Ember, Zargrold, Ursula, and the devilish Dr. Sloth. But wait...something happened to Dr. Sloth! He was originally slated to compete but a "prior commitment", probably a nefarious plot of some type, forced him to withdrawal from the competition last minute. Since you can't play Gormball with seven people, a young and inexperienced Korbat named Kevin stepped up to the plate and competed in Sloth's place.
Unfortunately this wasn't the only drama to be had this year. As the rounds progressed and more and more people got eliminated, we were left with our final three players: Brian, Thyassa, and Ursula. While it seems promising for Ursula after her many years secluded on a mountain training nonstop, she was taken out in third place. The battle between Thyassa and Brian raged on for eternity, it turned into the ball being passed back and forth at lightning speed. After the round ended the judge had to be taken to the NeoHospital to be treated for whiplash! Brian the Scorchio eventually was able to soak Thyassa who was then knocked out of the competition!! As Brian was celebrating the judges noticed something weird...his eyebrows going WILD. They found this suspicious and began questioning him, at which point he broke into a cold sweat. One of the judges picked up the Gormball to discover it was RIGGED. Brian had rigged the ball in the final round to work in his favor. This disqualified Brian and gave Thyassa the win!
Year 3 - Champion: Thyassa
After a rough first year, many were just happy that the Gormball Championships were able to return for a second go, now promising the event would be run annually! Due to Thyassa's win by default last year, the pressure was on for him to have a strong showing. He was able to pull ahead with the victory and keep the crown for a second year straight. He just barely beat out Farvin III for the win.
Year 4 - Champion: Ursula
Another year, another scandal, as the tradition continues with drama in the championships. Farvin III, a strong contender in the betting pool due to the previous year's second place finish, he came down with a sudden ear infection in all six ears...many suspect foul play but nothing is confirmed. Due to his sudden inability to continue, it allowed the hardest working player out there, Ursula, to surge ahead and take the prize. After her close finish in the very unfair first year of the championships, her win meant a lot to her.
Year 5 - Champion: Brian
This year possibly went off without a single problem...Brian did win but no one was able to find any evidence of foul player. Many believe he just worked hard to win fair and square...but I'm not so sure. What is clear is that the third place finished, Kevin the Korbat (Dr. Sloth's first year replacement), has done well in working his way up the leader board and is now a serious contender!
Year 6 - Champion: Thyassa
After exhausting himself on the first two championships, doing press tours and training seminars for new players, Thyassa stepped away to tackle some other responsibilities in his life. Once he felt well rested, he came back to the competition and dominated once again. People began to get concerned that Thyassa was actually unbeatable every time he competed. The other big story this year was Kevin's second place finish, the highest placement ever of someone so young!
Year 7 - Champion: Ember
A mostly uneventful year, but the first win for the Fire Faerie Ember. Thyassa blames a bad case of the Sneezles for his loss, and Brian attempted to accuse Ember of foul player...I'm sure you can imagine how well that went over with the crowds! A cheater trying to call someone else a cheater...jealousy at work!
Year 8 - Champion: Ember
Once again the Fire Faerie took out the competitors one by one until there wasn't a dry player in the bunch. Thyassa took home third this year and many suspect that he has been focusing his efforts on another game, Yooyuball, instead. Ember and Thyassa are now tied for the most wins of the championship, causing quite a commotion in the fan community as to who will be the first to win three titles.
Year 9 - Champion: Farvin III
This year had one of the most heart pounding final rounds ever: Ember, defending champion going for her third consecutive win, against the Alien Aisha Farvin III. Farvin III had come in as runner up the last two years behind Ember, as well as being the runner up in Y3 and Y5..considered the best Gormball player to never win the championship. As the match went into overtime (how that is possible with an exploding ball on a timer..I don't know), drama struck the Space Station where the battle was taking place. A large fragment cracked off of the moon, Kreludor, and slammed into the Space Station and cut power in the Gormball room. When the lights returned, Ember's fire was doused and Farvin III was crowned the winner!!
Year 10 - Champion: Dr. Sloth
Dr. Sloth finally returned after having missed out on previous years due to evil acts, and he walked away with the win easily. Some suspect that he cheated, others believe that the presence of the most evil man in the history of the world intimidated the competitors and caused them to throw the game to him.
Year 11 - Champion: Gargarox
Gargarox took out the competition in a clean sweep, playing a perfect and flawless game. Dr. Sloth was slated to compete to reclaim his title, but disappeared at the last minute and had Kevin fill in again.
Year 12 - Champion: Ursula
Ursula played a very strategic game this round, paving the way for players to use more intense tactics to psych out their opponents. She was intentionally jittery and frantic, making her competitors nervous and more prone to mistakes. She walked away with a win and was relieved she hadn't wasted her year in solitude on Mount Usalin.
Year 13 - Champion: Brian(..?)
As many could have guessed, Brian cheated again. It's a pretty big red flag if he is able to make it past the first round and it was discovered that once again he was using a rigged ball in the final round. The bright side to this year's championship was that the young Korbat Kevin achieved his goal of first place and was able to celebrate with the gold. Officially the youngest winner of the Annual Gormball Championships!
Year 14 - Champion: Thyassa
Suddenly, after over a decade, the Annual Gormball Championships were struck with a surge of popularity and tickets were selling out far in advance. Pressure was on all the competitors and the tensions were running extremely high. Whoever won this year would propel themselves to unheard of fame because of all the new fans. Thyassa was able to keep his calm and take the victory after two balls exploded consecutively on Gargarox and then Ursula.
Year 15 - Champion: Ember
Fans were ravenous this year and turned out in numbers one hundred times what were expected, they waited for hours upon hours in line to get in the gate and see the competition. Midway through the championship, a heavy rain began and caused a few players to drop the Gormball. One player was able to keep her cool through the storm, Ember, which led her to achieve her third win, once again tying Thyassa for the record.
The Annual Gormball Championships stopped being recorded after Year 15, and no one is quite sure why. There are a lot of theories as to exactly what happened, and I have my own. A popular idea is that the event became SO popular, and SO heated between the legions of new Thyassa and Ember fans, that it became a bit dangerous to have the event held in the public. It is thought that the players are still competing every year behind closed doors, and the results of those years will come out eventually. It is also thought that it was put on hiatus while a new stadium, one capable of holding the legions of fans, is being built and the championships will return once that is altogether.
Thank you so much for tuning into my coverage of the history of one of my favorite sporting events in Neopia: Gormball! I hope to see you out there one the field with me, training for the return of the championships! And don't forget to bring a towel, you won't stand a chance with me competing!!