World Cup Azeroth – Play by Play23.06.2010
The current topic at Blogazeroth, suggested by yours truly, is World Cup Azeroth. The real world Cup has seen mighty nations like France fail completely, while even Spain lost to the powerhouse Switzerland. But how would the cup play out in Azeroth?
Due to the length of the article, you’ll have to find out after this quick break!
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the finals of the Azeroth Cup! Before we go into this highly anticipated match, a quick recap of the events of the last four weeks.
Despite all fears and accusations, Deathwing arrived with a master plan on how to unite Azeroth and settle all scores. A great tournament of football would be held, with teams from all around the world competing. Supporters were guaranteed safe travels through all major ports and special provisions were made to assure that all races had equal chances.
Still, rumours immediately went rampant. The Bloodelves and Nightelves declared that their match would be a matter of principle, while the rivalry between Draenei and Orcs ran at an all time high. Meanwhile, several factions accused Gnomes and Dwarves of fixing match outcomes to effectively double the chances that one of them would stand in the final game.
Stormwind was overrun, and guards had a hard time keeping the crowd under control, especially as a team entirely composed of Kobold vermin, under the articulate coach Gerald arrived. Ironforge closed their gates, but that didn’t stop the Stonesplinter Trogs from attending – normal business at Menethil Harbour was set aside until after the wave of supporters passed through.
The group phase was used by all teams to truly get into the spirit of things. Outbreaks of violence between supporters of different races were remarkably rare: In the course of two weeks there were less than seventy deaths, most of them Goblins, Kobolds and a few Gnomes who had the unfortunate fate of being mistaken for footballs by drunk Troll fans.
The Bloodelves caused a minor scandal when they proceeded to eat the fourth official during a half-time intermission, but the OC reacted quickly and posted armed guards for the remaining three referees. Not to be outdone by this tactic of intimidation, the Dwarven team refused to change into proper football jerseys and wore plate and chainmal to the pitch. While amazingly resilient, this loss of mobility ultimately led to the first sensation of the cup, as they were beaten 0-8 in a fast-paced passing game by the Kobold team, costing the Dwarves their place in the second round.
Another team that was highly rated were the Draenei. However, not only turned it out that the peculiar anatomy of their legs is ill-suited for kicking a ball, but their rather philosophical attitude meant they spent several long minutes each game arguing the finer points of the rules with the main referee who would often get fed up and book them a yellow card – sparking the next round of discussion with the disgruntled player.
The Trolls had an equally hard time. Their first game was against the Tauren, perhaps the only other team that is physically able to challenge them. It was a perfect match-up – both teams are big, strong and generally physical oriented. However, after the ref mysteriously vanished some time during the second half, the match became increasingly violent, spurned on by fans of both races. Between the sustained injuries, neither team was able to secure victory, ending in a bloody, but ineffective draw.
The second round was comparatively uneventful. Teams were licking their wounds from the group phase, in most cases quite literally, and trying to advance while sparing their top players for the quarter finals. Against all odds, the Kobold team beat the nominally superior Human team. The secret behind this victory remains unsolved, but human striker M. Noorey was heard yelling in frustration “I don’t have your fracking candle!”
The quarter finals saw the long-awaited match-up between Night- and Bloodelves. As expected, the game was extremely fast and deteriorated into a card-fest as the Goblin referees had accepted bribes from both sides. Among others, Bloodelven starplayer Eolass ‘the Mess’ Lyons would not be able to play in the semifinals.
The loss of their star severely impacted Bloodelf performance, and they lost soundly against enthusiastic Orcs, who had recuperated from their gruelling last match (2-2, 5-3 after penalties versus Ogres). In the other bracket, two crowd favourites clashed: Kobolds and Gnomes. Despite the fact the the Gnomes had several mechanical upgrades that used a suspiciously convenient loophole in the rules, the Kobolds secured a narrow victory at 3-2 in extra time. Asked by a Goblin reporter after the game how he managed to motivate and organise his players, Gerald started quoting “War and Peace”, at which point the reporter turned off his recording and improvised something more press-friendly.
Thus, we come to the finals. Orcs versus Kobolds. This tournament has seen many star teams fall: Humans, both elves, Dwarves and Gnomes. Orcs are the last pride of the Horde, while the majority of Alliance population still wonders if they should cheer for the Kobolds, as they, at least, hail from Elwynn Forest.
Using their tried and true tactic of avoiding enemy players unless absolutely necessary and outrunning lumbering Orcish defenders where possible, the Kobolds score an early goal. At this point, one of Gerald’s secret is finally revealed: Behind their own goal, he posted a line of candles, in danger of being snuffed out or knocked over and destroyed should their keeper let even one ball pass. This was motivation enough for the amazing K. Vermin to safe three massive, if ill-placed, shots from Orcish strikers. In the second half, however, officials stated that Gerald wasn’t allowed near the goals and the candles were now behind the Orcish goal – a ploy thought out by the greenskins coach Dimene’k, who considered this an advantage, giving his strikers better chances at equalising.
He hadn’t thought enough, or Gerald had out-thought the other team again: The Kobolds now regarded the Orcish keeper as thief of candles and literally peppered the poor Orc with shots from all positions. After twenty minutes of relentless onslaught be strikers K. Vermin, K. Vermin and V. Kermin (due to an unfortunate typo by the OC), the Kobolds scored a second goal, then a third.
In the end, thanks to brute force on Orcish side and brilliant cunning on the Kobold’s, the score stood 4-2 to the little ones.
As the team raised their coach in the air and paraded him around the stadium, Deathwing descended from his perch to present the cup to the victorious team. A smiling Gerald approached, a copy of ‘The Player’ firm in his grasp. Deathwing applauded his cunning and perseverance – and awarded the cup to a surprised looking Jogi Löw.
This shows, that no matter where it is played, there still are only three cardinal rules in football:
- There are 22 men and 1 ball on the pitch.
- A game lasts 90 minutes.
- In the end, the Germans win.
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