Editorial: We’ve All Gone Mad For March Madness

In recent years, the annual March Madness tournaments have been embroiled in a string of controversies that occur simultaneously. We have gone mad and the community deserves something new.

March Madness

Recently, Club Penguin Armies revisited some controversial moments during past March Madness pools. The most well-known controversy surrounding the tournament ended up in the separation of the community by two “leagues” in 2021. This is of course known as the infamous battle reviews between the Army of Club Penguin and Rebel Penguin Federation, followed by the Help Force and Ice Warriors. The Clovers’ review ruled in their favor, however, the same cannot be said for the Helpers.

Even now, this year’s March Madness is one for the books. Recent allegations that surfaced against the Warriors were too overbearing to overcome, resulting in the shutdown of one of the community’s oldest armies. And while other armies also faced scrutiny, it is yet to be determined how it will affect their performance. Additionally, there has been battle results contested. For the second year in a row, the Water Vikings contest a battle. As competition gets more fierce, more reviews are bound to occur.

March Madness 2023: Qualifiers

Tournament season always tends to bring out the competitiveness in the community. It can generate banter and make long-lasting memories for army members. Over the course of this newer generation of armies, war has become far and in between. The tournaments provide the “war” aspect that armies have been built upon. For some armies, tournaments are the only true at-stake battles they may face all year.

The Community Slump

Since the conception of this website, there have only been a few wars. Alliance wars have dominated the space, with creations like the Amongus Alliance and Circus Alliance. Recently, the Special Weapons and Tactics, who felt they had something to prove, declared war on the Rebels. So far, this has been the only war of the year. All ended in treaties of some form and have certainly contributed to the discourse surrounding force treaties. Here within lies the problem.

War of Reckoning Treaty

The formula has become obsolete, the community has been unable to evolve new ideas successfully. We are stuck on finding loopholes and fast tracks to force treaties rather than remembering the purpose behind our community. Therefore, I advocate that the two main staple tournaments, sporting single elimination brackets, should be the Christmas Chaos and Legends Cup. Back-to-back tournaments were viable during the pandemic era: a unique time when we all experienced lockdowns, forcing us to stay home with newfound free time. Now, it feels like a waiting game until the next tournament for armies to feel a competitive drive.

I am completely aware that there needs to be a serious community overhaul in order to address the true problem that I am referring to. Nonetheless, there is a reliance on tournaments to be the biggest source of entertainment for armies.

Suggestion Box

The formula feels outdated. Over a decade into hosting annual tournaments, yet not much has changed. Even changing March Madness, or other tournaments, to include a Loser’s Bracket would make things more uniquely interesting. There have been a few different formats introduced throughout the years.

We could finally make an AUSIA tournament a part of the yearly cycle. The past couple of years witnessed the birth of an AUSIA major army tournament with Aces of AUSIA in 2020, followed by the AUSIA Arena in 2022. Both tournaments were great reminders of the attendance power that the AUSIA community has.

Aces of AUSIA Finals

Depending on the activity of the small-medium community, I believe that the Beach Brawl deserves another visit. Providing spaces for the small-medium community to have their own opportunities at greatness promotes a healthy community overall. Without such tournaments, the Pizza Federation would have not gone down as one of the greats.

Speaking of second chances, Project: Conquest was former Chief Executive Producer DMT‘s idea of a landmark tournament. It was the first time the community would undergo a tournament style akin to playoff seasons in sports. While it certainly had its faults, a tweaking of the Conquest format to shorten the tournament length and adjust map size could make for some interesting battles.

One of many Project: Conquest battles

The list goes on of potential community events that can be revisited: Double Team Tournament, Spring Showdown, World Cup Tournament, etc.

Interview

I reached out to my fellow colleagues to pick their brains about tournaments and the benefit they bring to the community.

What is your opinion on community-wide tournaments? What benefits are there to tournaments?

Aaronstone42, Advisor: More tournaments means more competitive armies, I love tournaments and battling[.] I think we should have more.

Coolguy, Associate Editor and Special Weapons’ Leader: I think the main benefit of tournaments is the hype it brings to army and the fighting spirit that armies muster up. Over the past year, we’ve seen many armies shy away from battles and even wars. While we did see a few wars last year, unless there’s some kind of controversy, armies just didn’t want to start a war or battle outside pbs or tournaments. So when tournaments come up, we see armies doubling, even tripling, their sizes because armies hype these tournaments up as if it were the World Cup and, for armies, they are because these trophies mean a lot when they’re only held a couple of times a year and they are held in high regard inside and outside the army. So I’m very pro-tournaments.

I don’t think there should be less tournaments, it could be argued that tournaments are keeping this community alive, keeping the competition alive. Even with all the controversy, it’s great because it’s an army’s competitive nature coming out. I don’t think armies should rely on tournaments for competition but I do think they’re amazing for armies giving each army the chance at winning some trophies.

Wynn, Chief Executive Producer: When I was leading, I remember the amount of tournaments would actually clash a bit with my plans for the army. HF had tournaments right after another: Christmas Chaos, AUSIA Arena then March Madness and recent months saw a similar situation. Tournaments definitely help with army’s hype, makes you train, bond the members and are a lot of fun but maintaining balance is important as well. I think having between three and four tournaments a year is a good number. Obviously though, the most important ones are currently Legends Cup and Christmas Chaos, which also tend to be the most exciting, because of the high maxes and prestige. I also personally enjoyed the AUSIA tournaments a lot.

There will always be tournament-dominate armies throughout the community. Variety in tournaments may translate to variety in winners. As we expect great results from this week’s Quarterfinals, I hope we can continue to see competitive spirits exist following the tournaments itself, too. Did you know that a Color Wars tournament was in the works early into our website’s conception?

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