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The 4chan Cup is the official (unaffiliated) association football tournament of 4chan. Contested by 60 teams, it operates via two main tournaments, with two cup titles offered in each series in a year. The Elite tier plays Summer and Winter seasons and is the primary series of the 4chan Cup. The Babby tier plays in Spring and Autumn and is the secondary series of the Cup. Teams in the Babby tier play for the chance to get promoted to the Elite tier.
The Cup as a whole has been managed by the 4chan Cup Committee (4CCC) since its inception. Matches are played on games of the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise and are currently streamed on cytu.be (formerly on hitbox.tv (formerly on twitch.tv)). Many of the Cup's commentators have served on on the 4CCC, and are hated and loved equally. It is suggested to join us on IRC (#4chancup) for chat on current games as well as contacting the Committee, though recently Skype has become a more efficient way of directly messaging members of the community.
Teams in the 4chan Cup are managed either by individuals, through committee by the members of the represented board, or have been abandoned and are played completely autonomously.
The first Cups
The 2011 4chan Summer Cup was the first ever 4chan Cup tournament to be held. It featured sixteen teams (known as the Original Sixteen) and ran for four days in August of that year. The tournament followed the double elimination style. /a/ were the winners over /ck/, though their defeat of /sp/ gave birth to one of the oldest rivalries in the game.
The following tournament was the 2012 4chan Winter Cup which again hosted sixteen teams, though four of the most weakly-supported sides made way for a new set of four, known as the Second Founding. The cup was held in January, again for four days. /k/ emerged victorious after beating /sp/ who again came very close to winning their first title.
Formation of the Babby Cup
Major changes were made following this cup. Cross-board interest grew, and it became apparent that not all teams could compete in a single tournament as its duration would become impractical. As a solution a second tier was added to the 4chan Cup which would serve as a means of qualification for the strongest new teams to compete at the top tier. This lower tier became known as the Babby Cup, while the top tier tournaments retained the names Summer Cup and Winter Cup. The Babby Cups were to be held inbetween top tier tournaments, in the Spring and Autumn/Fall. As such they became known as the Spring Babby Cup and Autumn Babby Cup.
Format changes were extensive with regards to tournament scheduling. The first Summer and Winter Cups had used a double elimination bracket style but this was removed as it was unpopular and not a traditional format for an association football tournament. Starting with the 2012 4chan Spring Babby Cup, tournaments were ran with a group stage and a knock-out phase following. The Spring Babby Cup featured 22 teams (including the four boards removed by the Second Founding), of which eight were promoted to the top tier to compete at the 2012 4chan Summer Cup. /m/ were the winners of the Spring Babby cup and very quickly came to be regarded as one of the strongest teams of the entire 4chan Cup.
2012 Summer Cup
The Summer Cup was run with 24 teams. As teams were being promoted from Babby level it became necessary to relegate the worst performing teams from the top tier. Eight of the worst teams from the group stage of the tournament were relegated to Babby Cup level, to compete at the 2012 4chan Autumn Babby Cup. The Summer Cup was filled with controversy, largely due to an issue involving PES' handling of the knockout phase of the tournament. The complications arising from a tournament which contains a number of competitors that isn't a power of two led to a revision of the number of teams competing at each tournament.
To date this was the most popular tournament in terms of viewing figures, far surpassing anything previous. /sp/ finally ended their trophy drought with a win over managerless /int/ in the final. Torres McIlroy, the manager of /sp/ for the Summer Cup was found to have been one of many personas in the Dragongate rigging scandal, and the trophy has been revoked.
Autumn and the following transition
The Autumn Babby Cup was the first tournament to be run with a field of 32 teams. This was also a period of significant expansion, with ten new boards joining the 4chan Cup. From this point onwards there would be a 16-up, 16-down system for promotion and relegation between the top and bottom tiers. /wg/ won this tournament in dominant style while /r9k/ came second. With the release of PES 2013 it became appropriate to make the transition to the new game after the Autumn Babby Cup. Tournaments from the 2013 4chan Winter Cup onwards would use the new game.
With increased interest in the 4chan Cup, managers and other followers began to run their own simulations of upcoming competitions and even held unofficial invitational tournaments in between official matches.
The 2013 Winter Cup was the first Winter Cup to host 32 teams. It was also be the last tournament of any kind to be hosted by Germanbro !!i9X8R/z42Rt. /sp/ became the first ever team to win >two top-tier competitions as they beat /toy/ in the final 3-2. From this point, all official events were arranged and hosted by Gracen Ivorinne !SyespadaHQ.
Initially, Dragongate stripped /sp/ of their Winter title and the cup was regarded as void. However, Gracen decided that Loli had had enough influence over the /sp/ team to deem their victory valid.
Spring 2013 and GGSS
The 2013 Spring Babby Cup was the first tournament to be hosted by Gracen Ivorinne !SyespadaHQ. In the days after Winter, Gracen proposed a radical change to the core mechanics of the Cup with the introduction of the GGSS system. The GGSS system would raise the skil and ability of players overall, with both core stats and skill card options being upgraded. The GGSS system was tested widely after the 2013 4chan Winter Cup and had its full outing during the 2013 4chan Spring Babby Cup Friendlies. The system was accepted by vote and had its official debut at the 2013 4chan Spring Babby Cup.
The Spring Babby Cup was considered a rousing success, containing some of the the most exciting games yet and drawing viewer counts that rivaled those of the previous Summer Cup. Much of this increase in viewership is attributed to the Spring Babby Cup champions /mlp/, whose campaign to victory attracted a significant number of their users.
After the hullabaloo from the Spring Babbies had faded, an in-thread incident put the community back into high gear. On May 23, 2013 it was revealed that /n/ manager Dragonfag was also /cm/ manager Kageyama as well as former two-time champion /sp/ manager Torres McIlroy, along with what was proved to be an additonal fourteen Cup personas. The details are more comprehensively located at the Dragongate page, but the end result was the revoking of /sp/'s 2012 Summer Cup Trophy, the nullificaction of all victories by Dragonfag puppet teams for rankings, and the relegation of all Dragonfag teams that were to be in the 2013 Summer Cup (save /sp/, due to the minimal influence of Dragonfag in /sp/'s Winter 2013 campaign) in favor of relegated 2013 Spring Babby Teams.
The 2013 Summer Cup was hosted by the former /hr/ manager DrBorisG !!9Egy5BjxCDo. The tournament was confirmed 99.99999% Dragonfag free, and was the first to use the new PesJP mod to improve PES AI and aesthetic potential.
/wg/ were winners of the Summer Cup, becoming the first team to win both a Babby and Elite cup, cementing their place as one of the most successful teams in the 4chan Cup's short history. The cup was however marred by accusations of height abuse - using only tall players to gain an advantage. Consequently, the top three teams of the cup were the top three tallest teams, with /wg/ the tallest. After much discussion, DrBorisG set out height restrictions to prevent future height abuse scandals.
In addition to the discussions of height abuse, the success of /wg/ caused many to reconsider the power that managers have over their teams, especially since the /wg/ managers were mercenaries and the board itself had virtually no fanbase.
Levels of Competition
The Elite tier is the upper level of competition within the 4chan Cup. There are two top tier events each year: the Summer Cup and the Winter Cup. There were originally the only events on the 4chan Cup calendar, but due to the increasing number of teams it became necessary to create another tier below to accommodate the excess.
Teams earn the right to perform in the top tier by either qualifying for the knockout stage of a Summer or Winter Cup, or being promoted from the Babby Cup tier. Top tier teams have to worry about being relegated to the Babby Cup tier if they do not perform well enough.
The Babby Cup is the secondary tournament of the 4chan Cup. There are two events each year, the Spring Babby Cup and the Autumn Babby Cup. This tournament was created to accommodate for the rapidly increasing number of boards wanting to compete as the number grew too large for all to be contained within a single tournament.
The best-performing teams at Babby Cup level are promoted and play at the following top-tier tournament. Likewise, those that are relegated from the top tier must play at the following Babby Cup-tier tournament and attempt to qualify for the top tier once again.
Qualifier (Fetus) Tier
After 4chan expanded in Spring 2013, interest in competing was nearly instantly expressed by some of the new boards, including some older boards. As expansion by even a single team would exceed the capacity of the Elite/Babby system it was decided that another level of competition would be needed to allow for the inclusion of these new boards. By default any new entrants to the 4chan Cup would need to enter this round to earn the right to play in the Babby Cup.
Eventually eight teams expressed a concrete interest in competing in the 4chan Cup. These teams were entered into a group-style qualification event to play for the right to compete in the following Babby Cup. This event is known as the Babby Qualifier, or Fetus colloquially. The best-performing teams in the qualifier advanced to the Babby Cup while the others remained in the qualifier stage until the next opportunity to qualify, before the following Babby Cup.
In Winter 2014 the Qualifier format was abandoned with Fetus and Babby teams being merged together into a single Babby Cup hosting as many as 40 teams, starting in Spring 2014. All teams, both Fetus and Babby, would now have the chance to qualify directly for the following Elite tournament in Summer.
The Qualifiers would return in Autumn 2015 in a reduced 4-team format after 41 teams signed up for the Cup; teams were determined at the commissioner's discretion based on how small their fanbases were. The top 3 teams in this single-day event would join the 37 other teams in the Cup.
The Mega Babby format would be abandoned in Spring 2016 with the Qualifiers being reintroduced as a proper event. For that season's Fetus Cup, 15 teams (later increased to 16 with a team recently relegated from Winter being demoted to Fetus due to an invalid export) competed for 9 spots (originally 8) in the 32-team Cup.
- See: List of teams
There are fifty-six official competing teams within the 4chan Cup. These teams compete in Elite, Babby and Qualifier-tier tournaments, and in pre-tournament friendlies in each season. As a prerequisite, an official team must be a 4chan board. The Original Sixteen were the first official teams. There was an expansion of four teams with the Second Founding, though the number of competitors remained at 16 as the four most weakly-supported boards were mothballed to make room for the four new, enthusiastic boards.
The four dormant boards and another 18 new boards entered the inaugural Babby Cup tournament in Spring 2012. This was the period of greatest expansion in 4chan Cup history. In Autumn, another 10 boards entered at Babby Cup level to bring the total number of boards to forty-eight.
While the majority of boards were previously represented in the 4chan Cup, several new boards were added to 4chan in 2013, all of which expressed interest in the cup. Along with previously excluded boards /e/ and /wsg/, the new entries increased the number to 56 participating teams.
Along with official teams, there are a number of unofficial or 'novelty' teams which do not compete at any official tournaments, nor are they included in rankings. The first unofficial team was /ro11/, which was used as a 'Final Boss' to be put in a match against the winner of a tournament as a form of final challenge (and humbling experience for the fans of the winning board). Unofficial teams may at times compete in friendlies if empty slots remain in the schedule, or in invitationals as the host sees fit.
It was once tradition for the winning manager of official tournaments to be provided with a trophy and letter of congratulation.
Text of the 2012 Summer Cup congratulation letter
- "Dear Loli,
On behalf of the 4CCC (4chan Cup Committee) we hereby present you with the Summer Cup for the year 2012. We congratulate you and your team heartily and thank you and your fans for your dedication, enthusiasm and devotion to your team.
- — Germanbro !!i9X8R/z42R
- — Germanbro !!i9X8R/z42R
Text of the 2012 Autumn Babby Cup congratulation letter
On behalf of the 4chan Cup Committee and the fans and managers of the 4chan
AutumnCup, I congratulate you to your teams (sic) victory,
/wg/, in the
Autumn Cupof 201
2. You are hereby transferred the
2trophy for your victory. We hope that you and
- — Germanbro !!i9X8R/z42R
- — Germanbro !!i9X8R/z42R
- 2012SC trophy.jpg
2012 4chan Summer Cup
- 2012ABC trophy.jpg
2012 4chan Autumn Babby Cup