The dust has cleared on Albion's ninth Guild Season - congrats to new champions Elevate on their decisive victory!
Season 9 saw numerous power blocks reorganized, with Season 8 winners Sex With Ex and their ARMOR alliance beginning to fall apart even before Season 8 ended. The result was a power vacuum that Elevate, a guild created during the offseason, expertly stepped in to fill. Mamono, leader of Elevate, describes their strategy as follows:
The first month of the season was spent building the strongest zerg in the game while fighting the mega alliances of the world against all odds. We did this while also maintaining the #1 spot in the rankings, which was taken in the first week of the season through dominance in both the open world and the Crystal League.
Elevate 3x City Fight:
The resulting boost to their reputation helped them recruit even more talent and placed them firmly into the upper echelons of Albion politics, where they decided to lead a coalition of guilds against the POE Empire. Black Order, Zorn, Violets, and their alliances all joined the coalition, as did many other guilds and alliances, to take down POE led by Crimson Imperium Reborn. This ongoing battle continued until the final weeks of the season, as massive forces from both sides fought daily over the southern Outlands.
Once POE and their allies fell back further south, much of the momentum of the coalition's push was halted, and Elevate had to transition from being the underdog to the difficult task of ruling an empire. As far as the season victory was concerned, though, Elevate's lead at the season's midpoint made catching them out of reach, even for #2 guild RANG. Early in the season, Rang, Native, Final Order and Last Warn looked quite strong, and many even picked Native to win the season based on their strong Crystal League play. But Elevate's consolidation of teams and their domination of ZvZs, city fights, and early-season Crystal League battles left other guilds fighting for second-best.
The battle for second place was much closer: in the final weeks of the season, current second-place team RANG closed up shop. This opened the door for Bloco de Rua, who took to hiring mercenaries to push their season points in the final stretch by scoring massive points in the Crystal League and dominating castle conquest during the double-points phase of the season. Sure enough, on the final day of the season, Bloco de Rua passed RANG and claimed second place.
Other notable storylines of the last season include Final Order's war in the north and their subsequent closure as they look to reestablish Seasons 1-2 champions Money Guild, which will be worth keeping an eye on. And ARCH was drawn into a massive war to defend their homes from the forces of Last Warn and the newly reemerged EOS. Territories fell and Hideouts were smashed but ARCH remained strong, and with the launch of the Rise of Avalon update and the upcoming season many believe their best days are still ahead of them.
Season 10 kicks off on Saturday, August 29 - for the complete season schedule, see this forum post.