Monday, November 12, 2018

ISML 2018: Ruby Period Continues With Big Turnouts

ISML 2018: Ruby Period Continues With Big Turnouts

By Jo-Ryan Salazar
The Bedlam On Baltic Avenue
November 13, 2018

Match Day 2 of the 2018 International Saimoe League Ruby Period concluded. In the Female Division, Kamui Kanna defeated Yuki Nagato 12172-9235, Saber slashed past Chiyo Sakura 11326-9377, Rin Tohsaka eased past Mirai Kuriyama 11748-10703, Rem routed Nagisa Furukawa 12563-8051, Shiro stonewalled Shinka Nibutani 1195-9139 and Emilia whipped past Tooru 12393-10559.

Asuna Yuuki thumped Tamako Kitashirakawa 13380-7835, Illyasviel von Einzbern pumped Tomoyo Daidouji 11402-8807, Taiga Aisaka prevailed over Ai Haibara 10854-10399, Yukino Yukinoshita defeated Reina Kousaka 9247-8548, Nanami Aoyama won the closest race of the round, a 10307-10276 scalp of Kurisu Makise and Rikka Takanashi stormed past Schwi Dola 12318-8937.

Wrapping up Female Division action, Nao Tomori defeated Shouko Nishimiya 10378-9700, Utaha Kasumigaoka dismissed Sakura Kinomoto 10154-9919, Kurumi Tokisaki shot down Azusa Nakano 11609-11185, Yui Yuigahama sank Sagiri Izumi 11232-10651, Chtholly Nota Seniorious defeated Megumin 10637-9980 and Mashiro Shiina dominated Haruhi Suzumiyua 13184-8289.

In the Male Division, Hachiman Hikigaya routed Shouto Todoroki 12196-8313, Ken Kaneki won a 9686-9561 barnburner over Touma Kamijou, Shouya Ishida took down Kiyotaka Ayanokouji 9878-9450, Levi Leveled Kazuma Satou 10938-8176, Subaru Natsuki cruised past Kusuo Saiki 10227-9309 and Ainz Ooal Gown crushed Li Syaoran 9893-9050.

Ryuuji Takasu roared past Taki Tachibana 9758-9337, Edward Elric punched Saitaam 9803-9304, Rintarou Okabe defeated Willem Kmetsch 10076-9631, Gilgamesh impaled Eren Yeager 13507-7427, Takashi Natsume rumbled past Itachi Uchiha 10491-8995 amnd Archer dominated Karma Akabane 10872-9064.

Wrapping up Male Division play, Nagisa Shiota won a 9970-9794 grinder over Izuku Midoriya, Kyon throttled Conan Edogawa 9436-8082, Tomoya Okazaki defeated Shirou Emiya 9871-8839, Astolfo annihilated Riku Dola 11094-7785 in the Upset of the Round, Yuuta Togashi flew past Yato 10173-8510 and Kiritsugu Emiya eased past Izaya Orihara 10773-8273.

In Summer Seasonal action, Platelet whipped Ryouko Naoe 11454-9052, Rachel Gardner defeated Chio Miyami 9798-9377, Erythrocyte defeated Mahiru Tsuyuzaki 10295-9660, Kuon Ohara pummeled Chisa Kotagawa 10498-7441, Hikari Kagura prevailed over Ayano Hanesaki 9803-9605 and Rinne Ohara routed Aoi Mashiro 11776-7561.

Wrapping up Summer Seasonal action, Yui Hanesaki prevailed over Ayaka Sunohara 9754-9638, Satone Shichimiya crushed Jashin-chan 10456-9335, Satou Matsuzaka squeaked past Mashiro Amatsuki 9632-9631, Hanako Hoda won a 9685-9184 snoozer over Shio Koube, Nozomi Takamagahara throttled Haruka Oozora 9744-9026 and Aoi Yukimura defeated Kano 9801-8631.

In exhibition action, Last Order torched Izuna Hatsuse 10415-9302 and Winry Rockbell defeated Michiru Hyoudo 9631-9210.

Match Day 3 of the 2018 International Saimoe League Ruby Period is scheduled for November 13, 2018. Vote for your favorite characters at and join the ongoing debate.

FFXIV: Georgette Lemare visits The Diadem

#FFXIV #w_witch #s_witch #Crossover #Heavensward

Nightmare In The Air: The Sad Song Of AS Monaco

AS Monaco used to be a club I respected. No one should forget the magical year that was the 2016-17 season. Here was a side that was extremely fun to watch and did the principality proud. They had great players representing the once-shining diagonal strip: Danijel Subasic, Andrea Raggi, Radamel Falcao, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Joao Moutinho, Fabinho, Thomas Lemar, Djibril Sidibe and the now-prince of Paris, Kylian Mbappe. Indeed, after Monaco had the season to believe and won the Ligue 1 title, everything fell apart once the club decided to sell its best players and invest in youth that were not exactly ready to do the club and its people proud.

The biggest sell of them all is that of Mbappe, Parisian born and bred. Now a world champion at Paris Saint-Germain and a champion of all the domestic tournaments Paris can win at the top level, Monaco are staring at relegation. It is one that just, even as a Parisian supporter, absolutely devastates you. The ill-fated decision to not keep the good players that built its 2016-17 league season and forge a dynasty and see many of its top performers play in the Premier League and PSG, in the case of Mbappe, is a situation that not even Thierry Henry himself can reverse without a decision by those who have left to consider coming back.

The last time Monaco were relegated was seven years ago, back in 2011. During that season, the likes of Ligue 2 sides Stade Brestois 29 and Valenciennes FC were still playing in the top flight, and a humble, yet storied club by the name of ACA Arles-Avignon was relegated. A few years later, that club would be sent to the National and cease to exist. Once Monaco got promoted (the process took two full seasons), the club would witness steady form and saw its golden generation blossom in 2017. But with the sales of those great players, and the departure of Mbappe, and the return of Paris Saint-Germain to the top of Ligue 1, Monaco have been in a free fall.

The young blood that were built to carry the torch have not been healthy. The prideful boasting of Willem Geubbels proved to be his downfall, as he too is among the walking wounded. A long line of injured senior players have also contributed to the demise of Monaco's season. Leonardo Jardim was sacked as a result of the club's form but it is the decisions of its ownership to commit suicide in terms of its future fortunes that are the culprit. The fans of the club have departed. Every home game is actually a home game for the visitors, and the Nov. 11 match with Paris Saint-Germain was, in essence, another home game for the best team in French club football, in spite of Mediapart's efforts to form a fierce journalistic resistance.

800 members of the well-documented Colectif Ultras Paris accompanied the Rouge Et Bleu in Kylian Mbappe's return to the once-powerful house of pain that was the Stade Louis II. Mbappe could have scored, but it was ruled offsides by VAR and it was VAR and an unheralded goalkeeping hand named Diego Benaglio that made the score respectable though not in doubt. Paris Saint-Germain 4, AS Monaco 0, and even Sidibe had realized that his heart was no longer with this club as he had a hand in all four PSG goals.

In fact, Paris themselves knew that Monaco were in a spot that they had in been in at times during their stay in Ligue 1 that has gone uninterrupted since 1974. And so, they chose to make it a simple, clinical exercise, a professional no-nonsense effort ahead of tough tests with Liverpool and Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League. One could say this was a training ground run and PSG were simply scoring for fun at the Camp des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, their home base. It was that one sided.

And when the final whistle blew, there were hugs of sympathy, exchanges of shirts, hat trick hero Edinson Cavani, Neymar Santos Jr., Mbappe and the charges applauding the fans, the usual postgame runabout. But even as the indomitable Parisians slowly made their way back to airport to fly back to the capital to prepare for training or national team assignments (Mbappe and Sidibe are summoned to the French Team for a match against the Netherlands that could see them make the UEFA Nations League knockout rounds), even they were left wondering as to why Monaco did not build for a dynasty and instead cashed in, ultimately putting the club in a relegation battle.

As it stands, Monaco are at a crossroads. Only one team is worse that the Monegasques, and that is En Avant de Guingamp. They had also fired Antoine Kombouare and brought Jocelynn Gourvennec to save that team. And Guingamp are only at the bottom on goal differential (-19). Monaco are 1-4-8. Seven points with a goal differential of -10. This club, historically, had form against Paris Saint-Germain in the past. PSG are 13-0-0, with a goal differential of 38 and a full 39 points. 32 points ahead, more than 10 wins ahead of Monaco.

The champions of that 2011 season? Lille OSC, who are now experiencing a renaissance after coming back from the dead. At 8-2-3 (26 points), Lille are bound for the Champions League, for the first time in eight seasons. They are effectively where Monaco are supposed to be, had the club elected to keep its stars and build a dynasty of form from this talent, in this, the League of Talents.

January is going to be the month that could make or break Monaco's future in Ligue 1. It must now make a Herculean effort to scout for stars in South America and elsewhere and make an honest pitch to have them buy into the club's vision and advantages of playing in the principality. But with Dimitry Ryboloblev under the weight by the authorities as part of some backroom dealing and other financial foul play, the writing is on the wall for Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club: they are set to return to Ligue 2.

There is a silver lining to all this. During 2011, Club Atletico River Plate (who have a similar diagonal strip to Monaco) were also relegated in a playoff with Belgrano de Cordoba. The stars who used to play for River elected to return to the club to bring them back up and they have not gone down since and are a win away from winning the Copa Libertadores this year. Monaco can experience the same lows and highs and rethink its player policy to become a competitive power in Europe. The irony to all this? That same Belgrano team is currently 22nd on the relegation table, directly hovering above the drop zone to Primera B Nacional.