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The Second Blog Cup

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A Fantrax-based tournament for the second half of the season

Fancy another shot at winning something?
Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

I promised a second Fantrax EPL NMA blog cup competition, and after a lot of thought have settled on the format. I originally suggested a Champions League / Europa League format, the idea taken from the AMCR group from a few years ago that I know some of our followers are still in touch with. But that is a LOT of work, so I chickened-out!

Instead, I’ve opted to model the competition on the English FA Cup, where teams enter at different stages of the competition depending on what tier their in. I’ll assign tiers based on the overall NMA-11 league positions at the conclusion of Fantrax’s double game-week 18+19, so you have that super-week to rank your team as high as possible! The action will begin the very next game-week (January 25-28).

Similar to the FA Cup, I will treat the top 44 teams as the ‘elite’ tier-1 teams (the equivalent of the Premier League plus Championship). The next 48 teams will be tier-2, the equivalent of League 1 and League 2. The remainder will be treated as non-league tier-3.

We currently have 170 active teams in the league and that might change by game-week 18-19. If so, the first qualifying round will involve a few extra teams. I’ll do a random draw for each round, so there will be no seeding, just like the actual FA Cup.

The matches will then be head to head, based on the random draw. I will use the same tie-break criteria as for the early-season blog cup if scores are tied.

Here’s how the rounds will work:

Play-in Qualifying:

Round 1 (what will become game-week 20, January 25-28): involves teams ranked 143-170 (may involve more teams if we have new entries). 14 teams go through.

Round 2 (week 22): Winners from Q1 plus teams ranked 93-142. 32 teams go through.

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Single-Elimination:

Round 1: (week 24): The winners from Q2 plus teams pre-ranked 45-92. 40 teams go through.

Round 2: (week 26): The winners from R1. 20 teams go through.

Round 3: (week 28): The 20 winners from R2 plus teams pre-ranked 1-44. 32 teams go through.

Round 4: (week 30): 16 head-to-head winners go through.

Round 5: (week 32): 8 head-to-head winners go through.

Quarter finals: (week 34): 4 head-to-head winners go through.

Semi finals: (week 36): 2 finalists go through.

Final: (week 38): The champion is crowned in our ultimate game-week when all 20 line-ups will be confirmed during the countdown hour of NMA’s Pre-Deadline Chat. Be there!

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What do you think? Are you up for a good cup run? What should we call this competition, since we already had one ‘Blog Cup’?

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