Rarity Outshines the Sunset
Everypony's favorite fashionista patiently awaits her next challenge.
Prior to the playoffs, Sunset Shimmer promised her growing fan base that she would win the Celestial Trophy and return to the human realm. She would keep only one of those promises.
Supremely confident after a convincing win over Princess Celestia in the wild card, the mysterious antagonist ran straight into a wall of "fabulosity" as Rarity reminded everypony why she was the #1 seed in the league. Shimmer's appealing design and eye-catching colors could only do so much against the quintessential attractive pony.
Rarity was all business in her postgame remarks. "I had an adequate performance. There are still some wrinkles to smooth out, but I promise that my next game plan shall be a flawless design! Sunset Shimmer was quite the interesting opponent and I'm sure we're going to see more of her."
Sunset Shimmer reevaluates her future plans.
"It's not fair!" Shimmer fumed in her locker room. "This thing was mine! I was supposed to show up Twilight Sparkle on her own turf. This isn't over yet, Princess."
When asked if she was worried about facing her nemesis Fluttershy, who defeated her in the 2013 M.A.P. Tournament as well as the 2014 World Cup, Rarity replied, "Au contraire, darlings! I am simply thrilled every time I have the chance to meet a wonderful pony like her in friendly competition. It's no surprise that so many spectators like Fluttershy as much as I do. I go into this game as I do every other: with an expectation to win."
When the Music Stops
Rarity was not the only one who left the divisional round with a monkey on her back. Just as Pinkie Pie was unable to defeat Octavia in two tries, Octavia herself was unable to surpass Fluttershy in their 2015 rematch.
Even the details of the game evoked some deja vu: Octavia started out strong in the first half, then was slowly but surely overcome by a rising tide of Fluttershy votes. The elegant musician's failure to finish off a strong Mane 6 leaves her right back where she started, but just as before, a loss to the timid pegasus is nothing to be ashamed of.
"They're all going to love me..."
"Oh my goodness. I'm so happy that I was able to win!" Fluttershy exclaimed to the Ponyville press. "I think Octavia is such a beautiful pony, and I'm grateful to have an opponent that inspires me to be the very best I can be."
Despite Fluttershy's unfailing kindness, her ability to overcome almost any odds makes her a most dangerous opponent. Undefeated but for a loss to Lyra Heartstrings in the first Magic Bowl, she flutters on to face Rarity--the only pony standing between her and a return trip.
Octavia must compose a new strategy for the future.
Octavia did not answer questions after the game, but the sad solo she played on her cello said it all. Always gracious in victory, Fluttershy was among those who stayed behind and listened as each note spread throughout the Everfree Forest.
Twilight Steals Dash's Thunder
Dash remains winless in the M.A.P. playoffs.
Thinking of what to ask a pony whose season has just ended is never easy. But with Rainbow Dash, it was unnecessary. Before any reporter in the locker room could get a word out, she was already talking.
"I don't get it!! Since when is being awesome, extreme, and amazing not attractive?! I mean, Twilight's my friend and I guess she's pretty good-looking--but I wore a parasprite bikini, people! Do you have any idea how those things itch?!"
Her distress is understandable. The Element of Loyalty had an even better season than she did in 2013, winning a first-round bye while forcing such heavy hitters as Trixie, Lyra, and Twilight Sparkle herself into the wild card round. But ultimately, the result for Rainbow was the same: one and done. Though she fought hard through the entire game, the mane character maintained control and never relinquished her lead.
Twilight shows that awesomeness is relative.
"I don't have time to celebrate! There's still so much to do," Princess Twilight fretted, sounding very much like her old self. "First I have to smooth things over with Rainbow, then I have to wish Princess Luna good luck in our game, and I have to report to Princess Celestia about my progress, and then I have to write a letter to Cadence, and..."
The to-do list continued long after every reporter had left the library. But one thing stood out: Luna. Twilight moves on to a dynamite EFC Championship game against one of the strongest opponents she has ever faced, and the first match ever to pit her against a fellow princess.
Dark Side of the Moon
There are decisive victories, there are blowouts, and then there are games that make fans wonder what one of the contenders was even doing there. Unfortunately for Princess Cadence, her divisional match against Princess Luna was that kind of game--and she was that contender.
After pulling off a squeaker over Trixie in the wild card that raised a few question marks around her playoff run, Cadence did little to reassure the brony audience in her next matchup. Night fell so swiftly over Canterlot Castle that the game itself was almost obscured, but the results were crystal clear. For a first-time competitor in the M.A.P. Tournament, Luna looked unstoppable--and sounded like it, too.
This princess knows how to make an entrance.
"LOYAL SUBJECTS!" she bellowed, forcing many a seasoned sportswriter to drop their cameras and clamp their hooves over their ears. "IT WAS WITH GREAT PRIDE THAT WE MET A FELLOW PONY OF ROYALTY IN HONORABLE BATTLE. WE GRATEFULLY ACCEPT...er, pardon me. I gratefully accept your support. I must now retreat to prepare for the next challenge."
Luna's dominating performance sets a new record for most lopsided win in M.A.P. Tournament history, surpassing Rarity's 109-39 defeat of Cloud Chaser in 2013.
"Oh, well..." Cadence trailed off glumly in her post-game interview. "It may be a difficult loss, but it's still better than being imprisoned underground by those vile Changelings. And nearly losing the Crystal Empire to King Sombra. And having my name constantly misspelled. And..."
See a recap of the Conference Championships and Magic Bowl II here: http://mlpforums.com/blog/213/entry-15096-magic-bowl-2015-
...And review the Wild Card results here! http://mlpforums.com/blog/213/entry-14709-2015-most-attractive-pony-tournament-wild-card-recap/