Underground Shockball Circuit Description The brightest lights cast the darkest shadows. But hey, shadows can be pretty cool and a chill place to hang out. The Underground Shockball Circuit is the technically nameless unofficial league that is guaranteed to be larger than any other, though it keeps no official records so this cannot be proven. The extreme version of the sport goes by many names. Some are subtle like blastball, sometimes they are blatant like deathball, some are obvious like extreme shockball, and many more names are given to it on a planet by planet basis. For example a popular name for it on Tatooine is Sarlacc Sack. This league is for obvious reasons the most popular among the denizens of the underworld like smugglers and mercenaries. It doesn’t have you go through years of training, hours studying of rules and regulations, and it doesn’t limit species abilities. Most importantly, though it does have no lethal matches for beginners, its biggest and most well known games are the lethal shock matches. It’s the very identity the underground version of the sport was built on and continues to be its most popular event. History Like most things throughout history, if something exists, it can be altered from its original intention. During the early days of the GSL the league was trying to make its brand universal by putting its logo on everything. They also made several deals to mass produce shockball equipment for the masses. Though many claimed to have been the first, it’s safe to assume within the day the Shockball has been deconstructed, reverse engineered and modified for voltages higher than what was the maximum on a consumer product. Thus the daredevils of the galaxy reached the logical conclusion to make it lethal. Shockballs became flying electric chairs in a neat little package that could go as fast as a blaster bolt yet still be considered a sports ball. Almost as quickly as the use of these modified balls became popular, laws were passed banning them. It should come as no surprise that this did little to dissuade the practice of this variant of the sport. If anything it made it all the more exciting and lucrative. Pretty soon criminals and pirates had their own little leagues of death that were used for various purposes. They could be used to settle disputes, provide entertainment, and give newcomers a trial by fire. Larger gangs and crime rings used shockball matches to resolve disputes as despite it still having a death count, it guaranteed the max combined death toll would be 45. For organizations with hundreds under their payroll ready to fight, this would be a comparably low price to pay. Large gangs could bring aboard specialists whose main role in the gang would be to participate in these bouts. Though some more ill-tempered leaders could refuse to accept defeat and start a firefight regardless, most who use this method operate under the “honor among thieves” rule. It was also became a popular way to provide entertainment. For ages dueling rings were king, and they are still the most spectated underground sport, but shockball provided a more strategic bloodsport than just gladiatorak matches. Most organizations and bookies saw the potential success of shockball and either built a compatible arena in addition to their already established dueling ring, or made the dueling rings themselves compatible with the sport. Shockball also offered more longevity to fanbases over dueling rings. When a specific competitor gained notoriety and fame, they’d develop dedicated fan bases. However as soon as they died, so did their community. Shockball teams gave the average crooks and gamblers someone to root for in a bloodsport without having losing it entirely when a player died. This led to larger fan bases, longer lasting rivalries and more money exchanging hands. The trail by fire was another popular use in underground shockball’s infancy. It helped criminal organizations get a better sense of a prospects character. It helped show off their physical capabilities, how they performed under pressure, how well they worked with others and how well they followed orders. For this purpose the normally deadly shockball had a lower voltage so as to only cause intense pain rather than death. Though some more extreme and unforgiving leaders would have even these early proving grounds be potentially deadly. It could also serve in itself as a recruiting process, with the last man/men left standing became initiated in whatever organization held the event, and like most of the early applications of shockball they persist to the present day. Shockball still had more unexplored potential though. Many planets had local leagues and some planets became known for being home to especially ruthless teams like Nar Shadaa and Mandalore. But there was nothing on the level of the GSL, there were no teams with names recognizable outside of their sector. For smaller teams not even people on the same planet would know their names. The pioneer of what would be the modern underground shockball scene would be Ialtyn the Kind. Ialtyn was a Sakiyan of noble birth who performed a hostile takeover of his family’s assets and from them built his own criminal empire. His operations got large enough that in his later years he got tired of running such a large operation and “settled down”. What this actually meant is he found a successor while still alive to prevent discension and managed only one property: the Skip & Roue Casino. There he would only deal with those who came through the casino doors and managed the various floors of tables, dueling rings, lodging, companionship and more. Being an old man with too much money to spend in too little time, he went all in on shockball. He built the largest stadium used exclusively for underground shockball that existed at the time and got to work. He invited 16 teams for a shockball tournament promising the winner riches beyond belief. The teams were owned by various vigos, pirate captains, and mob bosses that had invested in shockball and gained respect as the best in their areas of operation. For some of the teams they were among strangers, but they were in the same room with some of their greatest rivals. Had Ialtyn not been the host, the whole thing might’ve ended in chaos. The respect for him was too much however, and they all played nice for the time being. The eventual victors were the Boomheads, a gang that burned hot for a year or so but due to poor leadership fell apart soon after. The failed leader in question was Anye Yll, she was brash and greedy and despite her team winning, she was ungrateful. In a move befitting of the lack of foresight which would be her doom, she sold the prize to one of the teams taken out in the first round. What did she give away, what was it that she deemed worthless? Another invitation. Along with a portion of the purse for the final bout, Ialtyn gave the Boomheads an invitation for every other tournament he ever hosted. Anye didn’t see the long term value and considered it worthless. The next year, Ialtyn hosted an identical event and the new holders of the Golden Ticket were the Razorwings. They played in the tournament, but wouldn’t see another as during a drunken fracas they lost most of their team soon after. When Ialtyn hosted a third event, the few realmaining Razorwings sold the ticket in hopes to help rebuild repay their patron who has lost a lot of money on the team. The ticket went to Kath Hounds, who in that years tournament lost all their players in their first match. This string of bad luck helped solidify a new tradition known as the Gift. From then on, the invitation would be passed from the previous holder to another team each year. No team could have it more than once in a span of five years and it couldn’t be given to a sister team or something akin to it. This made the Gift a strategic question for whichever team held it because it could be as simple as giving it to a team that hat has no chance therefore increasing every other teams odds of victory, it could be used to pay off a debt, or sometimes give a very specialized team a chance to defeat a particular threat to oneself. Ialtyn himself would only see four tournaments as he passed away of natural causes, but his event is still to this day the most high profile underground shockball tournament and is the most looked forward to event of the year. The Ialtyn Invitational is now hosted by his daughter and son-in-law Sixxie and Dor Dockett. Other bookies and fight promoters followed in Ialtyn’s footsteps and created events of their own. These events held semi-regularly give the underground circuit something that maybe resembles a season, the key difference being it’s not always the same teams that come to such events. Some of these events are by invitation only like Ialtyn’s, but others are open for any teams. Most notably of these is that of Attuma the Hutt. A sadistic kingpin, Attuma popularized the Hutt’s Demand variant of shockball, which operates as a first to 100 kills wins. As one could imagine this form of the sport becomes less of an arena and more a battlefield. Because most teams don’t have 100 players on their roster, for this event they often find other teams to pool with temporarily under one banner in order to qualify and enter. This event is the one most likely avoided by already established teams but can serve as a huge boost to reputation for the victors. Reputation was and still is everything in the underground circuit. There are no records. Word of mouth is everything, and your team name wants prime real estate on the tip of people’s tongues when talking about shockball. While the major events of the year are great ways to earn reputation they aren’t relatively or guaranteed to help one’s name grow. Open leagues in the shadier cantinas of the galaxy are a great place for up and coming hopefuls. The more interesting way is by challenging another team to a match. This was risky however as the home team always made the rules. One year, the victors of the 25th Annual Ialtyn’s Invitational had so many challengers literally waiting outside their doorstep that for once law enforcement was able to make a huge bust. Relatively speaking of course, many of these challengers were rookies and hotheads, not true established figures in the scene. Their arrests served nothing more than a warning for future rookies to not repeat their mistakes. The league was always a rather lawless place and had all manner of beings from all walks of life. Every species had a down on his luck outcast hoping that the defining skill of his life would be how well he could throw a ball. Every planet had a bright eyed kid thinking he could live out his dreams of being a sports star hanging out with smugglers, pirates and dancers. There were teams of droids, species with wings, aquatic species, huge species. One team tried to claim an acklay as a teammate. Even better, it was allowed. Best of all, the acklay ate both teams and ran off. In the Imperial Hutta quadrant, it’s not that rare for criminal gangs with imperial connections have a shockball team. Corruption is so rampant some higher ups don’t bust these gatherings at all, instead betting on them and mingling with the scum they are meant to destroy. This extreme diversity is one of the most fascinating parts of the underground. The GSL tries to ensure everyone is on the same level: the human level. In the underground every natural advantage is embraced, even some unnatural ones like cybernetics for example. But, most recently there has been a shift. Before, there were some force sensitives who played, but most dreamed of becoming a sith. Now, during the Sith Civil War, the former GSL teams from the Old Empire were left with nowhere to play and this migrated into the underground. While they themselves were not forc sensitives, as those were also banned from the GSL, this created a connection that did not exist previously. Soon several sith hopefuls saw shockball as an opportunity to prove themselves in a form of combat. In a scene like the underground shockball circuit, there’s really no question why the sith of the Old Empire for so naturally. After all, what better sport that supports the Rule of the Strong better than win or die? Structure The underground shockball circuit, due to its illicit nature, has less of a rigid structure and more a loose group of affiliations. Most of the underground revolves around the Dockett crime family. Ialtyn served as a kind of godfather for the sport and he loved it on his later years and wanted to preserve it long after his death. Because of this any disputes or violations of the unwritten “save it for the game” rule are handled by the Dockett family. Teams can be rendered forever ineligible for the Ialtyn Invitational which can kill a career before it even begins, if they don’t respect you no one will. The Dockett family also has a nonaggression pact with other hosts though this peace has been strained a few times given the nature of the criminal mind. Though the Docketts have no say in what other hosts do, a heirarchy of information of sorts has formed. Local leagues and bookies report information of up and coming teams, individual players and coaches to those who host open events. Those who host open events relay their more cohesive and firsthand observations to the event hosts that seek talent to invite. These hosts of invitational events then relay their comprehensive observations and recommendations to the Dockett family, who from the entire underground scene must select 15 teams to bring to the Iatlyn Invitational, plus however holds the golden ticket. The only way to progress is winning and winning in style. For some this journey to the top takes years of hard work and dedication, for others all it takes is one play that becomes the story on everyone’s lips. Assets The underground shockball circuit has few assets of its own and primarily leaves things up to the teams to decide themselves. However, under its loose banner it does have three dedicated arenas for the sport of shockball. On the planet Sakiya the Dockett estate has the largest arena capacity wise complete with vendors, on field cams, commentator booths for various languages found in the Outer Rim and other smaller arenas adjacent to it which can be rented out to practice. On Nal Hutta there is a literally underground shockball stadium that forms part of Attuma the Hutt’s lair. This is the largest arena field wise though it can’t seat s many. These are also less conventionally comfortabl as most “seats” are just slabs of rock and those under Attuma use the occasion to sell a lot of spice in a single day. Finally there’s a well known ship whose name was lost to time that is now known as the Shockball Skeleton. The ship is beyond repair and simply floats in space adrift, however a big enough hole has been blasted on the inside to make room for a shockball arena. This means that the arena has no gravity or breathable air. This arena is maintained by the crew of the Singing Seamstress; a pirate crew that use he ship as a hiding spot and have turned a useless ship into a money machine. Roster There are hundreds of shockball teams trying to make it in the underground circuit, and there are plenty of ambitious gangsters looking to be the next Ialtyn or Attuma, so the list of affiliates is constantly shifting and is anything but a tight knit group. However, listed below are some of the various affiliates and teams that participate in the underground shockball circuit. Event: Ialtyn’s Invitational Invite Only: Yes Brief Overview: 16 team single elimination tournament Event: Attuma’s Demand Invite Only: No Brief Overview: Hutt’s Demand variant with 5 teams Event: Skeletal Shootout Invite Only: No Brief Overview: Week long set of exhibitions to gain popularity Team Name: Location: Colors: Notable Players/Staff: History: Current Roster: Intent This write up is made in conjunction with the lore write up here with the goal being bringing shockball to the site. I think it helps flesh out the world, provide more pvp and pve options and provide a pastime for the citizens of the galaxy. I believe the underground shockball circuit will be the most used of the three as it gives a somewhat organized way of solving feuds and another kind of combat besides epic battles and bar fights. I think it could also add a lot to the Imperial Hutta sector highlighting just how hard it is to keep under imperial control and how rampant corruption is that it can’t be put down. I’ve left most of the roster empty so it can be filled overtime as teams come up naturally through the narrative others weave. And most important of all, I think it can be a ton of fun!