The United Nations of Earth’s (UNE’s) last minute winning goal against the Xanid Suzerainty yesterday evening sparked bedlam in Ulm, and for many humans marks the moment that revived their space-nation’s hopes of winning the coveted Galactic Cup football title.
The only thing that now stops them from reaching the semi-finals are the XT-489 Eliminators.
It’s the first time the XT-489s have been in the competition, and while initially viewed as underdogs, they have quickly racked up a number of impressive wins.
So what are they key factors the UNE team will need to consider against the XTs?
Could the XT-489s have an unfair advantage?
Little is known about the species that first created the robotic XTs. Their names, cities and bodies were burned away in the cataclysm wrought when the XTs attained self awareness, and their terrified markers attempted to deactivate them.
What is known is that the XT's design mean they excel at physical endurance, and in particular, football. Gestalt consciousness allows for the team to communicate instantaneously and act as one. Advanced processors allow for efficient ball tracking, while in-built gamma ray lasers make literal toast of any opposition. The XTs also come equipped with unique mechanical wings, that when fanned out allow them to take flight for short periods of time.
Organic football fans worry that such features may allow the XTs to gain an unfair advantage against conventional teams.
However, the Galactic Football Authority has reassured fans that the machines clearly meet the criteria for entry to the competition, if the criteria actually existed. It also points out that organic space nations are allowed to field genetically engineered, psionic or xenomorphic teams without question.
What effect will Cristianaldo’s absence have?
Ron Cristianaldo’s absence from the UNE line up has worried many human sports pundits.
The Earth-native striker has been forced to sit out the rest of the Cup season after being accidentally impaled during a tackle against a Scythaan arthropod in a match two weeks ago.
Cristianaldo made a total of 536 UNE Galactic League appearances and scored a record 3 goals in his career, making him one of the highest scoring human football players of all time.
Will the temperatures play a role?
The match is being hosted on Tau Volantis, a harsh desert world under control of the XT-489s.
UNE players are bracing themselves for temperatures of up to 45 degrees celsius, with intermittent ion storms set to add an extra challenge to the playing field.
The XT's in-dwelling coolant systems are likely to be advantageous here, however humans are hoping that blowback from the XT's jet propellants will keep them cool.
When can I watch it?
UNE vs. XT-489 Exterminators starts tonight on Xenonion Sport, at 1800 GST / 0395 Shroud.
What's the line up for the rest of the week?
The remaining Gamma Group matches this week are:
Tuesday: Commonwealth of Man v. Tyznn Empire, Unity
Wednesday: Chinorr Stellar Union v. Jehetma Dominion, Jehet Prime
Thursday: Maweer Caretakers vs. Tebrid Homolog, The Garden