The time has come, adventurers! June flew by faster than a blue hedgehog at an Olympic event and today we’re beginning the sign-ups for the third annual Blogger Blitz competition. This year we’re taking a break from scum and villainy to focus on that most fascinating aspect of the human experience: relationships. Shipping Wars is a celebration of all things human connection, wrapped up in the zany competition that we already know and love. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because there’s a chance that some folks here aren’t familiar with Blogger Blitz at all.
FOR REAL, WHAT IS BLOGGER BLITZ?
Blogger Blitz is an award-winning annual writing competition held here on Adventure Rules for other bloggers in the writing community. It focuses on eight video game characters who compete in a single elimination tournament. Rather than simply an argument of “who is strongest,” Blogger Blitz presents each pair of competitors with random and wacky events inspired by the world of video games. Each writer composes a piece explaining how their sponsored character would overcome the challenge. Both submissions are then reviewed by a panel of judges who vote on a winner. The votes are tallied by myself, the host, who then writes a results post explaining the decision of the judges and revealing the winner of the round.
AWARD WINNING? REALLY?
Yes, really! Last year’s Blogger Blitz competition, Black Sheep, focused on pitting together video game villains in events created based on submissions from fans of the competition. It was nominated for a Normal Happenings Award by a number of amazing folks for the best blogging collaboration of 2018. And the lovely judges at Normal Happenings presented the best collaboration award to Blogger Blitz!
As much as I would love to take credit for the success of the competition, Blogger Blitz is a collaboration and it is the efforts of everyone who has ever been involved which helped it to achieve this award. Both of the folks who nominated the event have been in both previous iterations of the Blogger Blitz, with Lightning Ellen being the original champion and Kim of Later Levels having been both a competitor and a judge in past years. I’d encourage you to check out the Blogger Blitz Hall of Fame to see all of the amazing adventurers who have been involved in the past; without them, this competition could never have grown to this point.
OKAY, THAT’S COOL, SO HOW DOES COMPETING WORK?
As a competitor, you’ll choose a character from a video game to sponsor for the competition. This year, you’ll also choose your character’s ship: an individual who your character cares deeply about. Ship is short for relationship and we welcome the broad spectrum of what that could mean – you could ship Mario and Peach or Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth as the ultimate romantic couple, or you could ship Zelda and Impa or Chrom and Robin as the ultimate best friends. Your goal is to compete to demonstrate that your chosen characters have the strongest bond of all!
Once we have eight competitors, those competitors will be arranged into pairs to compete against one another in wacky video game -inspired events. Your opponent and your event will be randomized using an online randomness tool. You can think of your event as a writing prompt – you’ll have a starting idea for your blog post and a word limit to observe, and then you apply all of your creative energy to writing a submission that you feel satisfies the conditions of the event and displays the strength of your character’s relationship. Each match is judged by the Blogger Blitz judiciary, a panel of three judges who will read and critique every post in the competition. At the end of the week, I post the results conveyed to me by the judges, and the winning competitor moves on to the next round.
There are three rounds of the competition: the opening round, the semifinal round, and the championship. The opening round has four matches, the semifinals two matches, and the championship one match. That’s a total of seven matches, but the most posts any one competitor would have to submit is three. The posts vary in length based on the round: 1000 words in the opening, 1500 in the semis, and 2000 in the finals. There’s a one week break built in between rounds, so you’ll have a minimum of one week to write even when your matches are back-to-back. Each week, the competition posts will go up on Monday morning, and you’ll find out the results on Friday. Below, you can see the match schedule for the competition:
- July 29th, 2019 – Results on August 2nd
- August 5th, 2019 – Results on August 9th
- August 12th, 2019 – Results on August 16th
- August 19th, 2019 – Results on August 23rd
- September 2nd, 2019 – Results on September 6th
- September 9th, 2019 – Results on September 13th
- September 23rd, 2019 – Results on September 27th
SO ALL I HAVE TO DO IS WRITE POSTS BASED ON THE PROMPTS? ANY OTHER RULES?
The Blogger Blitz rules are best captured in the form of the judicial criteria. These are the standards our judges will be using to determine the winner of each match, establishing a set of boundaries within which you can creatively explore to your heart’s content. Here are the three guidelines:
1. Structure – One of the most exciting parts of the Blogger Blitz is seeing the unique way in which competitors choose to tell their stories. We’ve seen everything from sea shanties to PowerPoints to plays to debates, and all of that is totally okay. You don’t have to choose an off-the-wall structure to be successful in Blogger Blitz – plenty of people have won with just an explanation of why their character is great or with a simple short story – but the structure that you choose says something about you as a writer and the character you have chosen, so be sure you say something great!
2. Character – When you joined Blogger Blitz you chose a character and their partner as the pair you would prove is the ultimate ship. Presumably, you did so because you love those characters and are familiar with what makes them unique. Your submission to the competition should show us what is great about your character and their partner. How strong is the bond of their friendship? What odds can their unique abilities allow them to overcome? The judges will likely not know every character in the competition – an impossible feat in the world of video games – so use this opportunity to help them understand why your choice is the best one.
3. Event – Each event in the Blogger Blitz is effectively a writing prompt, a jumping off point for you to create an exciting story or compelling argument. The judges will want to see that you have satisfied the terms of that writing prompt. Be sure to incorporate every element of the event described and use your word count wisely to address every part of the challenge.
THIS SOUNDS GREAT! HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Fortunately, that’s the easy part! All you have to do to sign up to compete is a leave a comment on this post with the character you want to sponsor and their ship. I’m going to be looking for eight individuals to serve as competitors for this year’s competition. There aren’t any rules about who can sign up to compete but priority will be given according to the following scale:
- Blogger Blitz Newcomers
- Blogger Blitz Veteran – Previous Judge
- Blogger Blitz Veteran – Previous Competitor
If you’ve been in both Blogger Blitz competitions, however you participated in Black Sheep will be the role that impacts your priority. Once I get a group of eight, any additional sign-ups will be added as alternates in case someone ends up having to drop out before the competition starts. Sign-ups will close at 11:59 PM on Friday, July 5th. So be sure to sign up quickly if you are interested in competing!
WHAT IF SOMEONE ELSE CHOSE MY CHARACTER OR SHIP ALREADY?
There are a couple of different ways you can go about this. Let’s say you wanted to sponsor Link and ship him with Zelda, but someone else already sponsored Zelda and shipped her with Link. Well that’s easy – just do what you were going to do! You and your ship will be competing against each other to see whose bond is the strongest; think of it as the whole “I love YOU more” thing but less irritating. But maybe you wanted to ship Link and Sidon instead – consider playing as Sidon and choose Link as your ship. Then the pairings of Link and Zelda vs. Link and Sidon will be in competition to see which one is the ultimate ship. Think of the drama! Basically, if someone already chose part of the pair you’re interested in, don’t sweat it too much – the only real rule is that two competitors cannot sponsor the same character. The judiciary will be called in to make decisions if there is ever a question of whether or not any pairings conflict with one another.
The time for Blogger Blitz is here at last, and I for one am very excited to see the friendship, love, and zany shenanigans that are made possible by the Shipping Wars theme. I look forward to seeing the characters and ships you choose – let’s work together to make Blogger Blitz 3 the best one yet!
UPDATE: We now have eight competitors deciding their characters, so the sign-ups are closed! Thanks to all who signed up to compete!