With the Return to the March to Madness Tournament in the books, it’s time to dissect the results and see how the intrepid investigators of Arkham fared!
But first, we want to extend an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the tournament. Whether you completed a tier list to help us with the initial rankings, filled out a bracket, voted on the various rounds, were part of the extensive discussion on Discord and social media, or you participated in any other way, thanks for making this so much fun for the community.
We’d love to hear from you about your favorite tournament memories and experiences. Feel free to drop us a line on Discord, Facebook, or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’ve got a story you’d like to share!
And now, onward to the recap!
TOURNAMENT SETUP AND RULES FOR THE 2021 EDITION
As a reminder, we included the 44 released investigators. Only the original versions of investigators with parallel versions were used.
The tournament involved a tier list phase where people broke the field down into 10 tiers of investigators (using any criteria they wanted). We then aggregated those tier lists to seed the investigators – check out a video of the discussion about that process and how the tiers turned out here. Next, there was a prediction phase where people filled out brackets to guess who they thought would win each round and advance further in the tournament.
If you’d like to see how Mythos Busters filled out their brackets and who they thought would win, check out this pre-tournament video of them making their predictions. To see more about bracket leaderboards and the winning brackets, view our bracket recap page.
The tournament itself and voting in each round took place next. There were no set voting criteria. The guidance we originally gave was: “There’s no real rhyme or reason for picking a winner, so use whatever criteria you want. The most important thing to do is to have fun with your predictions and your vote.”
Under this system, it was a free-for-all where some rounds went well for fan favorites, while others clearly skewed more toward strong solo investigators.
THE INFORMATION AND ARKHAM-RELATED HUMOR YOU CRAVE
Below, we outline how the matches turned out, but do more than just list the winners. Color commentary, in the form of humorous match rundowns, is provided by Evan (Discord handle “bowzo”). Many thanks to Evan for his contributions!
We also show the “scores” of each game. Note that the “scores” show the percentage of votes that each investigator received in a round. We decided to use that method because it normalized things and accounted for the variance in the number of votes that were cast in each round.
Additionally, there are notes from the tournament commissioner if anything noteworthy took place during the match.
But that’s enough preamble from us – let’s dive into the replay footage and see how each round went!
If you want actual replay footage, check out our recap video where Scott, Sean, and Justin went over the results and revealed the champion live on stream. You can also check out a final version of the bracket with result percentages here.
Rex over Harvey – In this Seeker matchup, the investigator who is incredibly good at one specific and particularly strong aspect of the game went up against the investigator who consistently achieves absurd action compression. Which one was which? Who knows, but the guy who got slapped for being too good won. *this post was brought to you by #whinging-it*
Gloria over Marie – Marie took on Gloria in this bout between the two mystics-you-haven’t-played-yet-but-for-different-reasons. Marie tried her best to prevent her own doom, but Gloria had a prophecy of her end and easily won the day.
Preston over Leo – These two rogues both tried to pay their way to the top, but Preston’s radical technique of paying in cold hard cash managed to grease more palms than Leo’s attempts to buy in blood.
Jackie over Lola – In the biggest blowout of the tournament, Jacqueline Fine took out Lola Hayes with a score of 88-12. Lola acted like she was unbothered, but her post-match interview revealed she was not as neutral about the results as she first appeared: “Guys, I’m actually getting a bunch of really cool new cards in Return to TCU. And look: Jackie?! She can only take one class. ONE! That’s pathetic. I can take 0-3 for ALL FIVE! That’s unprecedented. I’m an All-Star. What is wrong with people?!” When pressed for a reaction to Ms. Hayes’ provocative comments, Ms. Fine simply picked one to respond to and ignored the rest: “Yeah, Return to TCU is going to be pretty baller.”
Akachi over Jim – Just as he was getting warmed up in the competition, Jim was forced to play his final rhapsody as Akachi came out charging and ended up on top.
Calvin over Mateo – With some lingering trauma from his early exit last year, Calvin built some momentum in this match-up with his fellow TFA investigator, Father Mateo. Despite all of his recent Blessings and wealth of experience going into the first round, the good Father and his Favor of the Sun proved to be no match for Calvin’s Spirit.
Wendy over Rex – Cursed reporter Rex tried to get past the beloved urchin, Wendy. Rex’s strong aptitude for deduction was no match for the plucky youth, however. When asked to comment on her win, Wendy only taunted: “Who even buys Newspapers anyway?”
Diana over Gloria – The upstart Gloria tried to take out the original cancel queen, Diana, in this early matchup. But while the rookie was distracted from scrying to decide who she wanted to fight next, the seasoned Diana countered every spell thrown at her and secured the win.
Stella over Preston – In this lopsided blowout bout Stella taught Preston that 0-2 just ain’t gonna cut it if you want to be a True Survivor.
Finn over Minh – In this rare re-match, Minh was looking to even up the score from last year. It ended up a little too even, perhaps, as the result was a 50/50 tie. In the tie-breaking coin flip, Finn reminded everyone that Lucky Penny is a rogue card and slipped away with the win.
Pete over Jackie – Last year’s runner up, Ashcan Pete, started his second campaign with a win over Jacqueline Fine. After her lopsided victory in the first round, Jacqueline came in confident and put up strong numbers, but she just didn’t see this one coming.
Silas over Akachi – In this massive second round blowout, Silas succeeded by more than enough to Brute Force Akachi out of the competition for good.
Mandy over Calvin – Mandy took out Calvin in this surprisingly close match. Calvin tried to show off his eidetic memory, but wasn’t able to make any fortuitous discoveries. Despite a vocal fanbase, Calvin’s progress was cut short after Mandy weakened him up with her logical reasoning.
Tony over Zoey – The battle of the Money-Making Hunters! Zoey proved to be a little overzealous as her righteous hunt went all wrong, giving Tony an opening to let god sort her out.
Diana over Wendy – Wendy tried to get cute by pulling out some knuckledusters, but her eucatastrophe ended in actual catastrophe as Diana retaliated for the win.
Stella over Finn – In the era of COVID, no match up is more timely than this battle of Essential Delivery Workers. We couldn’t have survived this past year without them both, but in the end our voters decided that the Postal Workers were the real MVPs this past year. Folks, I hope you realize that bribing a mail carrier with votes is not going to get you your mythos packs any faster – that’s all on Asmodee.
Silas over Pete – In this showdown between the two drifters, Silas Marsh continued to prove that he was a real dark horse in this competition. He easily overpowered Pete and Duke, sending them overboard and swimming for the shore.
Mandy over Tony – Tony Morgan came into this match up thinking he had spotted an easy mark in Mandy Thompson, but he clearly didn’t do enough research on his bounty. Mandy mustered up some momentum of her own and pulled out the close win.
Stella over Diana – Stella kept going strong in this Elite Eight blowout. After the match Diana couldn’t deny that she, in fact, had not had worse.
Silas over Mandy – Silas was unrelenting in his victory against Mandy. Mandy did her best, but the fans just couldn’t forgive her for what she did to our boy, Mr. Rook.
Stella over Silas – While Silas was able to sail smoothly through the competition to this point, Stella proved once again to be an unstoppable force. Neither rain nor snow nor stupid sexy shirt stayed this courier from the swift completion of her appointed rounds.
Nate over Rita – This first round match up can be quickly summarized by the following terrible joke: Hey Rita, what do you call a victory that doesn’t belong to you?
Joe over Carolyn – This TCU matchup saw the pacifist guardian, Carolyn, square off against gun-toting seeker, Joe. Carolyn tried to talk things through and come to a draw – questioning why they should fight when they shared common interest in logical reasoning. Joe was having none of it, however, and left Carolyn hunched over as he moved to the next round.
Tommy over Jenny – In a shocking upset, the dilettante, Jenny Barnes, was defeated by Tommy Muldoon. After the fight, Tommy was seen buying some incredibly expensive weaponry and hiring some expensive backup for his next match. When asked where he got the money to pay for it all he seemed shaken by the question and muttered something about “Jenny lending it to him”. What sportsmanship on display here at the March to Madness, folks. You love to see it.
Amanda over Skids – (NB: this is an imitation of hockey commentary, specifically disgraced former CBC host Don Cherry. If it’s too niche or the joke doesn’t read to someone who isn’t into the sport go with my second one) In this matchup of Amanda and Skids – hey you know what? I had a campaign goin’ where Skids was the Cluever and Amanda was the fighter can you believe that? and hoo boy, I tell ‘ya. Manda, she jus’ gets it done I tell ya’, strong arms! vicious blows! gets clues! real lunch-pail kinda gator – only got two’s in everything but what does she do? She gets out there and she practices, hoo boy I tell ya. Kids watching at home? This is how ya play Arkham. Right. Here!
Amanda over Skids – Skids just couldn’t help but gamble the first round away by coming in without his parallel form. Amanda was able to convert Skids’ own tricks against him, sending him home on a hand of three aces.
Dexter over Norman – This match had the career illusionist, Dexter Drake, taking on Norman Withers, who is still only learning his way around a magic book. Norman’s lack of experience really hurt him this early in the tournament, and Dexter was able to win easily.
Roland over Mary – The very first guardian, Roland, took on the most recent addition to the class, Sister Mary. Mary put up a good fight, but had a mid-round crisis. Her inability to keep faith proved her downfall, as Roland left her without a prayer. Not so #Blessed after all.
Trish over Nate – In the second round, Nathaniel went toe-to-toe with Trish. Despite Nathaniel’s Elite boxing skills, Trish was able to effortlessly evade his every move and TKO Mr. Cho.
Luke over Joe – Luke faced off against Joe in the second round. Despite his high intellect, Joe couldn’t quite figure out ‘as if’ rulings, and consequently couldn’t tell whether Luke was constantly breaking the rules. Apparently it didn’t bother the voters, as Luke stormed his way into the next round.
Ursula over Tommy – After getting through one fan-favourite in the first round, Tommy took on the defending champion, Ursula Downs. Tommy never got to taste that glory as Ursula left him in her dust – delivering one of the biggest blowouts of the tournament.
Patrice over Agnes – In this colour swap matchup between the Survivor/Mystics Patrice earned a solid win over Agnes. Surprisingly, parallels did not seem to factor into the tournament, as both Agnes and Skids could not make it past their first fights. Perhaps in a parallel universe, they are meeting in the finals now.
Yorick over Amanda – Yorick taught Amanda a hard lesson in the second round: don’t bring a book to a knife fight. Don’t let your dream diary be a meme diary, Amanda.
Daisy over Dexter – Daisy and Dexter duked it out. Daisy dominated Dexter, dazing him with dream diaries, doomed tomes, deduction, and deep knowledge. Dexter didn’t deign to delve too deep into defensive action and was decidedly done. Daisy wins.
Mark over Roland – Mark started the tournament strong with a relentless beat down on Roland Banks. After this blowout loss, the only thing Roland will be seeking any time soon is St. Mary’s Hospital.
Wini over Sefina – Sefina painted herself into a corner against Wini in this green matchup. There was some controversy in this fight, as one of the league commissioners, who also famously interfered in last year’s tournament, had gone on record defaming the artist. When pressed for comment he responded “hashtag deal with it”. Wini capitalized and nimbly moved on to the next round.
Trish over Luke – Luke tried to keep his distance from Trish in this off-class seeker scuffle. Little did Luke know that Trish is a little bit of an “as if” investigator herself, and she evaded him from across the map, moving into the next round with a narrow win.
Ursula over Patrice – The defending champ, Ursula showed some early vulnerability in this match against Patrice. After a tight back and forth in what seemed like it would be a tie, Ursula found a path forward into the elite eight.
Yorick over Daisy – Despite never giving up his lead, Yorick had a tough fight on his hands with Daisy, who kept creeping back up to meet him throughout the bout. With his final lead he managed to shush the librarian for good, and move on to the elite eight.
Mark over Wini – These two draw-heavy investigators went at it. Wini proved to be a sharpshooter in her own right, but it wasn’t sharp enough for Mark’s battle-hardened tactical prowess.
Trish over Ursula – In this exciting Elite Eight match up, Trish took on the defending champion Ursula, who had been able to get this far with her loyal followers and her ability to keep on moving. Ursula’s speed advantage and Elite Eight status proved to be no match for Trish, because seriously, come on. It doesn’t matter how far away you are, or how high your evasion is, or whether you’re considered “Elite”, Trish will find you. She will evade you. She will beat you. Then she will disappear into the shadows and on to the Final Four.
Mark over Yorick – These two desperate bruisers went at it hard in the Elite Eight and it was a close one. Yorick kept throwing knives and brutish punches, but each successive blow only seemed to invigorate Mark, as he drew on all that adversity and wound up a counterpunch to send Yorick packing.
Trish vs Mark – Trish continued her hot streak in this matchup against Mark. While Mark had been able to take some punches and capitalize in previous rounds, he had no answer for an opponent he could not see. Trish came in, got the goods, and moved on to the championship round.
Stella vs Trish – The fail forward archetype would typically require one to fail at some point, but Stella proved that she isn’t a one-trick pony. After going postal on the western conference, Stella capped off her championship campaign with a comfortable win over Trish. Trish faced the toughest competition all tournament, but nothing could prepare her for the unstoppable force that is Stella.