Ultimate Warriors League XIII
By Challa Sai Anudeep, JEM - Sportscomm, Batch of 22-24
During the onset of winter, The Sports Committee of IIFT Delhi organized the thirteenth edition of the Ultimate Warriors League. UWL is the sports and business extravaganza of IIFT and it was being organized for the first time in three years in an offline setting. A month full of preparation and planning led to an enthralling five days and a nail-biting finish.
Before the event kicked off, we had an IPL Style auction for the players. We awarded teams a fixed purse from which they can spend. We started off with the Marquee Player auction firstly, who played more than 5 sports and their base prices started at 100 points. All teams were required to have one marquee player and then we dived into the normal player auction. Over 230 players went under the hammer as the action spanned for over 4 hours, where the teams battled with their strategies to get the players they wanted.
We have also introduced The Katwaria Exchange, a share market bonanza for the non-players. Students would get a chance to invest in teams they think have the best chance of taking the trophy home and were given the opportunity to do secondary trading as well.
Prior to the tournament, the teams were engaged in various marketing activities as well to promote their team among the neutrals and also make some profits along the way. Activities like Karaoke Nights, Game Night, IIFT Mela and many more were organized for the students. Apart from this, teams were also engaged in a full-on meme war which set the tone for the upcoming war on the field. Let us look back to see what went into those five days which made the fest a grand success.
On the first day, we started off with the team introductions, where the owners delivered their pitch and introduced their players. The first event of the day, Relay Race, soon kicked off in the basketball court. Days of preparation by the teams brought them to this moment and there was a sense of tension and anticipation in the air seconds before the whistle went. Intense running followed and teams became competitive right from the get go. However, in sport, there can only be one winner and it was Mumbai Mafias who ended up winning both the Boys and Girls Relay Race events by fielding strong teams.
After a brawny event, it was time for some brains as the Relay Race event was quickly followed by the Sports Quiz. It was a close fight in the initial few rounds but it was Eastern Gladiators who got away with the win.
The energy then passed on to Basketball. Teams geared up and engaged in fierce competition which went on till 2AM. Mumbai Mafias emerged victorious in this event whereas Southern Stallions emerged as the runners-up. However, it didn’t stop there. The last event for the day, Carroms, started at 2:30AM and the campus was still buzzing with players and team supporters. After a show of immense skill, it was Aryan Juggernauts who clinched the winners spot with Southern Stallions giving them a close fight and ending up as runners-up. The day closed with Mumbai Mafias in the lead, with Aryan Juggernauts and Southern Stallions a close second and third respectively.
The second day of UWL started off with the Faculty Badminton and Cricket matches in the basketball court. After the exhibition games we quickly moved to the Atrium for Table Tennis. What ensued was a show of crazy athleticism by all the teams. After intense battling on the court, it was again Mumbai Mafias who took it home after a tough final showdown with Aryan Juggernauts.
It was now time for football. Teams, players and the organizing committee shifted to a new venue for this event - Turf. The stage was set and it was indeed lit on fire with an incredible showing from all the players. Mumbai Mafias and Southern Stallions moved to the final after the round robin stage. Even though Mumbai Mafias fielded a strong team on paper, it was Southern Stallions who showed the resilience to not let the Mumbai forwards through. The game went to penalties and it was the Stallions who had the composure at the right time to score and clinch the football title.
We parallelly had throwball running in the college premises which was an all girls event. The girls donned their athlete hats and gave their all for their respective teams. Mumbai Mafias extended their lead by the end of Day 2 but the second position was still being fiercely fought for with 1 point separating Juggernauts and Stallions.
During the course of the event, the teams and SportsComm together brought in several food partners to set up their stalls in the college for the students and the staff. Evenings were packed with students near the stalls and it served as a great place to catch something to eat or drink between different events. We brought in Domino’s, MBA Chaiwala, The Wings Factory and many more and students thoroughly enjoyed the delicacies served throughout the week.
We kicked off the third day with the Badminton knockouts. The players showed immense skill and channeled their inner Lin Dans and PV Sindhus to fight for their teams. However, it was Aryan Juggernauts and Southern Stallions who were better on that day and eventually moved to the final. We took a brief pause in Badminton here to conduct FIFA and Chess events. Controllers and skill moves came into action as Mumbai Mafias and Southern Stallions entered the one-off final in style. Finally, it was Mumbai who came through with a 3-1 win to clinch the FIFA title.
It was time to put the brains to work again as we headed to the Chess event. All the players put on an incredible showing all round but the Juggernauts edged the Stallions by one point to claim the winners’ medal in Chess. We then returned to the Badminton Finals event. It was an edge-of-the-seat thriller as the games went to the final tie in the Mixed Doubles’. Even in this event, the match went into the final set and was packed with suspense. Finally, it was Aryan Juggernauts who kept their cool and claimed victory in the Badminton event. After an eventful day, Aryan Juggernauts and Southern Stallions caught up to Mumbai Mafias in the race to lift the UWL trophy, with 32.5 points separating the three teams.
The fourth day began with tension in the air as the teams prepared for Volleyball. It was a golden opportunity for both Aryan Juggernauts and Southern Stallions to close down the gap between Mumbai Mafias and them. After a few exceptional matches in the round robin stage, it was Aryan Juggernauts and Mumbai Mafias who proceeded to the final. A ferocious game of spikes and blocks were exchanged from both sides but it was Mumbai Mafias who emerged as the winners.
The COD Mobile event again had the teams engrossed in their screens, to test their shooting skills in–game. Deservedly, Eastern Gladiators emerged as the winners in this event after having played a tactical masterclass. The day ended with Mumbai still reigning at the top with a wider gap between the second and third spots.
The final day’s proceedings kicked off with a game of chance - Poker. With multiple tables and an online platform, the stage was set for the teams to try and conquer the top spot. At the end of the event, it was Southern Stallions who ended up as the winners. We then moved on to the most awaited event of all - Box Cricket. Since there were restrictions with respect to where and how the shots can be hit, the teams were walking on a very tricky line and had to adapt to the playing conditions.
Even with the restrictions, the players stepped up and put in an exceptional fight. However, it was Southern Stallions who claimed victory in the event in a close match. After cricket, we moved on to the final game of the UWL Season 13 - Tug of War. Plagued with injuries and multiple rule changes, the final event was filled with drama. The event was a serious fight for second place now between the Juggernauts and the Stallions. However, Eastern Gladiators clinched the Tug of War winners’ spot after an immense showdown of power throughout.
After five days of action-packed sporting events and marketing campaigns by the teams, Mumbai Mafias emerged as the winners of UWL XIII. Aryan Juggernauts and Southern Stallions were close in every aspect of the event both in a sporting sense and in a business sense, and hence they both ended up as the joint-runners up for this edition whereas Eastern Gladiators ended up in the fourth place.
After the end of the event, it was finally time for the trophy presentation. Our chief sponsor, GAIL, presented the winners’ trophy and medals to the team owners and the players during the closing ceremony. Trophies for the best men’s and women’s player of the tournament were also distributed to the respective winners.
We thank all the team owners and players for being so involved and considerate throughout the entire event. We, as SportsComm, thoroughly enjoyed the highs and lows of organizing UWL on this scale for both the batches and are extremely motivated to raise the bars even higher in the upcoming months. Until then, it is a signoff from our side. See you soon!