Just 3 weeks into Season 2 for the MAFL and the results have upended all our expectations. Fans in Novyimir are overjoyed as the Dynamos currently reign supreme in the standings with 3 wins and zero losses.
The Dynamos were a middle-of-the-range team in Season 1, with a few outstanding fowards such as 25-year-old Ilya Petrovich, and 24-year-old Avideh Karaaria. However, the team is singing to quite a different tune for Season 2.
“It’s been very exciting,” says club manager, Sergey Ludomir, “we’ve been putting in a lot of hard work during the off-season, and it’s immensely satisfying to see that it's paid off and we’re getting results.”
The fans are equally pleased.
Calling themselves “Dynamaniacs”, evidence of their support and pride is seen in the packed live-casts and sold out Spectator Tours for the home games. Some dedicated fans are even shelling out the M-creds to travel to Huacheng and Tiangong to show their support.
“There’s nothing like being in the stadium and seeing the Dynamos in action,” explained one Dynamanic, Rinn Khomenko, “I was able to see them play in Tiangong, and it was amazing!”
Meanwhile the Immortals have had a rough go of the season so far. They also finished Season 1 solidly in the middle of the pack. But despite having star player, Uday Lanka, and solid offensive players in Hagendoorn and Naik to back him up, the Immortals have not been able to secure a single victory.
“We’re still working out some kinks in the roster,” Immortals coach, Cezar Vaduva, says about the team’s dismal performance so far, “we’ve had a couple new recruits but we’re confident that once we hit our stride things will start turning around.”
Most fans in Amrita are determined to keep a positive outlook, though many are questioning Vaduva's expanded role and taking many responsibilities that previously fell on Manager Andam Mirza.
“It’s still early in the season and things can swing around really quick. I think the Dynamos are going to burn out pretty soon. They’re on a streak right now, but those never last,” a Immortals fan staunchly predicted.
Fans in Marineris and San Olympus have been quietly disappointed, perhaps in disbelief. Season 1 runner-ups, the Titans, have been sitting consistently at second last. The Comets have fared slightly better as they currently stand at fifth place in the rankings. Nevertheless it’s still a far cry from the title of ‘champion’ they’ve proudly held over the off-season.
MAFL fandom, itself, is still relatively new to colonists, but it is consistently revealing behaviours responses that are atypical of real and virtual stimulus baselines. According to Doctor Luden Madenoxialax of the Psychiatric Studies Department of Marineris, there is a noticeable drop in the aggregate data from the colony's Emotional Surveillance program.
"I don't have access to actual data from the other colonies that monitor emotional wellbeing," says Madenoxialax, but the values we see coincide with the Comet's performance, with the last few weeks presenting depressed averages.
In general, Madenoxialax and other specialists do not regard this as a negative for the community, that these are natural responses for engaged fans, however, ongoing monitoring is necessary to identify potential issues, especially for those who are predisposed to depression.