contest of champions event
"Five! Four! Three! Two!"
As the New Years' Ball dropped in Times Square, the air seemed to glitter around it for a moment before, just as it touched the ground, it shattered into a fine powdered dust, crystalizing in an instant and disappearing. A hush fell over the crowd and an unfamiliar face took over the screens.
"Hello, is this thing on? Hello? Oh good, you can hear me. Fantastic." The man smiled and waved away his attendants, charming, if a little sinister for a city growing used to the attempted hostile takeover of its way of life. "Greetings, people of Terra. I am the illustrious Grandmaster, the first lost, first to be found, creator of Sakaar, and father to the famous Contest of Champions. Now, it has come to my attention that you Terrans are host to some really fascinating champions and.... well, I'll just say it, have no idea who I am, which is a downright tragedy. But! I, in all my infinite wisdom and kindness, have decided to change that.
"Inside of each of your.... teams? Groups? Loosely affiliated parties who fight together when it's convenient? We'll just go with teams, it makes it easier." He brushed the matter aside with one hand. "Now where was I? Oh, right, yes. Inside each of your teams' bases here on Terra, there will be a teleporter that will permit you to travel to my arena here on Sakaar. I will also be leaving a few others scattered throughout your planet in order to allow for people to come and go as they please, and allow them the chance to watch the spectacle live from the arena, if they don't want to watch from the viewscreens here on Terra. Consider it your chance to enjoy the entertainment my planet has to offer and the festivities here on what we call home.
"But, for each of your teams, I will be expecting a group of two to four people to serve as a representative of your team. Each team will be pitted against each other to see who really is Terra's Mightiest Heroes. Or Villains. I'm not exactly picky about who wins."
The Grandmaster smiled widely. "Oh, and by the way, for anyone who might be thinking of ignoring my invitation... I have a little incentive for you to participate." He reached to the side, just off-screen, and plucked forth a small, glowing amber-colored stone. "The winner of my little contest will get this. Along with a number of other luxuries, as befitting of one of my champions." He played with the stone for a few moments more before he tucked it away again, smiling and giving a charming wink to the camera. "You have a week before the first stage of the contest will begin, and may the odds be ever in your favor."
The screens then winked back to their original displays, but in the middle of the square where the ball had smashed down was a glowing red and gold arch assembling, ostentatious in its design but creating a portal to another planet, directly into a colorful square beneath a towering construct above a large gladiatorial arena. Each corner of the large market was devoted to a new team, given color and supporters in turn, along with names and likenesses. It seemed that the Contest of Champions truly had come to Earth, and for now, the only way to win was to play.