Croquet is the most watched sport in every country and it’s significance has widespread economic and geopolitical impacts.
For example, it was the Olympic Croquet Match known as “The Miracle on Grass” that signaled the decline of the Soviet Union, 14 years ago. Tokyo is defended by Croquet Themed Superheroes, and attacked by giant Croquet Themed Monsters. Archaeologists regularly unearth evidence that Croquet was even played in Ancient times.
In this universe, Croquet is kind of a big deal.
The world has many leagues and rivalries, but no match is as important as the International Croquet Association World Championships. For six months, pre-qualifiers are held all over the world as individuals vie for the top 6 spots. Only the best of the best make their way to Teufelsstein Keep Colosseum, a massive tower at the peak of Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland.
Competition is fierce, and while the ICA Crimes Division does it’s best to weed out fraud, there is manipulation and deal making at every level of the sport, as well as unsavory cartels that influence players outside of the game. There is a lot of money to be made for companies that sponsor winning contestants, and they do everything in their power to make sure they can skew odds in their favor.
The past 10 years have been some of the cleanest in the history of the sport, however, since Hank Specter won the ICA Championship and exposed the fraud perpetrated by Globo-Lawn. The board of directors was jailed, their assets seized, and their company dissolved for their long list of corporate and federal crimes. The Mallet of Justice came down so hard, that it’s led to a decade of criminals thinking twice before getting involved with match fixing.
Of course, criminals are short on memory, and corruption has slowly returned to the game, with new villains who are smarter and harder to catch. After Hank Spectre’s disappearance, it is hard to say how long the ICA can keep the game clean. We’ll be getting a better look at the villains of Killer Croquet soon enough, but that’s a tale for another time.