Beacon's Historic Recruitment Class Fills Out with Historic Recruit

By: Lisa Lavender

Beacon Academy, usually in the basement of the Vytal Festival Tournament, has had its best recruiting class in over 20 years, since Team STRQ swept the Tournament 4 years in a row.

The class started when Yang Xiao Long, daughter of Taiyang Xiao Long of Team STRQ, won the 17U Division of the Vale Regional Tournament Qualifier and declared her acceptance to her family's alma mater during the post-championship press conference.

With the commitment of a top 3 fighter, the buzz for Beacon started. Several upper-mid ranked students, such as Cardin Winchester, Blake Belladonna and Russel Thrush, began to declare for Beacon as well, attracted by the possibility of competing in the Tournament with a weaker upperclassmen core and a high profile recruit to fight with.

In addition to the stronger than normal Circuit recruits, Beacon landed several non-Circuit students, which has been their bread and butter in the past. High profile students who didn't compete in tournaments, such as Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, and Jaune Arc, grandson of Color War hero, Julius Arc, citing their desire learn to fight Grimm, rather than other humans and faunus.

Then, Beacon managed to win the "Pyrrha Nikos Sweepstakes", being the school that managed to convince the Invincible Girl to attend their academy over the others. On the eve of the Mistral Regional Tournament Finals, the Invincible Girl announced her commitment to Beacon Academy to the shock of the press and other academies.

And as of last night, Beacon filled out its unprecedented freshman class with a new precedent. 15 year old Ruby Rose, who dominated the Vale Regional Tournaments in her age group for the last two years, and sister of high profile fighter, Yang Xiao Long, announced that she would be attending Beacon Academy in the fall. Ruby is the first student to enter the Academies at an age younger than 17 since the Vytal Festival Tournament began over 80 years ago. Headmaster Ozpin has set a new and dangerous precedent, and whether that will be for the better remains to be seen.

Regardless, Beacon Academy looks to have a promising future for the first time in two decades.

Ruby Rose: What You Need to Know

By: Evan Silver

Anyone who follows the Circuit should know the name Ruby Rose, after she breezed through the Vale Regional in her age group in a show of skill that would have been generational, if not for Pyrrha Nikos doing the same in the last four years. The expectations were that Rose would likely be the main rival to Nikos when she entered an Academy two years later.

But now, with Ruby Rose attending Beacon, and potentially being on the same team as the Invincible Girl, it's time to take a closer look at her skills.

Weapon: High Velocity Sniper Scythe, named Crescent Rose

The Scythe is a notoriously difficult weapon, that has had little success in competition in the past, with the last victor of any RATA Tournament being Rose's mentor, Qrow Branwen of Team STRQ. She trained with the elite Huntsman for years, and her "Uncle Qrow" has taught her everything she knows.

Rose shows a remarkable amount of precision with Crescent Rose, even though the interior blade lends itself to wide, sweeping attacks. The gun inside the staff is nothing to sniff at either. The scythe's main weakness is a lack of long range and short range capabilities, requiring the user to hem their opponent into the middle range to keep control. Rose's high velocity rifle allows her to play a long range game, with some of the strongest long range power in the Circuit. This forces opponents to bring her in close, where it is much easier for her to keep them away from her body at mid range.

Semblance: Speed, with a trail of rose petals

Ruby's semblance is rather straightforward, a 'speed form' in which she turns into nothing but a red blur, leaving a trail of rose petals in her wake, though she uses it to potent effect. She's capable of maneuvering her scythe while using her semblance, making it incredibly difficult for opponents to capitalize on any minute mistake she may make. Whenever she's in trouble, Rose is only a block and a dash from going back to her long range game, and controlling the field with her rifle.

Offensively, it allows her to flank opponents in 1 on 1 combat with ease, forcing a much wider defense than many would like. If there's someone faster than her, she may be in trouble, but it'll certainly be a struggle to find anyone who can outspeed the scythe wielder

Outfit: Black and red corset with a combat skirt and a red cloak

Normally, we don't talk too much about outfits on this site, but just look at her! She's so adorable we can't help it! The outfit itself has more meaning than just capturing the hearts of Remnant as well, her cloak is an homage to her mother, Summer Rose, leader of Team STRQ, who died valiantly in the line of fire, protecting humanity from the Grimm.

That wraps up the basics of Ruby Rose. If you're interested in more in depth analysis on Tournaments and their fighters, subscribe to our HunterWorld email list to never miss an article.

Schnee Heiress Commits to Beacon, Shocks Atlas

By: Buster Olive

After rumors surfaced, and a leaked video of Schnee Dust Company heiress, Weiss Schnee, fighting a massive robot knight, speculation ran wild about Weiss following in her sister's footsteps to abandon her inheritance for a career in the Atlas Military. Atlas fans were salivating at the prospect of another Winter Schnee, who lead the military academy to 2 straight Vytal Festival titles in her junior and senior years.

But, it appears as if that is not to be, as Weiss Schnee announced this morning that she would be attending Beacon Academy in the fall, on scholarship to compete in RATA events. She cited Beacon's excellent instructors and coaches as the selling point of the Valean institution, and declared that she would return to the Company after her schooling to take over after her father, Jacques Schnee.

Weiss Schnee adds yet another high profile recruit to Beacon's unusually notable recruiting class this year, joining the ranks of Blake Belladonna, Cardin Winchester and Yang Xiao Long. We'll see as the year unfolds if it proves to be a fruitful endeavor.

Blake Belladonna Shocks Mistral Crowd; Sparks Controversy Once More

By: Skip Bayleaf

Blake Belladonna, the 5th ranked fighter by the AP Circuit Poll, sparked yet another controversy yesterday, after winning her Quarterfinal Match in the Mistral Regional Tournament. Making a raised fist, a common symbol for Faunus protesters, often in violent situations, many of the cheers died down in the arena. Belladonna confirmed the gesture in a press conference after the match.

"It was a [raised fist]...I'm an outspoken person," she stated. "I believe there is a serious issue in police brutality, social and economical racism all across Remnant. I've spoken out before, and I feel like I'm a voice for millions who don't have one."

Belladonna certainly has the right to protest, but does she really need to do it during a tournament? There are other ways to protest outside of the tournament setting, she doesn't need to interrupt the tournament to make gestures that could easily incite violence. Many Circuit fighters weighed in on the topic.

"I don't really see the issue. I mean, Blake [Belladonna] can express herself how she wants to. I might not do the same, but I definitely don't disagree with the message," said Sun Wukong, who was knocked out of the Mistral Regional Tournament only a few hours after Belladonna's actions.

"There's really no place for it in the sport," Cardin Winchester added in his pre-tournament conference for the Vale Regional, "Just keep your views to yourself, is what I say."

Regardless, this definitely hurts Belladonna's signing opportunities. Reports say that the 5th ranked fighter has turned down no less than 1 offer already, due to restrictions on how she would be able to protest in Academy tournaments. She needs to determine how much she needs to make a nuisance of herself in the arena, before the season finds her without a home.

'I Burn' Down a Club? Yang Xiao Long Reportedly Destroys Vale Nightclub

By: Mike Peareira:

A source, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported that a fight, sparked by Yang Xiao Long was the cause of a fire that burnt down Three Little Bears, a nightclub in South Vale, two months ago.

The owner of the club, Hei Xiong insisted that the fire was caused by a kitchen accident, and refused to say more on the subject. However, the source doubled down on the accusation, insisting that Xiao Long was the cause of the fire.

When asked about the incident, Xiao Long appeared confused, and claimed that she wasn't even there when the fire started, though she had been there earlier in the evening. While not illegal, there is suspicion raised about the Beacon recruit being at a nightclub while underage, especially after pictures have surfaced over the last few months of the fighter partying with red cups of unidentified liquids around her.

Xiong insists that he does not desire an investigation to be launched, and calls the event a "dead matter".

Arc Scion to Continue Family Legacy

By: Melon Kiper Jr.

The fourth child, and only son, in the Arc family, Jaune Arc, confirmed yesterday that he would be attending Beacon Academy in the fall. He cited Beacon's quality of teachers and curriculum as the main factors of his commitment, and not the other students competing in RATA events. He did, however, state that he would be accepting the scholarship to compete.

His older sister, Celeste Arc, leader of team CYAN, is a senior at Haven Academy, and is predicted to be a favorite for the Vytal Festival Tournament.

Arc is the next in the line of excellent leaders, and is yet another highly sought after recruit for Beacon Academy. While the class is not lacking for star power, leadership ability is a surefire way to maximize potential.

Beacon's freshman stock rises just a little bit more with this commit.

Nikos to Beacon: What It Means for the Rest of the Pack

By: John Buccigrass

To the shock of most all Circuit fans, Pyrrha Nikos is heading to Beacon Academy in the fall. The expectations for her to enter into her homeland Academy, Haven, with Atlas and Shade as underdogs in the lottery, were shattered by her announcement last week. With the tournament outlook shaken up, let's take a look to see what changes for the next year and beyond.

1.) Beacon's Super Team

The biggest change is that Beacon will the be next Academy to have a potential "Super Team". Beacon now has four top 10 fighters in their freshman class, Nikos at #1, Xiao Long at #2, and Belladonna at #5, Winchester at #9, in addition to #14 Bronzewing, #16 Ren and #23 Thrush. Notable unranked fighters fill out the rest of Beacon's pool of potential, such as Weiss Schnee, who has the ceiling of her sister, leader of a two time winning team herself.

My favored outlook for team composition is Nikos, Xiao Long, Schnee and Ren. Two prominent front line bruisers in Nikos and Xiao Long to anchor the squad, with Schnee and Ren partnering with one each to provide extra utility and lateral support. Some might want to simply take the top ranked and place them together, but Winchester's style of "tanky" power is something to build around, not support with, and Belladonna's drama is not something you want to bring onto a squad that would be under as much scrutiny as this one.

2.) Haven Scrambling

With the expectations of Nikos coming to Haven, they seemed to be getting the pieces to build around the Invincible Girl for their top team. Sun Wukong (4), Reese Chloris (10), and Arslan Altan (11), three fighters with unusual builds, were high ranked recruits out of the class with the potential for a swarming attack centered around a pillar in Nikos. Now, without their centerpiece, Haven is left scrounging for freshman to build their teams around. Fighters who normally would be supporting fighters will have to take center stage, such as Wukong.

Individually, Haven has the depth that they always have, but the danger of teams that are less than the sum of their part looms over the freshman class.

3.) Beacon's Rise in Popularity

Beacon has always been a fourth choice for most fighters, with many top 10 recruits taking options to fight for a second tier team at Haven or Shade, rather than headlining Beacon's squads. The recruiting class as a whole has been significantly improved from Beacon's usual haul. With the best recruit of the generation, Beacon has the potential to build themselves into a continual contender, turning the three school race, into a four school one.

Valkyrie and Ren, Beacon's Diamonds in the Rough

By: Rose Jaworski

While most people focus on the star power of Beacon's upcoming freshman class, the best recruitment decision by Beacon, in my opinion, is the offering of a scholarship to Nora Valkyrie, once they signed Lie Ren.

Nora Valkyrie was on and off the rankings throughout her Circuit career, and wasn't ranked at all in her last year in combat school. While most non-ranking students would have to put in the work to try to get on a walk on team, Beacon gave her a scholarship, and a spot on their RATA team.

The first thing you need to look at is her synergy with Lie Ren. Valkyrie fights with a hammer/grenade launcher combo, and has the strength to use the unwieldy weapon to good effect. Unfortunately, the limitations of the hammer will always hold her back in solo events, despite her skill.

Watching her fights, she is obviously very skilled with her hammer, it is just that the head of the hammer is easy for most ranked fighters to dodge in a one on one scenario, without any outside distractions.

That situation does not exist in team fights.

Ren and Valkyrie entered into several duo tournaments during their time at combat school, dominating each of them and winning easily. While these tournaments weren't part of the Circuit, since the Circuit only consists of solo fights, but the fighters in the tournaments were nothing to scoff at, including a victory over the duo of Neon and Kiki Katt, who have similar chemistry to Ren and Valkyrie, at a duo tournament last year.

Even without the guarantee of competing with high level talent, the power of a Ren-Valkyrie combination is powerful under the eye test.

Their moves are entirely in sync, something that high level Academy teams often struggle with every year. Hits are made decisively, and, while Valkyrie cannot take high level talent solo, most of the duo knockouts were a result of her hammer.

A team with good tactics can build around such a force, with both the crowd control ability of her grenades, and the strength of her hammer able to set up favorable matchups and end fights. In addition to the high level talent of Lie Ren, any team with this pairing instantly becomes more than the sum of its parts.

Team Predictions: Who We'll See in the Upcoming Season

By: Matthew Cranberry

Beacon Academy

1.) Pyrrha Nikos, Yang Xiao Long, Weiss Schnee, Russel Thrush

Leader: Pyrrha Nikos

The first three members are easy choices, the top two recruits in the class, paired with the versatility of the Schnee Glyph Semblance is a potent combination, with the only deliberations being in the final spot. The first team is the one you want to be a surefire winner, and I left Belladonna off this prediction, because this is the safe play. Beacon has their best chance in two decades, they want to make this count. A mobile fighter, Russel Thrush is capable of giving the last little edge that this team needs to make it a contender for all four years. Some might want Lie Ren over Thrush, but Ren's chemistry with Nora Valkyrie is something that can't be overlooked. He's much better suited for our second team...

2.) Cardin Winchester, Ruby Rose, Lie Ren, Nora Valkyrie

Leader: Cardin Winchester

This is where I really don't like the early recruitment of Ruby Rose, and how it plays out for Beacon. In two years, Rose is a bonafide stud and the leader of the top team in her school, likely to be Beacon with her family history and sister attending, but now you have to consider her maturity and the willingness of the other three members to follow her, which takes her off leader consideration. Winchester provides a rock to build around as leader and in a fight, and Ren and Valkyrie's chemistry provides a good structure for this team to contend with Beacon's top team after a year or two.

3.) Jaune Arc, Blake Belladonna, Dove Bronzewing, Sky Lark

Leader: Jaune Arc

The leftovers of the class, which has some potential to be a solid team. Arc is in the line of many great leaders, and if anyone can handle Belladonna's controversies, it would be him. The fighters themselves are heavily based on close range fighting, and can grind out smaller, mobile teams while they hold defenses and force another team down. Expect this team to surprise a little in their final years, when they have experience together and chemistry.

Overall, Beacon looks to have one team that can contend for 4 straight years, and another team that will come up and contend right with them. Fans of the other Academies best beware, Beacon Academy is coming.

AN: This is a College Sports style Remnant AU, where the Academy system developed in a college football style, with the media attraction and heavy emphasis on winning. If anyone is familiar with the darker sides of college sports, this should be a little frightening :) If you follow the SpaceBattles RWBY thread, you might have seen this before, but this is slightly edited (after feedback about my underestimation of Nora as a solo fighter)

This is the prologue to something I've been thinking about for a long time and have been mapping, and will continue to map, out in terms of universe and story. This isn't something that I'm actively writing, I'm still in the planning stage, but I've been sitting on this for a while and I want this out there to motivate me to polish my ideas. The idea is that most of the conflict in this story will evolve from how the characters interact in this world, with all the media coverage and pressures around them.

Overall, I intend to try to recapture the feel of Four Deadly Secrets where you learn more and more about the issues in the world and the hidden depths as the story goes along. I've been trying to think of everything that I can to make it feel as real as possible. I hope to start actually writing this story by the start of Spring, including a full outline of what I plan on for plot for myself.

Also a fun fact: All reporter names are color versions of actual sports writers/reporters/anchors, and I chose them based on the types of things they would write/say.