When I upddated the site I somehow have taken it as a given that everybody visiting this site (on purpose or by accident;)) knows what Mastersleague is (was) all about and didn't need any explanation. However, when I browsed through the old news articles I realized that not only quite some time has passed since the site opened its gates (10 years!) but also that the "golden" age was rather a short one and most of the time MoR has been inactive after all. Many if not most of the players from back then have most likely abandoned Rise of Nations altogether and the few new ones naturally have never heard of Mastersleague ever before.
Currently I do not have the time to write a "proper" history of MoR (Masters of RoN) and I am not a great writer anyway so I can only give a brief introduction which I hope I (or someone else) can expand in the future.
What is (was) Mastersleague?
To sum it up in a few sentences between 2004 and 2006 MoR was hosting a Clan-League exclusively for Rise of Nations players and teams. It was meant to offer a regular challenge for teams and players for the gaps between the many great tournaments that have been hosted by the clans back then on a non-regular bases. The second purpose was to offer the whole community a place to hang out, download and upload recorded games and discuss strategies and off topic stuff.
It featured multiple divisions (up to 4) with around 6 to eight teams in each division. The teams played twice against each other in each division (3v3 or 4v4) with one match being the "home" game and one being the "away" match. Playing at home gave you slight advantages, such as chosing the map the match would be played on. After the 10 to 18 matches the top 4 teams of the Premier league (top division) would go into the playoff matches, deciding the overall champion of the league, while the bottom 2 teams of each division would play "relegation" matches against the best 2 teams of the lower divisions.
Between the league matches (2 per week) there also was the "League Cup", a k.o. tournament which was played throughout the whole league (meaning that even a division 4 team would be able to win the thing).
The league started with great excitement and IIRC was able to atract over 32 different teams for 1st season. We had great plans to extend the idea even further (Champions League, World Cup etc) and Rise of Legend was already lurking behind the corner but soon had to realize that RoN was losing atraction rather quickly over the time and many clans were not able to field full teams any more. Even though quite a few players remained who played RoN on a regular bases, it was not sufficient for clans to have enough players ready for the many league games. We had 4 successful and fun seasons. It was questionable whether there was enough demand for a 5th season. After some weeks we had to learn that the doubts were justified and cancel the league prematurely.
After a break of some months we hosted a couple of 1v1 k.o. tournamens which were a lot of fun but couldn't replace the thing that MoR originally was: A Clan league.
Is there a future for Rise of Nations and Mastersleague-hosted tournaments? I have no clue! Things don't look good at all. But most fun things come of stuff that doesn't look good at all at first sight. In the end of the day only you the RoN players can and will decide whether there is a future or not. We shall see