From YPPedia

A contender is any flag or alliance of flags which make up a side at a blockade. The flag holding the island at the start of the blockade is automatically a contender, commonly called the defenders. Flags or alliances which drop a war chest are also considered contenders, and may be called attackers. If other flags enter the blockade board without joining either flag's side, they are considered to be non-contenders.

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