The Cup was founded 347 years ago by Lorana Becq, a wealthy technology magnate with extensive ownings throughout the Terminus Systems, including on Illium, and an avid pildavi fan. Becq suggested that the animosity between APU and IPC followers surrounding Illium's inclusion in the former, despite being astrographically located in the latter's territory, be settled "on the field" with a regular match between Illium's Nos Astra Pulsars and Serifia's Highfield Harriers, regarded by many IPC fans as the league's cornerstone team - both teams Becq had a financial stake in, granting her considerable influence in making her idea a reality.
Although not part of either league's regular season, both make allowances for its scheduling, halting other matches for the Cup week to avoid teams having to play two major matches in close proximity. With the fandom rivalry between the APU and IPC mirrored by Illium and Serifia's economic rivalry, the Cup has historically been a hard-fought affair, with followers on both sides investing heavily; while doing little to curb tensions (and in some instances outright provoking them, where Cup matches have featured particularly divisive decisions) the Cup has at least sublimated them into a purely sporting context. The Cup does have the effect of uniting fans within each league, with inter-team rivalries in both the APU and IPC temporarily put aside in the interest of supporting one's own league.
Many traditions have arisen surrounding the Cup. With APU and IPC rules differing in some areas - the IPC traditionally permits a more heavy-hitting, visually-spectacular range of biotic moves, which some APU fans deride as focusing on spectacle and conflict at the expense of technique and 'purity' of the game - Cup referees allow more leeway on the field than is normal in the APU, with fewer penalties, although the matches do not allow the full range of IPC moves, so as to strike a fair balance between the two teams. It is something of an unspoken rule that at some point during Cup matches there will be an on-field altercation between the two teams - inevitable given the bitter rivalry and heightened emotions during play - and unless some particularly unacceptable aggression is displayed, officials are inclined to 'look the other way' when this occurs, simply breaking up any on-field fights and resuming play, rather than treating the incidents as a disciplinary matter. Both fanbases have traditions of their own, most notably the Harriers followers, who style themselves 'Aria's Army' (the Harriers were majority-owned during the 203rd and 204th Cups by a Serifia-based subsidiary of the T'Loak Syndicate - although there is little evidence that Aria herself has any more than a passing interest in the sport, and ownership passed to other companies in time, Terminus fans naturally retained the informal association with one of the region's leading figures), and travel en masse to away Cup matches held on Illium to display their passionate support.
The Cup, along with both pildavi leagues, was suspended during the Reaper War, but after a year's absence an agreement was reached between the APU and IPC to resume Cup matches, with an initial Illium-based match to be followed by the Cup alternating every two years between Illium and Serifia.