One of the cool things about these cage matches, which is obviously their intent, is that you get introduced to characters you've never heard before and encouraged to read about them. I can honestly say that this resulted in The Name of the Wind and The Malazan Book of the Fallen moving up higher on my to-read list (last year Quick Ben of Malazan won and the prior year Kvothe ended up third). Characters from those two books/series are back again- Bast and Anomander Rake. Anomander is absolutely awesome in Malazan (at least up to book 3, where I'm currently at), so I (and many others) will definitely be cheering him on. This year, I must check out Peter V. Brett's The Warded Man (the cover for the sequel, The Desert Spear, initially drew me in). His character, Jardir, is facing off against Lady Jessica of Dune. Apparently, Jardir is also a desert warrior so the organizers were very excited for it. I'm also happy that I've read the first book of Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy as I now know who Kylar Stern is (he's facing Gimli of The Lord of the Rings).
Some other characters to watch out for, in my opinion, include: Moiraine Damodred from The Wheel of Time, Kelsier from Mistborn, Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), Richard Rahl of The Sword of Truth, and Mr. Wednesday from American Gods.
The cage matches are not just about voting on some online poll. Many authors sign up to write up what they think will happen so you get to see some very cool 'fan fiction' as characters from completely different series clash against each other (I still remember how Jaime Lannister threw Hermione Granger out a window). They've also asked fans to draw art for the characters. That should also be very cool.
So be sure to follow along on Suvudu's website for the news and vote for your favorite characters. May