Another season is over and what a surprising one it has been! The theme of the year has been ‘upsets’, with numerous teams punching well above their weight. In several cases the seeding spots have been turned upside down.
MRDA European Qualifiers
First off was the MRDA European Qualifiers (MEQ) in August, a five team tournament offering one coveted spot at MRDA Champs. The Kamiquads from France powered through the qualifiers undefeated, and posted 100+ points over all of their opponents, except the Manneken Beasts from Belgium, whom they beat by only 39 points. Both teams had a similar points differentials (Beasts +444 vs Kamiquads +461) however the Kamiquad’s win secured their entry to Champs.
Overall it was a very high scoring tournament, with half of the teams piling on 250+ points per game, a remarkable feat, given the demise of jammer lap points.
North American Qualifiers (NAQ)
There was also the exhilarating North American Qualifiers (NAQ) which saw eight teams compete for two spots at Champs. Both Austin and Denver qualified for Champs after defeating all of their opponents, with Austin winning their head-to-head game against Denver to go into Champs seeded one spot higher.
In a tournament notable for it’s upsets, half of the games resulted in a win to the lower seeded team! Fifth seed Austin Anarchy beat the fourth seed Philadelphia Hooligans (188-98) then went on to upset second seed Mohawk Valley (139-101). Seventh seed Race City and sixth seed Chicago both defeated third seed team Lane County. Chicago then went on to score a remarkable 109-45 upset win over second seed Mohawk Valley.
MRDA Championships has only recently finished and what a great tournament it was! The St Louis Gatekeepers defeated the Magic City Misfits to win their fifth Champs title and solidify their place in history, in a reign at the top, rivalled only by Gotham. Meanwhile the Misfit’s 230-131 win over Vancouver in the Semi Finals showed the difference in class between the top two teams and the rest of the field.
However, as we saw in qualifiers, multiple teams challenged those seeded higher. Texas Outlaws stunned Vancouver to win 192-169 to take the Bronze Medal in the third place game. Initially coming in at sixth seed, they scored a convincing 172-109 win over fourth seed heavyweights Southern Discomfort before posting a respectable 88 points against the Gatekeepers, while limiting the number one team to just 239 points.
Meanwhile ninth seed Denver also had a superb weekend, winning their rematch against Austin Anarchy (178-142) before defeating fifth seed Manchester in a brilliant 228-179 encounter. They lost a moderately close 46 point game to highly ranked Southern Discomfort (166-120) to finish the tournament in sixth place.
The games have been outstanding right through the whole tournament. Tenth seed Kamiquads scored a thrilling 133-130 upset over ninth seed Austin Anarchy. While the third seed Vancouver held on to win 210-196 thriller after a strong challenge from fifth seed Manchester.
What a year this has been! Without a doubt, competition has certainly been as fierce as ever. We’ve seen some of the most exciting games on display and look forward to another outstanding year in 2020.