Our 2nd edition of the European Qualifier Tournament, a fairly new mainstream tournament hosted by QuidditchUK, unravelled last weekend at the Salford Sports Village during the 1st and 2nd of February.
London Quidditch Club A faced their Clapham Common neighbours London Unspeakables, yet again for the 3rd time this season within the grand final of the event. Since they encountered the Unspeakables twice this season, once during the Southern Cup 2019 semi-final and the other during the ‘final’ play-in game last weekend at one side of the bracket. We can imagine LQCA were a bit frustrated with playing the same team they previously lost to a third time round. Luckily for them, they did not honour the Unspeakables a winning three-peat. In a final which anyone could tell LQC were hungry for the win, the tables had turned with the score set at 40-10 before snitch on pitch, Unspeakables still within overtime range to create even more upsets. During their previous game against LQCA, Unspeakables caught from 20 points down to win their game, entering the final. LQCA had to take a slight diversion, facing the Megalodons in an intense game with VQC’s second team cold-caught the snitch from 60 points down (90-30), ending the game at 90-60*.
During the final, Chema Hidalgo Lopez caught from behind snitch, Steve Busson to finish the game off at a cool 70*-10 to London Quidditch Club A. Thus securing their first tournament overall victory this season. A massive congratulations to the newest community club from London, who are now well into their second season since their genesis.
Yes, and that’s about it! But for those who thought EQT was as wrapped up as that, guess again. (See a list of full rankings at the end of this article)
To kick off the new decade, #EQT2020 facilitated twelve of the best teams from across the country based off the rankings that stand from the Northern and Southern events that took place in November 2019. Both winners of each respected regional tournament, the Velociraptors and the Werewolves of London Firsts, automatically qualified for EQC Division 1 as well as landing a ‘first seed’ within their eventual groups for the international tournament. EQT’s purpose was to house these twelve teams to compete to gain not only qualification for Division 1 (Ghent, Belgium) and Division 2 (Brescia, Italy) of the European Quidditch Cup with three spots available for the former and a generous five up for grabs for the latter. But also to calculate which teams had the best seeding within the upcoming tournaments based in Europe.
The European Qualifier’s policy stayed true to the Northern and Southern rankings, with selected the best six teams from each region. Leceister Thestrals ranked 5th at Northern Cup 2019, securing a spot at EQT 2020 and were originally attending their first European Qualifier Tournament. Leicester decided to withdraw from the event due to financial difficulties, following a vote ordered by the club’s committee. A new team was able to take Leicester’s spot, and QuidditchUK offered the position to Sheffield, who later declined the opportunity. It was then offered to Warwick Quidditch Club, who solidified as the 12th and final team competing at the tournament in Salford, Manchester.
To recap, London Quidditch Club A (1st) will be going to EQC D1 with a 2nd Seed place within the eventual groups, whereas second-time silver medallists, London Unspeakables (2nd) as well as bronze medallists, the Megalodons (3rd) will be running into EQC D1 as a 3rd seeded team. Olympians Quidditch Club (4th) and Oxford Mammoths (5th) have been granted as EQC D2’s 1st Seeded teams in Italy, taking place in March of this year. Finally, London Quidditch Club’s second team, LQCB (6th) joins the former teams in Italy as the only 2nd Seeded team to come out of the tournament, leaving Southampton Quidditch Club (7th) and Edinburgh Holyrood Hippogriffs (8th) as unseeded teams respectively.
Congratulations to each and everyone of the teams that came and competed in Manchester, whether you qualified for a European Quidditch Cup division or didn’t, QuidditchUK would like to extend our praise to you for how well teams performed on the weekend. On the contrary, from a volunteering and resourcefulness perspective, absolutely everyone lent their assistance to make this EQT the best one yet and we couldn’t have done it without your continuous support! Thank you!
You can find the full rankings for the weekend here.
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Photo Credit: Simon Blackshaw (The Dislodged Hoop)