Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nationals - Grand Goats, Fish, Fire, and a guy named Roy

Hey Folks,

As much as I've complained about Canadian Nationals in the past, I still have lots of friends who are heading for what I expect will be an awesome time. So, regardless of some of my objections with the tournament, for the next few days I'll act as a long distance reporter.

With two days left until the event let's take a look at some of the Divisions and maybe my view of what might happen. By the way, of course I'm a little biased.

The Open division in 2006 includes 12 teams: 6 from Ontario, 1 from the West, and the rest from Quebec and Eastern Canada. Looking at the seeding and the schedule I'll make a few predictions.

First off, if anyone expects to even scratch Goat (number 1 seed) they'll need to make a huge leap, or play the tournament of their lives. Without the presence of Furious or a Furious like team, Goat looks to be a better bet than the Brazilians in the World Cup.

I'll argue that this tournament is a competition for second place, and I feel there are a few contenders. Seeds 2 through 6 (Mephisto, Phoenix, Grand Trunk, Q, and Blackfish) are all fighting to make the finals, and a fight it will be.

Blackfish are definitely the unknown in this group. A newer team from Vancouver all I could really find was some results from Solstice in Vancouver and some rumors that they played well at Flower Bowl. In both tournaments it doesn't appear they ever got to play in the elite pool.

The other 4 teams have a twisted tail of wins and losses that makes it hard to make a prediction. Other than Q, all other teams host a variety of new faces making it hard to predict how they will perform at Nationals. My heart is with GT and I think they might crack the finals with a good tournament (roll +1), but my favourite is a well run Mephisto if the veterans are healthy (healthy +2). I haven't seen Phoenix actually play this year, but what I've heard puts them in that up and down questionable category, but Phoenix seems to thrive at Canadian Nationals and could crack that second spot if they can catch momentum (roll +1). Finally, I think Q is a pretty strong team, but if anyone can stop their two key handlers, then it's all over (strategy -1).

Final rankings just to make things interesting and get people fired up (begin dice rolls):
1 - Goat
2 - Mephisto
3 - GT
4 - Phoenix
5 - Q

The next 9 spots are even trickier since I haven't watched many of these teams play other than Too Bad and Red Circus. Of these lower ranked teams, my feeling is that the potentially big movers are going to be Red Circus, Firebird, and Too Bad. I'm not sure who Too Bad is going to pullout for Nationals. Finally, I'm rooting for Roy to crack the single digits, and knowing many of their players that's all but possible if they go to Halifax to play.

6 - Red Circus
7 - Firebird
8 - Blackfish
9 - Too Bad
10 - Roy
11 - Magma
12 - SWASS

Those are my predictions for the Open Division. I hope all those who I ranked poorly use this as fuel for the fire. Make me wrong, I'll accept it.

Pictured Above - Jeff Eng (left) and Juan Gomez (right) at Pong's first Canadian Nationals 2002 in Ottawa. I think this was the year that every hoody (hooded sweatshirt) sold out before the first day was over.



Tom said...

My understanding is that Too Bad has a larger than usual Nationals roster this year, which probably bodes well for them.

wartank said...

i am in halifax. this bodes well for GT. a-ha!