*Photo by Ben Holland
Want to learn how to play a dominant game of Muggle Quidditch? Then look no further than the Southwest Region, which has displayed an incredible presence at this past weekend’s Quidditch World Cup VII in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s brand new sports complex.
If you were one of thousands of fans who watched the championship match between University of Texas at Austin (QWC VI Champions) versus the Texas State University Bobcats, you witnessed a guide to proper Quidditch in all three phases of the game: offensive Quaffle handling, defensive Bludger Control, and rapid Seeker play.
79 teams showed up to compete for the championship, including teams from Australia, Canada, and the United States (Rutgers backed out of the tournament at the last minute). On Saturday, pool play commenced as each team played against the other teams within their respective pool of five teams with the top three teams advancing to Sunday’s bracket tournament. When pool play was over, there were 48 teams standing, including some teams that were unexpected. Leading the pool play was University of Texas at Austin (#1), Lost Boys Quidditch Club (#2 – and my predicted winner of the tournament), Boston University (#3), and the Lone Star Quidditch Club (#4).
Bracket play began on Sunday morning with a sixteen-game play-in to bring the brackets down from 48 teams to 32 teams. From there, it was a lose and go home tournament of the ages and included some MAJOR upsets early in the day, including an LSU victory over the heavily favorited Lost Boys by a game ending snitch snatch (100*-90) and a Kansas University upset over Tufts University (70*-60).
At the end of the day, four teams remained in the tournament: University of Texas at Austin versus Texas A & M and Texas State University versus Emerson College. Texas A & M was undefeated the entire 2103-2014, season including this tournament, and were heavily favored to win the championship. But UT had other plans, showing the Aggies how to play championship-style Quidditch and handing them their first loss of the season by the score of 100*-50. In the other Final Four match, Emerson College, which has a long history of producing great Quidditch players (with many of the graduates moving to California to play on The Lost Boys Quidditch Club) was defeated by the Texas State University Bobcats 140*-80.
The matchup between University of Texas at Austin against the Texas State University Bobcats looked like an evenly matched game that would be both action-packed and filled with offensive power. The match started out with Texas State looking unstoppable as they quickly jumped into the lead 50-20, which included a few long-distance goals. However, it wasn’t long before UT had their feet under them and showed why they deserved the top seed for the tournament bracket. UT showed incredible talent in ALL THREE PHASES of the game: offensive, Bludger control, and Seeker skills as they took over the game with a lead of 100-70 when UT’s Seeker, Margo Aleman, dove to snatch the Snitch and secure the victory for UT 130*-70.
A special thanks to the great tournament hosted by Alex Benepe and the entire International Quidditch Association organization for a superb World Cup. To see ALL of the tournament scores and news, head over to the Quidditch World Cup VII website RIGHT HERE!
Were you in attendance at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex in South Carolina this past weekend? Did you watch the final match on Livestream? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the tournament.
* denotes team with Snitch snatch to finish the game