Austin Outlaws Win MLQ Championship

The 2021 Major League Quidditch (MLQ) season is over. It ended with MLQ Championship, and the Austin Outlaws won the major league title.

As previously announced, MLQ Championship was held on August 21–23 in Howard County, Maryland. It was the biggest event of the season at the highest level of Muggle quidditch in North America. The event was divided into three tournaments: the Benepe Cup, the Next Gen Showcase, and Take Back the Pitch.

 

There is a infographic of the MLQ Championship Play-In Bracket with information and final scores from games.

 

The most important tournament was the Benepe Cup, which lasted for two days. It started on Saturday, August 21, 8:30 a.m. ET, according to the schedule. The first games that were played were from the Play-In Bracket. The Washington Admirals successfully won the games against the League City Legends, who beat the Cleveland Riff in the first game and then also the Charlotte Aviators. That’s how the Washington Admirals won the Play-In Bracket and continued into the Championship Bracket.

The Charlotte Aviators are in their tryout season, but they really shined in the Benepe Cup. They won the first game against the Detroit Innovators, and then the Kansas City Stampede had to forfeit the game against them due to injury. The Charlotte Aviators continued and faced the Washington Admirals, but they lost the match. Despite that, it was followed by the match against the League City Legends. The Charlotte Aviators won the game and continued as the second team into the Championship Bracket.

 

There is a infographic of the MLQ Championship Bracket with information and final scores from games.

 

The Championship Bracket started with the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon, August 21. Since teams were seeded into brackets, it was decided that the Indianapolis Intensity should play against the San Antonio Soldados and that the Minneapolis Monarchs should compete against the Boston Forge. After the Washington Admirals moved up into the Championship Bracket, the team’s new opponent was the Austin Outlaws; for the Charlotte Aviators, it was the New York Titans.

Only the New York Titans, the San Antonio Soldados, the Austin Outlaws, and the Boston Forge successfully won their games. Mostly, the wins were cemented in the first two games. Only the games between the New York Titans and the Charlotte Aviators were more dramatic, and the winner was decided in the third, final game. In the semifinals, which took place on Sunday, August 22, the New York Titans did not have a problem and beat the San Antonio Soldados in the first two games.

 

There is a seeker from Austin Outlaws who is catching the snitch successfully.

The final game of the Benepe Cup. Credit: Mike Iadevaia

 

The semifinal between the Austin Outlaws and the Boston Forge was more interesting because both are champions from years past. Before this season, the Boston Forge had won the MLQ Champion title three times and the Austin Outlaws two times. It was clear at the moment that the Austin Outlaws won the semifinal that the Boston Forge wouldn’t win another title this year.

In the final game, the New York Titans and the Austin Outlaws competed against each other. For the New York Titans, it was the team’s best season and the first time it got into the finals. The first game was a clear win, with a final score of 155–70 for the Austin Outlaws, and the second game, with a final score of 135–50, wasn’t different. The Austin Outlaws won their third MLQ Champion title. The head coach of the Austin Outlaws, Juan Martinez, was satisfied with the result.

It feels right. It feels appropriate for the amount of effort that everybody was able to put in.

 

There is a blue background photo of Muggle quidditch with white sign "MLQ Champions Austin Outlaws".

 

Meanwhile, on Sunday, August 22, the Next Gen Showcase was held. The Next Gen Showcase was made up of games between MLQ practice squad athletes who competed against each other. They were divided into two teams: Black and White. The Black Team won the third game and became the champion of the Next Gen Showcase.

 

There is a infographic with results of Next Gen Showcase.

 

On the third day, Take Back the Pitch – a new part of MLQ Championship – was held. The players could be only cisgender females, non-binary, or transgender athletes. The players who applied were divided into four teams: the Kyoshi Warriors, Ocean’s 17, Team Ruth Bader Winsburg, and the Red Guardians. In the finals, the Kyoshi Warriors and Ruth Bader Winsburg competed against each other. The Kyoshi Warriors won the game with a final score of 135–80 and became the first Take Back the Pitch champions.

 

There is a infographic with results of final game of Take Back The Pitch.

 

On Sunday evening, August 22, MLQ announced the most valuable players. They were April Grabnes from the Minneapolis Monarchs, JC Arencibia from the New York Titans, and Miguel Esparza from the San Antonio Soldados. This was one part of the evaluation of MLQ Championship. Another part was the analyzing stream on the MLQ Facebook page that aired on August 26.

Press Release

Austin’s Quidditch Team Wins Major League Title in Howard County
Austin Outlaws take home third trophy from 12-team tournament at Troy Park

Elkridge, Maryland (August 23, 2021) — After an exciting weekend of matches, Austin’s Major League Quidditch (MLQ) team is once again on top.

The Austin Outlaws won their third league title at Troy Park in Howard County, Maryland, on Sunday. They reclaimed the crown with a sweep over the number[-]one[-]seed New York Titans in the finals, which capped a dominant run through the bracket.

“It feels right,” said head coach Juan Martinez. “It feels appropriate for the amount of effort that everybody was able to put in.”

Austin previously took home back-to-back trophies in 2017 and 2018 but fell to the Boston Forge in a 2019 finals upset. Boston entered the weekend as the most successful team in league history with three championships, a mark that the Outlaws have now tied.

The 2021 MLQ Championship featured the top 12 real-life quidditch teams in the country over the course of a two-day tournament. The Outlaws knocked out the hometown Washington Admirals in the quarterfinals on Saturday evening before avenging their upset loss to the Forge in the semifinals on Sunday morning.

Quidditch is a mixed-gender, full-contact sport played by around 600 teams in almost 40 countries. The rules, originally adapted from the Harry Potter book series, incorporate a mix of elements from basketball, rugby and dodgeball.

MLQ is the highest level of quidditch in North America. The league is home to 15 franchises and one trial expansion team across the U.S. and Canada and runs from June to August. The teams recruit star players from local college quidditch programs like the University of Maryland and George Mason University.

The MLQ Championship is the league’s marquee event. Howard County was originally selected to host the 2020 edition of the tournament in November 2019. When the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, MLQ opted to give Howard County the opportunity to host the 2021 finale.

MLQ became the first quidditch league to resume gameplay in June. Previously, no competitive quidditch games at any level had been contested in the U.S. since March 2020. The league has responded to the rise in Delta variant cases by requiring teams in high transmission areas to report negative tests before matches. No team can compete in 2021 unless all its participating athletes are fully vaccinated.

The action will continue on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the inaugural Take Back the Pitch event, a showcase with four teams drafted from a player pool of only athletes who are not cis men. The event aims to challenge current understandings of gender in quidditch and create additional opportunities for cis and trans women, non-binary folk and trans men.

 

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Veronika Kohoutová

I played Muggle Quidditch for the Prague Pegasus and on our national team in the European Games 2019.

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