Glasgow, starting second bottom in group F began the day with a 15-8 win over second seeded Freakshow from Singapore. This made things exciting. Sesquidistus, from France and also in this pool showed their hand at Windmill, and were known to be beatable by the Scots. The french pushed the pool leaders Crash to 15-13 in the first round of play, which altogether rendered Glasgow’s upcoming matchup as surprisingly human despite both the high seeding maple leaf next to their name. Whilst all Canadian and North American teams undeniably arrive with inherited respect at WUCC – a hand up before the game has even started – the narratives of this pool were starting to look like things might not be so simple, and Glasgow would have a decent chance.
Sean Colfer watched this match up at the top of Mixed pool H to see how SMOG, one of the UK’s best teams, matched up against an elite Japanese team.
There are few elite teams so shrouded in mystery at this tournament as Café de Luida. They are the Japanese Mixed champions, we know, but otherwise little is available about them. Even their name was a mystery until it was explained that it’s based on a game called Dragon Quest, where a bar called Bar Luida is the place that players can gather and chat. The founders of the team wanted to engender that same atmosphere, hence the name.
Sean Colfer turns his attention to SMOG, and how they might fare in Cincinnati.
How did they get here?
SMOG are still a relatively new club, being founded in late 2012 by players from Durham, Newcastle and York universities. They have developed into a true regional powerhouse in that time, though, taking players from all over the north and transforming into one of the best clubs in the UK – probably second only to Reading in terms of being a three-division, multi-team organisation. They’ve progressed through the divisions, playing Open and Mixed in 2016 – finishing ninth in Open and fifth in Mixed – before progressing to Women’s in 2017 (they finished fourth).
Josh Coxon Kelly continues our previews with Glasgow, competing in the mixed division at WUCC.
How did they get here?
Glasgow Ultimate weren’t visible in their current guise at the last WUCC, but this team has its genesis as far back as the previous cycle, 2010. Originally formed with the aim of being an umbrella for Glasgow based teams, Glasgow Ultimate has grown as a scene and in terms of results since its inception (for an excellent and detailed insight into their journey, see this series of articles on the subject). After crashing out of Mixed Nationals in the semis last year, and losing guaranteed qualification (as well as the first of any extra bids), the team found itself on the way to Cincinatti when UK landed its second additional mixed WUCC bid.
How has this season been?
One of their strongest so far, if not the best, notching wins against Reading, SMOG and Black Eagles across the season, with the latter coming in a thrilling early tournament match-up at Mixed Tour 3 which saw Glasgow come out on top (although Eagles returned the favour in the final). The strong performance of their second team, particularly at Mixed Tour 2, shows that there is a considerable amount of depth in the scene to draw from.
Windmill was a good showing with many close games, including a 10-8 loss to eventual finalists Salaspils. They finished above SMOG by a single place, placing 11th and very narrowly missing out on the quarters – all of which suggests we haven’t seen their best yet.
How do they play?
Not unlike their local rivals Black Eagles, Glasgow bring a combination of tight match defense and an aggressive, huck-happy offense – they’re unafraid to utilise their athleticism on both sides of the disc.
Often looking for isolation plays as a first move, they will also look to make use of aggressive handler plays leading to power position hucks.
Can you give me three players to watch?
Katie brings International experience from the GB under-24 campaign earlier this year, as well as plenty of GB undder-20 trips, and will bring an aggressive and athletic handling game to the team.
Phil has been a core offensive feature of Scottish Ultimate since the early days, and will be crucial to maintaining possession whilst also leading the team’s assists.
Rory provides additional firepower, and in Webb’s own words his throwing ‘has hit form’ ahead of Cincinatti. He’ll often be the one looking to hit the aggressive shots downfield.
How are they going to do?
Glasgow can peak as high as any UK team attending, but relative inexperience on this stage may cause issues later into the tournament. There are a fair few unknown quantities (to me, at least) in their pool, but they beat Sesquidistus at Windmill and a third place finish and progression into top 32 looks attainable. I predict they’ll comfortably beat their 38th seeding and finish somewhere close to 24th. That said, if a team looks the wrong way before then there’s every chance that they sneak higher.
Our WUCC previews start with Sean Colfer taking a look at Reading Ultimate.
How did they get here?
Reading Ultimate was established in 2010, and over the last eight years the central figures in the club have developed something truly special. At Open and Women’s Tour 1 this year, Reading brought over 100 players across seven teams in both divisions. They not only attract good players from the local area but develop young players too, and have managed to construct a true geo-club atmosphere when the current trend in the UK is for single teams.
Sean Colfer continues his previews by taking a look at reigning national champions Black Eagles.
How did they get here?
Black Eagles have been the dominant Mixed team in the UK for the last four years. They finished 20th at Tour in 2012, before improving dramatically and finishing third in 2013 behind superstar pickup team Royal Goaltimate Society and Cambridge. They finished fourth at Nationals that season, behind Bear Cavalry, Cambridge and Dog Eat Disc, before finishing 37th at WUCC 2014 in Lecco. Since then, they’ve consistently been among the top two or three teams in the country. They won Tour in 2015, finished second at Nationals to Reading two years in a row in 2015 and 2016.
The outdoor season is now upon us, and we know all of you are busy playing lots of ultimate with lots of teams all over Europe. So we just wanted to send a quick reminder about the European Youth Player of the Year award!
We will be extending the deadline to submit your initial application form until 14th June. You can find the form HERE.
The deadline for videos is also extended to 29th July, so you still have plenty of time to get started! We’re really looking forward to seeing what the young players of Europe can do.
All details about the award can be found here: http://showgame.co.uk/eypoty