WUGC starts today so now is the last chance to make predictions. Ravi Vasudevan has filled out a bracket for the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed divisions and is going to talk us through each division briefly. Finishing off the series, here is his Mixed bracket.
The Mixed division is structured just like the Men’s. Pools of eight, top two go to power pools of four, top three move to brackets. Mixed is very hard to predict as some countries choose to stack their Mixed teams, while others use Mixed as a sort of B team for those who don’t qualify for Men’s and Women’s. It is hard to know which teams will show up.
Pool play doesn’t look too exciting and I think most picks here are fairly straightforward. I expect the Japan vs Germany game in Pool C to be intense and fiery but I do think Japan will comfortably take the pool. I do have Poland winning pool F out of the three seed since they are preparing for the World Games and have stacked their Mixed team.
Moving through power pools, I think that there will not be too many surprises going into brackets either but that is where things get really interesting.
I think that Poland vs Czech Republic and Germany vs Philippines will be incredibly close games and really hard to call. Poland beat the Czech Republic on universe for the third place game at Windmill so I expect that to really be the game to watch in this round. For quarter-finals, I think the only really interesting matchup will be Australia vs GB. I think Australia are favored here but will be coming off of a mentally confusing game against the USA in a crossover. I think it will be weird to figure out how to play that game since the stakes are actually quite low, whereas GB will be coming off of a hard fought pre-quarter against France.
I pick the North American teams to cruise past the semi-finals but the final should be a real thriller. Canada absolutely destroyed the Mixed division at WUGC 2012 in Sakai but the USA squad is full of top-notch talent this year. I think USA takes this one, too.
So, there are all my picks for the tournament. I know it’s a lot of chalk, but I threw a few upsets in each division. I know for sure that I will be wrong in some really exciting ways. There are always some serious surprises in those power pool rounds that end up skewing the brackets and I am most excited to see those. The first round is well underway now, so let the fun begin!