Ravi Vasudevan summarises where we stand in the Men’s division.
Power pools have kicked off in the Men’s division here at WUGC. As a reminder for the format, the power pool winners get a placement crossover but are guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals. The two and three spots in the power pools have to play a pre-quarter. The fourth place of power pools no longer get a chance at the brackets. Things were mostly chalk today (went according to seed) but there were some really compelling games.
Pool J – USA, Australia, Czech Republic, South Africa
There is a clear split between USA/Australia and Czech Republic/South Africa. Those two pairs of teams will compete tomorrow where USA vs Australia will decide who wins the pool and Czech Republic vs South Africa will decide who makes it to pre-quarters. These two games should be relatively close and the stakes are really high. USA vs Australia will be on the livestream at 9:30 tomorrow morning.
Pool K – GB, Belgium, Colombia, Singapore
GB had a statement win 15-4 against Colombia. This was a pretty big shock to a Colombian team who surely had higher hopes than this. However, the GB endzone defence never allowed Colombia to score and just dominated them all game. Belgium took three early breaks against Singapore and then the teams traded back and forth so Belgium took the victory. GB continued dominance against Singapore while Colombia and Belgium played a fiery game that was sadly plagued by too much physicality by the Colombians that resulted in a spirit timeout. Despite this, the Ultimate was great and Colombia won through great offensive efficiency, 13-11. It looks very likely that GB will hold off Belgium tomorrow morning and if that is the case and Colombia beat Singapore then GB, Colombia and Belgium will advance leaving Singapore out of the bracket. However, if Singapore manage an upset of Colombia then things will get interesting in a three-way tie between Belgium, Colombia and Singapore.
Pool L – Canada, Japan, France, Ireland
Just like in pool J, there is a difference between Canada/Japan and France/Ireland. Ireland did hang well with both Canada and Japan in the first half but in both cases the game got away from them in the second half. This means that the Canada vs Japan game will be key to decide who gets the pool win and after the infamous universe point game from 2012 in Sakai, there will be a lot of eyeballs on this game.
Pool M – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden
This pool full of Europeans is fairly compelling. Read a full report of it here. Germany have all but locked up the one spot in this pool but the rest strongly depends on the result of Austria vs Sweden.
So, there are a lot of key games tomorrow for teams that want to win power pools and stay alive in the bracket. All the rest of the power pool rounds take place at 9:30 tomorrow morning and the bracket play will start at 13:30. Look for a recap of the first bracket round and a preview of quarters tomorrow.