Friday’s events were plagued by high winds that would in the end take down the netting on both the CPL and D1 fields for nearly 2hrs before they could be repaired and games could continue. The last few games of the day for the D1 field would be moved to the D2 field since that field was finished early. Eight matches were moved, some clashed with the opening ceremony for the EPBF’s mens championships. However, the show must go on. As luck would have it only one rainshower dampened the warm English day. It came and dissappeared quicker than some of the exciting matches.
The CPL teams started just before lunch with Ramstein Instinct matching up with Frankfurt Syndicate. One noticed quickly that a certian element from Syndicate was missing, Krill Pridini. The team seemed to somewhat struggle during the weekend but adapted and continued. Disruption would loose their first game to Outrage Valance. The CPL’s big surprise of the day would be Breakout Spa downing Art Chaos 5-0. The Russians would have to head back and rethink their game plan if they were to move on to the Sunday club.
Due to the absence of GI Damage Montreal ment that Art Chaos would receive an automatic win by forfeit. Dynasty started the weekend with a win over Icon. Several of the CPL teams were sporting the newly released Eclipse GEO 3. All CPL teams would play two games each on Friday.
The SPL teams were heating up the English countryside with Polar Bears Tarko Sale would start the weekend rolling through their prelim games like a tornado, leaving distruction in their path. They started the season with a bad result in St. Tropez and shocked the division with a 1st place win in Germany. Dog’s D’Amour would also continue their winning spree in England. Danish teams- Ugly Ducklings Odense and Copenhagen PB Club would also move along in their prelim games. Spanish team FiveStar Lleida have been plagued with a rash of bad luck this season so far, however this event would be much different for the team. They surprised Brussels Graffiti and Offenburg Comin At Ya with two back to back wins. Drammen Solid, coming in 4th place for Bitburg, had a rough start to the weekend and lost both games on Friday. They also returned to the playbook to figure out what went wrong and come at it again on Saturday.
Division 1 teams would see a Russian team come to the playground with only two players (English visa problems once more) only to pick up five free agents and start winning. Pyatigorsk Russian Roulette has twice had visa problems but hasn’t stopped them from winning. They would move on into Sunday but later beaten out. Izmir Collision also was on a roll. The Turkish team fueled by Norwegian players would not drop a game all weekend. Copenhagen Synergy also was on a winning streak. RMG Bratislava would bounce back from a 4th place win in Bitburg to win all their games in the first day of play.
Over in the Division 2 matches we would see the return of Norwegian all female team Poison Ivy to the Millennium Series. This time they brought backup. American players from the all female team Destiny would join the team. Katie Kelly and Kat Secor would help fire up the girls. The two had never played the Millennium Series before and would be a experience they wouldn’t forget too soon. Another all female team, Fat Lady’s Charms started the weekend off amazing. They would win all their prelim matches of the day. Italian team Scorpions Milano would also succeed in winning all their day one matches. Incredi Knights Bramble, a Norwegian team consisting of players under 18 would get the attention of the crowd as they quickly cut down one team after another in their bracket.
Friday evenings entertainment would feature 21 European teams facing off to see who would be crowned European Men’s champions. Newcomers to the match would be Ukraine, Austria, Lithuania, Czech, Cyprus, Ireland and Turkey. One team that was missing from last year would be Sweden. Team Ireland, formed only five weeks ago, won their first match and cries of ”You ’ll Never Beat Ireland” rang across the fields of Basildon! They would end up in 16th place after playing Lithuania, Greece and France. Team Russia powered through their qualification games to take the lead. Final games and crowing of the winner would take place on Saturday night.
Saturday came with an early morning rain shower as the first games of the day began. CPL teams would start their matches just before lunch. The SPL teams would take to the CPL field. Drammen Solid would defeat Warsaw United but would not be enough wins for the weekend to move on to the Sunday club. Once more the Spanish team FiveStar Lledia would surprise the masses and win over Hellwood Paris and would move on to the next round of games. The 2010 D1 champions have had a tough season with loosing several players, the addition of new players and the absence of a regular coach. However they trudge on, and in England they were winning.
Russian teams continued to rule over in the Division 1 matchups. Coyotes Moscow continued to win. They quickly defeated Göteborg Brutal Deluxe. Desperados Moscow would also win and move on. Both Copenhagen Synergy and Izmir Collision were on fire and would move on along with the Russian teams.
Strong showings by Incredi Knights, Fat Ladys Charms, Scorpions Milano and Aggression the Hague would help the teams move into the Sunday club in the D2 divisional races. This event unlike the previous event would see 16’s, quarters and finals played out on Sunday. This would be due to the men’s championship finals.
Saturday would bring the start of the D3 teams. All girl team, Celtic Banshees would have a winning streak and had hopes of moving on to the Sunday games. Newcommer, Stavanger Mayhem, from Norway would surprise some of the veteran D3 teams. The division would continue their preliminary rounds on Sunday.
Saturday evening brought the finals of the European Men’s Championships. Great Britian had continue to win if they were to take the Championship on home field advantage. However this year would be different. France, Russia and Germany would also be top contenders. As the clouds rolled in and past the CPL field and darkness would start to cover the countryside it would be Team Russia that would take home the gold. Team GB would settle for 2nd place followed by Team France, Team Germany and Team Norway. The wins for these teams would set the seeds for next seaons European divisional Championships (Women’s, Mens and Youth).
Once more the teams for the London Masters would awaken to the sounds of rain. It would be the SPL teams taking to the CPL field again early Sunday morning to see who would go on. Offenburg Comin At Ya would continue their winning streak along with the Russian Power house team, Polar Bears Tarko Sale. FiveStar Lleida continued to shine as they beat Scalp ME Sauls Les Charreux. It seemed that they had found their grove and would move on. They would be knocked out in their next match.
Division 1 would have a amazing match up between Synergy and Desperados Moscow. With a back and forth match with the score in Synergys favor and only seconds left on the clock, both teams made the mistake of going to the wrong starting ends and would have to quickly race accross the field to make it to the start gate before the buzzer sounded. Both teams made it just in the nick of time. Synergy took several players out on the break. Desperados player, Denis Golev made a mad dash up the center through the M and tried to hit the buzzer only to find three guns on him and elminated just as he came to the gate resulting in a one for one and Synergy winning the match. RMG, Izmir and Copenhagen PB Club would join Synergy in the next round.
Division 2 mathups would see Fat Ladys Charms continue their winning streak by beating Bad Boys Oss and move on to meet Agression the Hague. Scorpions would also be moving on with Charms, London Tigers 2, Relentless and Manchester Firm 2. Fat Ladys Charms would end their winning streak when they were later matched up with the series leader, Aggression the Hague. Also moving along would be Incredi Knights Bramble. They won over MPA Blackout. MPA would be the only team so far in the weekend to score a point over Incredi Knights. Incredi Knights would go on to face NPP Vaenciennes and Manchester Firm 2.
CPL action started up again early Sunday morning. We would see Icon face up against TonTons and be sent home for this event. Breakout Spa would manage to earn a 1 for 1 and a 2 for 1 in a point giving them a start with only two players for their final point of the weekend. They would loose to Outrage Valance. San Diego Dynasty, powered by Impact, would send Ranger Warsaw packing as well. This would leave us to a bitter rematch between Ramstein Instinct and Art Chaos Moscow. Instinct handed Art Chaos a loss in Bitburg taking 3rd place over the Russian powerhouse. London would see the tables turned and sending Instinct home before reaching the semiäs. Going into the semi-finals it would be TonTons, Dynasty, Art Chaos and Outrage Valance. At the end of the day we would see both Dynasty and Art Chaos standing behind TonTons. Dynasty would take second, Art Chaos in third and Outrage Valance in fourth.
SPL action would have Polar BearsTarko Sale taking their second event winning over Offenburg Coming At Ya. Follwing in 3rd place would be Vision Marseille and rounding out the top four would be Ronins PBW Haguenau. This would give Polar Bears a strong 3rd place position in SPL for the season. They would be behind Dogs D’Amour by only 10 points.
Division 1 would finish out the weekend with Izmir Collision defeating Instinct Gemoss Riga. RMG Bratislava would have a better result at this event taking 3rd place followed by Copenhagen PB Club. The back to back wins would put Izmir Collision safely in 1st place for the season with almost 40 points over RMG Bratislava.
It would come down to Aggression the Hague, Incredi Knights Bramble, Manchester Firm 2 and Scorpions Milano in the Division 2 race to the championship. It seemed as if no one could stop Aggression as they took the win over Scorpions. In the match up between 3rd and 4th it would be the Norwegian youngsters taking the Firm 2. This would move Incredi Knights up to 5th place for the season. Aggression the Hague would remain as series leader with two back to back 1st place finishes.
Due to a controversy with an illegal player on a team Division 3 would have some upsets. Teams that would have otherwise made it through to the semis and finals were eliminated due to the diqualifacation of one team. One such team was the all female team Celtic Banshees. They would end up in 14th place for the event. We would see newcomer Stavanger Mayhem shock the D3 teams and take 1st place in their first ever Millennium Series. They would go into overtime against Uddvalla Lowlife. The OT match was extremely tense as it came down to a 2 on 4 with Mayhem only having 2 players left on the field. They quickly eliminated the four Lowlife players to take first. Lowlife would have to settle for 2nd. Once more GFY Evoloution would be on the podium this time in 3rd place followed by London Relentless in 4th.
It's a long 10 weeks before the final event in Paris. Its 10 long weeks for teams to get their game plans in order and for a great deal of practice. Who will win the CPL Championships? Can Art Chaos come from behind and topple Dynasty? For the anwsers to this and many other divisional championship races stay tuned for the next event October 12-14th in Disney Paris.