Monday, November 2, 2009

UPA Finals 2009 Review- Chain Lightning Strikes.. with Fury


A lot of teams (and their respective cities) entered the 2009 Finals with high hopes. Regionals showed us that defending champions in various divisions were vulnerable and could be beaten. With so many viable teams, team leaders (especially those in open) had a lot of different teams to game plan for. I can imagine it would be daunting. Underestimating any team could lead to an upset.


I was happy to see the parity in this division in 2009. There was only two blowout games in pool play (both 15-5 losses) and it seemed that this was the closest all 16 teams have ever been in terms of talent. All number one seeds held their seeds on day one (Revolver, Chain Lightning, Ironside and Sockeye) and teams pulling 'upsets' included Truck Stop and Ring of Fire.

In the end, Chain Lightning from Atlanta and Revolver from the SF Bay Area both took undefeated paths to the finals. Both teams have been working for years to make the finals. Chain had already had breakthroughs at UPA finals 2008, while Revolver had added some high profile pieces to explode as an elite power this year. Chain Lightning took the final 15-11 over Revolver and wins it's first national championship.

As for Canadian hopeful GOAT, I can only speculate that it was a disappointing weekend. They were upset by Truck Stop and lost to Revolver on day one. On day two, they were upset on universe (16-15) by San Diego's StreetGang but still had a quarters play in shot versus Johnny Bravo. Heartbreak ensued, as GOAT lost this match 16-14 . The spiral continued as the team lost to Madison Club and finally Bodhi (13-9) to finish 12th.


Heading into the finals, a lot of people worried this would be a two team show once again (Fury and Riot). Thankfully, it was not, and we can thank two eastern teams (Capitals and Brute Squad) for that.

7 of the top 8 teams held seed on day one, save for Vancouver's Traffic (going 1-2 and being upset by Lady Condors of Santa Barbara). Day 2 saw a huge victory for Ontario's Capitals, as they defeated Riot of Seattle 16-14. With the win, the Capitals had set themselves up for their best possible chance of making semis and finals. Traffic took care of business on day two and got a quarters play in game versus Zeitgeist. Unfortunately, Zeitgeist got the win and Traffic was left to fight for 9th (they did indeed win out and get 9th spot).

The Capitals won their quarter final and headed into semi finals with hope- Their day two upset over Riot forced Riot and Fury to play semis versus each other, and all the Capitals had to do was beat Boston rival Brute Squad. You may recall that half of the Capitals sqaud (Lotus) won the Boston Invite this year and lost to Brute Squad at the No Borders final by one point. Combining Stella and Lotus could only help tip the scales against Brute.

Unfortunately, the Capitals fell just short of finals, losing to Brute on universe point (16-15). I looked forward to the readers giving the first hand perspective of this game. I have to salute the Capitals for progress made this year and at this tournament. (Simply beating Riot is a step forward.)

In the final, Fury won easily over Brute Squad by a final score of 15-3. It's the 4th straight title for the San Francisco club. Despite looking vulnerable during the summer season, this team won when it counted most.


GLUM of Ottawa had huge hopes heading into this tournament and with good reason. Their play against DoG at regionals indicated that this could be THE YEAR. It was not to be.

Starting off day one with a serious leg injury to talented newcomer Derek Hodgson, GLUM never seemed to get on track. They had the misfortune of having 3 of the top 4 final finishers in their pool -who seeded these teams? :) , and faced the talented Beyondors (Think Ex Condors players like Husak, Steets, etc). However, GLUM won out after their quarters exit and finished in 5th place.

In the final, Troubled Past from California defeated Surly of Minnesota 15-11 to take the UPA title. It is the first championship for Troubled Past, after finishing 3rd last year.


The final saw two teams looking for their first upa finals championship. Virgina's Axis of C'Ville, lead by former Sockeye player Chase Sparling-Beckley, faced off against Iowa team Chad Larson Experience. Both teams went undefeated through pool play and breezed to finals. In the end, the Axis of C'Ville won 15-11.

On the Canadian end, Edmonton's Psychoplastique held seed on day one, going 1-2 and playing top seed Mental Toss Flycoons hard head to head. On day two, Psychoplastique suffered losses to both Jukebox Hero and One Trick Pony. Playing for 13th, Psychoplastique beating Bashing Pinatas before losing to Brown Chicken Brown Cow and finishing 14th in their first UPA finals.


T1000 said...

I'm very pleased with Traffic's 9th-place finish (including a revenge victory against the Condors). It's easy to find self-motivation when the road to the title is still open, but summoning the will to win the consolation games is a real test of grit. Many of us know how difficult it is to make the rebound.

I'm also glad to hear about Traffic's spirit award. As I continue to struggle to figure out Canada's disproportionate (and confusing) spate of low spirit scores on the international stage, it's great to hear that Traffic represented their country with class.

T1000 said...

Also, unless I am mistaken, I believe Traffic's Saturday performance wins another fourth bid for the NW region next year.

lank89 said...

NE gets one strength bid for the womens with Brute Squad taking 2nd and Caps third. NW gets the other