Old Teams, New Heights: 2018 Regional Championship Recaps
Cover photo credit: Darby Huk Quidditch Photography
Our Eastern and Western Regional Championships saw two new teams take gold for the 2018-19 season. In Oshawa, Ontario, the Guelph Gryphons took first place over Valhalla Quidditch, while in Victoria, B.C., the Edmonton Aurors defeated the West’s newest community team – the Vancouver Storm Crows – to earn their first place spot on the podium. Both Guelph and Edmonton are first time Regional Championship winners.
Eastern Regional Championship Recap:
This year’s Eastern Regional Championship featured 13 teams from across Ontario and Québec. This year’s medal winners: Valhalla Quidditch, Guelph Gryphons, and Ontario’s newest community team, the Ottawa Otters, came into the tournament ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively, per Quidditch Canada’s pre-regional Elo Rankings. A hard fought day of pool play would see the Otters drop to 4th and the Carleton Ravens rise to 3rd place after Carleton’s impressive showing against Queen’s Quidditch Club (90*-20) and uOttawa Quidditch Club (150*-20). Both Carleton Quidditch and the Ottawa Otters finished Day 1 with a 2-2 Win-Loss (W-L) record. Guelph and Valhalla, who remained securely in the #1 and #2 seeds respectively, each took one of their 2 head-to-head matches on day 1, and both ended with a Day 1 W-L record of 3-1.
The Ottawa Otters were the first of our semi-finalists to play on Day 2, securing strong wins over Canada’s Finest Quidditch Club (McGill’s affiliate team), and Queen’s Quidditch Club well out of snitch range. Though they lost to the eventual gold-medal winners, the Guelph Gryphons, in a 140*-70 match, they then dominated their bronze medal match against Carleton Quidditch, which ended in a final score of 140*-40 for the Otters. This was notably the deepest bracket run made by Carleton Quidditch in the past four years. Their success, alongside the success of their community counterpart, the Otters, indicates that the city of Ottawa is once again becoming a quidditch powerhouse in eastern Canada.
The Guelph Gryphons and Valhalla Quidditch, who have met in multiple semi-final and final matchups over the past few seasons, found themselves on opposite sides of the bracket at the beginning of Day 2, guaranteeing that they would only meet again in the gold medal matchup. Their final game saw Valhalla take several early penalty cards, enabling Guelph to come to an early 50-10 lead. Valhalla soon responded, bringing the game back within range just before snitch on pitch. Guelph caught to end the game with a final score of 150*-110, securing the first gold medal in their program’s history.
Western Regional Championship Recap
The Western Regional Championship took place in Victoria, B.C., where the local organizing team – the University of Victoria Valkyries – hosted 7 teams from British Columbia and Alberta, making this the the largest Western Regional Championship since Quidditch Canada’s inception.
All 7 teams faced each other in a round robin style tournament that extended over Day 1 and the morning of Day 2. The newest addition to the Western Region – the Vancouver Storm Crows – would secure the 1st seed with a round robin 6-0 W-L record. The Edmonton Aurors (5-1 at the end of round robin) would be seeded 2nd – their only loss coming to the Vancouver Storm Crows. The Saberthooths Quidditch Club (4-2) would come ranked third.
In bracket play, SFU Quidditch, who were seeded fifth after their 2 wins and 4 losses in round robin, met last year’s Western Championship winners – the UBC Thunderbirds Sports Club – for a close quarter-final that ended 110*-70 in favour of SFU Quidditch. Their subsequent loss against the Vancouver Storm Crows (ending 130*-50 for Vancouver) was followed by a secure, bronze-medal win against the University of Victoria Valkyries (180*-70). SFU ended their bronze medal bracket run with a total tournament W-L record of 4-5.
The Edmonton Aurors dominated their early bracket matchups against UBC Quidditch Club (230*-60) and the University of Victoria Valkyries (170*-70) before meeting the Vancouver Storm Crows in the final match up. This close game saw three snitch catches by the Vancouver Storm Crows called off, allowing both teams the time to run up the score, and eventually giving Edmonton the opportunity to make a final successful snitch grab and end the game 200*-160. Edmonton, who have won the Quidditch Canada’s National title once before in the 2016-17 season, had never taken gold at a Regional Championship before this season.
Quidditch Canada would like to take the opportunity to thank the incredible athletes, volunteers, and partners that made these tournaments possible. In particular, we would like to highlight the work of Jessica Pickering and Kim Stephens (Tournament Directors) as well as Kate Kirkham (Events Coordinator) for their tireless efforts in bringing these events to fruition. We would also like to extend our thanks to:
- The City of Oshawa
- Sports Durham
- Cashew and Clive
- St. John’s Ambulance
- The University of Victoria
- James McDonald Athletic Therapist
- Selena Hickson First Responder
- Awards Canada
Our league teams will meet again this season in Hamilton, ON, to battle it out for the National title. Follow us for ongoing updates throughout the season to see who will take home the coveted Jessop-Robinson Trophy, and the title of National Champion. Archived footage from this year’s regional championships can be viewed at: http://sportscanada.live/quidditchcanada/, and is soon to be available on Quidditch Canada’s YouTube Channel.