Preview: Track Queens: Battle Royal

Preview: Track Queens: Battle Royal Photo Credit: Steve Newton.

BERLIN, GERMANY: Oh, you thought tournament season was over? You thought you were all done with minors in sanctioned play? And perhaps you even thought you had seen your last regional tournament. Well, 2012 has some life left in it yet.

Closing out the year Bear City are hosting the first ever WFTDA sanctioned European tournament, with ten of Europe’s best teams facing off in the all-too-familiar WFTDA single elimination bracket.

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The tournament is missing at least three teams who would have had a very good shot at qualifying on merit: London Rockin’ Rollers, Manchester’s Rainy City Roller Girls and Cardiff’s Tiger Bay Brawlers. That’s because when tournament invites were sent out, none of those three had achieved WFTDA status, though all have since been accepted into the apprentice programme. Other leagues on the continent who would also have been challenging for an invitation on current form include Paris Rollergirls, Brighton, Dublin and Sheffield, so be sure to keep an eye on their progress over the next few months.

Of the teams there, only the top two seeds have actually received an official WFTDA ranking: London Rollergirls and Berlin’s Bear City, who are fourth and 25th in the East respectively, at least for a few more weeks.

Birmingham’s Central City, Edinburgh’s Auld Reekie, Glasgow Roller Derby, Leeds, Malmo’s Crime City and Helsinki are all full member leagues now, and are the four through nine seeds for the tournament. Prior to this weekend none of them had played enough games against ranked opponents to make them eligible for a regional ranking under the almost-defunct voting system; depending on how the weekend plays out and how quickly WFTDA rolls out its new ranking system, they may well sneak in under the wire for Q4.

WFTDA apprentices Stockholm and Gent take the remaining two spots, seeded three and ten respectively.

The seeding may not be the best guide to final placements: it was decided many months ago between the competing teams shortly after the final team list was finalised, and doesn’t take into account any of the bouts between any of the competing teams this season. London are the overwhelming favourites–a sub-par performance from DNN’s #11 saw London Brawling beat Bear City 292-44 back in June, and while the Berliners have been fortified by an American trip of their own–which included a thrilling win 154-137 over 6E DC Rollergirls–the two teams performances against Philly show how big the gap still seems to be.

Bear City may not have a lock on second, either. The most likely problems on their path to the final are Stockholm and Glasgow: the latter may be ranked sixth, but they lost to Bear City by a mere 30 points in a nail biter in March, after the tournament rankings had been released. Stockholm’s 2012 season has only seen them lose once to a charter team: to the absent Rainy City, so they are definitely coming into the tournament with their tails up. Stockholm have one other advantage too–Swede Hurt, whose wealth of tournament experience could give Stockholm an edge over teams that have never taken part in this sort of event before.

Central City come in at four and will be guaranteed to perform to seed if they just beat Auld Reekie in game one–but then they are very, very, likely to hit London in the semis. While the two have never met, CCR did visit London back in March–and lost 305-34 to the Harbour Grudges, one of London’s home teams. If Auld Reekie come out on top in that bout, then the semi would be a rematch of the biggest blowout in WFTDA sanctioned play–London’s 667-18 rout of the Edinburgh team back in May.

Glasgow’s Irn Bruisers come in at six on an eight-game winning streak since losing their first two bouts of the season against Stockholm and Bear City by 2 and 31 points respectively. Leeds come in at seven, but did post a 41-point win over five-ranked Auld Reekie in August on their way to a second-placed finish at Chaos on the Clyde, which Glasgow hosted, so look a good shout to improve on their initial placement.

Crime City come in at eight after a difficult 2012. They went 7-1 in 2011 (including a 44-point win over Stockholm) but are 2-4 in 2012 after losing key personnel, but against a generally higher calibre of opposition than the previous year. Helsinki have a 7-4 record in 2012, but that masks the calibre of opposition–every time they’ve come up against a team at or close to the level of those ranked above them, they’ve lost quite handily, with big losses in may to both Stockholm and Auld Reekie among them.

As ever, the tenth spot is taken up by something of an unknown quantity. Gent Go Go Roller Girls are 6-2 on the year so far–the two most notable results were a 182-132 win over Paris and a 169-140 reverse against Brighton, both of whom will definitely be challenging for spots in the regions top ten in the next year or so, with Brighton having got closer to London’s Brawl Saints this year than anybody before them in a two-point thriller.

The tournament will be being broadcast via WFTDA.tv, with Bear City handling local production duties. If you’re tuning in, be sure to log in to our shiny new Track Queens chatroom to discuss all the action as it happens.

Friday 10.30am CET: #9 Helsinki vs #8 Crime City

,(9.30am GMT, 4.30am ET, 1.30am PT)

This Nordic battle opens the tournament first thing on Friday morning. Last time these two met it was something of a rout; Crime City won 211-76 at 2011′s Battle of the Nordic Light, but that was a rather different Crime City team.

Helsinki have had the busier 2012 so far — they are 7-4 on the year compared to Crime City’s 2-4 record. Both teams feature a number of skaters who represented Finland and Sweden at last year’s World Cup, too.

The winner of this bout has the dubious pleasure of facing London in the third quarterfinal later in the day at 6.30pm CET.

Helsinki: 0 Mini G-Sus // 2 Vera Melleri // 3 Mae Bea Mental // 12 Raivo // 23 Cisse // 28 Nina Erwes // 33 Malice In Saint // 64 Gale Force // 88 Deadbeat Debbie // 94 Tiina Kimari // 96 Linda Vidjeskog // 100 Florence Fightingale // 404 Iiris Suominen // 2014 Lady-Lah Lah // 415 Ronja Ryöväri // 441 Tytti Xtra Hard // 604 Sara Mack-Eh? // 666 Leeloo Dallas // 1337 Fisherman’s Fiend // 8000 Heli Runteli

Crime City: HK13 Pooky Balboa // 2 Sister Stitch // X3 Bobicat // 09 Misty Muffdiviah // 11 Venom // 12 I AM! // 21 Ankefar // 85 Fröken Smacky // 88 Belgian Bob // 040 Alotta Riot // 100 Curlie Håår // 159 JJ Fury // 180 Fenix Fortsomfan // 303 Ninja // 586 My Way // 800 Bonnie Clash // 858 Misse Madskillz // 925 Jo Evil Eye // 1337 Tjutet // 3310 Frigg in Fury

Friday 12.30pm CET: #7 Leeds vs #10 Gent (11.30am GMT, 6.30am ET, 4.30am PT)

Leeds’ best result of 2012 came back in August when they beat tournament five seed Auld Reekie in the opening round of Glasgow’s Chaos on the Clyde on their way to a second-place finish behind the hosts. Unfortunately for Leeds, form seems to have deserted them since that win–their two most recent games have been two of the three biggest defeats the Rebel Roses have ever suffered, at the hands of Glasgow and Central City.

Gent are 6-2 in 2012, with an average winning margin of 145 points, but all against weaker opposition than they’re likely to face this weekend. Gent’s 44-point loss to Glasgow in August does compare very favourably to Leeds’ 118-point loss to the Irn Bruisers, though, so Gent will fancy their chances.

The winner of this goes on to play Berlin in the final quarter-final at 8.30pm CET.

Leeds: 0 Feral Fairy // V05 R.I.Punzal // 6 Killeroo // 7 Magic 8-Brawl // 22 Skatewell Tart // 33 Iola Rolla // 45 Livid Doll // 53 Cyndi Launch’er // 55 Lexi Lightspeed // 88 Bruise ‘em Banshee // 96 Cecee // 209 Shere Carnage // 240v Hydra Electric // 999 Fuzzin Boots // 28 Chernobelle // 42 Fran Grenade // 67 Caeser Maniac // 69 Immodesty Graze // 303 Bird of Pain // 369 Terror Track Doll

Gent: 5 Elle Shizzle // 06 Pussy Pit // 07 Double U Jay // 26 Evil Spin-Her // 36 Sandra Buttblock // 44 Olga Volt // 4444 Veronica Fever // 55 Dame Edna Haemorrhage // 68 Guts and Glory // 86 Miss Miyagi // 90 Fallwafal // 911 Tammy Whammy // 17 Lady Vermassacre // 74 Martacus // 20 Red Hellion // 111 Indiana Joney

Friday 2.30pm CET: #4 Central City vs #5 Auld Reekie (1.30pm GMT, 8.30am ET, 5.30am PT)

In March when these two last met, Birmingam’s Central City Rollers came out on top–but that was the first time in six meetings that the Belles of Centrinnians had overcome ARRG’s Twisted Thistles. That loss was ARRG’s fourth loss in five at the start of 2012 and part of a run that saw the Edinburgh team lose nine of the first 11 bouts of 2011–but Auld Reekie are now on a three-game winning streak for the first time since early 2010.

CCR are coming in hot too — they have been on a five-game streak since their 271-point loss in London earlier in the year. Both teams claimed the scalp of the London Rockin’ Rollers in their tournament run-in byt similar margins–CCR beat them by 114, and ARRG by 84–which, coupled with their back-and-forth encounter from March suggests this should be a very close contest.

The winner of this bout will head into the first semi final, where they will almost certainly face London, at 2pm on Saturday.

CCR: 3 Tinchy Slider // 4 Lex Brawl // 10 Bunny Massacre // 19 Woo-Ha // 20 Billie Whizz // 27 Germaine Leer // 29 Gerty GoGo // 42 Agent Dana Scurry // 54 D’elusive Del // 57 Viv La France // 69 Verry Cherry // 82 Hustle’Her // 84 Tenacity // 85 Lethal Sizzle // 100 Dynomite Bo // 119 Scarlett McCabre // 333 Rubix Crude // 707 Jelly Mean // 800 Ghouldielocks // 1337 Incredible Hulse

Auld Reekie: 2 Kiki // 3 Cider // 7 Minnie Riot // T10 Crotch Lightning // 11 Crazylegs // 16 Velosidy // 23 Zillah // 34 Double D-Struction // 39 Yin & Bang // 42 Alma Geddon // 66 Mo B Quick // 84 Kaos Moss // 85 Skinn’er Alive // 100 Circuit Breaker

Friday 4.30pm CET: #3 Stockholm vs #6 Glasgow. (3.30pm GMT, 10.30am ET, 7.30am PT)

Two points were all that separated these two last time they met back in April when Stockholm narrowly escaped Glasgow with a win. More recently, both teams have played Rainy City–Stockholm lost147-131 to the Manchester outfit in August, while Glasgow beat them by an almost identical margin 158-139 in October, further suggesting this is likely to be a very close encounter.

Glasgow have recently lost two skaters, however: Jen Sykes and Wild Oates–who earned world renown last December when she scored Scotland’s only point against the USA at the World Cup–have since moved from Glasgow to London, and won’t be part of the Irn Bruisers set-up this weekend, which may well tip the odds in Stockholm’s favour.

Up for grabs is a spot in the second semifinal at 4pm on Saturday.

Stockholm: 0 Polygami Winehouse // 1 Only // 3 CrackHer // 5 Emma Ryssfemma // 7 Kimizooka // 8 Becky Lawless // 11 Misfit Kitteh // 15 Roffe // 20 Juana la Loca // 22 Mad Maloony // 24 Hell’n desTROY // 29 Musfällan Mary // 46 Swede Hurt // 50 Bess Irv Cold // 68 Firebird Steel // 90 Kix deVille // 314 RudeAss Beat // 747 HussInsane // 777 Krille Kriminell // 1300 Blood Countess

Glasgow: 0 The Very Hungry Splatterkiller // 1 Armed Bandit // 2 Jess E Ska // 4 Megan Hyndman // 5 Lily Lethal // 7 Sarah McMillan // 8 Lucky Hateball // 11 Whiskey Galore // 20Hz Moxie Blitz // 42 Marshall Lawless // 88 Hardcore Prawn // 99 Mistress Malicious // 117 Love Hurts // 210 Rogue Runner // 350 Devils Advoskate // 531 Fighting Torque // 823 Slain Austen // 911 Jackash // LD50 Chemikill Hazard // R10T Mazzy Chaos

Correction: An earlier version of this page referred to Stockholm as Copenhagen. We regret (and are very confused by) the error.

Friday 6.30pm CET #9 Helsinki or #8 Crime City vs #1 London (5.30pm GMT, 12.30pm ET, 9.30am PT)

London come into this tournament as overwhelming favourites, with London Brawling having won by over 100 points every time they have faced European opposition. They have only faced teams from Europe twice since 2009, both this year–their record-breaking 649-point win over Auld Reekie in May and a 248-point win over the tournament’s second seeds, Berlin, in June.

Gent is the only team in the tournament to not have lost to a London Rollergirls team in the recent past, however. Other than Berlin, they have all either victim to London’s B team Brawl Saints (Stockholm, Central City, Auld Reekie, Glasgow, Leeds and Crime City), London’s C team Batter C Power (Helsinki) or a home team (Central City and Leeds).

The most recent meetings relevant to this game were early in 2012–Helsinki went down 148-100 to Batter C Power in January, and Stockholm lost 256-87 to Brawl Saints in March. Any upset here would be almost certainly the biggest ever registered in WFTDA sanctioned history.

London: 04 Fox Sake // 08 Slice Andice // 9 Kamikaze Kitten // 13 Stefanie Mainey // 19 Lola Vulkano //
22 Rogue Runner // 33 Frightning Bolt // 44 Knickerblocker Glory // 51 Liv or Die // 80 Rebelle De Jour //
108 The Dalai Harmer // 159 Misskaten Identity // 357 Raw Heidi // 314 Juicy Lucy // 888 Shaolynn Scarlett // 999 Flamin Aggro // 1349 Katy Peril // 1984 Grievous Bodily Charm // 8008 Goregasm // KT0
Hell Vetica Black

8.30pm CET #7 Leeds or #10 Gent vs #2 Berlin (7.30pm GMT, 2.30pm ET, 11.30am PT)

Berlin are the only team other than London in the tournament to have faced US opposition and come out on top–their recent win over current 6E DC Rollergirls in late September marking their arrival stateside. On the same trip they lost narrowly to Long Island and heavily to Philly, and the experience has left the team much the stronger.

While Berlin aren’t quite the overwhelming favourites to progress to the semis from their opening encounter as London are, the Bombshells would be heavily favoured to progress whichever of Gent and Leeds comes out on top.

Berlin: 2 Master Blaster // 3 Tequila Knockout // 4 DeviLena // J9 Foxy Führer // 12 Paulina Pocket // 18 Kata Pulta // 26 Ethyl Trash // 28 Resident Shevil // 46 Elfi Kugelblitz // 75 Hanna Hellfire // 79 Agent B. Fatale // 81 Apocalypse Meow // 109 Emmazon // 247 Cathrine Beat-Her Bonez // 481 Titty Twista // 505 Heavy Rotation // 711 Milli Vandally // 742 Lizzy Slaughter // 911 Citysin Pain // 999 Maggie Messer

Lex Talionis

Lex is the Content Director for Derby News Network.