D1S: #1 Gotham Upends #4 Rat City

SACRAMENTO, CA–After #1 seed Gotham (WFTDA #1) took on Kansas City yesterday, many in the audience thought that the semi-final against #4 seed Rat City (WFTDA #16) would be the same level of rout that was witnessed the day before. Rat City, however, came out fighting and was able to put up an incredible fight against Gotham, but the final score ended up 297-92 in Gotham’s favour.

Gotham got off to a characteristic early lead, with Bonnie Thunders taking on Luna Negra and racking up a massive 25-0 to start the game. Rat City’s LeBrawn Maimes got first blood for Rat City during a powerjam soon after, driving the score up to 46-18.

The game was characterized by a huge number of penalties from both sides. Despite their huge lead, Gotham still racked up multiple blocker penalties, with both Mick Swagger and Sexy Slaydie picking up four penalties in 20 minutes.

With 8 minutes to go in the first half, Suzy Hotrod was held up expertly by diamond defense from Rat, while Rattleskate–skating her second ever WFTDA sanctioned bout–snatched lead. Taking more than a minute to clear her initial pass, Suzy Hotrod managed to get out, but not before Rattle grabbed a few points and beamed her way back to the bench. This pushed the scoreline out to 112-43.

At the closing minutes of the half, Gotham’s Violet Knockout was ejected from the game for an egregious clockwise block on Missile America–the first of the tournament. This could have been an opportunity for Rat to grab a few more points, but Rattleskate’s points were the last that Rat was able to score in the half, and Gotham ran away with the score, taking it to 175-43 at the half.

At the start of the second half, both teams lined up five-on-five, but it didn’t take long for Rat City jammer Luna Negra to be sent off on a multiplayer block. Despite strong defense from Belle Tolls and Raven Seaward from Rat, Bonnie was able to rack up 15 points. The next time Bonnie came out, she further proved her prowess against the strong Rat defense, blitzing through over and over.

Rattleskate took the line with 25 minutes left in the game and grabbed lead again, this time over Vicious Van GoGo. Some sweeping defense from Rat helped Rattle through for three more points; the first points Rat scored since the last time Rattle jammed.

Rawkhell SqWelch grabbed lead over Miss Tea Maven a few jams later, but with a speeding pack and a number of blockers in the box, she called it off 0-0.

Rat decided to jam Rattle Skate in the following jam, but Rattle was unable to find the same success that she had while going up against Bonnie Thunders, and had to star pass to get the jam called off quickly. At the close of the jam, an elbow on Bonnie Thunders saw Missile America be sent out of the game.

Two jams later, Luna Negra snatched lead from Vicious Van GoGo, but was caught up in a one-on-one war with OMG WTF and neglected to see the Gotham jammer coming through, causing a 4-4 pass.

A little while later, Bonnie passed the star to Mick Swagger as pivot, but Mick immediately stepped out, meaning that lead jammer Sintripetal Force was on a powerjam. When the powerjam should have ended, it was announced that Mick Swagger had fouled out as a jammer but despite the huge opportunity, Trippy called the jam off with more than 30 seconds to go. This brought the score to 220-77.

Penalties continued to plague both teams for the remainder of the game, and it was not unusual to see two-on-two, or even one-on-two packs ready to stop jammers on their initial pass. Rat was able to grab a few more points, but it was Gotham who was able to secure the win 297-92. In her post interview with the WFTDA, Bonnie Thunders characterized Rat’s style of play as “a calm sense of chaos that works for them”.