Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Zombie/Inferi Tournament Through the Eyes of the Walking Dead

Baruch Field, on the Lower East Side, was infested with Zombies on Saturday and even worse for fellows like Vernon Dursley, Quidditch Players! I gave the factual information on this horrifying event on Sunday and Monday, as the news was breaking, but now, I can give you 2 first hand accounts on the NYC Zombie/Inferi Tournament. Jonathon R is the Badassilisks' GM, a role in which he deals with technology, logistics, marketing, tournaments, and travel arrangements of the New York Community team, and Irvin K is one of the four original Badassilisks.

When I first heard of the "Zombie/Inferi Tournament" my first question was how did you come up with the idea for the Zombie theme and why? Jonathon explained, "The Zombie Tournament came from my love of Zombie crawls and my desire to get more spectator involvement in Quidditch. Many tournaments have had problems getting people outside the teams friends and families from attending." Jonathon is also the head organizer of the New York Harry Potter meetup a group closely linked with the Badassilisks since their founding. To engage members, Jonathon tries to come up with unique ideas that demonstrate great "creativity and enthusiasm." Look for future Badassilisk tournament to have more cool themes! Jonathon helped ZombieNYC and ActionVance FX with Zombie makeup for tournament participants. Checkout pictures here.

Now on to the games. Hofstra was the favorite coming out of pool play after beating Macauley by 60 points and the eventual Champion Badassilisks by 80 points. "Hofstra was widely considered the favorite to win the tournament - their offensive game... proved too much for us in the end," says Irvin, a two year Badassilisk veteran. While Hofstra dominated Quaffle play, Vassar won with Beaters and Seekers. After Vassar's "well renown" Beaters held the Badassilisks to 30 points, Vassar's Seeker, Matt Zeltzer won the game on a snatch, 50*-30. Hofstra's high powered offense and Vassar's D would meet later on in the Semifinals.
Newbies, the Honey Badgers defeated Stony Brook and Macauley before losing to the Badassilisks in bracket play. Also, NYU lost to Stony Brook and Vassar before losing again to Vassar in the quarterfinalsAfter intense quarterfinals, including an 100-60 overtime win for Macauley over Stony Brook, there were only four teams left: New York, Macauley, Hofstra and Vassar. Irvin describes the semifinal against Macaulay, (we tried to) "open up the field and focus on defense, and it worked.  Even though we shut them out 80-0, every single goal was hard-earned, and it was a great match." The Badassilisks practice with Macauley, so knowing their style, they were able to come up with a game plan that successfully exposed Macaulay's weakness.
Now, we come to Offensive Minded Hofstra and Defensive Minded Vassar. Irvin and the Badassilisks got to watch, "The game lasted FOREVER, with neither side giving an inch." After 10 minutes, only one goal had been scored. However, Hofstra began to pull ahead but Vassar was able to keep Hofstra's lead below 30 so when David Gonzalez, another one of Vassar's seekers, made the snatch, they won and advanced to the championship to play the Badassilisks.

As many matches between the elite in Quidditch do, the NYC Zombie final match came down to who would catch the snitch. Strategic Beater play from Vassar was able to hold the Badassilisks' Seekers off for a while, but eventually the number of Badassilisks substitutes wore out Matt and Badassilisk Seeker, Walter "broke through Vassar's beaters" with a snatch to win the championship. "This is the first tournament the Badassilisks have ever won in their two-year history - as one of four original players left, that meant the world to me," says Irvin.

If you plan on hosting or attending or competing in a Quidditch tournament, do as the New Yorkers do, because the way Irvin describes it, the NYC Zombie/Inferi Tournament sounded perfect. "On the whole, it was a great tournament all around.  It was also a surprisingly even tournament, all the teams were really nice and friendly, and played cleanly.  And when we weren't playing, we were having lots of zombie fun.  A lot of us were zombified and blood-splattered."

The whimsical/competitive argument has come up a lot in recent months and I think the New York Badassilisks are a great example of how the two types from the Quidditch community can coexist. The whole idea for the tournament is kind of "whimsical" and it definitely shows creativity and the goal of the themed tournament was to enhance the community and then, those same creative, community minded people, went out and won the competition. For those who don't know, creativity, community, and competition are the three principles that the IQA states on their About page. Quidditch needs the Creative side to enhance the community and to keep the community interested, gameplay has to be at a high level. But what attracts community in the first place is creativity and "whimsical"-ness. You see, to survive, Quidditch needs both whimsy and competition. The New York Badassilisks are a perfect example of this and I congratulate you on your tournament win and your win for the quidditch community.

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