Friday, May 13, 2016

2016 Madison Regionals Preview

I'll be writing up a preview article for the upcoming Regional in Madison. I hope to do a good job and will try my best. If you can't make it out to the tournament that weekend, you can watch the stream from home, which will be linked down below. 

Difficulty Rating: 3 types of competing weather / 5 
groudon-primalkyogre-primalrayquaza-mega / 5
Location: 1 John Nolen Dr. Madison, WI 53703  
Registration time: 8am - 9:30am
Last year's winner: Collin Heier (TheBattleRoom) 
Link to the Senior Division Preview Article for all US Spring Regionals: Link
Link to the Official Stream: Link 

Madison will be streamed in the 2nd week of the US Spring Regionals season, which will be happening for both Saturday and Sunday. Players from all across the Midwest will be traveling here, looking to earn CP to get ever closer to a Day 1 Worlds invite, as well as players from other places in the country, which will make it for a very strong tournament. Unlike last year, this tournament will operate with the Swiss rounds being all Best of 3, which will make for more intense matches, eliminating some of the hax and luck brought out by Best of 1 play. I'll be breaking down the attendees by state and the players coming from outside the Midwest.
  
Team Illinois

Team Illinois will most certainly come into this tournament with goals of victory, which I predict will become a thing when Illinois can get at least 2 players in making Top Cut at Midwest Regionals. Alex Underhill (Lexicon) has had a ton of success since his impressive Top 8 finish at US Nationals and his more recent Top 8 finish at the Collinsville Regional. Also earned his first Worlds invite, Alex will be looking to do well here to potentially secure a Day 2 invite. Next up is Mario Serrano (Mario C). Mario is a player that has a good deal of success since 2014, but has flown under the radar in terms of players to watch out for. Since his Day 2 finish at 2014 US Nationals, he got Top 8 at this tournament last year. This season, he managed to Cut the Ft. Wayne Regional and also getting his first Worlds invite as well, he'll be looking to do better than last year. Next up is Stephen Morioka (Stephen). As an older player in the scene with playing even back in 2006, Stephen knows what he's doing. Earning a Worlds invite all the way back in 2012, Stephen knows how to play well at high levels with a Day 2 finish back at 2014 US Nationals, maxing out his Premier Challenge finishes this season, and a Top 8 finish at Collinsville along with Alex, Stephen will be someone to watch out for. Dane Zieman (Agentorangejuliusis another player to watch out for. With a Top 16 finish at Collinsville and another one at Arizona last season, you'll want to take note of this man. He also earned his Worlds invite recently so he'll come into Regional trying to rack up CP before Nationals to get to Day 2. Kamaal Harris (Kamaalis someone to keep track of. I believe he said he'll be attending Kansas City instead, but if he does show up, he be someone to watch out for. Winning St. Louis in 2013, Top 4 at Florida this season and Top 8 at Ft. Wayne are a few of his accomplishments, as well as playing at Worlds for 3 years, he'll be looking to surpass 500 CP with an average finish at whichever Regionals he attends. Brad Warnecke (Darbis a pretty underrated player that has been racking up accomplishments by getting a 1/2/4 record at Illinois and Wisconsin Midseason Showdowns recently. Almost at his Worlds invite at 346 CP, a strong finish will get him a Worlds invite, which if he keeps playing like he normally does, he reach at least 430-500 CP by the end of his US Nationals tournament run. Kyle Begovich (bagofchips99is a player that had real success around this time last season. Last year, he got 9th at Madison and went 6-3 to get Top 64 at US Nationals last year. This season, while he hasn't has to much success this season, if the numbers repeat themselves, Kyle will be doing some cool things at Madison and in Columbus. Nick Sefernak (SefernakVGC) is another player that did well last year at Madison, making Top 8 along with Mario. This season, he's currently at around 300 CP so he'll be looking to run through and gain the CP to get his Worlds invite, which is something he can do. Evan Deligannis (nave), has had some Regionals success, getting Top 16, Top 32, and Top 64 at recent Regionals events and is getting ever so closer to a Worlds invite, which he can do with a strong finish in the future at Madison and replicating his Day 2 finish at US Nationals in 2014. Matt Swanson (Swanner), is a player to watch out for. Even though he is has transitioned to a TO, Matt is still a strong player, going 5-3 at Collinsville. Last year, Matt found success getting Top 8 at Madison last year, so I wouldn't slouch if I'm paired up with him. Even though he isn't in the Chicago area, Leonard Craft III (DaWoblefetis a strong player, getting drafted to the Hearthome Holy Spirits this season and in last season. Also got 17th at US Nationals last season, this tournament is something he'll be looking to do well in. Greyson Garren (GreySong) will be attendance Greyson was a Worlds competitor all the way back in 2011 and was also on the Fuchsia City Ninjas for NPA back in 2013. 


Team Michigan

Team Michigan is certainly no slouch with players. After dominating Ft. Wayne with 3 players in the Top 4, Michigan certainly knows how to pick their players. Andrew Burley (Andykins) is a strong player, getting 2nd at Ft. Wayne, and will be looking to return to Worlds this season like he did last year. Grant Weldon (Velocity) is showing off why you should take him serious, recently earning his Worlds invite by traveling to various Midseason Showdowns to get gain a huge chunk of CP, as well as his recent Regionals success by getting Top 32 at both Collinsville & Ft. Wayne. Sam Schweitzer (Sam) has been doing well recently, getting Top 8 at Kansas City last year, Top 16 at Ft. Wayne, and Top 64 at Madison and Houston last year. Nick Navarre (Nails) is a new player to the scene, but a solid finish at Ft. Wayne means he knows what to do and seeing him do well should be slightly expected. Caitlin Beach (RandomVGC) is a threat to watch out for as her recent accomplishment of joining Andrew in Top 4 at Ft. Wayne. She is also leading Michigian in in terms of CP so watch out if you play her. Kevin Swastek (Kswas) is another strong Michigan player, trailing behind Caitlin in the CP ladder for Michigan. Kevin is competing in the ICPA, where his team did advance to Top 4. He also got Top 16 at Florida so I wouldn't be surprised to see him doing well. Jonathan McMillian is another player attending to keep an eye on. He got Top 4 at Ft. Wayne and on the same ICPA team with Kevin.

Team Indiana

While not the strongest in terms of player count, Indiana players know what to do. The most famous Indiana player, Jon Hu (Jhufself), got Top 4 at 2014 US Nationals, Top 8 at the Illinois Midseason Showdown and Top 32 at the 2015 US Nationals, is known for using wacky things on his team like Lapras, will be looking to lock up is Worlds invite. Chance Alexander (Paragon) is a strong player. Getting Top 32 at 2015 US Nationals, you can expect Chance to come in swinging for another accomplishment to add to that list. Zach Dalton (Oasis) may attend as well, but getting 17th at US Nationals last year means he knows how to handle a Best of 3 match well and doing well he here may not be to difficult for him. 


The Rest of the Best in the Midwest


The rest of the Midwest is strong and will be representing at Madison. Alec Rubin (Amr97) and Andy Himes (Amarillo) might be attending, though I heard Andy will be a judge. Alec made Day 2 Worlds last season while Andy is one of the more seasoned players, so they are both threats to look out for. Another player, Corey Esmeier, might attend. Corey has been getting Top 8 at a couple of Midseason Showdowns near him, so he'll be a player to watch out for. Jake Muller (MajorBowman) is a player I'd bet on to go deep should he attend. Going 9-0 in Swiss at St. Louis last season and attended 2015 Worlds, Jake will be looking to do well. Ashton Cox (Linkyoshimario) will be in attendance. Ashton has qualified for Worlds every year since 2014 and recently got Top 4 at Florida Regionals this year with a Pikachu. Aaron Liebersbach is another player that will be attending from Minnesota. Aaron got 9th at 2015 US Nationals so he'll be a player to watch out for. Franklin Lewis (avos5) is a player from Missouri that you'll want to take notes on. Franklin got Top 4 at Collinsville Regionals not to long ago, so he'll be a face to watch out for. At 314 CP, he's really close to obtaining his Worlds invite, so he'll be on the hunt for that remaining 36 CP he needs to qualify for Worlds.

Out of Region Invaders

Players coming to the Midwest from the East and West coast, as well as down South might attend and will be someone to look out for. Chuppa Cross IV. (Chuppa) is attending. Dominating the New York area tournaments and getting Top 4 at Collinsville, I guarantee to see Chuppa doing well. James Baek (Jamespeed1) will be attending. James got 2nd at Madison last year and attended Worlds in both 2014 and 2015, as well as earning his 2016 invite, so this event will be something he'll strive to achieve the 1st place victory he was close to achieving last year. Collin Heier (TheBattleRoom) is expected to attend. Collin has won this Regional the past 2 years, got 3rd at 2014 Worlds, along with a multitude of other accomplishments on every level of tournament event, so he'll definitely be a threat to lookout for. Jake Skurchak (Pokebeys) is another player to watch out for. Even though he's a year 1 Master, he had success as a Senior by getting Top 4 at 2015 US Nationals and Top 8 at the 2015 World Championships. Jake is already qualified for 2016 Worlds so he'll be a force to be reckon with. Tommy V. Cooleen (Tman) is another New York player traveling to Madison. Tommy is a very strong player, getting Top 4 at Lancaster and Virginia this season, Top 16 at Florida in 2015 and Virginia in 2014, and Top 8 at Massachusetts in 2014, so he'll be hungry for a Finals appearance. Already having locked up his Worlds invite, Tommy will be looking to gain more CP for a Day 2 invite instead of his current Day 1 invite. 



Smart Money Predictions: I'm placing my money with Grant Weldon (Velocity). Grant has been doing really well recently and feel that if he keeps this up, I feel that he'll obtain his 1st Regionals victory. If not, I feel that that the worst he'll do is Top 16. I also feel that Brad Warnecke (Darb) will lock up is Day 1 Worlds invite. Being at 346 CP currently, Brad can easily pass 400 CP and join the other 70 or so players who are qualified for Day 1 Worlds. I'm also hoping that Sam Schweitzer (Sam) will do well, only cause I want to see someone named Sam do well. 

Thanks for reading this and good look to everyone at Madison and in the future. Shout-out to @Sam for helping me with this

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