Friday, March 27, 2015

Leicester Thestrals Accept Offer Of EQC Spot

With the ITU Honeybees dropping from EQC 2015, the Quidditch Post can confirm that the Leicester Thestrals have been offered the vacated spot and have officially accepted it.

"I can confirm that Leicester Thestrals are ecstatic to be invited to EQC 2015 and have accepted the offer of a place," said captain Elliot Gray. "Whilst we, like everyone else, are obviously disappointed that ITU HoneyBees are unable to attend, the team are absolutely raring to go and play against the best teams this continent has to offer. We can’t wait to get down there, show everyone what we can do, and why this invitation was deserved."

The Thestrals were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the recent British Quidditch Cup by Keele Squirrels, and had a lower Quaffle Point Differential than both the Falmouth Falcons and the Nottingham Nightmares, who received the two EQC 2015 spaces from BQC. All teams that reached the quarterfinals at that event are now confirmed to attend EQC.

The Leicester Thestrals at BQC 2014-15. Photo credit: SnappyGibbs Photography
The Honeybees placed third at the recent Turkish Cup and were slated to attend EQC after the second-place METU Hippogriffs determined they would be unable to travel. However, a lack of university financial aid, and the subsequent recent defection of the Honeybees two captains to fellow Turkish qualifiers, the METU Unicorns, ultimately led to the Honeybees withdrawal.

"The EQC Committee, along with Quidditch Europe, have decided to award the space opened up from ITU Honeybees dropping out to a team from the UK," Luke Twist, the tournament director of EQC 2015 said. "This means that the Leicester Thestrals, the next highest unqualified team from the official BQC rankings, were offered the spot earlier today, and I'm glad to announce that they have accepted the offer, and will be competing in EQC in just over three weeks time. The decision to offer the spot to a team from the UK was made for a number of reasons, taking into account the number of official teams from all European regions and how easy it would be for teams from different locations to organise travel to Oxford on such short notice. For these reasons we think it's fair that a UK team is offered the space."

Amy Maidment, the President of QuidditchUK, was pleased that another UK team will have the chance to attend Europe’s premier competition.

"Whilst it's always sad to see teams unable to attend tournaments, I'm overjoyed that we get yet another chance to show off the quidditch talent that the UK has to offer", Maidment said. "Leicester are a ferocious team full of fighters who will add yet another level of excitement to EQC 2015. They deserve to be playing at this level, just as every other UK team does, and I'm sure all ten UK teams attending the tournament will prove this and put on a show for the rest of Europe."

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