Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mangmore Kopa Preview

by Marc Garganté

On Oct. 10, the small Basque town of Amorebieta-Etxano, Spain will host the Mangamore Kopa. This Iberian-centric tournament will cement the rapid growth of Spanish teams probably one of the fastest national growths to be seen in quidditch as of late. Some of the attending teams will face each other for the third time in roughly two months, the other two previous times being the first Transpyrenees Cup (Transpiriquove) in early August 2015, held in Tarragona, Spain by the Nightmare Grims, and the Barcelona Moustaches Time 2015 (BMT2).

Tournament Overview
The tournament repeats the dual organisation model, of having a quidditch organising committee and an external logistics partner work together to host a tournament, but unlike when BMT was hosted in Barcelona, the relationship between them is dynamic and mutualistic this time around. The free fields and accommodation, which was secured for over 80 players from the six teams attending, are an example of this. Thus both the accommodation and registration fee for this tournament are completely free.

The gameplay aspect has no surprises, with the six teams divided into two pools, which will seed teams into brackets later on. The top two teams from each pool will be seeded directly into semifinals and the remaining two will compete for fifth and sixth place.

The major inconvenience for the tournament are the referees. Having pitches available for only one day forced the organising committee to include two pitches in order to have more games occurring at once. This translates to four teams playing at once, with the other two providing players to officiate. It might not be a problem for more experienced teams to referee, but a lot of the players attending have not played in a major tournament before.

The Teams
Most of the teams know each other quite well, so the atmosphere is expected to be at its best. Two Catalan teams, two Basque teams, a team from Madrid, and another from Toulouse, France will fill the ranks. The organisers have expressed their disappointment at the absence of other Spanish teams, like Imperius Zaragoza or any of the teams from Galicia (depending on what your definition of “team” might be).

Pool A predictions:
1. Barcelona Eagles (2-0)
2. Madrid Wolves (1-1)
3. “Toulouse Muggle Quidditch” (0-2)

Pool B predictions:
1. Bizkaia Boggarts (2-0)
2. Mangamorc (1-1)
3. Gasteiz Gamusins (0-2)

Pool A Predictions
Pool B Predictions
1. Barcelona Eagles (2-0)
1. Bizkaia Boggarts (2-0)
2. Madrid Wolves (1-1)
2. Mangamorc (1-1)
3. “Toulouse Muggle Quidditch” (0-2)
3. Gasteiz Gamusins (0-2)

Barcelona Eagles
Coming from intense training this past summer which earned them third place in BMT2 the Barcelona Eagles are expected to win every single one of their games in this tournament, placing them first in their pool and making them the champions of the tournament. This is much more pressure than most would think since the Eagles’ training regime dropped off after BMT2 and their roster will be missing important names that were key to obtaining the bronze, and everyone present at the Transpiriquove still remembers how they struggled to beat the Bizkaia Boggarts’
eight-player squad.

The team will still bring experience and strength with players like Chema Hidalgo or Pau Moncusí, and cohesion thanks to the on-pitch directions of Marc Garganté aka Big Markus. This tournament will allow them try out two big additions to the team: Johannes Pieper and Bex McLaughlin, the latter being able to give their captain, Alba Arrieta, a much needed rest as a beater – something she did not have in previous tournaments. This addition will also allow for much more aggressive beater play from the Eagles.

Madrid Wolves
The only standing team in the Spanish capital came to be after seceding from the previous Madrid Lynx, in a similar fashion to Titans Paris and their predecessors Paris Phénix. As a team they have only participated in the local Rivas Cup, although some players have participated in Tournoi International de la Violette with the Lynx, BMT2 with the Sparcs, or at this past season’s European Games with the Spanish national team.

Their big matchup will be against the Barcelona Eagles, and although these teams have never met on the pitch, some of the players do know each other. Their MVPs will most likely be chaser/keeper Miguel Vázquez and beater/chaser/seeker Daniel Báscones, who have become pillars for any team they play for. The Eagles will also be strengthened with a mercenary player from the Malaka Vikings, Antonio “Tono” Rodriguez, who is arguably one of the most promising players in the Spanish scene. The Madrid Wolves’ lack of experience will probably land them second in in their group, but their athletic background will ensure them third place overall and give them a standing chance to fight for second place most likely against the Boggarts.

Daniel Báscones is considered a utility player for his team and likely to lead his team to victory this tournament | Photo Credit: Aloprimo Agromenawer

Toulouse Muggle Quidditch”
The quotation marks are well earned since only four out of the nine players expected to attend are from Toulouse Muggle Quidditch, the others being Spanish mercs. The French team will bring two of its most well-known players, Emeline Bosc, who was the first reserve player for this summer’s Team France, and Sandra Kreit. The Spanish mercs allocated to the team are people with little to no experience, with the exception of Pau Tomas Riutort Gelabert, who has sporadically played in tournaments with other teams since the Brussels Muscles Invitational in November 2013.

Taking Toulouse’s history and the general level of the mercs assigned to the team into account, Toulouse might not win a single match, fairing third in its pool and last in the tournament. But as it always happens with inexperienced teams, “Toulouse Muggle Quidditch” players will have the chance to gain some much needed experience and get to meet other players from the quidditch community, hopefully with the idea of transmitting their experience to their teams when they get back home.

Bizkaia Boggarts
As the first team formed in their region, the Bizkaia Boggarts have had a small squad for a long time, and not until this past summer did more players join the team. This situation has created a cohesive core group of players with excellent communication on pitch and who have learned how to play quidditch without having any substitutes. Some might think that being able to rest more often might make the Boggarts a better team, while some argue that having to spread their talent and mixing it with freshers will bring their effectiveness down.

It is still to be determined how the Boggarts will perform this tournament. | Photo Credit: Barkaldo Digital

The Boggarts biggest challenge as a team came at Transpiriquove when they surprised even the more veteran players there. The team clings to that tournament result as a proof of its potential, but the players it brought there were virtually the main core, and hence the debate over a bigger roster comes again. This tournament will help to settle who is better between the Eagles and the Boggarts.

It is important to keep an eye on beater Ander Carbon and chaser Sergio Gutierrez, both of whom can wreak havoc with the opponents’ lines. What the other teams are really expecting to see is if the new additions can keep up with the game or if they still need more time to mature their skills.

Gasteiz Gamusins
The second team from the Basque country will have to face its older brother in its pool. The situation will be similar to that of the Nightmare Grims and the Eagles: a smaller team with less experience that started to play thanks to a previously existing team with which it has a close bond.

Players on this team are as new as could be, with the more experienced having just a couple months under their belts. But what the team lacks in coordination and skills it makes up for with passion and dedication. As they proved during BMT2, when almost half the Sparcs team came from the Gamusins, they will continue to fight despite having all the odds and the scoreboard against them.

This approach will surely pay off in the long run, but in this tournament the Gamusins will struggle to win a single game. They will surely fall short against the Boggarts, and the game against Mangamorc might be close, but the merc team’s experience will probably leave the Gamusins with another loss. Their closest match will be against “Toulouse,” where the best of the Gamusins will be able to shine.

These Mangamore mercs are mostly made up of Catalan players, with the exception of a member of the newly founded team in Seville, Spain. The rest of the team have more experience, as Laura Prats and Lena Soto are regular players with the Nightmare Grims, and the rest are some of the Eagles’ earliest players from over two years ago. It is unclear on what the team’s situation is since no official communication has been made, but it seems like Mangamorc might all end up playing with the other team in Barcelona, the Wyverns.

Whatever the future holds for it, experience and understanding will be the best of its tools during this tournament. Mangamorc’s major drawback is the lack of practice, since most of its merc players have gone months without touching a quaffle or bludger. This fact might contribute to a low physical output on the field, which could be fatal when combined with a roster of only nine people.

The biggest threat Mangamorc has to offer is Eduard Vázquez, who is an amazing offensive beater and has proved to be a more than decent chaser when needed. His playing style will probably serve best when placed on the pitch alongside Prats, who typically uses a more defensive style of beating.


The Barcelona Eagles are the clear favorites at Mangamore Kopa, but whether they can take the tournament title or be upset by an upstart is anybody’s guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment