By Christopher Dewing Date: January 14
Number of Teams: 7
Host: Fighting Farmers of Arizona
Location: Sacramento, CA
Gathering the top teams from throughout the West region, the Tegan and Sara Invitational will likely offer the most clarity on the competitiveness of each squad before the West Regional Championship at the end of February. A unique feature of the tournament is that organizers have worked to separate teams that are geographically close to one another to allow teams to face more diverse opposition. This season, there has been a muddled pack of teams that could legitimately challenge for the West title. Although there are a number of strong teams, the Lost Boys and Los Angeles Gambits enter as the favorites, but a loss for either team should not come as a big surprise, especially if their full squads don’t attend. How strong of a roster each team brings this weekend, will be a key question given how far many teams are travelling to attend. Crimson Elite will be tested against California opposition for the first time, and have a chance to prove whether its early season losses to Utah State Quidditch Club and the Boise State Abraxans were aberrations or whether they are indicative of a slight fall in quality from last year. However, the team will have to overcome the loss of first-string George Williams, who will be out for the rest of the season recovering from surgery, and chaser Abbie Simons, who has moved to another state. Utah State, meanwhile, will relish another opportunity to one-up its in-state rivals, while also adding to its experience against California foes, though with the health of top beater Paul Davis in question, it could find its chances of pulling an upset limited.
If Utah State beater Paul Davis competes at his best this weekend, the team will have the chance to cause some major upsets. | Photo Credit: Kellan Huber
Expect an equal number of wins and losses from both the Fighting Farmers of Arizona and the Silicon Valley Skrewts as the benefits of being close to home bear fruit, with the California Dobbys probably finishing at the bottom. Without Arizona State attending, as well as possible contenders such as the Long Beach Funky Quaffles and Cal Quidditch, we won’t know exactly where each team stands, but that fortunately leaves plenty of excitement for the games that really matter at the end of February. The big question is whether any team can separate itself from the pack and cement itself as the favorite to claim the regional title. College of Charleston vs. Carolina Heat
By Joe Goldberg
Editor’s Note: The author is a captain of Carolina Heat Date: January 14
Number of Teams: 2
Host: Carolina Heat
Location: Columbia, South Carolina College of Charleston and the unofficial team Gamecock Quidditch have met often in the past and their games almost always had final scores within snitch range due to their familiarity with one another. This year Carolina Heat is composed of former Gamecock players and other players in the area, including former Charleston star players Steven Schwark and Matt Corder (who will soon be added to the roster). Although this only increases the teams' familiarity with one another, it has seemed to work to Heat’s advantage. College of Charleston and Carolina Heat have played two games in the 2017 season, both of which were played at tournaments that were later decided to be unofficial. The first game was in October at the South Carolina Showdown, where they played an in-range game with Heat pulling the snitch. The second game was played at Flagler Cup in November with the final score being out of range with a Heat win. These games will be the first official games played between these two teams this year (knock on wood) and it will show if these two teams are still an even match up or if the mix of community players along with the former Gamecock players is an advantage or disadvantage against the College of Charleston team.