Super Ball 2019, the wrap-up
Super Ball 2019 is over. As usual, all the possible records were broken when it comes to the size of the event. Over 400 players from over 50 countries with France and Poland having 25% of all the participants. Here’s what happened, day by day.
The first participants arrived a few days before the event officially started to enjoy the beautiful city of Prague and it’s historic atmosphere. The whole Super Ball was moved this year to be held on the premises of Top Hotel Prague. The qualifiers were held in the smaller congress hall. The big final was then held on one of the biggest congress halls in Europe, the main hall of Top Hotel Prague. The hotel was also big enough to accommodate all the players under one roof.
On Monday 19th. of August, things took off with the exclusive key leaders meeting organized by the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA). In this meeting the board of the WFFA explained to future plans of the association for the country leaders to pass on in their countries and communities.
Then was time for the official start of Super Ball in form of the players meeting. The meeting started with the touching speech of the big boss Lucas “Lucaso” Skoda and the introduction of the staff and the judges (find the list of judging panel in the bottom). After all the speeches, was the private screening of long waited documentary “Around The World”
Tuesday 20th. of August. The start of the competitions. With record breaking number of partcipants (almost 230 competitors), it took 59 circles to be done with the first round of the battles. After the circles, was time for the women to shine. In female battles there was also a record breaking 7 circles with 25 competitors joining the competition. And in both male and female battles, the level of freestyle was again higher than ever. From the female competition four players made their way to the Saturdays great final; Aguska (Pol), Anastasia (Ita), Laura Biondo (Ven/Ita) and Laura Dekker (Ned).
The last competition of Monday was the Iron Man. To have it simple, in this competition the longest combo wins. The biggest “woah”-moments in the competition were seen when Jairo “Jaironman” Gonzales kept on with his group stage combo for almost 2 minutes and the Dutch lower sensation, Laura Dekker won her group and made it to the final round of the competition as the only female participant. In the end, there was no stopping for Jaironman, who won the competiton once again.
Wednesday 21st. of August. After Tuesdays 59 circles the judges had a huge task to sort out the players who were knocked out to either Rookie- or Intermediate battles. But everything was sorted on time and on Wednesday morning the day started with the Rookie circles. After the rookie circles and battles for top16 were done, was time to start the intermediate competition. Due to big number of circles in both competitions, the extra rounds of intermediate competition were moved for the next day.
Then it was time to see who all would proceed forward with the main battles as the elimination round started. This time it was more difficult than ever to even make it to top 32, as it was not guaranteed that even the winner of elimination circle might have had to go an extra round for top 32. The elimination round itself took 33 circles to be done with!
When that was over, it was freetime for many but no chill for the panna players! Like last year, street brand Urbanball organised the Super Panna Ball competition. In this panna competition, you could gain points not only by scoring goals, but also showing skill moves in the game. And naturally, everyone who did panna won straight away. And couple pannas were seen in the tournament! In the final, American Boston Fitzpatrick faced last years finalist Trafalgar from Paris, France. It was very tight match, but the S3 team member Trafalgar managed to take the victory with one goal lead.
Thursday 22nd. August. This day was the day for the lower freestylers, as Sick3 and Challenge were held. Sick3 was first on the schedule. Approximately ten combos were landed but naturally only three could make it to podium. Sergio from Spain opened the game with a great Skala MATW – AMATW – Skala ATW combo which brought him the third place. Polish lower sensation did slightly better, as he did Skala MATW AMATW no touch – Skala ATW combo and got a second place in the competition. But it was only natural that the victory went to Italian lower legend Luca Chiarvesio with his outstanding AHTLMATW – AMATW AHTATW no touch combo.
After Sick3 competition, it was time to see who would battle their way to the top32 in the world when the extra rounds started. From the elimination round, 22 players were ranked directly into top32. Then nine winners and 11 second places were put to battle for the 10 remaining spots in top32. In the extra battles, Colombian player called Machine was showing his threat to the world.
After the 10 remaining spots were settled, it was time finish the previous days intermediate competition’s extra rounds and have the top 16 for Friday.
And then it was time for beloved Challenge competition. The judges had ranked 11 players directly into the 7th round to make the competition run smoother. And indeed, this year the Challenge wasn’t the marathon that the players were used to. Getting to the round 12 there was only 4 players remaining; Ronnie (Pol), ARS (Rus), Hugo Vliese (Ned) and Luca Chiarvesio (Ita). Ronnie, who amazed everyone with his outstanding style, was close making it to the 13th round but couldn’t unfortunately land required alternative 3 revolution trick. ARS from Russia, who has a trophy from almost every Super Ball, couldn’t make it to round 14 and got a third place. On the round 14, Luca Chiarvesio was able to land one of required two combos. Then it was up to the Dutch sensation Hugo Vliese to get past Luca, but even he was multiple times very close he couldn’t land the combos which brought him the second place and another victory for Luca Chiarvesio from this Super Ball.
Then it was time to see who would be the best 16 men who were going to battle for the world champion title on Saturday as the top32 round finished the action on the stage. The players who made it were Erlend (Nor), JRK (Pol), Ricardinho (Bra), Machine (Col), Alvaro (Esp), Kazane (Jap), Jesse (Ned), PWG (Phi), Yo (Jap), Osman (Col), Guzik (Pol), VLO (Swe), Brynjar (Nor), Griffin (UK), Boyka (Col) and Tokura (Jap).
After the official program had ended, Urbanball setup another competition at the night gym. The competition was “Kill the beat”, where players had to do their best tricks and sync it with the music. The vibes were on point, and the Japanese routine player Yu-J managed to take the victory.
Friday 23rd of August. The last day before the big finals. The day started early with Routine qualifiers. Four of the best routines would make it to the big final, and this year they were Routines from Luki (Pol), Yosshi (Jap), Franek (Pol), Norman (Fra) and Ahmadreza made their way to show their routines in the big final.
After the Routines, it was time start the Show Flow competition! For this year, the judges had simplified the rules a bit and there was indeed less confusion with the time limits in the competition. Approximately 10 players managed to do a somewhat flawless round in 30 seconds within three attempts. There was no question of the winner, as Erlend (Nor) went on and won the competition, just like previous years. But it was really tight for the other two places on the podium. After all, judges rewarded PWG’s (Phi) risky try. After a flawless first try, PWG went on for a second attempt and managed to get the second place in the competition. The third place went to Colombian sensation Machine.
Then came the time to get the last players for the big final, as the the Double Routined were left to qualify. But actually this year all the Double Routines made it to the big final, since there was only five couples participating. They were Michalix & Flip (Pol), AntiX & Voyevoda (Rus), Ama & Kosuke (Jap), Yosshi & Yu-J or La Classic (Jap) and the always incredible Fagerli brothers. The players still had to get up on stage and prove the judges that they have prepared a routine to show on the final day, and they indeed did.
Then it was time to see the who’d be the winners of the Rookie and Intermediate competitions. The Rookies were first with their top16. In the Rookie series, France was dominating. In the semi-finals French Nolan managed to beat Finnish Eeli Järvinen and in the other semi-final another Frenchman Ethan won Ukrainian Skolob and sent him to the bronze match against Eeli. The Bronze match was incredibly tight between Eeli and Skolob. The judges chose Eeli Järvinen, who played fantastically from battle to another, as the winner and Freestyle Finland won their first ever medal in Super Ball. In the all French final Nolan vs. Ethan, it was perhaps even tighter. It could have gone either way, but after the final battle, the head judge Bengau raised Nolan’s hand up and almost all of the 50+ French participants started their celebration.
Then it was time to see which of the 16 competitors in Intermediate series would be the winner. There were two players who really stepped up in this competition: Lubin from France and Yiannos from Cyprus. Despite his young age, Lubin was able to show the judges advanced creative tricks and did really well in the competition. After a setback in the first round, Yiannos came back to the Intermediate battles filled with energy. This wasn’t left unnoticed and Yiannos won the gold medal in the Intermediate series.
Then it was time for the trophy ceremony of the extra competitions. Usually the program ends here, but this year the staff with the lead of world famous Lorenzo the MC organized the first ever crew battle in Super Ball. This was an unbelievable success and the vibes were truly magical. The crew battles will surely return in 2020.
Satruday 24th of August. The final day. The day started easy for most of the participants. But for the local freestylers, it was something completely different. The Czech freestyle championships were held on the big final stage starting at 10 in the morning. Out of nine competitors, the strongest was Daniel Prazak who also won the Czech Championships last year.
And on the same day at 15.30 they opened the doors to the big final hall. Some people waited over an hour to get the best seats for the finals. Then the big finals started with Lucaso’s final speech and greetings from the WFFA. The first battles of the finals were women’s semifinals, where Laura Dekker (Ned) faced Anastasia (Ita) and Aguska (Pol) faced Laura Biondo (Ita/Ven). Both of the semifinals were tight ones, but it was Laura Dekker and Aguska who went to the final out of the top4.
Then the men stepped up on stage with their round of top16. The biggest surprises were seen in the battle of Ricardinho vs. Machine and Alvaro vs. Kazane. Ricardinho, who is a Super Ball world champion, went too easy on Machine from Colombia. Machine showed the best he’s got, and was able to knock out the Brazilian opponent. In Alvaro (Esp) vs. Kazane (Jap), rather many expected to see Kazane to proceed to the top8, but Alvaro was able to pull of three great rounds with almost no drops and showed the judges a great deal of variety as well as difficulty. So it was only fair to see Alvaro making it to the top8.
At this point the show was also broadcasted to Czech TV. It was time to see who would be the womens world champion. Before that, Laura Biondo and Anastasia faced each other in the bronze match. In this battle, Italian Anastasia was stronger than Laura Biondo, who has had a couple years break from competing. So the bronze medal went to Italy and Anastasia! In the final Laura Dekker was hunting her first gold medal against the world champion of Red Bull Street Style, Aguska Mnich (Pol).
Laura showed the best of her lower’s and was putting everything she got in the battle. But the experienced Aguska was too strong this time and was able to win the second world champion title in a row!
Then it was time to see who’d be the Routine winners. First up was the solo routines. This year was the first time ever when the Routine legend Gautier Fayolle (Fra) didn’t compete. Neither did last years winner KVP (Blr) so we would have a whole new winner in the competition. Luki from Poland had a lot of energy in his show and probably most tricks of all the Routines. Then Norman (Fra) started his Routine and that was a show like never seen before. The plot of the show was a bit unclear, but head stand on a table and juggling two balls at once (also sole juggles) brought Norman the bronze medal in Routines! The winner was Yosshi, who’s show was pure class with zero mistakes. Luki (Pol) got a second place with his energetic show.
In the Double Routines there was one couple performing who were still also competing in the battles, and it was the Fagerli brothers. They performed their Double Routine first and set the standard very, very high. In their show there was again numerous new moves and incredibly cool duo tricks. It wasn’t easy to perform after the Fagerli brothers, but Michalix and Filip (Pol) had to do it. And they were not bad at all! They showed a few unseen moves and good level of freestyle. From Japan there was two duo’s in the final, Ama & Kosuke and Yu-J & Yosshi, aka La Classic. Ama & Kosuke went for a lot of difficult tricks and they had some difficulties in their show. La Classic instead performed their Routine calm as ever with new music. The victory went to Fagerli brothers (Nor), La Classic (Jap) was second and Michalix & Filip (Pol) got the third place.
Then the only competition to be finished was the men’s battles. Eight player’s remaining; Erlend, Jesse, Alvaro, Machine, Yo, Guzik, Boyka, Brynjar. The biggest attention was in the battle of Alvaro vs. Machine and Boyka vs. Brynjar. In the battle of Alvaro and Machine, it was once again incredibly tight and could have gone either way, but Machine, who had sensationally throughout the tournament, made his way to the semifinals!
In the battle between Boyka and Brynjar, the first round was looking good for Brynjar. Then on the second round he couldn’t get the best out of his toe bounce combos and the drops cost him the defeat and Boyka made it to the semifinal.
The semi-finals were Erlend (Nor) vs. Machine (Col) and Boyka (Col) vs. Yo (Jap). In the first semifinal the world champion Erlend left his opponent with no chance and sent Machine to the bronze match, proceeding himself once again to the final. The other semi-final was much tighter. The Colombian Boyka was trying to make it to the final to get his revenge as he lost last year’s final to Erlend. But Yo from Japan had other ideas. The battle was super tight, both player’s giving it everything they got. But Yo was able to pull of more creative stuff and play better with the flow, so he earned the place in the final.
So the battle for Bronze was all Colombian this year! Machine vs. Boyka, sensation vs. experience. In this battle you could tell that Boyka was more upset of not making it to final, whereas Machine wanted to make sure everyone remembers him after this Super Ball. And indeed, Machine did play himself to the elite of the world’s freestylers and he won Boyka in the bronze battle!
The Final. Erlend vs. Yo. You could feel the electricity in the air when the final started. Everyone was thinking does Yo have what it takes to bring Erlend down? Or is Erlend going to prove that he is the greatest freestyler the sport has yet seen? In the battle both indeed gave everything they got. In the end, Erlend was able to same some tricks up in his sleeve that he finally showed in the final. And when the head judge, the Norwegian Tobias Becs, came to raise the hand of the winner, it could not have been anyone else than his fellow countryman Erlend Fagerli!
Erlend was once again overpowered compared to everyone else, winning every competition he participated in (Show Flow, Double Routines, Battles). But of course Erlend was not the only one who had raised the level. In this Super Ball, it was clear that in couple years some players are going to be very, very strong. For example Machine (Col), Moha (Esp), Pat Shaw (USA) were showing signs of potentiality.
To sum up the whole Super Ball in one sentence: It was the best week of freestyle ever. Here are the results and some stats of the event:
- Aguska Mnich (Pol)
- Laura Dekker (Ned)
- Anastasia Bagaglini (Ita)
- Erlend Fagerli (Nor)
- Yo Katsuyama (Jap)
- Sebastian “Machine” Peńa Morales (Col)
- Yoshihito “Yosshi” Yamamoto (Jap)
- Lukasz “Luki” Chiewduk (Pol)
- Norman Habri (Fra)
- Erlend & Brynjar Fagerli (Nor)
- Yosshi & Yu-J aka. La Classic (Jap)
- Michalix & Filip (Pol)
- Yiannos Sofroniou (Cyp)
- Adrian “Progres” Marcin (Pol)
- Tobias Wulff (Nor)
- Nolan Cacheux (Fra)
- Ethan Audiot (Fra)
- Eeli “Mestari” Järvinen (Fin)
- Erlend Fagerli (Nor)
- Philip Warren Gertsson (Phi)
- Sebastian “Machine” Peńa Morales (Col)
- Luca Chiarvesio (Ita)
- Konrad “Kondzio” Dybas (Pol)
- Sergio Sanchez (Spa)
- Luca Chiarvesio (Ita)
- Hugo Vliese (Ned)
- Arsenii “ARS” Klementev (Rus)
- Jairo “Jaironman” Gonzales (Mex)
- Robert Guzik (Pol)
- Pawel “Ronnie” Kwit (Pol)
Kill the beat by Urbanball
Winner: Yu-J (Jap)
Super Panna Ball by Urbanball
Winner: Trafalgar (Fra)
Judges and the Crew
Tobias “Becs” Brandal Busaet – Head judge (Nor)
Oleksii “Zhura” Zhurakhovskyi – Judge (Ukr)
Marcus Holmberg – Judge (Swe)
Michal “MichRyc” Rycaj – Judge (Pol)
Takashi “KU-TA” Kubo – Judge (Jap)
Tommaso Daigoro De Bernardi – Routine judge (Ita)
Clement “Clem” Reubrecht – Routine judge (Fra)
Mateusz “Zdichu” Zwiazek – Routine Judge (Pol)
Conor Reynolds – Extra judge (Ire)
Federico “Fed” Massignani – Extra judge (Ita)
Daniel Rooseboom de Vries – Extra judge (Ned)
Mael Kevin Fortin – Extra judge, Crew Manager (Pol)
Simon Atli Larsen – Extra judge, Athlete Manager (Den)
Daniel “Kjelkku” Kjellman – Extra judge, Vice Event Director, Antti2.0 (Fin)
Gleb “Bengau” Karpov – Judges Manager, Extra judge (Rus)
Pekko “PeGe” Piirto – Extra judge, accommodation manager, Vice MC (Fin)
Mehul Patel – Social Media Manager (UK)
Rob Romero – Media Assistant (USA)
Mateusz “Lotar” Odrzygóźdź – Photographer (Pol)
Tom Cheve – Videographer (Fra)
Lorenzo Pinciroli – MC (Ita)
Lukas “Lucaso” Skoda – Event Director, Big Boss (Cze)
Jakub “DJ Skodiss” Skoda – DJ (Cze)
Pavel Skoda – Semi big boss (Cze)
Ivan “DJ Imel” Meleshko – Vice DJ (Ukr)
Dan Wood – WFFA Executive (UK)
Steve Elias – WFFA Executive (Can)
Registered players: 327
Registered visitors: 65
Registered people total: 393
Total participants (inc. staff): 422
Countries present: 48
Country with most participants: Poland (54)
Around the Worlds completed: 2 Million