September 30, 2022 by Graham Gerhart in Recap with feedback
Ultiworld’s 2022 protection of the membership division is introduced by Spin Final; all opinions are these of the creator(s). Learn the way Spin can get you, and your workforce, wanting your greatest this season.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Regardless of the overbearing warmth and area restrictions, Southwest Regionals went off with no hitch, particularly for the expected favorites. Neither San Francisco nor SoCal Condors ever appeared in bother of shedding their bids to Nationals, and the 2 groups neatly diced up the remainder of the area earlier than assembly within the remaining. Revolver received this bout 15-11 after taking a robust lead early, however the Condors effectively picked aside Berkeley Zyzzyva quickly after to ebook their ticket again to San Diego.
Revolver Will get Revenge on Rival Condors to Wrap Up the Area
As predicted by followers and critics alike, the 2 greatest groups within the area met within the remaining with out a lot issue alongside the way in which. Revolver had an fascinating begin to their event the place they let Tucson’s Sonoran Canine keep inside taking pictures distance of their first recreation of the weekend, however after they let themselves heat up, Revolver scored the ultimate 5 factors of the sport to win 15-7. In semis, Revolver simply dispatched East Bay OAT 15-5, locking out any query of their fallibility. On the opposite facet of the bracket, the closest video games the Condors had confronted to that time was a 15-7 win of their very own in opposition to OC Crows in pool play, as Streetgang had elected to play open strains in semis after being damaged twice early within the first half.
With each groups taking part in to their full potential, the matchup on Sunday actually did seem like on degree floor. Each groups had performed three video games on Saturday, and with it being the primary recreation of the day, neither facet had any form of fatigue heading in.
Regardless of the looks of equal footing, Revolver rapidly established themselves because the workforce holding the upper floor. The Condors had been lacking some crucial handlers from their roster in Dom Leggio, Elliot Warner, and Tim Gilligan, which put numerous stress on the throwers that had been on the event to play at their peak. Revolver took full benefit of this, usually funneling the SoCal workforce to the low facet as they received nearer to the tip zone, which did lead to a couple bladey turns or rushed pictures from the Condors within the first half. Whereas resets didn’t look to be an excessive amount of of an issue from both workforce, Revolver’s handler defenders did a superb job stopping upline cuts, forcing the Condors into the backfield to get their resets off.
San Francisco clearly had achieved their homework, too, as they knew their matchups to a T. The place Marcel Osborne and KJ Koo had been in a position to drive numerous downfield momentum within the common season, they usually had been stifled on huge yardage beneficial properties from underneath cuts. Nicholas Simonelli and Sam Prepare dinner had some standout moments, together with an unimaginable format seize from Prepare dinner that may make any spotlight reel, however the momentum was clearly on Revolver’s facet.
It helped that Revolver had been in a position to get the disc to the break facet with relative ease. Whereas their defensive stress was commendable, it was their offense after the flip that actually set them up for fulfillment. The workforce had no qualms with affected person lateral motion till one thing opened up, and it offered them with loads of alternatives when Condor gamers had been late to orbit or overcommitted on an task. Byron Liu, Nate Prior, and the remainder of Revolver had been pleased to play preserve away till one thing opened up in the long run zone.
This plan wasn’t at all times profitable, nevertheless. The Condors have a rising star in Lukas Ambrose, who made three superb endzone blocks, together with a format for a move that appeared nicely past his attain. He usually took the harder matchups downfield for SoCal, and was a vivid spot within the recreation for them.
Even with particular person heroics from the Condors, they discovered themselves down 8-5 at half, with Revolver totally within the driver’s seat. Out of half, each groups turned very stingy with their turnovers, however the lead that Revolver had constructed was simply an excessive amount of padding for the Condors to get inside taking pictures distance.
A number of the success for Revolver within the second half might be whittled all the way down to good, heads-up play from their offensive unit. Kevin Tien has been a welcome addition to the workforce, and was an issue for the Condors all recreation, as was Adam Rees, however the MVP of the sport, and the weekend as a complete, was Eli Kerns. The do-it-all handler for Revolver labored additional time to get open when the workforce wanted him, and was usually in a position to outplay his defender in isolation, giving Revolver a simple launch valve the place obligatory. It wasn’t an ideal recreation from Revolver’s O-line, however Kerns’ play helped them inch nearer to that ideally suited.
The sport wrapped up at 15-11, however it had been in Revolver’s management far earlier than that. There have been a lot of aggressive zones, junk defenses, and match-up defensive schemes that the Condors ran, however nothing unlocked Revolver’s offense to offer the Condors a foothold. “They had been the higher workforce than us —at the moment,” stated Condors captain Sam Fontaine.
After shedding their spot on the prime of the area in 2021, Revolver is as soon as once more the toast of the Southwest, and could have numerous momentum heading into Nationals.
Condors Cease Zyzzyva’s Simmering Cinderella Story within the Recreation to Go
After their loss to Revolver, the SoCal Condors went into the game-to-go with a degree to show. Regardless of the vultures circling round them, the Condors rose above the fray and simply swooped previous Zyzzyva with out a lot resistance.
The Berkeley workforce was driving a excessive coming off two straight wins on Sunday, having simply beat San Diego Streetgang within the backdoor semis, however couldn’t keep that vitality in opposition to a more energizing, extra decided SoCal workforce that had higher self-discipline on each offense and protection.
That wasn’t the case firstly of the sport, although. Zyzzyva got here out the gate with stable protection that led to 2 turns from the Condors on the very first level. Sadly, neither flip led to a break, as SoCal was simply too cautious on protection and Berkeley was a bit too keen, permitting the Condors a maintain regardless of the specter of an early break.
Zyzzyva wouldn’t get many possibilities after that. After a number of holds, the cracks began to point out on the fifth level of the sport, as a rushed throw from Zyzzyva let the Condors protection, marshalled by Will Turner and Sam Fontaine, take management of the sport. A number of junk units interspersed between stable handler protection saved Zyzzyva guessing all the first half, and it didn’t take lengthy earlier than the Condors bullied their option to an 8-3 lead at half.
Credit score the place it’s due: Zyzzyva saved combating. Gavin Could, Matt Burke, and Patrick Xu had been as unflappable as ever, however too usually it was a single lapse in judgement that swung the course of a degree in favor of the Condors. The defensive firepower of Jaron Omulolu, Drew Palmer, and Dexter Clyburn didn’t see the sphere sufficient because of the breaks touchdown in favor of the Condors, and even once they crossed over, robust offensive possessions left them gassed earlier than they even had an opportunity to set their protection.
By the point the sport ended, the Condors had confirmed their level with a 15-4 scoreline and a nationals berth in hand.
Better of the Relaxation
As famous earlier than the event, the closest competitors in Tucson was the battle for third place. Zyzzyva, OAT, Streetgang, and Phoenix Drought had been all of very comparable ability ranges, and there was no workforce that was a league above the remaining. OAT made it to the semis with a win over Drought, however misplaced to Zyzzyva in backdoor quarters, who had misplaced to Streetgang in quarters. Streetgang, for his or her half, beat Drought within the backdoor quarters however then misplaced to Zyzzyva within the game-to-go-to-the-game-to-go, regardless of having beat them earlier within the event. The outcomes between the groups had been as muddy as that they had been within the common season, and it units up loads of pleasant rivalries within the years to come back.
Whereas Zyzzyva proved themselves to be the third greatest workforce on the event this yr, their recreation in opposition to Streetgang was no straightforward win. Berkeley had struggled to comprise San Diego’s Thomas Konogeris of their earlier assembly, and the handler core of Michael Tran, Jake Gutkowski, and Boris Li had navigated the Zyzzyva zone with ease. To make issues worse, the San Diegan squad had acquired a bye heading into Sunday, which means that they had performed one recreation lower than their NorCal opponents.
The deck might need been stacked in opposition to Zyzzyva, however that they had a successful hand. Streetgang made too many errors on offense within the first half, and even the two-way play of Zachary Spidell couldn’t get them again into the sport. Zyzzyva’s defensive position did their job to perfection within the first half, and despite the fact that Streetgang tried to stage a comeback, the calm offensive play from Ben Elliot, Michael Chen, and Matt Burke gave Berkeley their probability within the game-to-go.