In a battle for early season superiority, the Massachusetts Quidditch Conference and the Southern New England Quidditch Conference teams will face off Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Jayke Archibald, the IQA’s Northeast correspondent, is a member of Q.C. Boston: The Massacre.
This weekend, the Massachusetts Quidditch Conference (MQC) and the Southern New England Quidditch Conference (SNEQC) will join together to host a season-opening tournament at Joe Moakley Field in the heart of Boston. A total of 15 teams will be in attendance, with out-of-conference special guests McGill University, the University of New Haven and the New York Badassilisks rounding out the field. The tournament format will consist of three pools of five teams each; round robin play will determine pool seedings. The top two teams from each pool plus the two best third-seeds will move on to bracket play, where single elimination will eventually crown a champion.
Emerson College, Q.C. Boston: The Massacre, India Point Ashwinders, Brandeis University, Smith College
Tufts University, McGill University, Harvard University, University of New Haven, North Shore Nor'Easters
Boston University, New York Badassilisks, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Rhode Island, Clark University
The tournament will be the first ranked games for all teams in attendance this season. Thus, it should be a good indicator of which teams gained the best new talent in the offseason and how well that talent has meshed with the veteran cores. Most teams will have only had a few practices under their belts, so those whose schedule began earliest may have a slight advantage. This tournament will probably not be the best indicator of many of these teams' abilities; it will, however, likely grant good insight into their potential, as well as set the tone for the rest of the season.
Notable in this tournament will be the regional debuts of three teams: Q.C. Boston: The Massacre, the North Shore Nor’Easters (formerly the community team known as C.A.M.P.S.) and the India Point Ashwinders. While the Massacre has received significant pre-season hype, and the Nor’Easters should have some experienced players from its previous IQA incarnation, the Ashwinders has a more complicated history. Unofficial for much of last year, this team came on strong at the end of the season, and was crowned champion of the SNEQC Cup in April. The Ashwinders will now look to test its skills against some of the region’s best, and how it fares may be one of the most intriguing storylines of this tournament.
Besides these new teams, many of the early Northeast favorites will be attending, including Boston University (B.U.) and Emerson College. Emerson is the defending MQC champion, while B.U. is the defending regional champion, so they will each be looking to assert their dominance for the upcoming season. Tufts University, having played third fiddle in Boston for the last few years, would relish a signature victory to cement its regional championship aspirations. Lastly, even though not from the Northeast, McGill will be serious contenders in this tournament. Unfortunately, the team was unable to defend its high season ranking at World Cup VI due to finals scheduling last year. It had one of the strongest records in the country and many felt it could have made a deep run into day two had it attended the cup.
This tournament should be a great opening showcase of what some of the best Northeast teams have to offer this upcoming season. The pool makeup should not leave any favorites in poor position, and all contenders should make bracket play easily. At the end of the day, the MQC should fare better than the SNEQC, and it would be surprising to see anything but a team out of Boston as the eventual winner.
*Pools were drawn after article was written