The Race to Berlin is entering the home stretch! The European Masters, the end-of-year final tournament of the Fight Night Combat 2018 season, will be held on the 24th of November.
The 2018 Race Rankings determines the invitation list, and the top players have until Monday 5th November to accumulate as many points at as many tournaments as possible. Those who earn an invite are rewarded with an all-expenses-paid trip to Berlin to take part in the ultimate showdown against the best of the best!
See the qualification overview here: http://fightnightcombat.com/european-masters-qualification-overview.html
Already qualified by winning one of the four Major tournaments are Luke Burrage (NJF and EJC), Jon Peat (BJC), and Jochen Pfeiffer (Berlin). Brook Roberts has also qualified by holding enough rankings points (1967) that not enough players can overtake him in the race.
Currently 4th in the Race Rankings is Vašek Peca, winner of the Brianza and Hungarian Fight Nights. He's followed closely by Alexander Müller, winner of two National 500 Fight Nights in Israel and France. Alex has more than a 200 point lead over Cameron Ford, who is currently 6th in the Race.
The last two spots in the provisional invite list are Markus Utke and Andreas Braun, both with exactly 1125 points. Markus came second in two Major tournaments (NJF and Berlin) and retired injured from the EJC after his round of 16 match. Andreas came third in Berlin and the EJC, and won his home tournament in Aachen.
Close on the heels of Markus and Andreas are Michal Keda, Callum Lawrie and Sebastian Martini. Further down the rankings, keep an eye out for Julius Preu, who has gone unbeaten in two tournaments this year, and can easily make up places with one or two more strong results, and also Stephan Cipra in 13th place, who has entered the most tournaments of any player this year in his effort to qualify (11 tournaments).
This year the 10th invite will not necessarily be the 10th highest player in the Race Rankings, but is reserved to reward unique contributions to the Fight Night Combat scene and to increase diversity at the event.
Who is going to qualify? Keep an eye on the results from the last dozen tournaments in the 2018 season to see how the race hots up. The biggest points hauls will be available from tournaments at Cambridge, J-Fest, HJW, Hamburg, and (coming up this weekend) Karlsruhe.
If 43 tournaments sounds like a lot, it is! It's the second highest number of tournaments entered in the history of Fight Night Combat. Luke Burrage leads at 63, with Brook Roberts third at 38 tournaments. Now Jochen Hänsel holds the record for most tournaments entered without a win, at 29.
Stephan was also the holder of the "Jon Peat Always-the-Bridesmaid" title for appearing in the most tournament finals without yet an overall win. It is named for Jon Peat who, up until Cumbria 2015, extended his losing streak in finals to four matches. This was surpassed by Julius Preu, who made it five finals losses before winning Aachen 2016. Stephan matched Julius with five finals losses before winning Magdeburg 2018.
Check out all the results and details here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-Magdeburg-2018.html
At the European Juggling Convention 2018 in the Azores, Luke Burrage finally won the EJC Fight Night Combat for the first time, defeating Brook Roberts in the final. It was his 14th attempt to win, having entered every EJC Fight Night since the very first, back in 2005 in Ptuj, Slovenia.
Check out the full video of his experience starting at 4 minutes into this EJC vlog:
It was also Luke's 8th time in an EJC final, having lost to Jochen Pfeiffer four times, Jay Gilligan twice, and Eóin Allan once. The final this time was an all-British match-up, with the two top German players falling in the semi-finals. Brook Roberts beat 2017 finalist Andreas Braun and Luke beat 2017's fourth place finisher Leo Ostenrath. Leo went on to lose to Andreas in the third place match, making it two fourth places in a row at the EJC.
With 65 players taking part, the Fight Night in the Azores was the fourth largest Fight Night ever, and third biggest in terms of participation of ranked players. However, Jochen Pfeiffer, last year's champion, didn't make it to the Azores to defend his title. Still, every EJC final so far has featured one or both of Jochen Pfeiffer and/or Luke Burrage, so he's sure to still be a favourite when he returns.
Thanks to all who helped run the EJC Azores Fight Night, including Maarten (hosting), Vivien and Lélo (scoring), Fabian (DJ), Emil (referee) and Michal (camera), and of course everyone else who took part.
See all the results and details here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-EJC-2018-Azores.html
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