The groups are set for the European Masters 2015! Let's meet the competitors.
Luke Burrage is the top ranked player of 2015. His biggest tournament win of the year was at the Netherlands Juggling Convention, where he defeated Jochen Pfeiffer in the final to win 750 rankings points. Luke has either won or come second in all his tournaments this year, only losing to Eóin Allan (once) and Jochen Pfeiffer (three times).
Jon Peat is the second highest ranked player in the UK. His best tournament result was taking second place at the British Juggling Convention, only losing to Iver Tronstad, who Jon also lost to in 2014 at the BJC. Jon won the Cumbria and Durham Fight Nights, and came second in Bath and Cambridge.
Alex Leymann took part seven tournaments in 2015, and he's the highest ranked German player not based in Berlin taking part in the European Masters. He won the Magdeburg Fight Night and came second in Halle and Hannover. Alex qualified for the EJC 2015 Fight Night, and has 0.571 knockout match winning ratio in 2015 (8 wins, 6 losses).
Alexander Müller has reached three EJC Fight Night final matches, but this year didn't take part, instead taking the role of match referee in Bruneck. He only started his bid to qualify for the European Masters in September, by earning 350 points by winning Karlsruhe Fight Night. He backed that up with a 4th place finish in Hamburg, then secured his place in the finals with a 3rd place finish in Cottbus.
Rounding out group A is Jochen Hänsel. Jochen entered eight tournaments in 2015, and is one of the three jugglers to qualify without winning a tournament. Jochen's best tournament result was his first of the year, coming second at the Tropical Island Invasion Fight Night. His best result in terms of points earned was his fourth place in Brianza.
The highest ranked player in group B is Eóin Allan, the only non-German-or-British player in the finals. Eóin's best result in 2015 was simply winning the biggest tournament ever, the EJC 2015 Fight Night. In terms of his end-of-year rankings, Eóin can overtake Jochen Pfeiffer for second place in 2015, but only if he wins all his group matches, makes it to the final, and then wins the entire tournament.
Dave Leahy is the highest ranked player not living in Berlin. He won the WJW Fight Night in the Netherlands and the Bath Upchuck in the UK, and came third at the EJC.
Florian Marienfeld is the highest ranked player in 2015 not to have won a tournament. Flo came fourth at the EJC, third in Hamburg and second in Cottbus. Also at the EJC, Flo defeated the number one ranked player at the time, Jochen Pfeiffer, becoming the first player to ever beat Jochen multiple times.
Brook Roberts took third place at the British Juggling Convention, then sat out the tournaments at the NJF and EJC. Later in the year he regained his Fight Night enthusiasm, entering and winning his local tournament in Cambridge, earning 300 rankings points. He added to his rankings with second place finishes in Durham and Leeds.
Julius Preu was the last player to qualify, scraping into the European Masters with a third place result in Nürnberg. He has yet to win a Fight Night, but came second in Karlsruhe, Laer, and Bad Ems.
The groups were decided by a random draw with the following restrictions:
The event starts in just 3 hours! You can watch the live stream from the event and follow along with the live scores here: http://fightnightcombat.com/european-masters-2015-live-scores.html
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