By Kaan Bolat, Can Kaytaz, and Kamil Urgun
by Kaan Bolat
After the first version of the Intergalaktik Cup (IG), in which there were two groups, and teams were distributed to these groups in the order of their previous achievements, the second version of the tournament will follow a different format: as there are fewer teams attending this tournament than the last, every team will play with one another at Intergalaktik II (IG2). Each team will play three matches on the first day of this night tournament, where games will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3 and end at 3 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4. The second day will start at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, with teams completing their games against each other, and then they will be ranked in the order of games won, point differential including the snitch, quaffle points scored, and, finally, number of snitches caught. After the ranking, the third- and fourth-placed teams will play for third place while the top two teams play in the final.
The first Intergalaktik Cup became known for its food, socials, and mud, and almost all European attendees spoke about how great the organisation was, from their point of view. Hosts METU Unicorns have upped the expectations for this second tournament; Intergalaktik Cup II has a boat trip scheduled for Sept. 5, and the great local food of Mersin will be present at the tournament area. Intergalaktik Cup II promises fabulousness in terms of socials, as well as the high-quality gameplay.
by Can Kaytaz
METU Unicorns took fourth place at European Quidditch Cup (EQC) 2016 and looked impressive in the process, but had rather unconvincing games in Turkish Quidditch League (TQL) even though they’re in the lead with a 5-2 record. Last tournament, however, the Unicorns proved that their regular season results were not a big deal, as they hosted and won Intergalaktik Cup I.
The Unicorns will be fielding 13 players, including two merc players, German International beater Phillip Stolz and Hacettepe Phoenix chaser Tarkan Gökkaya. The Unicorns’ quaffle game will be shaped by strong point chasers Ahmet Can Karakadılar and Sıla Yüksel alongside the veterans Kaan Bolat and Can Kaytaz. The Unicorns have a small but strong beater lineup including Team Turkey’s Kamil Urgun and Sıla Kara.
The METU Unicorns have been putting up a strong zonal defence for the past year and are looking to improve even further. On the offense they play a patient passing game until they find a crack in their opponents’ defence, which they exploit through strong drives. The Unicorns have also improved their defensive seeking a lot but still have a hard time catching the snitch. The Unicorns will be looking to defend their title as champions, and they are the favourites of the tournament once again.
by Can Kaytaz
The METU Minicorns have a 2-5 record at the TQL and come to IG2 as the previous lower-bracket champions. They’re missing a few key players such as Gabriel Kasuba, Alper Urgun, and Melike Balkan, but they’ll have strong replacements for them.
There will be 18 Minicorns at the Intergalaktik Cup II, three of them merc players. Okan Akdoğan of Hacettepe Phoenix will be joining Emin Ün, Kemal Yılmaz, Emre Sönmez, and Büşra Gürer in the quaffle game. Veteran beater Ruşen Sarı and talented Ece Akansel to lead their team to glory.
The Minicorns and Unicorns play a similar game, as they train together, but they might change their style slightly to accommodate their merc players. The Minicorns have a highly energetic squad and a lot of rotation options to stay fresh, so they will be looking to constantly press on the defence to force mistakes. If they can pair their defensive game with an organized offense we might see a final between these two teams with their trademark rock-paper-scissors to determine who gets the balls at the brooms up of the final.
by Can Kaytaz
The İTÜ Honeybees are the rising team of Turkish quidditch this year. After a disappointing fifth place finish in the Turkish Quidditch Cup (TQC) 2, they found their way to EQC 2016 after a few dropouts, where they finished 13th. That same weekend, the Honeybees arranged four TQL fixtures, beating all Ankara teams except the Minicorns. The Honeybees are at second place in the TQL with a 5-2 record.
Honeybees will be joined by two merc players to have a squad of 17. Athletic keeper Arif Gülbiter and Team Turkey’s Olgaç Can Öztürk will be the key players in quaffle play. Laidback Cemre Avcı will be the main beater threat of Honeybees, but not having any female beaters will be a hindrance for them.
The Honeybees combine a passing game with timely drives, but their incredibly small pool of female players might force them to adopt a slower approach. Missing some key players such as Ali Gülüm and Fuat Cemiloğlu will also hurt their chances of gold, but the Honeybees will play to get a medal, unless their love of alcoholic drinks gets the better of them.
by Kamil Urgun
Uludağ Aragog’s played at both Turkish Quidditch Cup 2 (TQC 2) and the first Intergalaktik Cup. Unfortunately, their squad for Intergalaktik Cup II will consist of mostly freshmen and they will be looking for some experience before the upcoming Turkish Quidditch Cup in October. However, they’ve got Gülin Sedenay Saylam with them, who is able to play very well as both chaser and beater. Also, their keeper Başar Karamuk is the top scorer of the current Turkish Quidditch League season with 33 hoops in seven matches.
The Aragog’s will be camping in Mersin for a week before the tournament, and they will be training regularly during that time. Even with the extra training, their squad is inexperienced when compared to the other four teams attending the tournament. We can expect them to finish the tournament off the podium; however, it is certain that they will not give up without challenging their opponents.
Saps Quidditch Club
by Kamil Urgun
Saps QC is the second merc team in Turkey, the first one being METU Dragons, who attended Tournoi International de la Violette and took third place. Saps will be playing their very first match at Intergalaktik Cup II; thus it is really hard to predict their performance. Saps will bring 16 players to the tournament, including Team Turkey players Erdi Yeşildal, Çağatay Ural, and Utku Özver. All of them are playing for BOUN Centaurs, so they know each other well, and they will be the main scoring options of Saps QC.
When it comes to their beater line, Saps have Ragnhild W. Dahl of OSI Vikings, Alper Arıçay, and Kadir Ogün Akkaya, all three of whom are talented beaters, though they have never played together before.
It is obvious that Saps have a squad full of talent and experience, but their performance will depend on whether they can manage to play as a team and succeed or play as individuals and fail. This team is a strong candidate for a medal, but their synergy as a team will determine the color of that medal.