By Andrew Kasimir
The first Asian Quidditch Cup, held on 30 and 31 July, 2016, has come and gone, with the Australian National University Owls (ANU Owls) being crowned champions. It was a three-team tournament comprising two Malaysian teams, the Subang Chimaeras and Damansara Dementors, as well as the Australian champions. The final scores can be found here.
Until the Asian Quidditch Cup, the majority of Malaysian players had never played at a tournament with certified referees. Furthermore, the Subang Chimaeras and Damansara Dementors never really played as a unit until recently; the Chimaeras only started up in March of this year, meaning the Dementors were the only quidditch team in Malaysia for almost as long as quidditch has been in the country.
As one of the main organisers of the inaugural Asian Quidditch Cup, my intention was to expose the local players to proper referee calls, pitch size, and gameplay. The experienced ANU Owls were great at explaining and showing us the dos and don’ts during the games.
Oscar Cozens, who captained ANU at the Asian Quidditch Cup, said that it was his aim for the Owls to help a developing quidditch nation grow.
Mercenary players Veronica Lowe, Ezekiel Azib, and Keith Jones also played important roles when they were needed to help out with game officiating.
Although the newest team participating at the tournament, the Subang Chimaeras, had been playing for less than six months, they showed that their inexperience was not a big deal, narrowly losing 90*-40 to the Damansara Dementors in the semifinal.
You could say that the Subang Chimaeras and Damansara Dementors have developed a small rivalry, but not in a bitter way. Before any of the games, you’d hear players from both sides wishing each other luck and cheering each other on from the sidelines.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I started playing quidditch, but after competing at the Asian Quidditch Cup, I feel like I’ve joined a sport that I genuinely love and care for,” Chimaeras player Aaron Lim Jun-Ren said. “It’s really one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
The Chimaeras may have lost all of their games at the tournament, but the team is already looking forward to next year’s Asian Quidditch Cup.
“We’re definitely going to come back stronger,” said Lim.
Julie Sasaki, who helped set up the Subang Chimaeras, also had nothing but good things to say about her experience in quidditch and playing at the Asian Quidditch Cup.
“It’s only been a few months since I started playing, but I can confidently say it’s the most unique sport I’ve ever played,” Sasaki said. “What I loved about playing at the Asian Quidditch Cup was how all three teams got along really well even though we were competing against each other.”
Sasaki will be heading back to Japan, but says that her quidditch days aren’t over just yet. Could we finally be seeing a Japanese team soon?
The Asian Quidditch Cup will return next year and then biennially in order for it to not clash with the World Cup. Expect more teams at next year’s Asian Quidditch Cup, and more Asian nations at the next World Cup!