EQC Preview 2018: Norway

EQC Preview 2018: OSI Quidditch Vikings

By Ragnhild W. Dahl, with comments from Jakob Lenz

Editor’s Note: Ragnhild W. Dahl will be chasing for OSI Vikings at EQC. Jakob Lenz is coach of OSI Vikings.

For the first time in two years, OSI Vikings are going into European Quidditch Cup (EQC) as the winner of Oslo Open. In the biggest slowball match of history, OSI triumphed over NTNUI Rumpeldunk with the score 50*-20. By doing so, they snatched the top seed for this year’s EQC from last year’s semifinalist. “This is the best victory of my life. It meant so much more than all other matches Ive ever had in quidditch,” said coach Jakob Lenz when describing the victory. He slept with the medal around his neck the night of the victory, for the fear of waking up to it all being a dream.

Now that OSI have overcome the “NTNUI ghost” that has been haunting them for years, they are confident and ready to take on whatever EQC will throw at them. Their goal for this year is to reach the quarterfinals.

Martin Beyer @Battle Royale 2017 | Photo Credit: More Quidditch Photos

Sweden’s top player Martin Beyer has returned from an injury break and is ready to crush on OSI’s side at this year’s EQC. The chaser line-up looks incredibly strong this year, sporting a line of gruntish, battlehardened tacklers like Jakob Lenz, Rein Oterholm, and Torstein Nordhagen. For offense, the Vikings recruited yet another lightningfast Japanese mystery chaser who will break ankles in European defences. The non-male chaser line-up bolsters two former beaters, Ragnhild W. Dahl and Maria Mykland, bringing enhanced overview to the chaser game. The line-up is complemented by former national team player Johanne Steinlien and together they are ready to bring “The Crush” to Munich.

As for beaters, Kai Haugen Shaw is back from his shoulder injury and is ready to prove James Burnett and his “ at best, average [beating]”-comment wrong. Partner in (beater-)crime is the national team Assistant Coach Merlin Zimmerman, whose beating prowess will renew your belief in magic. Last but not least, the Vikings will be fielding Mette Sundal, who has acquired some fame for being on the winning team at several fantasy tournaments in the recent past.

OSI Vikings at the Rumpeldunk NM 2018 | Photo Credit: Ketil Kirkerud Elgethun

In a group with the only Swedish team Gothenburg Griffins, the Vienna Vanguards, and home team Münchner Wolpertinger, the Vikings face a varying degree of strength in the group stage. The Vikings are coming into the tournament with their faces painted, their axes drawn, and their shields raised, ready to beat whatever is in their way, looking to secure the first spot in the group.

EQC Preview 2018: NTNUI Rumpeldunk

By Silver Chacón, with contribution from Amund Kulsrud Storruste

Editor’s Note: Silver Chacón plays for NTNUI Rumpeldunk.

Since the foundation of NTNUI Rumpeldunk in the summer of 2012, the team roster has changed many times for a variety of reasons. Since attending European Quidditch Cup for the first time in 2014, there has been a shift of players every season, due to a large portion of the roster consisting of exchange students. For this reason NTNUI has had varied performances:

  • EQC 2014: 10th place. NTNUI managed to bring a small squad to their first European appearance but had their worst result since only twelve teams attended.
  • EQC 2015: 5th place. Here NTNUI made their reputation thanks to some of the season’s key players such as current Paris Titan Mikel Poisse, later selected for the Norwegian and French national teams
  • EQC 2016: 17th place. Winners of the lower bracket after the decision of the organizers to cancel lower bracket remaining games. NTNUI had to accept 17th place after having two in-range losses on day 1, added to injuries, and a 14-player squad with new recruits that very same year
  • EQC 2017: 4th place. NTNUI’s best performance so far, despite the controversial score-keeping leading to NTNUI’s loss in the bronze playoff.
NTNUI Rumpeldunk at the Rumpeldunk NM 2018 | Photo Credit: Ketil Kirkerud Elgethun

This year is (tough) business as usual for NTNUI. Notable departures from their quaffle line-up are national team level chasers Viktor Moortgat, Christian Forner, Johannes Klein-Peters, Roeland ter Hoeven, and Alexandra Krauser. Both Moortgat and Forner are key players for their new teams,  respectively Ghent Gargoyles and Münchner Wolpertinger, that are also playing at EQC. 12 out of the 15 quaffle players in NTNUI’s squad are new to the roster, and eight started playing quidditch this season. Some of the new additions are Norwegian freshers Stine Hansen and Vesla Selvik, former TC Frost Quidditch player Jesse Renicke, and  the Italian Franco Gerini.

For the male chaser rookies it remains to see if the lack of tournament experience will be a deciding factor. Out of the six chaser recruits, only Maximilian Seitz and Sebastian Stinner participated in the recent national championship. The two did have a big impact on the tournament, bringing strength and size to a quaffle line-up with two males and two females, a new approach for NTNUI game style in that tournament. Seitz in particular showed good endurance and kept up defensive intensity throughout the tournament, even challenging OSI coach and chaser Jakob Lenz on his strong drives.

NTNUI’s coach Amund Storruste decided to be reserved about all of their new talented players to keep the surprise factor and keep the hype up. There is, however, experience in the line-up too. Elisabeth Jørstad, former European champion with Radcliffe Chimeras, returns to chase for the team after spending a successful season beating for NTNUI at EQC 2017, Oslo Open and the Norwegian championship, all of which firmly placed her at the very top level of European beating. Jørstad will try to fill the shoes of Alexandra Krauser. Although not on the level of Krauser defensively, Jørstad’s strengths lie in passing, playmaking, and offensive teamplay. Jørstad will play a key role in breaking through the tough physical defenses of Titans Paris and Rheinos Bonn, by providing the team with offensive depth and consistent passing for Jørgen Stenløkk to rely on. Stenløkk is widely known in the quidditch community for his contribution to the Norwegian and European quidditch as head referee, Norgesrumpeldunkforbund’s (Norway’s NGB) president and event organizer, and not to mention also for his notable skills as keeper and seeker.

NTNUI Rumpeldunk is bringing a 21-player squad, despite having two injured players: Tobias Sundhaugen and Lenny Schönfelder, who will very probably not play during the weekend. This team will be the team that brought their victory home on the national championship, with some reinforcements like Jesse Renicke, Francesco Gerini, quaffle players who will bring a tight defense game and speed on offense, and beaters such as Silver Chacón and Halvor Steine who will bring aggressivity and chaos to the pitch, increasing the overall strength and performance of the team.

Lisa Tietze defending from bludger control by OSI’s beater combination, Mette Sundal and Merlin Zimmermann | Photo Credit: Petter Elstad

NTNUI Rumpeldunk was lucky enough to get second place at the Norwegian EQC qualifier (Oslo Open 2017) in October last year, and despite their good performance at EQC 2017 they were assigned to the third seed pot. Group C consists of Paris Titans, Bonn Rheinos, NTNUI Rumpeldunk and Occamy Olomouc.

NTNUI’s coach Amund Storruste is quite confident about this year’s roster and is convinced they can top the group. However, getting first place in group C will not be easy because of twice European champions Paris Titans. Especially after their in range loss against NTNUI, Titans will undoubtedly seek to regain their place. Both teams will probably play their best line-ups from the get go, which could result in one of the most interesting matches on day 1, and probably of the weekend. Both teams have strong and powerful chasers, and smart and aggressive beaters. It is yet to see if NTNUI’s roster of newbies can again stand firm against a team of very experienced players.

Furthermore, it will be the first time that NTNUI faces Rheinos Bonn, the current German champions. A strong team, with depth in both the beater and chaser departments, that will definitely be a competitive match for NTNUI. After all their league matches and a preparation weekend in their road-to-EQC, where about a month ago they played friendlies against some of the top German teams: Münchner Wolpertinger, Three River Dragons Passau, and Darmstadt Athenas; Rheinos Bonn is without a doubt ready for battle. A strong and consistent team in their player base which will surely put up a fight with NTNUI and Titans to reach upper bracket.

Rheinos Bonn will be NTNUI’s second opponent of the day and it is important to mention the advantage that Bonn has over NTNUI in this matter since NTNUI will have their first game against an EQC favorite, while Bonn will likely have had a secure victory against one of the EQC debutants, the Czech team Occamy Olomouc. This will allow Bonn to play their second or third line-up whereas NTNUI will have probably already used their strongest players by the time they face each other. This situation will have to be handled properly by Amund Storruste to help the team secure a spot in the upper bracket.

Finally, NTNUI will play Occamy Olomouc, a recently founded team with a small squad. They should not be a challenge for NTNUI, which might be just the chance for NTNUI to finally take some rest and provide an opportunity to their new chasers to get some more synergy and experience.

Editors Note: Article was updated 26/04/2018 to correct the name “Franco Gerini” to “Francesco Gerini”