By Nicole Hammer and Alejo Enriquez
Last year, three countries competed at the 2017 Copa del Sur tournament. This event showcased the playing of South America and was hosted by Chile, an emerging area of the IQA. Confederación del Sur is comprised of Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. There were seven teams in total and the tournament had each team play against each other with a final bracket that determined the winner.
This year, seven teams will again be competing:
Deathly Dragons (Argentina)
Los Leones de Gryffindor (Peru)
Black Basilisks (Peru)
Alchemist Dragons (Peru)
Santiago Snidgets (Chile)
Yana Amaru (Peru)
Inti Warriors Quidditch Club (Peru)
Los Leones, Santiago Snidgets, Deathly Dragons, and Black Basilisks attended last year’s Copa Del Sur, with Peru, Argentina, and Chile sending teams. Brazil, as in 2017, will not be sending a team to Copa del Sur for the 2018 tournament.
Last year, Los Leones had a strong lead after the round-robin phase, holding a 4-2 record until the semifinal when the team played against the Santiago Snidgets. Los Leones won 90-40* against Snidgets during the first stage; however, Snidgets accomplished an upset in the semifinal that meant they would go into the final, ultimately finishing in second place. Leones de Gryffindor, while having a lot of physically talented male players, lacked in female depth. However, the team was the only team to use a female keeper, Viviana Guerrero. The team often kept their female chaser back, resulting in only two male chasers advancing on offense. Due to physical skill, good chasing fundamentals, and aggressive beater play, the team managed to frequently score goals in two versus five situations. Snitch–on–pitch play was weak, however, with Los Leones losing all three of their SWIM games, they were in third place after losing the semifinal.
Santiago Snidgets, the winners of Copa del Sur 2016, were a very strong team, clearly deserving of a place in the final. The team had good numbers, though beating depth was somewhat weak. However, the team had excellent driving from both male and female players and great chaser play. The Snidgets had superior beating lead by Rodrigo Villalobos and Cristian Rodriguez. Their beater corps was probably one of the more technically advanced of the teams in attendance, showing good complementary play, cohesion with each other and their chasers, and good mechanics. The chaser play was also technically proficient and showed good passing and running ability.
The Black Basilisks, the “other half” of Peru, had three very promising female players: Natalia Justo Villegas, Jelitza Garrido, and Ayleen Muñoz Gonzales. The team had very physically talented and aggressive quaffle players running through and around tackles on fast breaks. The team, put together with Deathly Dragons, would create upsets if they were to attend World Cup.
Adding to the 2017 Peruvian teams attending Copa del Sur this year are Yana Amaru, Inti Warriors, and Alchemist Dragons. Last year, Los Leones pooled players from these three teams that did not attend. Notable players include América Sedano, Jorge Aquije Santa Gadea, and Noelia Pauta.
Overall, with Peru bringing in a large majority of teams and hosting this year’s Copa del Sur, it will be quite a challenge for Deathly Dragons to defend their 2017 win.
The contributions of last year’s non-playing snitches and refs were incredible and there were few complaints about referees in general, aside from the last pool games which were both high-stakes games. Ultimately, the Brazilian referee, Vinícius Costa, refereed the Peru vs. Chile game, similar to considerations made at the World Cup. Ultimately, the future of South American quidditch is something that the world should take note of, especially once these teams attend their first World Cup – with exception of Brazil, who participated in the 2018 World Cup in Florence.