At the European Juggling Convention 2018 in the Azores, Luke Burrage finally won the EJC Fight Night Combat for the first time, defeating Brook Roberts in the final. It was his 14th attempt to win, having entered every EJC Fight Night since the very first, back in 2005 in Ptuj, Slovenia.
Check out the full video of his experience starting at 4 minutes into this EJC vlog:
It was also Luke's 8th time in an EJC final, having lost to Jochen Pfeiffer four times, Jay Gilligan twice, and Eóin Allan once. The final this time was an all-British match-up, with the two top German players falling in the semi-finals. Brook Roberts beat 2017 finalist Andreas Braun and Luke beat 2017's fourth place finisher Leo Ostenrath. Leo went on to lose to Andreas in the third place match, making it two fourth places in a row at the EJC.
With 65 players taking part, the Fight Night in the Azores was the fourth largest Fight Night ever, and third biggest in terms of participation of ranked players. However, Jochen Pfeiffer, last year's champion, didn't make it to the Azores to defend his title. Still, every EJC final so far has featured one or both of Jochen Pfeiffer and/or Luke Burrage, so he's sure to still be a favourite when he returns.
Thanks to all who helped run the EJC Azores Fight Night, including Maarten (hosting), Vivien and Lélo (scoring), Fabian (DJ), Emil (referee) and Michal (camera), and of course everyone else who took part.
See all the results and details here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-EJC-2018-Azores.html
The final of the French Juggling Convention 2018 Fight Night featured two Germans; Alexander Müller and Jonas Gengnagel. It also featured four match points for Jonas before Alex pulled off an amazing come-from-behind effort to take the overall victory. Check out the video above to see how he did it.
With 24 participants, the French Fight Night was a National 500 level tournament, and is Alex's second National level victory so far in 2018, the other being in Israel in April. Along with his Oldenburg 2018 title, that's enough for 5th out of 416 players in the 2018 Race Rankings
The Catch 2018 Festival took place in Cumbria, and attracted jugglers from across Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and more. 18 jugglers took part in the Fight Night, with the top 12 going through to the knockout finals. Julius Preu dominated throughout, including a 5-1 win over Luke Burrage in his semi-final and a 5-0 win over Brook Roberts in the final.
Julius has gone unbeaten in 2018, and is only the second player with more than one title and no losses. The other, of course, being Jochen Pfeiffer. But with only two tournament entries each, both are currently outside the top 10 in the Race to Berlin.
Also in July, the International Jugglers Association hosted their first ever Fight Night at the 2018 summer festival. 24 jugglers took part, and the top 16 took part in a double-elimination tournament. The top two jugglers after three winner-bracket matches were Wes Peden and Noah Schmeissner. After another three matches, Wes Peden came out on top, earning himself his second ever Fight Night title (also Lublin 2016). Along with his win at the WJF 2017 tournament in December, Noah Schmeissner is now the top ranked non-European player at 28th in the 52 Current Rankings and 21st in the 2018 Race Rankings.
See all the tournament results and details via the 2018 Tournament Calendar: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-calendar-2018.html
The last week has seen four Fight Night Combat tournaments, including three at national juggling conventions.
The largest took place at the Russian Juggling Convention in St. Petersburg, with 21 jugglers in the qualifications and 12 in the knockout. The third place match was the most dramatic, with Ilya Polyakov being four match points down to Adel Bikbaev, at 0-4, but then winning five points in a row to win 5-4.
The final match featured local juggler Kirill Sverchkov up against international guest Luke Burrage. Luke won 5-3, earning himself a melted Snickers bar, a set of three Henrys Delphin clubs, and 500 rankings points.
The Estonia Circus Convention hosted its second Fight Night, and this time it was won by an Estonian. Not only did a local juggler take the title, but Maarja Roolaht became the second woman to win a Fight Night so far this year.
The Hungarian Juggling Convention 2018 was invaded by two Czech jugglers on a mission to win as many tournaments as possible this year. The Vašek Peca vs Michal Keda rivalry now stands at four wins to one, with Vašek winning the final in Hungary. Vaśek is now into the top 10 in the 52 Week Current Rankings and second in the 2018 Race Rankings, just behind new number one Luke Burrage.
Finally, there was small Fight Night in Berlin last night as part of a summer street show festival. And because it's in Berlin, it just happened to feature three of the top four ranked players in the world of combat. Luke Burrage beat Alexander Müller in their semi-final, before losing convincingly to Jochen Pfeiffer in the final. Jochen won a crate of beer and a set of three Henrys Delphin juggling clubs, that may or may not have been the same prize Luke won in Russia five days earlier. As a Minor 125 tournament, the results have no impact on the current rankings, and only serve to extend Jochen's winning streak to 51 matches!
Check out the 2018 Tournament Calendar for all the results and details: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-calendar-2018.html
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