Congratulations to Jochen Pfeiffer for winning the Fight Night Combat European Masters 2016. He won seven matches in total, all against top 10 opponents, including yet another victory over current number one Luke Burrage in the final. Jochen's win-loss record in 2016 is 18-0.
While Jochen has beaten Luke three times this year, he only took part in four tournaments compared to Luke's eight tournaments, which wasn't enough to overcome Luke's race rankings points lead, and Jochen ends the year second in the 2016 Race Rankings.
However, with his 750 point victory at the European Masters, he is just 14 points behind Luke in the 52 week current rankings, with 2750 points to Luke's 2764. Jochen is assured to become the number one combat player again the next tournament he enters, or in April when Luke loses his points from the BJC 2015.
Luke had to win just three matches to secure the end-of-year number one spot, and did so by going unbeaten in his group stage matches. He earned himself 550 rankings points for his second place finish. Two other players from Luke's group came third and fourth, Markus Utke and Leo Ostenrath, with Markus avenging a loss to Leo in the group stage and edging Leo by 345 rankings points to 340.
Danny Cooper was second in Jochen's group but lost to Markus in his quarter-final. He lost his next two matches in the loser bracket to come eighth, but he finished fifth in terms of points because the loser bracket matches didn't carry any rankings weight and were just played as a fun experiment. Rob van Heijst won two group matches and finished fifth overall, while Jon Peat and Brook Roberts only won one group match each and finished sixth and seventh, both with 100 ranking points.
Jon Peat's main goal of the tournament was not to finish in last place like he did in 2015, and he managed that goal. This year the 9th and 10th place playoff match was held between Alex Leymann and Jan Poolen, neither of whom won any of their group stage matches. Alex beat Jan in straight sets for the 25 bonus rankings points.
Thanks to everyone who helped run the event: Melissa for hosting the live stream, Leanne and Juliane for score keeping and paperwork, Eóin for announcing and refereeing the knockout matches, Carsten for organizing the venue, Luke for technical setup, and anyone else who put in some time to make it a success.
Look out for video highlights in the future, or watch the entire 2 hour 30 minute event again as it was live streamed on Facebook.
Find all the results and details here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-European-Masters-2016.html
After 44 tournaments in 2016, the field is set for the European Masters, the end of year final tournament that will test and confirm the best players of the year. 10 jugglers qualified: four Germans, four Brits, and two Dutch. Four jugglers are playing at the tournament for the second time.
The unique structure of the tournament, with a group stage before the knockout, means each juggler will play a minimum of five matches. Rankings points will be earned for each match, with 750 points going to the undefeated winner, up from 500 last year.
The two groups were decided by random draw, with each next pair in the rankings being assigned to opposite groups, and with the restriction that equal numbers of German, British and Dutch jugglers should be in each group.
Jochen Pfeiffer, currently second in the 2016 race rankings, is just 522 points behind Luke Burrage in first place, so he has a chance to become the 2016 end of year number one (depending on Luke's results). Jochen has gone undefeated in all three tournaments he has played this year (Berlin, EJC and Cottbus), but has only played other 2016 European Masters three times (Luke twice and Alex once), so now has a chance to prove himself against the rest of the top 10.
Rob van Heijst secured his invite to the European Masters with his win at the NJF, the second major tournament of the year, but also made it to 5th place in the race rankings with a win at Havixbeck and other strong results. His record against the other European Masters in 2016 is 3 wins (including beating Luke Burrage and Markus Utke back to back at the NJF) and 4 losses.
Jon Peat is one of only two players to make it to the European Masters without any points from the EJC tournament. His wins in Cambridge and Cumbria, as well as second place finishes at Leicester, Chocfest and Coastcon put him into sixth place in the race rankings. He has a 4-5 win-loss record against other European Masters players in 2016.
Danny Cooper helped his European Masters qualification chances with a six match winning streak in the summer where he won at CoastCon and made it to the quarterfinals at the EJC. Another win in Dublin to go with his fourth place at the BJC got him to eight in the race rankings. His win-loss record against other European Masters is 1-4, but he hasn't lost to anyone else in 2016!
Alex Leymann was the last player to qualify for the European Masters this year, with his second place finish in Cottbus pushing him to 10th in 2016. He won in Suderburg and had three third place finishes. His record against other European Master in 2016 is 0-2 (losing to Markus Utke and Jochen Pfeiffer).
Luke Burrage, currently at the top of the race rankings, has won three tournaments in 2016 (BJC, Brianza and Bungay), and came second at the EJC. He has won more matches this year than anyone else (18 wins and 5 losses). He must win just three matches at the European Masters to secure his end of year number one ranking, but that won't be easy: he lost to two other members of group B in 2016. His record against other European Masters is 5-5 in 2016 (losses to Jochen, Brook, Markus and Rob).
Brook Roberts has won or come second at every tournament he entered in the UK this year (1st: Leicester, Durham and Chocfest, 2nd: BJC, Cambridge, Bungay). His has the second highest number of wins in 2016 (18-5). His win-loss record against other European Masters is 4-4, with all of those wins and losses against Luke Burrage and Jon Peat.
Markus Utke won in Hannover and Laer and came second at the NJF. He recorded his first win against a number one player by defeating Luke Burrage in the Berlin 2016 third place match. His record against other European Masters is 5-1 in 2016.
Leo Ostenrath didn't make it out of qualifications at the EJC, but had a strong second half of 2016 to climb to 7th in the race rankings. He won the HJW and Herxheim Fight Nights and came second or third at four other tournaments. His nine tournaments in 2016 is the most of any of the European Masters. His record against the other players in 2016 is 3-1.
Jan Poolen is the lowest ranked player to make it to the European Masters (11th in the 2016 race rankings). He won at the WJW in Heerlen early in the year and posted solid results at all the other Fight Nights in the Netherlands. His record against the other European Master in 2016 is 2-3.
Congratulations to Jochen Pfeiffer for winning his third tournament of the year at Cottbus Juggling Convention 2016, and going 11 matches in a row without a loss. The rankings points he won lifted him back to 2nd in the Race Rankings, and with the European Masters coming up, within striking distance of securing the 2016 year end number one spot.
24 jugglers took part in the qualifications in Cottbus, and 12 jugglers made it through to the knockout.
In the final Jochen beat Alex Leymann 5-0. However, Alex only had to make it to the final to secure his a top-ten finish for 2016, and so he qualified for his second trip to the European Masters.
Both Stephan and Florian Marienfeld would have had to win the entire tournament to qualify for the end-of-year finals, but as both lost their semi-finals, they had to settle for 3rd (Flo) and 4th (Stephan).
The field is now set for the European Masters, with Jan Poolen taking the tenth invite spot. Look out over the next two weeks for more details on the lineup, draw, points on offer and the possible impact on the year end rankings.
See all the results and details from Cottbus 2016 here: http://fightnightcombat.com/tournament-Cottbus-2016.html
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