This is Michał's second Fight Night victory in 2016, having also won at Ostroda 2016. Along with his other results in 2016, including qualifying at the EJC in Almere (he lost to Markus Utke in the round of 32), Michał moves up to 10th in the 2016 Race Rankings, and to 16th in the 52 week current rankings. Not only is he the highest ranked Polish combat player in those two rankings, he also tops the Polish tournament rankings with 576 points, edging out Wes Peden, who won 500 points at Lublin 2016.
While Michał is 10th in the 2016 Race to Berlin, his chance of an invite to the exclusive ten-player European Masters on the 26th of November is rather precarious. Only Luke Burrage, Rob van Heijst and Jochen Pfeiffer have secured their invites already, each by winning one of the major tournaments of the year (BJC, NJF and EJC):
Everyone else must do their best to win more points in the last month of the 2016 regular season. There are still seven tournaments in the 2016 calendar that can contribute points to the 2016 Race Rankings, and four of them are classed as "National Level" tournaments, worth 500 or 350 points. This coming weekend is Camvention 2016 and there will be 500 level tournaments in the Netherlands and Germany too (or 350, depending on the the size of the tournament). The cutoff date for the final invites is November 7th.
Last year at the Karlsruhe Fight Night, Julius Preu had his most successful tournament up to that point, reaching the final before being beaten by Alexander Müller. It was his initial second or third place finish, and after seven more second or third places, he finally won at Aachen 2016.
Julius was helped in his victory by the bad luck of one of his biggest rivals, Andreas Braun, who has beaten Julius in two other Fight Night Combat final matches. Andreas was a top seed after qualifications, but was injured by a club to the eye during the warmup before the knockout rounds. Andreas didn't take part in the knockout, but as he only lost one match in qualifying, he still earned himself 55 rankings points.
Julius's victory and extra 350 points means he is now the top combat player as determined by tournaments in Germany in the last 52 weeks, just 25 points clear of Jochen Pfeiffer. Rankings by tournaments per country is a new feature on the fightnightcombat.com website:
Finally, Julius became the second player to qualify for the European Masters 2016, the end of year finals in Berlin in November. However, due to taking a three month trip to America, he's had to withdraw from contention. There are still nine spots up for grabs, with Polish rivals Jakub Szwed and Artur Perskawiec currently in the 9th and 10th provisional spots. Jochen Pfeiffer, currently second in the Race Rankings, has only entered two tournaments in 2016 and needs to enter a third to qualify.
Look out for upcoming tournaments in Gdynia (Poland), Cambridge (UK), at the J-Fest (Turkey), Dublin University (Ireland) and the HJW (Netherlands):
There have been three small Fight Night Combat tournaments in Germany over the last three weekends, and Martin Schwalenberg has been posting some impressive results. These follow on from his win at the Tropical Islands 2016.
First, at the Madgeburg Juggling and Poi Convention, Martin beat Niklas Aumüller in the final by one point, 5-4. Niklas was also the runner up in 2015, but this time he beat 2015 champion Alex Leymann in their semi-final. Alex had to settle for third this year, beating Stephan Cipra in the third place match.
The following weekend, a last minute tournament was organized by at the Phoenix Fire Convention and 11 jugglers took part. Martin earned himself 200 rankings points for beating Jona Harnischmacher 5-3 in the final.
But Martin's winning ways were brought to an end by an in-form Alex Leymann, who just two weeks earlier missed out on repeating his win at his home tournament of Madgeburg.
Martin's winning streak ran to three tournament victories, 10 matches and 725 ranking points. That is the joint 5th longest streak by match wins, though due to it running over small tournaments, it's only the 13th most valuable in terms of points. However, Martin earned enough points to bump himself up to 9th place in the 2015 Race Rankings.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the Play Festival hosted their first ever Fight Night. Only eight jugglers entered, but this resulted in a series of very entertaining matches. The final, featuring Will Borrell and Rob Thorburn came down to a deciding point, with both players level at 4-4. Rob took the final point of the tournament, and won himself 200 rankings points.
Look out for upcoming tournaments in Karlsruhe, Gdynia, Cambridge, Dublin, Enschede and at the Turkish J-Fest over the next four or five weeks. Karlsruhe, Cambridge and the HJW at Enschede will be 500 or 350 events, depending on their size.
Unfortunately, it seems like there will be no Hamburg Juggling Convention this year. To make up for the lack of a major (750 level) tournament in Germany in 2016, either the Nürnburg or Cottbus Fight Night will be increased to a 500 point event. This way Germany will have the same number of national level events (350-500-750) as the UK and the Netherlands:
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