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):
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