On a weekend where Germany hosted the BIGGEST and MOST COMPETITIVE tournament in the history of European Roundnet, spectators were shocked and inspired by what went down in the finals!
This year was the first year of the EUSRA tour series. Looking back, there were so many fantastic moments from the time the #1 team in the world, Cisek and Showalter along with a Preston Bies, Chris Hornasek, Buddy Hammon and Harding Brumby flew over to take part in a Indoor tournamnet in Denmark to when Chris Ruder, CEO of Spikeball opened up the European Championships! Every single tournament, no matter how big or small had the same passion and fun loving attitude that make Roundnet the sport that we have all have grown to love.
The competition this year was incredible! Last years European Champions SJP Fire from the UK were a team to be feared because of their twin like partnership. This team would go on to play exactly like the European Champions they are and win 2 Grand Slam Tour Stops! Another team that were hot on SJP Fires heal was Street Gang from Czech Republic. These 2 teams met in the finals of the Polish Grand Slam but Street Gang fell short of SJP Fire that day.
Anyone who is familiar with European Roundnet knows that Germany is a POWERHOUSE! Some of the best and most skillful teams have come out of The Sporting University of Cologne. But perhaps the 2 most decorated teams are Optic Boom and Whaka-tac. These teams LIVE, BREATHE AND DREAM ROUNDNET! Coming into the euros SJP Fire were on top of the EUSRA tour scoreboard, however, on home soil everyone believed that a German team would take the win. Its always best to watch out for the underdog!
128 teams signed up for the Mens Division and 32 for the woman's! This is yet another record for European Roundnet! Saturday started just as it would continue, filled with fun, friendship and absolute madness. One moment that will last forever in the memories of everyone who was there on the day was during the German Style Warm Up. 300 European Ballers stood infront of their leader, Lukas Schmandra as he went through some movements. Slowly, the anthem of European Roundnet began to burst through the Speakers and next thing we know it is a full blown dance party at 8 in the morning! The energy that this one song gave to the European Roundnet Community was special and something that we are sure will be the #1 experience for any international ballers.
All Divisions were highly contested but at the very top was the Professional division. From the Quarter finals we saw some of the best battles of the year starting with a face off between the #1, SJP Fire and #2, Optic Boom. This game was a thriller as both teams knew what was at stake. They left everything on the field but with the crowd behind them, Optic boom took the match in 3 sets. In the other Quarter final we saw Pacjent EOE from Poland and Whaka-tac from Germany. The brothers from Poland had a hard time stopping the German Powerhouse as we saw Whaka-tac advance to the semi finals.
In the other Quarter finals two teams not even in the top 10 advanced to the next stage. They were another German team, Block n' Roll and a team coming out of The University of Graz in Austria called Dio Knedl.
The semi finals was now made up of 3 German teams and one Austrian. The beliefs that EURO's would be an all German affair seemed to now be almost certain. The Austrian team battled it out against Optic Boom and surprisingly took the first set. Soon we would all realise how much passion and skill the 2 men from Dio Knedl really had. Optic Boom took the 2nd set and the fate of these 2 teams now lied in 1 game to 21 points. Dio Knedl, the unranked team from a growing community in Austria WON! However, this is only where their story begins.
In the other semi final we watched a German face off. The crowd could not decide who they were supporting which made the match even more enjoyable. In the end, the experience and passion from Whacka-tac propelled them into the finals.
European Championship FINAL
Dio Knedl (Austria) Vs. Whaka-tac (Germany)