Baker Street Buttonhookers (UK)
Ljubljana KillerBees (Slovenia)
Mainz Legionaries (Germany)
Warrington Revolution (UK)
Augsburg Rooks (Germany)
Group C is going to be a bloodbath. All six teams will feel like they can push for a top two place and a birth in the playoffs. We start with the UK champions and last year’s 9th place finishers, the Baker Street Butoonhookers. Vince Machi and co. have not looked sharp so far in 2018. However, they will have their full bevy of talent available, including dynamo blitzer Tait Becke, who we believe is the best blitzer at this tournament, and the towering Carl Szabo, who was missing last year. If they can catch fire, watch out!
The talented French outfit, Kalikakou, led by Jeremy Mini, will fancy themselves able of toppling the Hookers and topping the group. Rumour has it they are licking their chops for a second chance at Baker Street, who they lost to in a close game in Pink Bowl. Whoever loses that opening 8am fixture will need to bounce back quickly as there are no easy outs in this group.
Slovenian teams have traditionally done well at Big Bowl and while the KillerBees may not have matched the performance of the Knights or Tigers, they finished a solid 20th last year. The Mainz Legionaries are one of the top three or four German teams and just finished 2nd at King Bowl. They utilize the QB run well, are experienced, and can beat anyone in this group on their day. The Warrington Revolution make their international debut after lighting up the lower levels of the UK flag scene. By no means an easy out, they are a tricky bunch and it will be interesting to see how they cope with the massive step up in competition. The Augsburg Rooks have had respectable results in the last few Big Bowls and can’t be discounted.
A rough sweet 16 draw for this group as the top two will encounter either the Hague Hyenas, NP Flag, or an SGD supplemented Cobras squad. We love the prospect of a Hookers-Hyenas matchup as they have faced each other in every international tournament since Pink Bowl 2016 and every matchup has been a tense one score affair including last year’s 46-40 OT epic. The Buttonhookers have faltered at this first hurdle the last two big bowls but we believe if they can win their group and this first playoff game, then they should be favorites in every subsequent matchup until the final. However, gun to our heads, we’d pick both teams from this group, whichever they are, to lose their first playoff game.
Baker Street Buttonhookers