ECDX is just around the corner. With 22 sanctioned bouts across three days, it’s going to go a long way to sorting out the few remaining question marks over the WFTDA playoff picture and answering a few other important questions too.
Rinks 2 and 3 are going to be broadcast live via WFTDA.tv; you can see the full schedule on the Live Page, which automatically converts the EDT local times for your timezone when you are logged in to DNN. There will be links added for individual tracks just as soon as they’re released.
Changes to the ownership of the Sportsplex have caused Philly some logistical issues this year, and recent controversy over a photo agreement that demanded control over any and all photos shot there have also cast something of a cloud over the event.
All that having been said, there are some fantastic match-ups to watch–alongside, of course, even more challenge, junior and regulation bouts that form the core of the event that has been at the heart of the derby calendar for just as long as Philly Roller Girls have been busting their collective arses to make it happen.
Let’s take a look at the MRDA and D1 WFTDA action–if you want to know more about the D2 action, that’ll be covered in The B Roll.
Mass Maelstrom vs New York Shock Exchange
Track 2 – 1800 EDT
There’s only one MRDA bout at ECDX this year–and it’s exactly the same match-up as last year. However, as NYSE’s 12-point win over the Maelstrom at ECDX was one of the bouts of 2013–and was followed up later in the year by a 12-point win for Mass as Mohawk Valley Cup later last year–we’re not complaining in the least.
As much a must-watch game as anything else happening over the weekend, this meeting between Mass (MRDA #4) and NYSE (MRDA #2) is undoubtedly one of the bouts to watch, and it’s appropriate it’s kicking everything off. The Shock Exchange are slightly favoured, having won two out of the past three meetings and with FTS giving them a 60% win chance. One factor that could prove crucial is that this is the Shock Exchange’s first official bout of the year, while Mass are already 5-1–but whichever way this one goes, it’s going to be worth tuning into.
Philly Roller Girls vs Atlanta Rollergirls
Track 2 – 2015 EDT
The last time the Liberty Belles and the Dirty South Derby Girls played it was 2011–and Atlanta did better than many expected in a lopsided 223-65 loss.
The Dirty South has come on leaps and bounds since then, and this time around the bout is far too close to call. The FTS rankings tell us that the two have performed to a very similar level this year–they’re 9 and 10 respectively–while the WFTDA rankings which have them at 12 and 13 suggest their performances over the year tell us the same thing.
Atlanta are 3-1 on the year so far, with Philly 3-2.
Minnesota’s 175-150 win over Atlanta was your archetypal game of two halves; MNRG raced into a huge early lead off the back of an explosively dominant first 25 minutes before Atlanta spent the rest of the bout coming back hard after some some line-up and tactical adjustments and nearly overturned a 100-point deficit before being held off at the death. Wins over Ohio, Toronto and Arch Rival have kept them rolling onwards, though.
Philly took a 252-199 loss to Rose and a 356-171 loss to Texas at The Big O with wins over Kansas, Boston and Oly rounding out their results since playoffs last year. Philly’s squad is likely to be very similar to that from The Big O; their current charter doesn’t feature Holden Grudges (who is just coming back from knee surgery) or Shenita Stretcher (who had other commitments in the first half of the year).
The result will also have some significant playoff implications. Our maths suggests both teams are fighting at the boundary of the #3 and #4 seeds. Atlanta are favourites to get a #3 seed over Philly and both teams have a bout against Gotham to consider, but if Philly wants that #3 seed spot for themselves they’ll likely need a convincing win here. Atlanta will clearly be looking for the same to give themselves a little insurance against Rat City, who are also very much in the race for the final spots to avoid the dreaded 4 / 5 playoff opener.
06 Mishel Castro (Violet Temper) // 15 Persephone // 152 Herrmann Monster // 16 Brazilian Nut // 18 VanEssa “V-Diva” Sites // 1818 Anne Frankenstein // 247 Devoida Mercy // 33 Legend of the Hit N Trample // 357 Trixie Trauma // 401 Tarantula // 44 Fully Addomatic // 527 Heavy Flo // 609 HotRod Hussy // 7 Clam Jammer // 80 Pop A Roach // 85 Teflon Donna // 86 Whacks Poetic // 957 Ginger Vitis // 99 Russian Bayou // UH0H ZipBlok
12AM Rebel Yellow // 16 Choke Cherry // 1650 InSINerator // 1701 Jean-Juke Picard // 23 Madditude Adjustment // 2L8 Wheelin’ Jennings // 2LBU Queen Loseyateefa // 32 Belle of the Brawl // 33 Trouble MakeHer // 50 Jammunition // 504 Nattie Long Legs // 6 Wild Cherri // 73 Alassin Sane // 747 Ozzie Kamakazi // 762 Scout SnipeHer // 850 Bruze Orman // 8979 Switchblade Siouxsie // 9 Rudy Huxtabrawl // B52 Amelia Scareheart // X13 Agent Maulder
Blue Ridge vs Brandywine & Helsinki
Track 3 – 1230 & 1900 EDT
These bouts are just on the border of D1 interest, with Blue Ridge fighting for their lives right at the very bottom of the playoff places. Neither Brandywine or Helsinki will make it into D1 playoffs, though Brandywine look set for D2.
Blue Ridge claimed third in the D2 postseason last year, but started 2014 with two surprising losses to Gold Coast and DC as they started rebuilding following a number of off-season personnel losses. Since then they’ve won nine on the spin, and are favoured in both games.
Helsinki are something of an unknown quantity in the context of wider WFTDA play, however. They won their first sanctioned game on tour 396-142 over the sliding Long Island–and that’s Long Island’s biggest losing margin since they played Gotham in 2012. They also won their second game against Brandywine, showing that they’re capable of upsetting D2-playoff level teams too–which is bad news for Blue Ridge, as they need a very big win to maintain their current ranking point average.
They do have one shared opponent with Blue Ridge, though–Royal Windsor, who Blue Ridge beat 394-107 this may, while Helsinki beat them 304-153 12 months prior.
The D1 / D2 borderline contains a clump of teams we expect to be very closely ranked at the end of the month, and every point will count for Blue Ridge this weekend.
00 Brutal // 033 Tricki Nikki // 10 Ashevillain // 1081 Dixie Kicks // 11 One Hit Wound Her // 144 9LB Hammer // 15 Lexistential Crisis // 160 Little Mermadness // 17 Sugar Magmaulya // 2 Skelley-Tor // 23 Beer Wench // 27 Chief Goober // 315 Coma N. Ducer // 36 Boot Scootin Bully // 5 Lady Rider // 505 Distressa // 7 Knotty By Nature // 75 Polli Slamherass // 83 Rolli Cannoli // 84 She-Wrex
1 Only // 100 Laama // 101 Pygmi // 12 Raivo // 142 Tigre Force // 156 Mirkkuli // 158 Anniemal Danger // 1UP Super Maria // 23 Cisse // 257 Witty Vega // 26 Finn McCruel // 28 Nina Erwes // 39 Blocking Molly // 404 Iiris Suominen // 604 Sara Mack-Eh? // 666 Leeloo Dallas // 8000 Heli Runteli // 88 Deadbeat Debbie // 94 Tiina Kimari // 96 Linda
101 Rapid ArrhythMIA // 121 Crash Bansheekoot // 138 Buenos D. A$$ // 20 Starbucks // 23 Thresher // 247 Anya Alnight // 273 Not-Knotty // 6 Dirty Rox-Tini // 619 Party CrashHer // 69 Emma D JennaRat // 757 Cutthroat KC // 789 DeckHerH8er // 9 Skinny Guinea
Montreal vs Terminal City
Track 2 – 1830 EDT
This battle is about much more than WFTDA ranking points–it’s about bragging rights in the Great White North.
Montreal have been the undisputed queens of Canada for several years, but in the past few months a couple of challengers have emerged onto the scene. Toronto had a chance to snatch the crown in April, but Montreal held on with a 218-155 win. This time, it’s Terminal’s chance–and FTS has them as slight favourites to take the win, though only by the slimmest of margins.
Terminal are 3-3 since playoffs–but do have three wins on the spin, including a 139-130 win over the Oly Rollers at The Big O. Their losses came at Tinseltown Showdown to Bay Area, Denver and Angel City–certainly no slouches.
Montreal are 6-3 on the year so far. Their only shared opponent with Terminal in 2014 is Oly–and the former WFTDA champions bounced back from their defeats at The Big O to beat Montreal 230-174, although with a slightly stronger roster than they had on the Sunday they lost to Terminal.
Terminal will suffer for the loss of Kim Janna after her injury at The Big O; the continued strength of Evada PerÃ³n and 2014 breakthrough star NazDroveya Wylde will be tested here if they want to secure the upset.
Both teams look set to qualify as a #5 seed for playoffs and are only likely to move out of that position if they post huge wins or take very heavy losses this weekend in bouts that are expected to be quite closely contested.
0 Ohi // 123 Miracle Whips // 187 Slavic Slayer // 1X Mange Moi El Cul // 2 Lil Mama // 289 Cheese Grater // 33 Demanda Lashina // 35 Scores Easy // 3X Smack Daddy // 40 Georgia W Tush // 420 Mel E Juana // 454 Chasing Amy // 658 Surgical Strike // 8 Jess Bandit // 8008 Beth Rave // 8080 Greta Bobo // 86 Lady J // 9 Hot Cross Guns // 90 Clara O’Key // F18 The Honey Badger
110 Tekonomy // 1111 Sundown // 117 Frankowski // 1223 Kim Janna // 16 Palmer // 18 MacKenzie // 191 NazDroveya Wylde // 22 Harrison // 31 Eve Hallows // 44 luludemon // 47 Scarlett Bloodbath // 51M Simonius Smaximus // 52 Evada PerÃ³n // 69 Flower Plow’her // 77 Suggitt // 84 Harvey // MG42 Griffith // T101 Schwarzemegger
Gotham vs Atlanta
Rink 2 – 2030 EDT
This bout is another rematch from ECDX last year. Atlanta look to have strengthened since then and Gotham at Champs looked vulnerable for the first time in several years–but that doesn’t mean the result here is in much doubt.
However, it will be interesting to see Gotham’s continued adaptations to the new ruleset, and to see how Atlanta do when presented with the sternest of tests in derby this year.
One final point to note with Atlanta–we hear that they have picked up a couple of transfers from Florida recently, though much too recently to have a good shot of appearing here for the Dirty South. Souljourner and Team USA’s Baller Shot Caller, both formerly of Gold Coast both have the potential to be very useful additions for them this post season, should it all work out.
00 Ana Bollocks // 10 OMG WTF // 17 Fast & Luce // 1706 Miss Tea Maven // 1853 Vicious Van Go Go // 1984 Claire D. Way // 2 Donna Matrix // 241 Fisti Cuffs // 314 Caf Fiend // 340 Bonnie Thunders // 4 Violet Knockout // 404 Hyper Lynx // 41 Roxy Dallas // 4500 Bonita Apple Bomb // 503 Mick Swagger // 55 Suzy Hotrod // 68C Sexy Slaydie // 929 Davey Blockit // 999 Puss ‘n Glutes // M60 Rambo Sambo
Boston vs Victoria
Rink 3 – 2100 EDT
The very last game of Saturday sees Australia’s Victorian Roller Derby League–let’s just call them VRDL–take on the Boston Derby Dames.
VRDL are, as ever, something of a mystery package. They have six skaters on their charter for 2014 who weren’t there at the end of 2013, and several of the newer charter skaters were skating for a weakened VRDL All Star team at The Great Southern Slam earlier this month when they won a third title by a much narrower margin than some observers had been expecting.
The highest-rotation player to be missing from the list this year is Ruby Ribcrusher, who was quietly effective at the heart of the VRDL blocking corps during playoffs last year, seeing as much track time as anyone in the team and doing a fine job staying out of the box while doing so.
VRDL start their US tour with a bout against Brandywine tonight, so that should provide some clue as to their progress since their fifth-place finish in Salem last year compared to the rest of the WFTDA top 40. Boston failed to even get into the fifth-place game in Salem, losing to eventual sixth-place finishers Toronto in a nailbiter.
Boston are 0-3 in sanctioned play this year, with losses to Montreal, Ohio and Salem’s 9th-place team Charm City.
All of these things suggest that this game is very much VRDL’s for the taking. However, VRDL’s recent leap up the rankings courtesy of last summer’s games all aging out makes this a low-risk game for Boston. The sheer number of points on offer courtesy of VRDL’s rise and the buffer underneath them mean that a #5 seeding for playoffs is pretty secure.
010 G-Banger // 10 Bicepsual // 138 Swish Cariboom // 189 Disco Brawl // 19 Talibamma Slamma // 2 Smashin’ Pop // 333K Tam-ba-lam SLAM // 35 Anna Conned Her // 4 Calamity Maim // 45 Skate Bush // 505 Mad Mel Arena // 66 Screw Barrymore // 68 Vajazzler // 72 The Flyin’ Nun Chucker // 75 Dayna Might // 782 Tiger // 85 Bianca Sciarretta // 88 Tui Lyon // BR0 IvyKnivey // E105 Perky Nah Nah
101 Anna Wrecksya // 103F Hayley Contagious // 1111 Maya Mangleyou // 1634 Stevie Nixher // 1929 Amy Rock // 1978 Space Invader // 1987 Shark Week // 2997 Estrogeena Davis // 357 Vixen Ta Hitcha // 43 Ginger Kid // 451 Lil’ Paine // 4747 America Ferocious // 55 Bad Person // 666 Dottie Danger // 8 Planitz Collide // 859 Shayna Nestor // 88 HardCore // 99m Womanimal // B33P Artoo Detoonate // K1N6 Flyin’ King
Philly vs Gotham
Rink 2 – 1430 EDT
Any fan of derby will be familiar with this match-up. It has happened once or twice a year since the reign of William and Mary, with highlights of the ECDX iteration being such tactical innovations as a jam that saw the jammers never released.
The teams played an unsanctioned bout in April that Gotham won 429-43–though the Liberty Belles were missing V-Diva from their jammer rotation that day, Bonnie Thunders had a 195-point game, averaging 15 points a jam without getting a single penalty or letting a single point be scored against her.
This bout is likely to see two ex-Gotham skaters take the track in teal against their old team–both Anne Frankenstein and Brazilian Nut seem likely to feature.
Montreal vs VRDL
Rink 3 – 1500 EDT
Among the most anticipated match-ups of the year so far, this game sees Fort Wayne’s fourth-place finisher from last year coming together with Salem’s fifth-place team. Pre-tournament FTS numbers suggest this one should be a nailbiter; whether that comes to pass or not, we know this bout is going to be entertaining and hard fought given the utterly irrepressible nature of both teams.
Whatever happens, you don’t want to miss it.
Boston vs Terminal City
Rink 2 – 1630 EDT
The Canadians are favoured to take this one; Boston’s 0-3 record doesn’t compare favourably to Terminal’s 3-3.
Rankings-wise both look pretty likely to be #5 seeds at playoffs barring some highly improbable results elsewhere.