Weekend Preview Streaming Highlights: May 16-18

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Spring Roll is upon us! This weekend 22 WFTDA and MRDA teams descend on Fort Wayne, IN. There will be 34 bouts across three days, starting at 1700 EDT on Friday–all of which will be streamed live and for free here on DNN, produced by local volunteers.

You can see the full list of teams and schedule here. As seems to be par for the course this year there is international representation at Spring Roll: Glasgow Roller Derby and London’s Southern Discomfort.

Also featured are three of the MRDA’s current top four: Your Mom, the St Louis Gatekeepers and Mass Maelstrom. Their bouts are likely to be among the highlights of the weekend.

There are also a few games likely to have an impact on the WFTDA playoff race. Chief among these is probably Cincinnati vs The Chicago Outfit; both teams are struggling to keep pace with results this year as they rebuild from off-season losses, and both teams would need a convincing win against the other here to secure a playoff berth this year. A close game would suit neither as they look to make a statement that they are not ready to go quietly into the good night quite yet.

Toronto, Jacksonville, Jet City all look set to go to D1 playoffs this year, with this weekend’s bouts being more (in theory) about securing as high a seeding as possible rather than racing for outright qualification. One bout among those teams we’re particularly looking forward to is Jet City vs Jacksonville; the Florida team has surged up the rankings of late, and we think the meeting of Jet City’s brutality with Jacksonville’s speed and intensity could make for an explosive match-up. You can catch that at 4pm EDT on Sunday.

Tri-City have just made it into the D1 places, and will look to cling on there for long enough to qualify for the big show. The Canadians have a very tough task ahead of them if they want to hang on in there, though, thanks to pressure from below.

This weekend could make or break their D1 playoff chances; they play The Outfit, Jet City and Glasgow. The last could prove the most troublesome thanks to Glasgow’s under-ranking in the WFTDA system. European peers Stockholm, Berlin and Auld Reekie have all seriously outperformed their WFTDA ranking this month–and GRD are generally agreed to be on a very similar level in European play to all of them. They’ll be looking for an upset in what could be their toughest game of the weekend, but even if they don’t manage that a relatively close game would still be damaging for Tri-City’s hopes.

We also think that Glasgow’s game against hometown heroines Fort Wayne will be one to watch. Both teams seem under-ranked with Fort Wayne’s performances last year still counting against them despite their 2014 surge. That one’s at 5.30pm on Friday, opening up the weekend’s WFTDA action.

Streaming away from Fort Wayne

Away from Spring Roll there’s another streaming bout that will be well worth watching: Minnesota at Atlanta. FTS favours the visiting northerners–but we’re not nearly as confident. You can tune in here on Saturday night to see how that one plays out.

Montreal are also doing a swing through the Pacific north-west this weekend. They’re playing Rat City (at the Rat’s Nest) on Friday before hitting Portland on Saturday. We’d expect Rose City to be streaming that one (assuming the hangar sells out, which seems like a reasonable assumption), and you can find it here.

Montreal’s win in the Key Arena is arguably still their most famous and notable victory; it showed promise that is still yet to be really fulfilled. As the Canadians look to dust themselves off this year from 2013′s playoff disappointments and finally make it to Champs, they will be hoping to repeat that win and claim another scalp. We certainly won’t be betting against them.

Non-Streamed Action

Outside of those games, Arch Rival’s visit to Kansas City on Sunday is worth watching. As seems to be a theme across the derby world more than ever before this year, both teams are rebuilding in 2014; Arch Rival would still be favoured over a Kansas City that is in very serious danger of falling out of division one entirely this year, but don’t count KCRW out just yet. Want to know some more about it? ARRG’s Muckety Muck has you covered over on archcitysports.com.

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