Nate Dailey Reveals His Keys to Success

Nate Dailey is one of the greatest in the game right now, Placing 5th at US Nationals in 2017 and 1st at PNWR 2017, he's coming into this contest season as one of the fan favorites. With PNWR coming up this weekend, we decided to talk with Nate about how he's achieved his success.

Video credit to:

YoYoContestCentral (Nate PNWR, Nate BAC, Gentry WYYC)

yoyovideoarchive (Nate WYYC, WYYC 2014 Commendation)

National YoYo League (Nate US Nationals)

Thank you to our sponsors:

CLYW

YoYoExpert

YoYoFactory

G Squared

SF Yoyos

Link to audio only - https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/nate-dailey

Follow Nate on Instagram here!

2018 Central Japan Recap

What's up everyone! Colin here with a recap on Central Japan, the 2nd regional out of 5 in the Japan League. Last year, Yusuke Otsuka took 1st in 1A coming in as the reigning national champion, but as he did not compete this year, the winner was.. 

Arata Imai! This is Arata's 1st 1A win ever, bouncing back from placing 2nd at CJ last year. There's so much I can say about this freestyle, and you can actually expect a live episode from us very soon breaking down how great this routine is. His tricks are the most unique and complex out of anyone I've seen in years, and he truly was due for a win. Arata won by about 10 points, winning tech by a whopping 13 points in itself. This is living proof that unique tricks can still work, and that speed is not everything in competition. Could Arata win JN this year??

2nd place in 1A this year went to Yuiga Suzuki, who placed 5th at Japan Nationals last year. Yuiga is a new player to the high level competition scene, and he's been killing it. To me, his performance and trick amplitude/presentation carries his appeal. Unlike most people with his style, Yuiga does a really good job at making it look unique to me. This was a really good showing from Yuiga, and I'm looking forward to see what he has planned for nationals.

3rd place in 1A went to YoYoFactory's new rising star in Japan, Ayumu Kasuga. This is Ayumu's first time competing in a 3 minute surprisingly, and you can see the potential in him. His style is very aggressive and speedy (come on, look at that frontstyle at 1:09), and I'm stoked to see him refine everything in the coming years and be at the top. 

The 2A title went to Yuki Takami with a pretty solid routine. 

The 3A champion was Minato Furuta, 2010 world champion and 2017 world runner up. This routine is an improved version of his Worlds 2016 freestyle, and probably his cleanest routine yet. His pacing is incredible, and seeing him land tricks behind his back, inverted, around arm, and more is insane at his speed.

No shock here that the 4A winner was Rei Iwakura. Rei had a perfect routine once again, and won with a final score of 98.5/100...... It's pretty safe to say that Rei is in the frontrunner spot to win JN and Worlds this year.

The 5A winner was Naoya Takeuchi, 2017 Worlds runner up. Naoya had a really solid routine with some new tricks, and was able to win 5A by a margin of 58 points. With Takeshi and Takuma potentially out of the picture for JN, Naoya is in one of the top spots to become champion.

So, that's all for CJ! Full results can be found here (use Google translate if you cannot read Japanese). What did you think of the contest?

2018 West Japan Recap

Last weekend, the first regional in the Japan League circuit was held in Osaka - West Japan! This was a pretty solid opening to the year, along with VA States happening in the US as well (recap coming later this week), so let's get into some of the best freestyles.

Ryota Ogi took the W in the 1A division with an elegant showing of his staple classics and some new ideas of his. Although his routine was not very clean, it was still enjoyable and I am really anticipating what he has in store for JN. Also, it's interesting that Sia is becoming popular for freestyle music..

Runner up in the 1A division was Daiki Tanaka. Daiki is one of the top players in Japan right now with his unique style that focuses heavily on performance, space use, and high energy. Similar to Ryota, his freestyle was not very clean (he actually had a switch that cost him 1st place), but him having the potential to win a regional with a messy routine makes his campaign for Japan Nationals in May pretty strong.

Another freestyle worth mentioning is Tsukasa Namba's routine, which had my favorite tricks of the whole event. Tsukasa's freestyle construction is lacking, but his trick rareness is extremely high, and that in itself is enough to have enjoyment value for me. 

2A winner was the machine, Takuma Yamamoto. Many players underrate him in comparison to other greats such as Shu Takada and Shinji Saito, but all of Takuma's routines are packed with insanely dense wraps and loops done at perhaps one of the highest speeds ever. Takuma destroyed the competition here, earning a perfect 60 in tech (all judges scoring him in first), compared to the next lowest score of 40, belonging to none other than..

Arata Imai! Arata has placed 3rd at Japan Nationals in 2016 and 2017 and is known for his extremely rare style in 2A (and 1A, which we will see from him at Central Japan this coming weekend). It's sad to me that both Arata and Takuma competed at the same regional, as they're 2 of the greatest players in Japan and only one can win. 

3A was won by one of the greatest players in the division of all time, Taiichiro Higashi. Taiichiro's freestyle showed a lot of interesting 3A ideas, and I am looking forward to see how he will stack up against other favorites in the division at Japan Nationals.

The winner of 4A was none other than the human highlight reel, Takumi Hakamata. Takumi showcased a lot of tricks from 2017 with an increase of cleanliness, as well as some new ideas that he's made since his last time competing at JOYC in November. Takumi is a favorite to win Japan Nationals this year for many, and if he's cleaner than this, I would say that he has a really good chance at doing so.

The winner of 5A was Ryotaro Morimoto with a pretty solid routine. 5A in Japan is starting to become smaller and smaller, and Ryotaro is starting to move up the ranks in the division. 

So, that's all for West Japan! Solid showing in all 5 divisions, which is rare for yo-yo contests these days. Next up is Central Japan coming this weekend, with some favorites in the 1A division including 5th in Japan Yuiga Suzuki, 5th in the World Yuuki Nishisako, and innovator Arata Imai. Who will win??

44FESTA Volume 28 Recap

Hey everyone! Colin here with the FIRST RECAP OF 2018! This time, I'll be summarizing the recently held 44FESTA - #28. This event was actually larger than normal FESTA events, as it was a new year's party. Players not only from Japan were in attendance, people from Korea and the United States even attended as well! As usual, the talent shown from this contest is nothing shy of amazing.

Should be no surprise to anyone that the machine Hajime Miura of sOMEThING by YoYoAddict was crowned champion. Hajime's freestyle was not his cleanest, however his trick quality is evolving even further, and he keeps progressing to be the best 3A player in the world by a longshot in my eyes. Come on, did you see that combo at 1:30? 

The position of runner up was awarded to Yamato Fujiwara of C3. You may remember Yamato from our last recap of 44FESTA in which he won, so seeing him on the podium again shouldn't surprise anyone. Seeing Yamato's improvement in cleanliness, technicality, and dance moves is always impressive to me, and I can tell that he will definitely be a threat for the Japanese 2A scene in 2018.

3rd place at the event was awarded to Kim Mir, from Korea! At such a young age, this kid is seriously amazing. Watching him blaze through his tricks with perfection was wild to me, and I think it's safe to say that Kim Mir will be the next big thing if he keeps at it.

This was probably my favorite freestyle from the event, Justin Weber's 4th place routine using the gigantic Turning Point Chameleon (check it out here if you've never heard of this yoyo). Seeing Justin use the Chameleon for what it was initially made for is probably one of the best things I've ever seen in yo-yoing, and I absolutely love the nod to Takeshi Matsuura's JOYC intro in the beginning. 

5th place was awarded to the ever-so-stylish 1A of Daiju Okamura of One Drop. I've been a huge fan of Daiju for years, and it is awesome to see such a contrasting style in comparison to the 1A meta on stage. 

Thank you for reading the recap of 44FESTA volume 28! Be sure to watch these freestyles and maybe even some more that interest you! Check out all of the freestyles here, and results here.

Top 5 #trickcircle Stars of 2017 featuring Polo Garbkamol!

Hey everyone, Colin from Scales here with a new post regarding an interview that Patrick and Mark recorded with Polo on their favorite #trickcircle players. Unfortunately, due to some audio issues the episode was unable to be published, however instead we've chosen to release it in text form. Enjoy and let us know who your top 5 are!

 

Patrick: Hey guys! This is Patrick Canny for the Scales Podcast. I’m here with #trickcircle extraordinaire, Polo Garbkamol from Thailand, and Mark Mangarin from the USA. We’ll be discussing our top 5 favorite #trickcircle players of 2017.

Polo: Hi!

Mark: hahahahahahahahaha

Mark and Patrick's #5 - Yuu Fujita @yuunpr

Mark: My 5th place is Yuu Fujita from Japan. He always makes use of really crazy/weird elements. His tricks really come out of nowhere; he posts half-done tricks and they all seem to work very well as stand-alone tricks.

Patrick: Yeah, my number 5 was actually Yuu as well! 

Polo's #5 - Thawhir Iqbal @thawhir

Polo: Ah, that’s a nice one. So, my number 5 goes to Thawhir Iqbal from Singapore. He has been posting a lot of 3A bangers recently. Recently, he got featured on the Instagram main account, and has built up quite the following for himself.

Patrick and Polo's #4 - Hajime Miura @hjm_mur

Patrick: Solid start to the list, guys! Number 4 for me goes to Hajime Miura. Hajime, obviously one of the most insane players coming out of Japan, has recently started a public Instagram account, so I’m really excited to see more tricks from him in 2018. Everything he posts is absolutely crazy.

Polo: Hey, I also had Hajime for 4th! His freestyles at Festa competitions are always insane.

Mark: Oh yeah, those circular 3A Eli Hops, right?

Polo: Yeah, and his 4a stuff as well. His horizontal whips, and soloham as well.

Mark's #4 - Tony Sec @tonysec

Mark: Yeah, he has so much good stuff going on between both 3A and 4A. My number 4 goes to Tony Sec from the Czech Republic. Tony is like, one of the classic Instagram #trickcircle players. He has all of these crazy bangers that he consistently posts, and is always up-to-date on the current #trickcircle meta.

Patrick and Mark's #3 - Jason Liu Zichen @tp_jasonliu

Patrick: For sure! Rolling right along to number 3, mine goes to the 2016 Chinese Champion, Jason Liu Zichen. Jason’s always posting insane tech tricks, and is always bringing his unique style to Instagram. A lot of the time, his posts are really funny as well, which is something I can totally appreciate.

Mark: My #3 also goes to Jason also, I just realized. Jason posts like, fake #trickcircles where he’ll post half tricks or imperfected elements which goes to show just how much fun he has with yo-yoing. It’s really cool to see how skilled of a player he is while not taking the sport too seriously.

Polo's #3 and Patrick's #2 - Arata Imai @arata_imai44

Polo: My #3 is Arata Imai from Japan! He is arguably one of the best players in the game right now. He has been posting a lot of great content lately, both in 1A and 2A. He’s one of my favorite players of all time.

Mark: Yeah, Arata’s like, legend status right now.

Patrick: Oh totally, Arata might be on the most skilled players right now. For that exact reason, Arata sits at my #2 spot. He has so much raw talent and insane coordination. His tricks almost always sway from the current meta.

Mark's #2 - Polo Garbkamol @ppolor

Mark: My #2 is actually Polo from Thailand. Just absolutely controlling the #trickcircle meta, which is a big reason why we decided to ask for his opinion. It’s no surprise he’s in my top 3.

Polo's #2 - Tony Sec @tonysec

Polo: Thank you! My #2 is Tony Sec from the Czech Republic. I’d say his bangers are god-like. His transitions from one trick to another are really well done.

Mark: Yeah, Tony’s actually pretty versatile in that manner, too. He’s good at all kinds of tricks.

Patrick's #1 - Polo Garbkamol @ppolor

Patrick: Moving right along to our #1 spots, mine goes to the man himself, the undisputed king of #trickcircle, Polo! Everyone just loses their mind when they see his stuff, he manages to consistently push the boundaries of #trickcircle. Unintentionally, he has pushed #trickcircle to become arguably *the* place for people to find yo-yo-related content on Instagram.

Mark: Yeah, the whole notion of pushing #trickcircle forward is a really big deal and has shaped the landscape of the community.

Polo's #1 - Riccardo Fraolini @blablanchard

Polo: Thank you guys! My #1 spot goes to Riccardo Fraolini from Italy. Some of my favorite tricks from him are his 360 finger grind and his grinds in general. He has been posting some of his hoodie tricks recently which is probably one of the most unique things you can put into yo-yoing. I really enjoy watching his tricks!

Mark's #1 - Arata Imai @arata_imai44

Mark: Yeah, Riccardo has been pushing boundaries for such a long time; his tricks are so different from everyone else’s. My #1 is Arata Imai, who has been mentioned multiple times on everyone’s lists already, haha. He comes out with tricks that are so out-of-this-world, and brings a breath of fresh air to both 1A and 2A.

Patrick: If you took the skill of a modern yo-yoer, and isolated them from everything else going on in terms of meta elements, you’d end up with Arata’s trick archetype. The tricks he does are so a-typical and almost random if you will.

Mark: Awesome! That was our rundown of our top 5 players on #trickcircle! We all heavily recommend you check out all of these amazing players on Instagram. Going into 2018, I’m super excited to see where everyone takes the #trickcircle meta! #metamonday?

Top 5 1A Division Freestyles of 2017

Scales members Colin Beckford and Mark Mangarin each discuss their top 5 favorite 1A routines throughout 2017.

Link to audio only version - https://soundcloud.com/scales-collective/top-5-1a-division-freestyles-of-2017

Thanks to our sponsors YoYoExpert, CLYW, and Recess Intl.

44FESTA Volume 27 Recap

Hey everyone! Colin here this time with a recap on the popular 44FESTA contest in Japan, volume 27 of the event to be specific. 

Competitors & organizing team at 44FESTA vol 27

Competitors & organizing team at 44FESTA vol 27

44FESTA is ran by the same organizers who run 44FESTIVAL, however 44FESTA is a 2 minute contest that happens every few months. The turnout is always solid, as it hosts players from all over the Eastern Japan region. Some big names that are often crowned champions are Yamato Murata & Hajime Miura of sOMEThING by YoYoAddict, and Daiki Tanaka of MOWL.

Top 5 award winners at FESTA vol 27. 4th place (3rd from left) Ayumu Harada, 5th place (3rd from right) Kaoru Nakamura, 3rd place (bottom left) Shota Saga, 1st place (center bottom) Yamato Fujiwara, and 2nd place (bottom right) Daiki Tanaka.

Top 5 award winners at FESTA vol 27. 4th place (3rd from left) Ayumu Harada, 5th place (3rd from right) Kaoru Nakamura, 3rd place (bottom left) Shota Saga, 1st place (center bottom) Yamato Fujiwara, and 2nd place (bottom right) Daiki Tanaka.

This event's winner is a rising talent in 2A, superstar Yamato Fujiawara of the C3yoyodesign Rising Force team. Yamato's style has developed amazing well over the past 2 years, becoming a very fast paced and calculated looping competitor. I also loved the little Shu-influenced movement at 1:11 :) Yamato used C3 Initiators which you can purchase at YoYoExpert here!

 

I love this guy's yoyoing. Daiki Tanaka is currently one of the most unique players in the competitive scene, and 2017 has been a huge year for him in terms of accomplishments, including placing 7th at the Japan National and Asia Pacific contests. Daiki's yo-yoing gives me a vibe of something like a hip-hop dance battle (shoutout to keiran's 1A dreams) with his bangers and flashy elements. Although his freestyles are often not too clean, I still am always impressed and captivated with Daiki's yo-yoing. Daiki used his signature yo-yo from MOWL, the Surveillance.

Shota Saga is also one of my favorite yo-yo players currently. He has a very unique style as well, however his style is completely different from Daiki's. Shota's style is extremely relaxed, casual, and flowy. However, his tricks are still very technical and complex in theory, and this was probably his best performance yet. Shota used the Vacation by Recess Intl, available on YoYoExpert here.

Am I really going to talk about how unique a player is 3 freestyles in a row? Of course. Ayumu is no stranger to the competitive scene, as well as is no stranger to having creative, artistic, and elegant tricks. Ayumu put out a ton of new ideas in this freestyle, and I've noticed he's starting to branch out more into using the space around him. I'm stoked to see what he has planned for next year. Yoyo used is the Chief by CLYW.

In 5th place was Kaoru Nakamura, who is a new face to the competitive circuit. Although he has only participated in FESTA/FESTIVAL to my knowledge, he is extremely skilled at 4A with one string, two strings, and soloham! I was really shocked at how he was able to hit difficult tricks in two-string 4A and soloham in this routine. Check it out. Kaoru used the Flawless by C3.

I highly encourage you to look through the rest of the freestyles from this event as well. There's a ton of talent at these contests, and you should subscribe to the 44FESTA Youtube here so you don't miss out on these great freestyles in the future!

Scales Live - Episode 2

We had nearly a full house with the squad on this one! Featuring Bergy, Maider, Becko, Canny, Keiran, and Mark. Check it out! Some discussion topics were what is meta, predictions for 2018, different styles, live scoring, and more. 

We had a ton of fun with this and are looking forward to doing it again soon!

2017 HRYZ Recap

Hey, guys! It’s Keiran Cooper coming at ‘cha with a recap of HRYZ (HRadecké YoYo Závody) 2017! This competition took place on December 2nd in the Králové region of the Czech Republic, and joins SLYZ as one of the many regional competitions throughout the Czech Republic. HRYZ was the first Czech competition to take place after YYMCR (Czech Nationals) in November. 

1A's top 3 (Tony Sec 3rd, Matous Tomes 1st, Michael Malik 2nd) thanks to Matous Tomes @matatomes on IG

1A's top 3 (Tony Sec 3rd, Matous Tomes 1st, Michael Malik 2nd) thanks to Matous Tomes @matatomes on IG

The winner of 1A Pokro (short for pokročilý, meaning advanced) was Matous Tomes. Matous is a 2014 Worlds finalist, 3-time Worlds semifinalist, and currently ranked 3rd in the Czech Republic. As one of the most competitively relevant players in the country, it’s no surprise Matous managed to make up for a restart (major deduction, -1) and come out on top. His freestyle’s build is very similar to that of his recent YYMCR freestyle with a couple of changes to the overall format and music. 

Coming in second place is the 2016 and 2017 Czech national champion, Michael Malík. Michael’s overall build from this competition carries a lot of stark differences in pacing and execution - compared to his YYMCR or semifinal from Worlds, his speed and trick density have drastically increased. I’d argue a potential catalyst for his change in speed could be attributed to the use of a new YoYo, as he has switched from the Edge to the new ND Ultra. With this change in speed and overall density, I can see Michael potentially pushing his way into top 3 at EYYC next year. 

Third place went to one of the most prolific online players, Tony Šec. Throughout the European competition season, Tony has competed in a handful of 2-minute formatted competitions, and is arguably one of 2017’s most competitively active players overall. Compared to his EYYC final from earlier this year, Tony’s execution and performance have both improved tenfold. Going into EYYC 2018, I’m excited to see more risky and technical content from Tony. 

Outside of top 3 in 1A Pokro, I was really impressed with Jonáš Ožana’s freestyle. A relatively new face to the competition scene, Jonáš ended up taking 11th overall with a really cool freestyle. Amidst the looming competitive meta, Jonáš managed to showcase a set of a-typical tricks met with tremendously unique flow. Next generation for sure. 

#filiptotheteam

The winner of the “X” division was the current Czech champion, František Procházka. Using a similar trick build to his YYMCR freestyle, František delivered a sick freestyle to some Childish Gambino. I’m excited to see what he has to bring to the table for EYYC next year - new European champion in the making? 

Those were my favorites from HRYZ! I’ve been following the European scene for quite some time - it’s great to see such growth! Shout out to SLUSNY for covering the competition in its entirety, check out the rest of the freestyles here.
 

2017 Illinois State Yo-Yo Contest Recap

Hey everyone! Colin here with a short recap with one of the last contests in the US competition circuit of 2017. It's been a very interesting and competitive year all-around, so it's always good to reflect on it in a real contest setting.

I think one thing that many people have noticed is that there is clearly a meta that people of all skill levels are attempting to adjust to, with varying success all around. It's really interesting (and we could/may do a whole episode on this alone) to see how this works out for a select group of people only and why it doesn't work out for everyone. Anyways, this shift towards an ideal build of tricks/performance was obvious at Illinois States, so it's just something I wanted to touch up upon before we got to covering the yo-yoing here.

The winner of the 1A division was (in my opinion) the most skilled player in the midwest area currently, Chandler Steele. Chandler has had an amazing improvement rate in 2017 and became a competitive beast, winning Ohio States, Illinois States, MidEast regionals, making Worlds finals, and placing 6th at US Nationals. Chandler's style is very reflective off of the current meta that I mentioned above, but he puts his own interesting twist on things by incorporating unique emphasis (like that little knee bounce at :41). Chandler being extremely successful this year puts himself in a great position for 2018, and I'm hyped to see what he has in store. Definitely a deserved win here.

Michael Stecz placed 2nd with a pretty awesome freestyle as well. I haven't seen Michael yo-yo in quite a while, so all of his tricks always surprise me when I get to see them on video or in person. Michael also has a really unique style that focuses on a casual pace in which he doesn't try to rush anything, with tricks that blend a lot of great old-school and current ideas. Really loved that Michael was able to get 2nd at this contest with a freestyle that primarily focused on tricks, and tricks alone.

Connor Seals placed 3rd with an extremely performance-oriented freestyle. Although it was a nice contrast to the rest of the freestyles from the event, it seems as though the lack of technical execution (scoring) set Connor far behind 1st place, showing the difficulty in creating a freestyle that has a good balance in high levels of tech and performance. It'll be interesting to see how Connor builds off of this perspective going into 2018.

Outside of the top 3, another freestyle I enjoyed was Blaise Becker's. Blaise is a new face to the competitive scene on a high level like this but he has very good tricks. At such a young age as well, I know that he has a bright future in yo-yoing if he keeps it up. 

 

Out of all of the routines in the X divisions, I was probably most impressed with Connor's winning 4A routine. Connor's 4A style is very similar to his 1A I would argue, in terms of focusing on making everything look good and having great performance value. Also, Connor is one of the few US players who can do soloham, and although he was not able to do much of it in this routine, I'm curious to see if he will implement it more in the future.

So, those were some of my favorites from this year's Illinois States! Illinois States was one of the largest state competitions of this year, with almost 50 1A competitors! It's great to see the midwest scene growing again. Watch all of the freestyles on YoYo Contest Central's Youtube channel here.

2017 Japan Open YoYo Championships Recap

Scales members Mark Mangarin and Keiran Cooper present a recap on some of their favorites from JOYC this year!

Check out the video version here.

Check out the audio version here.

Thanks to our sponsors: YoYoExpert, CLYW, and Recess Intl.!

Follow us on Instagram @scalescollective

 

2017 CSYC Recap

 

Hello everyone! Colin here with a recap of CSYC in Japan. Check it out!

CSYC (Central Shikoku YoYo Contest) 2017 was held on October 1st in western Japan. Although unaffiliated with the JYYF (which runs Japan regionals and the national contest) and Japan Freestyle YoYo Association (which runs Japan Open), this contest still brings in great talent from west & north Japan.

 

The winner of the 1A division was Tsukasa Namba, who managed to beat out 1A innovator Arata Imai who placed 2nd. Tsukasa’s trick set is also very creative – he has formed a very unique style consisting of mainly slack elements that a lot of people do not touch upon. Tsukasa has made finals at JN in 2016 and 2017, and although this showing was not his best freestyle, it is certainly his best result. I am looking forward to how he will do next year in the competition circuit.

As mentioned earlier, Arata Imai placed 2nd in the 1A division. Here at Scales we have been watching Arata super closely as he climbs up the ranks of being one of the most influential 1A players in this generation, and this freestyle, although not his cleanest, was still very impressive. Compared to his Asia Pacific routine, this freestyle has around 1.5-2 minutes of material that Arata has not done on stage yet. Seeing his progression and trick library involve is scary – I am probably looking forward to watching him compete the most out of anyone this coming year.

To no surprise, Arata also won the 2A division. Arata is pretty much the king of 2A in his area of Japan, and this routine really shows how creative his tricks are. So many insane wraps & loops!

The winner of the X (2A-5A) division was Koyo Hashimoto. Koyo is currently the North Japan 4A champion, and he also won JOYC in 4A last year. His trickset, although not as unique as other high-ranked 4A players, is still very clean and consistent. Koyo is always a threat at any contest because of this. Check out his freestyle!

 

Full videos can be found here.

2017 Slovakia Nationals Recap

The 2017 Slovakia National YoYo Contest was held on October 28th in Bratislava, and divisions held at this year’s event were 1A, X, and 1A Open.

The winner of the 1A division was Jan Hlinka, who is now a 4x Slovak national champion!

Jan has improved a ton over the past year or so, as I’ve noticed his style is starting to change into something with more variation/less repeated elements. His style has a nice blend of slack, tech, and other trick archetypes, and he also has good pacing and speed. Jan usually manages to land a spot in the top 10 at EYYC, and I think at this rate of improvement he could potentially win in 2018.

Another freestyle I really liked from the 1A division is the other top 1A player from Slovakia, Gabriel Szalay.

Gabriel has a really technical style, focusing on a lot of dense tricks. However, although tough to pull off, he still is able to perform well despite having a trick type which makes this hard to do. As far as I know, this is actually Gabriel’s first full “final” freestyle (more than qualifying round) of this year, so we haven’t seen too much from him. However, he shows a lot of promise for 2018, and I’m excited to see what eh does.

The winner of the X division was Petr Kavka from the Czech Republic, playing 5A.

 

Petr has a really chill and relaxed style, which is pretty unique compared to the current state of competitive 5A.

The winner of the 1A Open division was Michael Malik from the Czech Republic.

Michael performed his freestyle from SLYZ (check out that blog post here if you haven’t already) and again was able to perform it with great cleanliness. As stated earlier, Michael’s ability to hit his tricks consistently is amazing - this is perhaps the most important aspect of competing, and he has it pretty much mastered. Due to his past few wins, I would say that Michael is in the lead for contenders for Czech nationals this weekend (**this recap was written before Czech Nationals, so my guess was correct!!**) 

Check out the rest of the freestyles here!

2017 French Nationals Recap

The 2017 France National YoYo Championship was held on October 21st in Nantes, and divisions held were 1A, X, and 1A Open (international).

The winner of 1A division is a new name (to me, at least), Williams Thamrong.

 

Williams placed 2nd at France Nationals in 2016, and 5th in the junior division at EYYC this year. Williams shows a lot of promise in his future, especially being as young as he is. It’ll be interesting to see how all of the new faces/national champions will do at EYYC next year!

The winner of X division was multi-time European and German national champion, Quentin Godet! Quentin played his usual style, 4A.

 

Quentin was able to hit his tricks very well, despite being on a smaller stage than usual. He’s at such a high level of 4A now compared to Europe as a whole it’s always awesome to watch him compete.

The winner of the 1A Open was Robert Kucera from the Czech Republic.

Robert has a very unique style, focusing a lot on doing interesting tricks and performing. He also manages to throw down a ton of risky tricks in his routines, so it’s always awesome to watch him on stage.

Another freestyle that I really liked was Tomas Bubak’s 1A Open.

Tomas, similar to Robert, also has a really different style, focusing on a lot of “big” tricks, incorporating a lot of body elements as well as clean looking transitions. I’ve been a big fan of Tomas every since I’ve started and it’s great to see him killing it.

You can watch all of the videos from this year's competition here.

2017 Italian Nationals Recap

Hey everyone, Colin here with a new recap for Europe week. Check it out!

The 2017 Italian National YoYo Contest was held on October 14th in Rome. Divisions held this year were 1A, X Division (2A-5A), and 1A Open (International).

This year, we saw a new champion for the country of Italy - Loris Rosa!

 

Loris’ has seemed to take the yo-yo world by storm over the past year, through earning his fame through online tricks (follow him on IG!), Youtube videos, a recently picked up sponsorship by YoYoFactory’s Edge Nation, and now a national title! Congrats, Loris! Loris’s style is very competition oriented - he uses a lot of conceptual ideas that are used in today’s meta for 1A. However, he also has a few tricks that show that he can create, too, which gives off a good balance for his yo-yoing. Loris made his first finals at EYYC this year, and now that he’s seeded to semi-finals for 2018, he’s at an advantage. Will Loris be able to make his way into the top 5 this year?

Another freestyle I really enjoyed from the 1A division is a name everyone should be familiar with Riccardo Fraolini.

It’s really awesome to see Riccardo’s contrasting style on stage. I would say that about 95 percent of competitive 1A is very similar in terms of build - the pool of trick types people use are similar, and people tend to build their freestyles in similar aspects (nothing wrong with this). Riccardo is a part of a small minority that still retains to hold their own on stage, and I love every second of it. Shoutout to Riccardo for having fun on stage and still getting a top 5 finish in his national contest!

To no surprise, Lorenzo Sabatini won this year’s X division doing 4A.

Lorenzo has been in the game for over a decade now, and he wins almost every contest he attends in Europe in 4A/X division, setting himself as one of the best in the game. Congratulations to Lorenzo for the win!

The winner of the 1A Open division was 2x EYYC runner-up, Konstantin Tudjarov.

 

Konstantin is a machine. His style has progressed over the fast few years to something that is quite rare - he does not focus on just one trick archetype of 1A, but almost as much as possible - slack, technical, horizontal, body, you name it - Konstantin probably does it. Seeing improvement every time from Konstantin is almost scary to me, most players are not on his level in terms of improvement. Will he be able to take the title at EYYC next year?

Check out all of the freestyles here.

Thank you for checking out this post! Be sure to look out for our next posts!

2017 SLYZ Recap

 

 

SLYZ 1A champion Michael Malik & runner up Matous Tomes Photo credits @michaelmalik__ on Instagram

SLYZ 1A champion Michael Malik & runner up Matous Tomes

Photo credits @michaelmalik__ on Instagram

The 2017 Super Libový Yoyo Závody was held on September 23rd in the Czech Republic. SLYZ is usually one of the largest contests that the Czech Republic hosts leading up to the Czech national competition, so it’s always good to see some of the contenders on stage. Divisions held at the event were 1A and X division.

The winner of the 1A division is current Czech national champion, Michael Malik!

Michael’s best strengths for his freestyles are his cleanliness and his freestyle construction, both of which are very difficult to master on his level. This freestyle was nothing short of a great routine, and due to this result, Michael is coming into Czech nationals this Saturday as the favorite to win.

Another freestyle I really liked in 1A was Matyas Racek’s 3rd place routine.

Matyas has an incredibly creative style, something that is technical with a lot of unusual (but of course amazing) maneuvers. I think I would best describe his yo-yoing as very "raw" in the sense that his elements he chooses alone are amazing, and he doesn't really need to enhance them performance wise in order to prove that. Matyas has seemed to be pretty quiet for the past couple of years in 1A, but this is a pretty strong showing. He was able to earn a spot on the podium at Czech nationals in 2015, and I think if he’s able to go clean he will be able to do so again.

The winner of the X division was also Matyas Racek, who played 2A!

 

Always impressive to see someone be able to be fluent in two different divisions, especially when one of them is 2A. 2A is a very small division currently, so check out some pretty awesome work from Matyas!

You can watch the rest of the freestyles here, and results can be found here.