Twelve teams entered the 1st annual Journey of the Legends Team Championship held at Cambie on May 22-23, 2010 to fight for ultimate team supremacy and bragging rights. In the end, Team Beyond came out on top over Team Baddiholics with a team score of 3-2 with the deciding match falling on the shoulders of Captain Malisa Leung for Team Beyond and her partner Peter Nguyen against Captain Wilson Wong of BDHL and his partner Karen Tse.
But before we describe the end, lets go back to the beginning. The 12 teams were split off into 4 pools for round robin play. During round robin, the tops seeds all maintained their top position except for Team FoH who faltered to Team Falanja 3 to 2 thanks to the guest appearance of Falanja’s secret weapon – Jason Zhao. Team Egg Waffles also created a mini-upset as they advanced past the pool stage as second in their pool defeating SBC Diversity lead by David Dryden.
After the pool play on Saturday, the first round of the playoffs went underway and saw Team Egg Waffles, FoH, Racketeers, and Very Rec advance into the top 8 with the top team from each pool waiting for them, while SBC Diversity, SBC Them, 1-Up, and TMA battle for the 9-12th positions. Everything was set up for the Sunday playoffs!
Before the second round of the playoffs got underway on Sunday, all the teams were invited to a team banquet held at the Cambie rotunda where salad, cream puffs, beef lasagna and cheese tortellini was served. The center piece of meal was the giant mango cake featuring Baddi and Boomer on it created by La Patisserie. During the meal, we gave out draw prizes for individuals and team prizes to 1-Up for having the best team logo and Baddiholics for having the best team name. We saw some singing by Wilson Wong (BDHL) and Louis Zhen (1-Up). No dancing was seen anywhere. The night ended with a ‘heads and tails’ game to determine the winner for a brand new Yonex Bag sponsored by Mal’s Court Badminton Goods. Participants have to guess either heads or tails until only one is left standing. The winner turn out to be Chanel Shum of Team Very Rec.
Of the many matches to note, few provided as much drama as the battle of the SBC teams in the semi finals for 9-12th place. The match pitted the younger SBC Them team lead by their young stars against their coach and the SBC Diversity team. The team score was 2-2 and came down to the mix doubles game between Abel Chua/Stef Chen vs David Dryden/Michelle Simard. By all accounts, the screaming was loud, and the drama was intense. In the end, savvy experience play won out as SBC Diversity booted SBC Them down the ladder and proceeded to play 1-Up for 9/10th place.
In the quarter-finals of the main draw, Team FoH gave MBA (minus star player Samuel Wadsworth) a good run but came up short as Team MBA won 3-2. This lead to MBA playing Baddiholics in the semi’s where they would succumb to the top seeded team of the tournament. This sets up the final showdown between season 1’s top ranked teams as Team Beyond took down the Racketeers and Falanja to get to the finals.
The final saw a superhuman performance by Hugh Leung (Beyond) as he took Vincent Teo (BDHL) to three sets in singles. Hugh, saying the score out every rally of the set, looked to take the lead with a score of 23-22 only to forgot the score at this critical juncture and claim it to be 23-23. When Hugh starts questioning, Vincent played like a savvy veteran and reminded Hugh not to ask the crowd. Remember to keep your score when you play! Vincent would take the first set eventually, as Hugh took the second. By the third set, Vincent took full control of the game as Hugh was left gasping for air.
The Women Doubles match pitted Rosalynn and Veronica (BDHL) against Malisa and Cynthia (Beyond). A battle of the contrasting style between rigid training and ‘street’ badminton resulted in a two set affair for Team Beyond. Team score is tied at 1-1. Next came the Men Doubles which Vincent and Kevin (BDHL) took easily over Henry and Peter (Beyond). Team score 2-1 BDHL. All BDHL need now is just one win from the two mix doubles game remaining. Looking to seal the deal, BDHL sent out their top pairing of Kevin/Rosalynn against Hugh/Cynthia. In an epic 3 set match, Cynthia came out 2/2 in her matches against BDHL and won 22-20. With the team score tied 2-2, we have the captains’ match. After all the intense rallies and loud roars, Team Beyond came out as the victor. Final score 3-2.
Not lost in the finals is TMA’s great triumph over SBC Them, their one win was a timely one to gain 11th place. Team 1-Up, with the most members would defeat SBC Diversity in their finals to gain possession of 9th place. The final placing of teams saw only 3 teams out of the 12 maintained their seedings. That’s competition at its best! For full results, please scroll down or click here!
With the conclusion of the Journey of the Legends Team Championship, we bid a farewell to season 1 for Badmintology Vancouver. We thank you all for joining and would love to hear from you if you have any feedback on how to improve our tournaments. Start practicing now as season 2 is just around the corner!