Beyblade World Championship 2012
On March 25th, 2012, a second World Championship in the history of Beyblade took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It involved Bladers from 25 countries, and it was a collaboration between TAKARA-TOMY, SonoKong, Hasbro and Nelvana. After an intense match in the Tornado BeyStadium, Ryo from Japan was crowned the winner of the Beyblade World Championship.
List of countries and methods of selection
- Canada: The representative was chosen based on a random draw from the Canadian players with the highest numbers of points on the alternate-reality-Beyblade-simulator BeybladeBattles.com.
- United States: A series of qualifications were held in a total of seven states during the months of August, September and October: San Jose, California (August 6th); Temple City, CA (August 13th); Dallas, Texas (August 27th); Miami, Florida (September 10th); Bohemia, New York (September 17th); Totowa, New Jersey (September 24th changed to 25th due to weather); New York, NY (October 15th). These qualifiers were not actually held by Hasbro; the latter hired a company to organise its events in their place, and the tournaments were held in association with some important stores such as Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart and K-Mart, who mostly only offered them a place in their parking lot. The national championship qualifier tournament was held in New York, NY on October 16th, at the Javits Center. Each Californian qualification as well as the Bohemia and Totowa events sent only one winner to the national championship each, while the others sent two winners each, for a total of 10 participants to the US National Championships.
- Mexico: A few qualifier tournaments were held in Mexico.
- New Zealand: The representative was chosen based on a random draw on the New Zealand version of the BeybladeBattles.com site, similar to the Canadian representative.
- Australia: The representative was chosen based on a random draw on the Australian version of the BeybladeBattles.com site, similar to the Canadian representative.
- Indonesia: Several qualifiers were held in Indonesia.
- Singapore: A few late qualifications were held in this country, which is why the representative does not appear on the official sites.
- Philippines: Some qualifications were held.
- Thailand: Some qualifications were held.
- Hong Kong: Some qualifications were held.
- Japan: Several rounds of qualifiers were organised in Japan: a first round that ended up being mixed with other Asian championships, such as the South Korean winner; a second round, at the World Hobby Fair 2011 Summer; and a final round at the World Hobby Fair 2012 Winter edition. The first two rounds separated the participants into two groups : Junior Class and Regular Class. In the final round, however, both classes were mixed to crown one final Japanese representative. This system allowed more opportunities for Japanese fans to be able to participate in regional qualifications, and it kept up their interest for several months.
- Russia: Some qualifiers were held.
- Turkey: Some qualifiers were held.
- Baltic Countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania):
- Sweden: Some qualifiers were held.
- Italy: Some qualifiers were held, but the champion never made it to the Beyblade World Championship.
- Denmark: Some qualifiers were held.
- Norway: Some qualifiers were held.
- France: Some qualifiers were held.
- Spain: Some qualifiers were held.
- United Kingdom: One qualifier was organised but its advertisement was mediocre, so a very poor number of UK Bladers were aware of it, making a lot of potential champions miss their chance entirely.
- Portugal: Some qualifiers were held.
These are the country representatives and their biography, based on the official data from TAKARA-TOMY.
- Luqman (Canada): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years in 2012.
- *Zakiah Garcia (USA): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for 7 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Galaxy Pegasis.
- Mauricio (Mexico): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblades are Gemios and Phoenix.
- Finlay Lemmens (New Zealand): 10 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Leone.
- Dheeran Calder (Australia): 10 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Rock Leone.
- Muhammad Prasetya Wibowo (Indonesia): 14 years old, had been Beyblading since October, and his favorite Beyblade is Galaxy Pegasis.
- Rueben Nguyen (Singapore):
- *Neil Anpol Arcangel Beley (Philippines): 9 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Virgo.
- Pattara (Thailand): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Basalt Horogium.
- Chun Kit, Ma (Hong Kong): 12 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Basalt Horogium.
- *Ryo Takahashi (Japan): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Diablo Pegasis II. During the tournament, he wore a black jacket to advertise his team, the popular Japanese formation WARIBEY.
- Vladislav (Russia): 10 years old.
- Onurlap (Turkey): 10 years old.
- Kristofers (Baltic Countries): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for approximately 1 year, and his favorite Beyblade is Ray Unicorno.
- Gal (Slovenia): 9 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Pegasis.
- Dennis (Sweden): 14 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Virgo.
- Aleksandar (Germany): 9 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblades are Burn Phoenix and Infinity Libra.
- Hamza (Denmark): 11 years old, and his favorite Beyblades are Earth Aquila and Aries.
- Phillip (Norway): 11 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Earth Aquila.
- Robbe Geerts (Belgium): 8 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Basalt Horogium.
- Yassin Abdelli (France): 13 years old, had been Beyblading for 2 years, and his favorite Beyblade is Earth Aquila.
- Simon (Spain): 10 years old.
- Jack (UK): 10 years old.
- Eric Marcelino (Portugal): 12 years old, and his favorite Beyblade is Burn Phoenix.
The only notable rule for all the Beyblade World Championships including all the qualifier events was that 4D Beyblades were completely prohibited, in order to be fair with all the countries who only had Hasbro's Beyblades. Hasbro's release of Beyblade: Metal Fury, their version of Metal Fight Beyblade 4D, was set several months after the World Championship.
Each competitor had to choose only three Beyblades before even entering the play area with the stadiums. The Beyblades wereinspected and even disassembled by TAKARA-TOMY staff before the player could enter the field of play. Each combo had to use different Metal Wheels.
Matches were best-out-of-three, so the first to two wins. Ties were not replayed, therefore, since they counted, it was possible to get two ties, and then win the whole match with just one victory.
For Hasbro's Striker Stadium, the two pockets were counted as knock-out areas, unlike their usual regulations.
There were several rounds to the World Championship, each with the goal of eliminating Bladers to only get the very best champions for the finals.
- 1st round - Pool Play: The 25 players were separated into 3 pools/blocks of 6 and 1 pool of 7, making this formation: 6-6-6-7. A Round Robin then happens in each pool, and the top four Bladers with the highest winning record moved on to the second round.
This round was conducted exclusively in Hasbro's Striker Stadium, and all the participants were given a Striker Stadium to practice with before the day of the World Championship. Since the battles consisted almost entirely of stamina duels in those stadiums, each round ended up being way behind schedule.
- 2nd round - Elite 16 Pool Play: With the new top 16 players, four equal pools were made. The composition of each block was meticulous though: for each pool, there had to be only one top winner from a pool in the first round. For example, if each pool in the first round had gotten a winner of five matches, which represents a perfect winning streak for their respective pool, then they were split into four different pools in the second round, in order to give each of them a chance to come out on top at the end, instead of fighting together and only having one of the best go to the semi-finals. Another Round Robin was done in each of these new pools.
This round also used only Hasbro's Striker Stadium.
- 3rd round - Bracket Play: This round consisted of a regular Single Elimination format. The top two Bladers from each of the second round's pools (so eight competitors in total) moved toward the Quarter Finals, then the winners of those advanced to the Semi-Finals. The losers of the Semi-Finals battled each other to determine the third-place winner, and the winners of the Semi-Finals obviously went into the Finals to choose the first-place and second-place winners.
The first parts of the elimination used TAKARA-TOMY's BeyStadium Attack Type, while the Finals were conducted in TAKARA-TOMY's Tornado BeyStadium, which was used frequently in Asian WBBA tournaments.
Here are the top placements, followed by a more detailed schema to illustrate the way the World Championship happened:
- 1st place - Takahashi Ryou (Japan)
- 2nd place - Zakiah Garcia (USA)
- 3rd place - Neil Anpol Arcangeal Beley (Philippines)
Round 1 - Pool Play
In this round, the following Bladers were eliminated: Kristofers, Dheeran, Marco, Mauricio, Jason, Simon, Robbe, Jack, and Rueben.
Round 2 - Elite 16 Pool Play
In this round, the following competitors were eliminated: Hamza, Gal, Yassin, Aleksandar, Pattara, Luqman, Muhammad, Vladislav.
Round 3 - Bracket Play
A number of important figures were invited and present at the World Championship, both from the Beyblade world and less related to it.
- Blader Ken: The secondary Blader DJ from Japan, who speaks a very fine English, came to help with the organization of the battles, but his main goal seemed to animate the finals around the Tornado BeyStadium, as he always does in Japan. He was undoubtedly the coolest person to be at the World Championship.
- Andy: Host of Crunch on the Canadian kids channel YTV, Andy was the presentator of the World Championship, showing the watchers of the live broadcast what the venue was like, what each part of the room was for, but also telling the viewers what was happening once in a while.
- Eddie Jimenez & King Saso: These formers members of the dance crew JabbaWockeez entertained the audience with freestyle dancing in between rounds. They danced to some of Hasbro's rap Beyblade songs. Generally, they had no actual routine, as one dancer just went in the front one after the other.
The crowd at the World Championship consisted mostly of the representatives' parents, siblings and cousins. However, some spectators also owned special passes to get into the venue. On February 25th, 2012, a tournament event was held in every Toys "R" Us across the country of Canada, and the winners were entered in a random draw to get the special prize of a free travel to the Beyblade World Championships in Toronto, but it remains unknown how all those other people got an entry pass to watch the championships at the Corus Quay.
Hasbro chose representatives for some of the biggest countries, notably Canada and Australia, in a way that is completely unrelated to actual Beyblading, and as such, it created a major upset in the Beyblade community. Other qualifiers were advertised so poorly that they went by without anybody noticing except a small group of Bladers, which was the case for the United Kingdom, another hotspot for Beyblade activity.
Besides the methods of selection, the actual Beyblade World Championship happened relatively well. The structure with the pool plays was judged to be very reasonable, although the choice of stadiums was quite debated. For instance, everyone was given a Striker Stadium to practice for the first round, which was fair, but the Finals were done in a Tornado BeyStadium, which few people except the Asian representatives had practiced in before.
One of the negative highlights of the event pertains to the fact that it was supposed to be livestreamed. The live recording malfunctioned several times and, in general, only approximately an hour and a half of the whole six-seven hours the Beyblade World Championship took could be viewed from anywhere around the world live. Beyblade fans were not warned that the livestreaming was not supposed to be continuous until in the middle of the Championship.