Preview: London v Gotham

In a potential Champs preview, #1 ranked Gotham is headed to London, England to take on the #4 ranked London Brawling. The derby world has been losing their shit over this match up since it was announced and hopefully it can live up to its billing.

Gotham has only played three games this calendar year — all at Thin Air Throwdown earlier this month beating Texas 191–74, Denver 208–66 and Rocky 354–27. For those who struggled through the choppy live stream that weekend you recognized the same old dominant Gotham team.

There are a few slight changes — V Diva (Philly) has been brought in but so far has been used primarily as a pivot, and the blocking core has seen some returns and new faces; Ana Bollocks (fitting for this trip), Donna Matrix, D.A.R.Y.L., Chopstick, Livie Smalls and Bonita are all charter adds since last years Champs.

The core is pretty much the same though and the jammer rotation has stayed fairly stable with Bonnie, Vicious, Miss Tea and Short Stop. They looked great at Thin Air Throwdown, but not their best. Between the altitude and working out rust while hammering out their new blocking lines that’s to be expected.

London has also kept a short schedule this year only playing 5 sanctioned games to date — with the majority of those in March at European Smackdown. They are 5–0 with their closest game being their most recent, a 208–78 win against Montreal in May at Mayday in HEL.

Neither team has played a game within 100 points this year, hopefully that will change this weekend.

London’s roster has more continuity than Gotham’s with the only additions since Champs being Onyeka Igwe (returning after year in Toronto), Magic Beanz and jammer Master Blaster (from Bear City).

Flat Track Stats gives London only a 20% chance of pulling out the win, but they will be hoping to repeat their win over Rose City last August by surprising a travelling US team at home. Gotham will be hoping to make their mark and instil fear back into WFTDA before they make their Brexit.

The last time these teams played Gotham took the win 280–94 at 2014 WFTDA Champs. We fully expect a closer game than that.

Look for how the new additions and transfers make their impact in the game. If both jammer rotations are healthy then they are both very deep and the transfer of Master Blaster may allow more time for Mainey in the blocking core.

If London is going to have a shot they are going to have to get under Gotham’s skin. Gotham took more than their normal amount of penalties at Thin Air (still not a lot), and against tougher competition this could increase if they don’t play with discipline. It is extremely hard to break Gotham’s focus, and basically impossible to break Bonnie Thunders’ focus, so London is going to have to maximize their track time with match ups they like and do their best to minimize how much they see of Bonnie or Slaydie.

Gotham has a 2016 calendar average of just under 1,000 points currently around 993— London sits around 865. This won’t be easy for London, but it will be a statement for whichever team can win. It would take disaster for London to drop from a #1 seed, but the result of this game could shake up 1–4 and you can bet Victorian and Rose will be watching this game very closely.

There is a live stream you can grab for 6 pounds. In a year of live stream fails, we trust this live stream will be amazing because London has always had the best video work of any team. The game starts at 6PM BST so 1Pm EST (we think). There is a countdown on that live stream link to help with the countdown/time conversion.