2017 WFTDA D1 Championships Central

2017 WFTDA D1 Championships Central Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

Hosted by Philly Roller Derby, the 2017 WFTDA Division 1 Championships are upon us with 12 teams converging in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to decide who is the best of the best. Gotham has had their legendary run with the Hydra, and now Rose City has kept it for two years in a row. Many think the trophy will end up down under while others hope to see it go a mile high. Ultimately, with the way the bracket fell into place this season, we will at least get a different matchup for the final game.

The annual November Championship tournament is only a Division 1 bracket this year since D2’s Playoffs and Champs were all in one weekend back in August in Pittsburgh, PA. Catch up on how each of the 12 D1 teams did this season, and how they are looking in their first-round matchups with Part 1 and Part 2 of our weekend preview.

2017 D1 Champs: #6 Texas defeats #16 Minnesota, 280-153

2017 D1 Champs: #6 Texas defeats #16 Minnesota, 280-153 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Texas and Minnesota faced off earlier this year at the Big O where the Texecutioners took the win, 193-133. This time around Texas found the great wall of St. Paul a bit more permeable while strengthening their own defense to earn a final win, 280-153.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs 3rd Place: #3 Gotham stages a second half turn-around on #5 Denver, 178-128

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs 3rd Place: #3 Gotham stages a second half turn-around on #5 Denver, 178-128 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the battle for the 3rd place medal at stake, Gotham was clearly not looking to turn back time to 2009 – the last time they left WFTDA Championships without a medal. But Denver was aware that their roster held two of the key players that Rose City leveraged the last two years to keep Gotham from the top spot, and was obviously looking to make the most of it.

In the end, the scrappy play and reactionary blocking to ricocheting offensive moves took its toll on both teams. But after a first-half lead from Denver based on jam leads and multiple scoring passes, Gotham took their lessons into the halftime break and applied them wholeheartedly with the result of turning around their fate and claiming a 178-128 win over Denver, to take 3rd place exit and a medal from the tournament.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #7 Arch Rival wears out #12 Crime City, 220-160

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #7 Arch Rival wears out #12 Crime City, 220-160 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA –  #7 Arch Rival and #12 Crime City met nine months ago on the floor of The Big O. Crime ran into penalty trouble throughout and generally had trouble countering the power of Arch Rival’s defense. In the last consolation game of Champs weekend, many people were expecting Crime to perform, but ARCH was able to clamp down a victory early.

Crime City proved to never count out the underdog, despite the loss, they didn’t go down without a fight, having gained the momentum several times. Bettering their differential from the last time they met, Crime City fell to the Arch Rival All-Stars, 220-160.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #2 Rose City ousts #3 Gotham, 159-113

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #2 Rose City ousts #3 Gotham, 159-113 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – What has usually been the final Champs game for two years became the final game in the day on Saturday instead, in Philly. Gotham had some wounds to lick, and asses to kick, as they entered the game, while Rose had a burgeoning legacy of their own to defend with some key players out of the loop. This was destined to be a tense game of killer moves and tight point scoring, and the resulting play didn’t disappoint.

In the end, the more recent of the championship claims won out, and Gotham wore the weight of their losses, caving to Rose City’s gameplay. The Wheels of Justice earned a position in the final day’s Championship fight with a #1 spot and a Hydra to claim with a win of 159-113.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #1 Victoria grounds #5 Denver, 287-65

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #1 Victoria grounds #5 Denver, 287-65 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Both #1-ranked Victorian Roller Derby League and #5 Denver Roller Derby won their games yesterday to get here, and each proved something in their initial performances. Against Montréal, Victoria showed what a machine they could be defensively, but also that they can be penalty prone. Denver justified their round one bye after taking #4 Angel City out 196-166, but also that Scald Eagle’s scoring ability led that force.

VRDL and the Mile High Club hadn’t played each other since the 2015 Big O where Victoria won 150-115. This time around Denver could barely score and Victoria took them out by 222 points, a bigger spread than what they had with #9 Montréal. The Aussies attacked every vulnerability that Denver showed, and killed their Mile Hydra dream with a 287-65 victory.