As the Undisputed World Bboy Masters is going down this weekend in San Diego, we provide you with more info about what to expect. Shout out to San Diego own, Bboy Lancer, for the detailed write up.
These are great times to be present in the scene. Many organizers from around the world are finally collaborating with the purpose of providing a platform for Bboys & Bgirls to grow. There are now opportunities to showcase Breaking and have it be taken more seriously. Undisputed is here, events like this exist, and I’ll attempt to demystify some of the questions regarding tournament logistics. I’ll also provide some of my analysis for each of the dancers who are battling. Undisputed is coming to San Diego, California. It’s taking place at the World Beat Center and the event runs for two days – January 27 & 28. I’m happy to have my city host such a prestigious event.
Full Event Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/293851497780868/
Throughout 2017, Breakers from all around the world competed in Undisputed qualifier events, many of which were part of the UDEF Pro Breaking Tour. The value of points you receive increases the further you place in the tournament. The Bboys who won Undisputed qualifer events, automatically place for the final. If they can’t make the final event, the spot is given to the Bboys with the most points afterwards. The idea is that the best of the best will compete. As I’m typing this, the movie “Best of the Best” just popped into my head haha. The list of Undisputed qualifier events for this particular Final are: Freestyle Session, Battle of the Year, Outbreak Europe, Silverback Open, Notorious IBE, UK Bboy Championships, Unbreakable, Taipei Bboy City, and Battle Pro.
For the folks who were wondering why BC One is no longer part of the Undisputed Series, the team at Red Bull decided to not to use the official Judging System for their World Final. The Undisputed Series requires this as part of the tour, so it’s only logical that it won’t be part of the qualifier line up. Let’s keep it at that, plain and simple.
So without further do, below are your top 9 Bboys who will be competing!
Bboys in their own group will do a Round-Robin Style Battle. This means there will be 3 battles for each Group; each Bboy battling twice. Battles will be 3 rounds each. You win 1 point for each round you win. So since each Bboy will have 2 battles, there are a total of 6 points they can grab from their group. The Bboy who wins the most out of Group A, B, and C will qualify for the Semi-Final. Whoever wins the most rounds out of all the groups, outside of the Top 3, will qualify as the 4th person. The system judges each round as the battles take place, so each round counts. The Semi-Final and Final Battle will be normal elimination matches under the system.
Below is an image to visualize the Round-Robin Matches
Read this from Left the Right. The rows represent the dancer you’re looking at, the columns represent their opponent. The order of importance goes from # of wins > # of rounds won > # of judges votes. Victories weigh more than rounds won which weighs more than the number of judges voting for you. In the event of a tie, if one Bboy wins 1 battle each in the group, the Bboy who won the most rounds from that group wins. If # of Rounds won is still tied, it goes to the count of judges votes compared between the dancers. In the event that there is any tie beyond that, the Bboys who tied will have to do an extra battle. It is as important to win every round as it is to win every battle you can. Everything counts. Stamina will definitely play a key role as the battles progress over time.
I’ll now provide some analysis about each dancer and what I see would be a path to their victories out of each group.
Thesis is a Defending Champion for the Undisputed World Final. The stage and pressure will be a familiar setting. His content is an exhibition of original movement, not just moves. He can mix up powerful transitions, freezes, level changes, and threads on the floor. He is well versed in dancing and his forte lies in his flow from one piece to another. By the time he finishes a round, you get a feeling that it’s complete; a story was told from start to finish. Every time I battled him, it felt like he had something ready and his composition will keep you thinking about how you will respond. Do you match his content? Or do you go a different route to switch it up? He’s going up against people that may be able to break the pace, so in order for him to win his rounds, he needs to find the right times to blow it up and the right times to groove it out. Out of this group, he is more comfortable at dancing up top and his ground game style stands out so he’ll need to use that to his advantage. I’d say he would have to “do him”, the most out of the 3, to set the mood and control it to the end. He’s done it before, and I believe his rounds will work better for him as the battle progresses.
Vero is an assassin among the Jinjo Squad. He’s been around for quite some time and if you sleep on his rounds, you’re bound to lose that round. He comes out with surprises in his arsenal and truly shines in crew battles. He plays a key role in blowing it up when rounds are needed to be won for Jinjo. At Silverback, I recall he was a few numbers after me for the Solo Battle Prelims. I noticed he has his go-to moves ready and everything had a purpose. Not much of it was filler. For these kinds of battles, you better have your bombers ready, and I see Vero’s ability to pull it off in crunch times. His sets will help him go toe to toe with the other two Bboys in his group. His path to victory in my opinion will rely on his ability to dominate rounds where his opponent throws weaker content. In the event that he has to match a real solid round, he’ll have to make sure he can keep the rounds close, while completely smashing the other rounds. Vero has good tricks ranging from signature hand spins to small but powerfully quick freezes / transitions. He’s good at playing around in stab positions, shoulder hopping transitions, and undercut sweeps. You’ll usually catch him close to the floor with his shoulders, hips, and knees on the ground. Don’t be surprised when he throws a quick airflare here and there, or other power moves, to take the momentum back.
Onel has a lot to prove in order to come out of the Group A bracket. He has the opportunity to take down Vero and Thesis, so I’m sure he’ll jump on that opportunity to test them. His style is Spazzy, in a good way. He moves in snappy ways with an understanding of where to highlight the main moves. The energy coming out the gate will engage you right away. His dynamics are a critical factor in the equation. Onel will be the one to throw the longer power rounds out of the 3, and he will be able to go from the air to the ground in various power moves / arm positions more often than not. He possesses options in how to combine some footwork to various floats, halos, air power moves, and flips. How he uses his power needs to match how and when he uses his freezes. Most of what I see stems from his ability to maximize both of those parameters – power & freezes. He nails a few freezes pretty long and clean which definitely helps. If he can find the right times to bring those out, without packing too much in a round, he’ll be able to win the exchanges while having more fuel in the tank for the next round. I’m interested in seeing his rounds when it gets to the later stages. His exclamation points need to be chosen wisely since Thesis and Vero will have their own waiting for the right moment.
Victor is a force to be reckoned with in this group. He is well versed in every aspect of breaking and it shows in how effortless he goes from one section to the next. His footwork patterns and combinations are, in my opinion, underrated and people should pay attention to them a little more. He connects them really well with everything else he does and is able to give his steps a good couple of seconds to shine. If you want to match his dynamics while ignoring his footwork, you’ll be lacking. If you only contend with his footwork, you’ll be lacking elsewhere. He has a couple of signatures thrown out at any given point. Because his rounds are full of content in various aspects, along with levels, you get the feeling that he’s mauling you in clean fashion. It doesn’t help that he can go pretty long in a round and is experienced in dragging out battles to his advantage. His path to victory will be based on how predictable or unpredictable he gets. Lussy Sky and Hill will seek opportunities to take the momentum to their side. If they find any reason that Victor is losing steam or momentum, they will capitalize on that. Victor needs to be prepared in responding to these intense blow up situations, he’s done it many times before. For this bracket though, the judges will be watching his every move, since he’s clean, they’ll look for tiny cracks in the game. Victor tends to shine when he’s “outboxing” his opponents in all techniques of breaking. Where he tends to find challenges are when character and intangible moments, beyond moves, gets involved (e.g. battling a Remind type of dancer), but those kinds of dancers need to be able to throw out damaging content back at him as well. It’ll be nice to see it all play out. One thing is for sure though, his strengths will be shown, and he won’t hesitate to pull the trigger with his library of movement.
Hill qualified on points. He’s from Mexico, but has been making a lot of noise in Europe. His being out there has helped put more visibility and opportunities to rip it. He can stay airflaring in different ways and chill there for a good amount of time. He’s swift when he flows and sweeps on the floor and in a split second, a flip will come out of nowhere. He can change speeds and stop into freezes from power move combos pretty consistently. He’s aggressive and will be adamant in aiming all his moves at you. He’s not afraid to go first, and he’s not afraid to throw heat in your face. His chances of winning the battles will be increased when he can harness that aggression and create incredible moments in certain sections of his round. He has interesting small sets that he can play with and can end up in crazy positions at a moments notice. Out of Group B, he is the most dynamic and will have to control the pace with it. If I were him, I would be careful in rushing the rounds. He may go a little too fast and won’t give his content enough time to breathe between the next section. If he can be conscious of his timing and rhythm, he can let all his moves do the full damage they deserve to. He has the tools to create excitement and gut punch the other two. If he can do that the majority of the rounds, his opponents will have a hard time bringing the heat back to their side.
Lussy Sky has been a world warrior, for the past 2 years especially. He’s put in a lot of travel hours in many cities around the world during the 2017 tour. He worked hard and it is obvious why he’s placed real high in the Undisputed Ranking. What stands out about him is his strange footwork moves, unique floorwork play, and his snazzy stab moves. You can witness the emotion he instills in moves and he also doesn’t get too phased when his opponents blow it up. When I battle him, I enjoy throwing out my strange footwork and floorwork combos. I don’t think we’re similar, but I know he will answer back within the same conversation. His style is the most theatrical out of the group, but he doesn’t rely on that, thank goodness. You’ll expect to see his rounds fully loaded with different footwork, leg shapes, travel moves from one side of the floor to the next, and quick hop moves. This man has the most accurate Guile haircut in the Bboy scene, but is from Eastern Europe, and his character shows that. I guess we can start alluding to Ivan Drago references while we’re at it. He doesn’t appear to be someone who will second guess what he will bring out in his rounds. That is the key for him to win the rounds for Group B. I feel that he’ll know exactly when, where, and why all his moves will be executed. That will be dangerous for his opponents. If he is on point with that, while firing off some electrifying signatures, it will help accommodate for his dynamics which Victor and Hill will have more of, at least on paper. It will be interesting to see what his responses will be to the rounds being thrown by Victor and Hill, and vice versa. He’ll have to make sure that each of his rounds will not resemble the ones before in terms of composition, pace, and energy. Switching things up here and there will keep the opponents and judges guessing.
The young champ. Issei rose up the ranks at blazing speeds; leaving a lot of destruction and not much room for debates. Where he battles, a lot of them are clear victories with the exception of a few. He’s matured a little bit more in his style. That maturity came from experiences in battling in high pressured situations over many years when he was a few years younger than now. His crew has rubbed off on him more as well and he’s attempting to funk it out; he’s more goofy in his grooves. He’s also paying attention to the music a lot more, and you know what happens when the music works for him. He’ll laugh at you if you’re trying too hard, and he’ll have his content ready to back it up completely. His power is default; you know that’s his foundation. In recent times, he’s been able to come up with some very interesting halo moves, shoulder power moves, and a lot of tiny transitions that make you wonder how he can move like that. He has a lot of heart, and can push through tiring situations. He’s been in deep water, and will go all out to the very end. It’s admirable to see that, and you’re usually on the edge thinking about what he’ll do next. His challenges comes when someone can out dance him and provide a more original package to their round versus him. The challenge for Kuzya and Spin is to weather the Issei storm with enough energy to expose the other elements of breaking that he was weaker in for that particular round. Issei can often appear overwhelming when he throws down, but he needs to tighten up if he gets to the later rounds and not fall into repeating his go-to moves.
Kuzya. This guy will channel the music through him. He is well tuned with the wavelengths of the song. He doesn’t need to memorize it either, he just knows what to do. He takes his time in his Top Rock, and the way he moves on the floor shows mastery of cadence. He probably freestyles the most out of Group C, and it leaves you excited to see what he’ll do, because you often won’t be able to predict it. His footwork will present a problem for Issei and Spin because he likes to use it a lot more. There are no wasted details in his footwork, in most of his rounds even. You won’t see him doing long rounds, he’ll get to the point and do it fiercely. That’s his strength advantage and that will make him stand out in this group. He has options in rolling, spinning, and diving off his back, shoulders, forearms, and legs. He’s pretty dynamic off his back and has a few combinations of ground power that are unique to the group. One thing he needs to watch out for is sticking his freezes. They have to play a bigger role if he intends on using them. He moves around a lot and it’s real skillful, but to edge out his opponents, he’ll need to either stick his freezes if he uses them, or not bring them into the round if it doesn’t significantly bring the advantage to his side. He has enough signatures to keep his rounds busy and can showcase with enough impact though. You will enjoy how he responds to music, and his IDGAF attitude puts him in his own world where he draws you in. He’ll less likely try to match the intensity of Issei & Spin, and more likely to bait them into his realm of expertise.
Last but not least, we have Spin. Spin has been a silent killer. He wins his rounds and makes it pretty far in a lot of these solo battles. In Western Europe, you wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone far in the tournament or even winning it. He approaches breaking in a swift manner. You’ll catch him with quick movements in various combinations of footwork. He likes being on his head, often throwing halos as much as his CCs. I don’t believe it tires him out, which is pretty impressive. He’ll compliment his footwork concepts and weave them in and out of halos to baby freezes. His arsenal tends to stay close to the ground, even the ones that go airborne. He’ll find ways to throw in mini flares and quick ground power to supplement the rest of round. This allows him to piece together all aspects of breaking within a round, without dragging it out too long. He presents the puzzle of having a strong ground game that’s well rounded, so his opponents often have to take the High Risk, High Reward approach to beat him. If not, the rounds will appear a lot closer. I notice that a lot of Bboys he battles gravitate towards a blow up situation to try and beat his round, but they run the risk of crashing or risk appearing a little more sloppy. Spin can capitalize off of his opponents mistakes; he can strategize for that. He will need to because Issei and Kuzya have the ability to execute High Risk, High Reward moves more often than not. The question here for his battles is simply, who looks better at what they do? I know that sounds simple, but Spin will need to present himself clearly in order to solidify his rounds.
That’s my analysis of everyone and their match ups. They are solely my opinion and cats can disagree. It is easy to discuss many of these scenarios, and talk about theoretical situations on paper. It will be a lot more difficult for them to do what they need to do. These Bboys have their work cut out for them. Overall, the ability to express yourself powerfully and consistently will aid you in the later stages of the battle. I believe that the first couple of rounds will be settled by who can shake off the jitters quickly. The earlier these Bboys feel at ease, the stronger their conviction will show. I am truly hoping the crowd in San Diego keeps the energy hype. It will add to the excitement, and I’m sure it’ll get the dancers hype. 3 Round Battles in Round-Robin format are no joke, and I can’t stress enough the amount of stamina and heart needed to push onward. These folks are putting it all out there on the floor. Much respect and congratulations for getting this far. I wish them the best. I pray they are all healthy and well prepared for their matches. May the best Bboy win.
Get your tickets at:
Instagram for Bboy Lancer
@bboylancer & @snappilots