The following article was a contribution by the Groger Ranks staff.
On Saturday, September 14, 10 teams from across the nation competed at the Discord mirror of Prison Bowl XII (Powered by Groger Ranks), one of if not the first ever online tournament to be run on a high school set. The field included 3 of the top 25 teams on our preseason poll (#1 Uni Lab, #15 Mission San Jose, and #25 Mounds View) among other strong teams.
Stats can be found here.
The tournament was a strong showing for University Lab (IL), which won the tournament despite playing shorthanded for much of the day. Their sole loss occurred while Dylan Bowman was playing solo in round 1, and they quickly recovered to win the next 9 games once his teammates arrived. The team was incredibly balanced in scoring, placing 3 individuals in the top 6 scorers. They also boasted a convincing 10 powers in the final match and 57 overall, asserting that they have the intention of living up to their preseason rank. Perhaps more surprising, however, was their opponent in the finals: “Nonvit” (IL), which played pseudonymously due to state restrictions. Nonvit has not been the subject of much national discussion, but their performance at this tournament demonstrated their ability to take on known quantities throughout the day. “Escobar” (CA), led by last season’s sophomore of the year, Avinash Iyer, finished fourth and had the field’s highest PPB at 22.52. Avinash was surpassed as the top scorer by Shardul Rao of third place Mounds View (MN). Both backed up their reputations as strong individual players with their performances.
Category standings are attached here.
After the success of last year’s ILLIAC online mirror, we decided to host a similar tournament that would use a high school set and be closed to high school teams. Despite concerns about the efficacy of online tournaments as meaningful predictors of performance at in-person tournaments, we believe it is a great way for players to hear question sets with no nearby mirrors and gain experience against teams outside of their regions. As the first Groger Ranks-eligible tournament of the year, it was also a chance for eager players to start the season as early as possible. On that note, special thanks to Hunter for allowing us to use their set from last March, which is still available for mirrors. If you couldn’t attend this mirror, we highly recommend that you find a Prison Bowl XII mirror near you. Thanks again to everyone who came to staff and play!
-The Groger Ranks Team