All the favorites, contenders, and sleepers are ready to battle it out as the regional championships begin. Let’s take a look at each region and the teams to keep an eye on.
In the Great Lakes region, the favorite is undoubtedly #5 Chicago Machine. They have dominated the region for the past six years and show no signs of slowing down. With a strong roster, including players like Nate Goff and Malik Auger-Semmar, Machine is poised to win their seventh straight regional title. The top challengers are #15 Cincinnati Omen and Chicago Trident I. Omen made their first Nationals appearance last year and will look to build on that success. Trident I has a mix of experienced club players and young talent and could potentially upset either Machine or Omen to reach the regional final.
Moving on to the Mid-Atlantic region, the favorites are #1 Washington DC Truck Stop and #12 Virginia Vault. Truck Stop is the top-ranked team in the country and is expected to claim one of the two bids to Nationals. Vault has been consistent throughout the season and will be looking to pull off an upset in the regional final. The challengers in this region include #24 Pittsburgh Temper, New Brunswick Garden State Ultimate, and Philadelphia Phantom. Temper has had a tough season but could still make a run in the postseason. Garden State Ultimate and Phantom will be looking to finish strong and build momentum for next season.
In the North Central region, the favorite is #14 Minneapolis Sub Zero. Although they had a rebuilding season last year, Sub Zero has shown promise this year. However, they will face tough competition from challengers #18 Winnipeg General Strike, #21 Madison Mad Men, #25 St. Louis STL Lounar, and Minneapolis Mallard. General Strike has been dominant in Canadian play and could potentially cause an upset at regionals. Mad Men qualified for nationals last year but will need to step up their game to secure a bid this year. STL Lounar is undefeated in USAU play and will be a team to watch. Mallard, who defeated Sub Zero at Sectionals, will be looking to prove their win was no fluke.
As the regional championships begin, these teams will be battling it out for a chance to compete at Nationals. From the favorites to the sleepers, each region is filled with excitement and potential upsets. Stay tuned to see how it all unfolds!