WFTDA fans didn’t have to wait long to see rematches from the some of the most hard-hitting and tensely close games of the 2016 International WFTDA Playoffs and Champs. The WFTDA-recognized Big O Tournament hosted by Emerald City Roller Derby in Eugene, Ore., U.S.A. kicks off today, and it looks to deliver exciting, top-level games early in the 2017 season. Tonight at 8 p.m. PDT (11 p.m. EDT), the Rose City Rollers Wheels of Justice from Portland, Ore., U.S.A. will face off against the Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) All Stars from Melbourne, Australia, keeping the international WFTDA community on the edge of their seats — whether at the Lane Events Center or watching from home.
This matchup brings two of the most successful teams in the sport head-to-head, with Rose City being the winners of the coveted WFTDA Hydra Trophy for the past two years in a row and VRDL currently holding the top spot in the WFTDA rankings — having recently bumped Gotham Girls Roller Derby from New York, N.Y., U.S.A. out of their hold on the number one position. This will be the first game of the season for both teams and will set the tone for the 2017 WFTDA Division 1 season.
When these teams last battled at the 2016 International WFTDA Champs, Rose City took a nail-biting three-point victory over VRDL. Since then, both the Portlanders and the Australians have made significant changes to their rosters. Rose City lost two former WFTDA Tournament MVPs, Scald Eagle and Brawn Swanson, to Denver Roller Derby’s Mile High Club, but picked up “the LeBron James of roller derby” when Bonnie Thunders made the shocking transfer early this season from her longtime home at Gotham. Meanwhile, Victoria lost their former Gotham transfer and multiple Hydra winner, Mick Swagger, along with one of their top jammers, Mary Fagdalene, to retirement. Will these roster changes have a significant impact on the outcome of the game? Use the hashtag #Talk2WFTDA to tell us your predictions!
Watch Game 10 of the 2016 International WTFDA Champs: Rose City Rollers vs the Victorian Roller Derby League
The Big O will be delivering all the hits throughout the weekend, including games like Texas vs Denver, VRDL vs Arch Rival, Minnesota vs Texas, and Rose City vs Denver. If you can’t be there to see the games in person, you can watch all three days of derby on WFTDA.tv.
Not enough Big O for you? For a peek behind the scenes at the tournament, read the WFTDA’s Featured League story on the tournament host, Emerald City Roller Derby!