Another Stage has concluded in this year’s epic online Red Bull Street Style tournament. This round no doubt really separated the best from the rest where a new challenge was presented to players, not like anything that had been asked of the players so far.
Players had to create a performance set from different types of tricks selected from 4 unseen virtual pools, each one compiled of 5 different types of trick. Examples were “No Touch”, “Sitdowns – lowers transition”, “Power” and “Stall”, which leave some space open to interpretation from player to player. The freestylers were free to incorporate these however they wished into their sets as well as what they did in between them to help piece each part together. As the focus in this round was ‘Difficulty’, it really was a case of who dares wins.
Difficulty is a hugely important factor in freestyle football to judge and compare players. In some cases it is clear to understand what is difficult but when you mix across lots of styles like sits, uppers lowers etc. this can create quite the conundrum for judges as to how difficult the tricks are respectively, and how they put them together.
Of course when trying to do much harder to tricks to impress comes the risk of making drops and errors. Some players were very ambitious with their routines while others opted to try stay within their comfort zones more. The pressure was racked up even higher by the fact the freestylers here only had 24 hours to come up with a performance set, and then perform it on LIVE recorded video to a WFFA representative. With only a 5 minute window to nail their set perfectly, time was precious as a drop meant the routine had to be restarted.
After another round of superb skills and entries, only the top 32 males and 15 females would advance to stage 4 and thus some big names have been eliminated now. This year will see a new male champion take the place of last year’s winner in Miami , Ricardinho. Congratulations to the likes of Jordan (France), Pat Shaw (USA), ‘Machine’ (Colombia) and Ahmadreza (Iran) who are just some of the names that made it through to Stage 4.
Meanwhile for the females it is still a strong list remaining at this point including Jasmijn Janssen (Netherlands), Caitlyn Schrepfer (USA) and Kitti Szasz (Hungary) who will all join current Red Bull Street Style Champion Melody Donchet.
One final hurdle remains for these players to qualify for the live online finals in November. It won’t be easy by any means though, players once again have a tough task put to them in Stage 4 to impress the judges and outperform the competition. When the level is this high and the margins for error are so small; anything can happen.