IGNITE was the first full-sized tournament run exclusively for league novices, and was attended by 5 teams: Krait Base Los Angeles, Lightspeed Saber Academy, Gryphon Fencing Club, Lone Wolf Base, and Penguin Saber Academy.
This was Gryphon’s first formal outing with Lightspeed (Richard Garcia, Cormac Tellez, and Isabel Wilson), and the Escondido squad’s second under the Lone Wolf banner (Hikaru Hayakawa and Wyatt Oleson). Richard Liang was the sole competitor from Penguin, and Krait Base sent two of its boys down to compete. The remainder were Lightspeed Saber students, and it was their first competition for many of them, and the first formally held at the academy.
Strong showings were made by all attending, with at least one member from each team making it into the Top 8 of the mixed competition. Both Lone Wolves qualified, and the delegation from Gryphon made it in as well. Richard Liang and John Lee, the Penguin and the dragoon, respectively, came in at 7th and 5th.
Brandon Nease from Lightspeed Saber Academy was seeded 8th against the top-seeded Richard Garcia from Gryphon. In a major surprise, Nease rocketed to a 10-point lead, nearly causing a major upset. But eventually lost it as Garcia fought his way up from the enormous deficit to stay in the tournament.
Daniel Delgado, also from Lightspeed Saber Academy, gave the best performance of his career, losing only to Wyatt Oleson of the Lone Wolves during qualifiers. They met again in the bracket, this time with Delgado coming out on top. He eventually clashed with Richard Garcia in the finals, with great plays from both competitors but the final points ending up a tough slog through multiple rushes. Eventually, Delgado pulled through to bring home the win for the academy.
Following the mixed tournament, the women of Lightspeed Saber Academy had their chance, including Chief Operations Officer Patrica Bauler and Tano-saber instructor Bea Nguyen. Newcomer Angie Pereda was in the mix as well, and so was Isabel Wilson from Gryphon Fencing Club. Jowanna Lewis, guest competitor and 2018 women’s champion, rounded out the roster at 5 competitors.
Nguyen, a prodigious trainee in muay thai and eskrima, was actually turning in her freshman performance. But her many hours of training showed, as she dominated in the qualifying rounds with no losses, even earning a win off champion Jowanna Lewis, as well as against May 4 champion Patricia Bauler. However, in a stunning matchup, Bauler blew out Nguyen in the final event, once again taking first place, with Nguyen in second.
(Because this is a novice tournament, only the top data is published)