If you live over in the colonies, like me, you may either be upset or extremely pleased (which is more likely) that the four-year cycle of politicking is over. We’ve chosen our Supreme Leader for the next four years and no longer have to do any decision making of our own for quite some time.
But hello online politics and democracy that is the WRS Uploaded Contest, presented for your entertainment, for free, on the digital device of your choice.
It’s a chance for the top skaters in the sport—whether you disagree who that is or not—to go head-to-head in a digital bout against not only all the other skaters, but also against gravity and a ton of inanimate objects that would soon put us all in wheelchairs.
It’s all done in bracket formation again, something familiar to any American who throws money down in March on college basketball teams.
The contest started Monday, with the first heat ending with the following results:
- Daniel Prell (25%) vs. Demetrios George (75%)
- Jacob Juul (31.6%) vs. JC Rowe (68.4%)
Today started the second bracket of the first round. That includes:
The fun part of last year was watching tally counts swing back and forth between bladers as online votes from around the world being cast into the online fire like dry timber.
And it appears, on Tuesday morning on America’s West Coast (Westside, mother fuckers!), that the first fierce competition is between the two Jeffs.
The edits have been getting passed around Facebook like your little sister on her first week of college.
How very exciting.
But, much like life itself, WRS Uploaded is changing.
A HUGE difference with the WRS Uploaded Contest this year is that it’s no longer a finals event.
Yes, it was last year, but after listening to your many concerns voiced over the usual channels (Be-Mag message board and comments on Rollernews and YouTube) some considerations were made and things were changed around.
Because, you know, democracy.
So before anyone starts tossing down saucy words everywhere about the format of the finals, release those Hammer of Thor fingertips you have and your Thunder God-rage long enough to notice something on the World Rolling Series home page…
Oh Mylanta! The Uploaded contest is a 5-star event, such as Winterclash, Bitter Cold, Fise, and the Blading Cup!
That means for those skaters who struggle to come up with the enormous amount of cash to fly to another country, find housing and food, and most likely take time off work to do it (yes, kids, many, many professional rollerbladers also need day jobs to pay their bills), they can make an edit to move up the WRS bracket, if they so choose.
Look at how technology has the ability to unite us all into one giant, loving global community. (And no, I didn’t type that with a straight face.)
Also, you should not read only the rules and regulations of not only the Uploaded contest, but the WRS rankings as well.
But since 90 percent of people online won’t do that, I’ll do it for you.
Let’s take a look at the Uploaded rules first…
“All footage must be new…”
This is a breath of fresh air because, as you all are aware, some skaters used recycled footage to enter into last year’s competition. No more of that.
No one can really blame anyone for using their best hammers, but it’s not like you can go to other competitions, stand at the top of a ramp, and say, “Hey, you remember when I pulled 540 tru acid on this during that sesh here yesterday? Yeah, that counts today.”
Daniel Kinney, one of the event organizers, said it himself in an interview with ONE Magazine: “Any edit that includes any footage that has already been seen online or in a video will be disqualified from both Fan voting and judging. It just wasn’t fair to other competitors that took the opportunity to produce all new content.”
But hot damn, rule No. 1 seems to be a major contention for many people…
“Pro and top 25 WRS World Ranking”
A discussion over who is pro and who isn’t is the quickest way to get some panties all bunched up around some balls. Some people think a pro designation comes automatically, but in typical industry standards, you have to be named so by a boot manufacturer.
However, in the true form of not letting kings sit idly on their thrones, the top 25 contain some pros, ams, and super ams (or people who would be pro if our industry was large and fruitful enough to support as many).
If some lesser-known is attempting to challenge the likes of say, an Alex Broskow, it’s going to take a lot more than some hurricane top souls and big gaps. Alex was doing that shit blindfolded in the KFC days, and now he’s doing such technical deals on such gnarly things that it’s going to take the current generation of skaters to get to his level.
Can young new skaters beat a Broskow, Haffey, Farmer, or Aragon in a competition? Of course.
Can they de-throne them for mad WRS points? I can’t wait to see.
Then again, the support behind Nils last year raised some interesting questions about where skating is headed in the future.
As far as this moment, it appears we’ve got ourselves a strong showing from both the European brethren and their American counterparts.
This digital format also allows skaters to compete on the turf they feel best represents their skating in 60 seconds. While only the first two rounds of the bracket have been announced, it’s always fun watching different styles compete with one another for your love and devotion in the form of a mouse click.
That speaks for itself.
However, that inclusion absolves you from any ill-feeling you might have voting for the other guy just because you don’t like him.
Judge, my friends. Judge them all.
When it’s all over…
All those fun online votes will be tallied and considered HEAVILY by Uploaded’s six esteem judges—three from the U.S. and three from Europe (or least that was the initial plan).
When the vote is cast, a king shall be crowned and everyone can go on the internet to complain about it. I’ll be loaded up on that mad Haterade and waiting anxiously.
So where and when will the WRS Finals be this year, since it’s not online?
“As great as it would be to have a true WRS World Finals event again, I don’t think it is worth pursuing until it can really be something special,” Kinney told ONE. “A typical park contest just really isn’t good enough in my opinion. There are some great venues out there, but personally I want to be able to offer something new and exciting before we revisit the WRS World Finals.”
So, if you’ve got some good ideas of venues or structure or funding mechanism, I’m sure Mr. Kinney and the rest of the people behind WRS would love to hear your ideas.
Happy democracy, rollerblading!
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S. — Like reading about rollerblading but want more pictures from some of rollerblading’s best photographers shooting photos of some of the sports best park skaters in the best concrete parks in the Pacific Northwest? Want a video to go along with it?