The 2013 US National YoYo Contest wrapped up this past weekend, and YoYoNews is looking back at each division and bringing you post-contest analysis.
What in the late 90s – early 2000s was the most fiercely competitive division has now become a thin field for American players. The players at the top are WAY at the top, and the newcomers have a long way to go. The amount of time that it takes to learn 2A tricks versus every other style is remarkably off-putting to new players. While every other style of play requires you to learn a trick and then learn to hit it clean, 2A requires you to learn how to repeat tricks at high speed…the repetition is what weeds people out of this style quickly.
This year’s biggest upset was the last minute decision by defending champion Patrick Mitchell not to attend the event. What started as a showdown between National Champions Patrick Mitchell and Joseph Harris quickly turned in to a free-for-all. The point drop-off from 1st Place to 2nd Place was 21.2 points, and that should give you an idea of the level of competition this year.
Joseph Harris is a solid National Champion, two-times over, and there wasn’t anyone last Saturday who was playing at that level. Yoshi Mikamoto is a solid State/Regional player, but he’s not up to the level yet of being able to take on Joseph or Patrick Mitchell. Up-and-comer Ian Lawson showed a lot of promise and definitely earned his 3rd Place finish, and I think it’s safe to say we can expect some great things from him in the future.
Hawaiian players Ryan Lai and Alexander Kido are both great players but Ryan’s experience and old school style are no match for the new level of 2A, and Alexander still has a way to go before he can match Joseph or Patrick’s level of comfort on stage. Bringing up the bottom of the field we have John Huber who is a performer and demonstrator, not a competitor, and Josh Yee who enters as many divisions as he can without being truly competitive in any of them.
2A just didn’t deliver this year, which is a shame considering how great this style of play looks when done well. But we see some real promise in Ian Lawson and Alexander Kido, and hopefully this is the beginning of great things for both of them.