Best 1A Player – Takeshi Matsuura
5A World Champion Takeshi Matsuura squeaked out a win here in a narrow margin over US National and 44Clash Champion Zach Gormley. Takeshi took 2nd Place in 1A at the 2014 World YoYo Contest, and everyone is looking to him for a win on his home turf at the World YoYo Contest in Tokyo this year. It’s rare for a player to be such a threat in multiple divisions, but Takeshi’s skill is off the charts and everyone is looking to him to be the next Shinji Saito. And speaking of…
Best 2A Player – Shinji Saito
12-time World Champion Shinji Saito ran away with your votes this year, proving that even after a year of very little contest activity his skill still absolutely dominates the minds of yoyo players everywhere. YoYoFactory’s Shu Takada toook the next highest percentage of votes, and is definitely a favorite for this year’s event in Tokyo. If Shinji doesn’t compete, Shu’s only real competition will be reigning World Champion Takuma Yamamoto, and that’s going to be a close match.
Best 3A Player – Hajime Miura
sOMEThING’s Hajime Miura, the current World Champion, brought home a solid win over 3-time World Champion Hank Freeman. Hajime and Hank are the top two 3A players in the world these days, and either of them could take home the gold on any given day. With Hajime just coming in to his prime, and Hank gearing up for a completely new 3-minutes of tricks for the 2015 World YoYo Contest, the only thing that’s certain is we’re going to get one hell of a show.
Best 4A Player – Rei Iwakura
4-time World Champion Rei Iwakura (who recently announced his departure from Team YoYoJam) ran away with the win in our reader poll, but Michael Nakamura and Ben Conde nearly tied for second place. Zac Rubino has been making a lot of noise on the contest scene, but hasn’t built up his fan base just year. With Rei stepping down from YoYoJam and possibly changing his role in yoyoing to focuse more on performing and organizing, this could leave the field wide open for next year.
Best 5A Player – Takeshi Matsuura
6-time World YoYo Champion Takeshi Matsuura took an easy win in the “Best 5A Player” category, much like he does at nearly every contest he enters. Even with the 5A division losing popularity around the world, Takeshi’s skills are still recognized and rewarded by players and judges alike.
Best Video – Riccardo Fraolini’s Entire Instagram Feed
This was an INCREDIBLY tight race, but the winner by just FOUR votes is Riccardo Fraolini! His Instagram feed for the past year has been the site of some of the most mind-blowing yoyo tricks ever captured on video, and even though everyone agreed that Piotrek Smietana’s “10,000 Hours” is one of the greatest yoyo videos of all time, Riccardo’s tricks were just too amazing not to win.
Best Contest Freestyle – Ky Zizan (Las Vegas Open YoYo Championship, 1A)
Ky Zizan’s 1A Freestyle at the 2014 Las Vegas Open was mind-blowing. The tricks were dense and flawless, the choreography to music was impeccable, and when he came out on stage and dropped his shirt to reveal a custom HOOPZ jersey designed for him by Paul Escolar, we knew all hell was about to break loose. Ky has been making some strong moves at yoyo contests over the past couple of years, and with a seed to the Semi-Finals at the 2015 World YoYo Contest in Tokyo it’s safe to say we can expect big things from him this year.
Best Contest – 2014 World YoYo Contest
It’s no surprise to anyone that 2014 Worlds took top honors in this reader poll. From the venue to the 4-camera HD live stream, from the incredible amount of talent on stage to the sightseeing and after-parties in Prague, the 2014 World YoYo Contest was the absolute pinnacle of yoyo contests worldwide in the modern yoyoing era. Hats off and high-fives to Jan Kordovsky, Ondra Sedivy, and the entire Czech yoyo scene for hosting such an incredible event. The gauntlet has been thrown…the 2015 World YoYo Contest in Tokyo, Japan has a lot to live up to!
Congratulations to all of our winners, and thanks so much to all of our readers for their votes!