Jacob Elliott dropped his first tutorial for 5A May for his trick, Stunt Pilot. It’s an intermediate trick, and you’ll need to be able to do Helicopter first.
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.
The 5A division at this years US National YoYo Contest suffered from the same problem as nearly every other division this year: most of the competitors were pretty good for a State or Regional level, but just couldn’t hold their own on the National stage against former champions. As a result, the division had no real momentum. Dylan Benharris got on stage with a routine that started with thirty seconds of tricks from 2001, and a routine that ended :40 early; Shannon Jackson started his routine with a change-out, up-and-coming player favorite Chase Baxter started missing tricks early and then kept going back after them for second tries, and the normally composed Shane Lubecker looked like he was struggling to remember his routine. None of these guys are bad yoyo players by any means, but none of them seemed prepared for what they came to do…and that was get on stage and challenge Tyler Severance & Miguel Correa, two players with multiple National titles. The most exciting moment of the entire division was Jake Elliot’s inspired rebuild of his World YoYo Contest routine with fresh pacing and a lot of the throw-away tricks removed for a leaner, meaner freestyle that ended in Jake’s first National title and a much-needed injection of fresh blood into the counterweight play winner pool.
The counterweight division has been suffering for years now, with legal wrangling killing pretty much all meaningful promotion of the style. The result is a waning interest in behalf of competitors, and what we saw at Nationals this year were two former Champions who are still holding their own but quickly aging out of the competition circuit and only one new contender coming up to represent the next generation of champions. At this rate, it’s pretty likely that 5A will be completely stagnant by 2015 and dead in the water by the time the Duncan counterweight patent expires in 2020.
But for now at least, we have three amazing routines by players at the top of their game, and a field of dedicated hopefuls that might stick around long enough to see this division return to its former glory.
2013 US National YoYo Contest – 5A Division Winners
2nd Place – Tyler Severance
Nationals is coming up fast…the best players in the United States will descend on Chico, California for their moment on stage to compete for the title of US National YoYo Champion. All this week we’ll be featuring our top picks for each division!
5A (Counterweight) Division
Tyler Severance – 2x National Champion
Defending US National 5A Champion Tyler Severance showed up with one of the best 5A routines of all time at this years World YoYo Contest, and he is definitely at the top of the game. Severance has shown in recent years that he’s getting steadier and steadier on stage…where in the past you could see his pacing start to slip towards the end of his routines, now he stays steady and true until the end. Tyler is first in line for the cup this year, and everyone else is going to have a hard fight ahead of them to take his title.
Miguel Correa- 4x National Champion
Miguel Correa sat out most of the 2013 contest season to re-focus on work and family, but his level of play is so high that it might not make a difference. All it takes for Miggy to win is for him to wake up feeling good…with him in the mix, everyone better bring their A-game. That said, his teammate Tyler Severance is his #1 competition…we know where Tyler’s play is, but Miggy is coming in with some mystery around him which should make for an exciting head-to-head between these two reigning champs.
Sebastian Brock is one of the best 5A players that no one ever talks about. Sebby has said himself that he doesn’t have as much confidence in his 5A play as he does in his 1A routines; but he seems to be the only one with that opinion. His counterweight tricks are clean, inventive, and stand out from the field in a way that crowds like and judges can follow. As the 2010 National Champion in the 1A division, Sebby is in a good position to be one of the incredibly few people to win a national title in different divisions.
Relatively new on the scene, Jacob Elliot made a lot of noise at Worlds with his incredibly fast and seemingly out-of-control style in the 5A finals. His freestyle had people flinching at the back of the room, waiting for a yoyo to shoot off the stage. But it never did, and the question for Nationals is: will his speed help him rack up the points to win, or will he outplay the judges’ clickers?
Chase Baxter is an up-and-coming talent who is quickly becoming a fan favorite. He’s got an easy-going style on stage that makes him easy to score, but his consistency just isn’t there yet. If he has a good day in the park, Chase could go clean and hit Top 5…but he’s a wildcard and it’s hard to tell what he can do.
Shane is another up-and-coming player who made a strong showing at Worlds in the counterweight division. His trick density isn’t quite there yet, but he’s got some really original stuff and when he’s on his game, his trick construction and pacing are really nice. Judges score what they can follow, and Shane is good at playing to the judges. He’s a contender for sure, but he’s going to have to go cleaner than he managed at Worlds if he wants a shot at Top 5.