The 3A division has come a long way, considering it was born in the Holiday Inn parking lot at the US National YoYo Contest. With each passing year, this style gets faster and smoother, with players going further and further out on a limb to harness the best aspects of 1A play and make them exponentially more incredible by doing them two at a time. Here are our picks for the top contenders the 3A division.
Patrick Borgerding – Defending National Champion
Patrick blew minds at Worlds with his crazy horizontal 3A tricks, and a routine packed with an incredible number of bangers. Any dozen of his tricks could have been the grand finale of someone else’s routine, and Patrick just keeps ’em coming. His only weakness are his transitions…his tricks have a lot of set-up and can sometimes be slow to get out of. With so much talent nipping at his heels, Patrick has his work cut out for him, but he’s definitely the leading contender.
Alex Hattori is just about due for a break-through. With a solid 4th Place finish at this years World YoYo Contest and plenty of other Top 5 and Top 10 finishes over the past few years, Alex Hattori is ready for his time at the top. His Worlds routine was top notch, and an impressive finish in a field of amazing talent…but it was still a 4th Place finish to Patrick Borgerding’s 2nd Place. Will this be Alex’s year?
Eric Tranton stomping out that last amazing stall/regen trick of his routine (seriously, watch the end of his routine before you even finish this sentence) was one of the absolute highlights of the 3A Division at this years World YoYo Contest. Everyone in the room was on their feet, and every single other competitor felt a sink in the pit of their stomach as the saw the bar being raised for routine-ending bangers. If Eric can pull off at Nationals what he did a Worlds but go a little cleaner, he could walk away with his first National title.
Elliot has a lot of talent, but faltered heavily in his Worlds prelim and didn’t make it through to finals. He’s an up-and-coming talent with a lot of promise, but he’s got a lot of work ahead of him if he’s going to knock off players with smoother, more polished routines. But on any given Saturday, it’s just a matter of who hits it and who doesn’t….and we think that if he goes clean, Elliot could have his shot at the cup.
With a 5th Place finish at the Bay Area Classic (one of the toughest contests in the country) and a 3rd Place finish at California States, Ian Smith is starting to make a name for himself in the 3A Division. His play isn’t as polished as some of the rest of the competitors, but he’s got the skills to make Top 5 on a good day.
Ryan Lai is a legend in the 3A player community, and one of the earliest competitive 3A players. His play is polished and smooth, but not on the cutting edge of difficulty. But never underestimate the power of someone who can hit everything they go for, and with his stage experience Ryan isn’t going to be as spooked on stage as younger players may be. With smooth style and high skill, Ryan is definitely a contender for the cup.