Known as one of the largest and most competitive roller derby tournaments in the world, the ECDX matched up national powers against each other with most teams coming out with a few bruises and blemishes on their record.
Only Gotham, Texas, New Hampshire, and Toronto were able to survive two matches unscathed.
World ranked teams (as compiled by Derby News Network): No. 2 Rose City, No. 3 Denver, No. 8 Arizona, No. 14 Charm City, No. 19 Montreal, and No. 20 Boston each suffered a loss to another Top 20 team during the weekend. Half of the DNN’s Top 20 leagues skated in the annual summer tournament.
The two highest-ranked Pennsylvania teams: (No. 11 Philly and No. 18. Steel City) didn’t find any relief competing in the Keystone State as both finished 0-2.
The tough competition had most teams raving about the talent level of this year’s ECDX.
“The ECDX is a really, really great learning experience,” said Montreal skater Honey Badger. “It’s a great tournament to prepare for Regionals because the competition is so good. And it’s the tournament everyone talks about.”
Three rinks of action, including two rinks of non-stop Women’s Flat Track Derby Association sanctioned bouts, kept fans on their toes throughout the weekend. Even players from other teams were keeping a close eye on other bouts.
“It was fun watching all the other bouts,” said Steel City’s Sgt. Shocker. “The only problem was some of the bouts we wanted to see were at the same time as ours. We are warming up on one rink watching the scoreboard for the Gotham game on the other.”
Some teams attracted more attention that others — good or bad. Texas’ Vicious van GoGo said she enjoyed being the “bad guys” during the tournament, facing off against Philly and a well-traveled Montreal team that gained local fan support throughout the weekend.
“Everyone likes to root against us,” GoGo said. “There’s such a great energy in here that it’s like old school derby. It’s a great atmosphere.”
Teams like Denver’s Mile High Club used its down time to scout teams it wasn’t particularly familiar with due to its geographic location.
“It’s been very informative,” said Denver skater Sage. “We learned a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of other teams. The East Coast leagues have some big and athletic skaters that train really hard. They’re not easy to push around.”
Each team had the opportunity to watch other games, visit a long line of derby vendors, socialize over a few beers, or take a dip in the pool outside. Charm City’s Holden Grudges said she enjoyed the festivities of the weekend but is hoping for earlier bouts next time the team visits Philly.
“Both our games were late so I had to stay sober the whole time,” Grudges said with a laugh after her team defeated Boston on Sunday night. “I can’t drink until now, and that’s a lot of the fun of the weekend. You can play a team like Montreal (on Saturday) and be like ‘I hate you’ during the match, but afterwards you want to grab a drink with them.”