Club Championships 2021: Bracket Winners and Losers

Not all bracket paths are created equal.

While Mixtape strode past Space Heater on the scoreboard in Thursday's final round, it's less clear which team actually came out ahead in the grand scheme. Photo: Kevin Leclaire -- UltiPhotos.com
While Mixtape strode past Space Heater on the scoreboard in Thursday’s final round, it’s less clear which team actually came out ahead in the grand scheme. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

We often speak about teams in reference to how they can or do finish at Nationals. A team is “a semis team” or “borderline quarters level.” But in the actual sturm and drang of Nationals, the fate of teams is often contingent upon how the bracket shakes out. Styles make fights, and the caliber of your opposition goes a long way towards whether you win or lose.1

Thursday at Nationals was one of the most chaotic days, in terms of results, in the recent history of the sport. As a result of all those upsets and meltdowns, a tectonic shift occurs in the shape of the bracket. All of our carefully plotted predictions are reduced to rubble, as the team we felt was a lock to make the final now has a much tougher draw and the team we felt had no shot of achieving exit velocity from a tough quarters matchup suddenly has a clear path to a WUCC bid.

As the dust settles after the madness of today’s games, we get an idea of what the rest of the tournament will look like. There are some clear winners and losers in this new landscape, and in many ways being a winner of the bracket math can do more to shape our perception of what kind of team you are than the actual wins and losses of pool play.


  1. Put another way, in the Triple Crown Tour era, styles make flights. 

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  1. Patrick Stegemoeller
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    Patrick Stegemoeller is a Senior Staff Writer for Ultiworld, co-host of the Sin The Fields podcast, and also a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn.

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