Easterns Qualifier 2024: How to Watch, Tournament Preview

A grueling test.

UNC Charlotte catches past the North Carolina defender at Queen City Tune Up 2023. Photo: Katie Cooper – UltiPhotos.com

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Easterns Qualifier offers a spot in one of the division’s most prestigious tournaments. But perhaps the real prize is the friends we made along the way? Or rather, the deep roster of similar strengths competitors that represent exactly the types of opposition teams will need to conquer if they want to rise from regional challenger to Nationals qualifier.

Tournament Profile

  • Date: February 24-25
  • Location: Little River, SC
  • Weather: Mid 50s to mid 60s, with varying 5-15 mph winds, and some chance of rain on Saturday
  • Top 25 teams: 1 men’s division
  • Schedules & Results

Streaming Schedule

All Ultiworld Standard and All-Access subscribers will have access to watch the live broadcasts from this year’s Eastern’s Qualifier, where we will have one game in each broadcasting round.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are ET.

Saturday, February 24

9:00 AM: Auburn vs. Cincinnati [M]
10:45 AM: UNC Wilmington vs. Emory [M]
12:30 PM: Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame [M]
2:15 PM: Temple vs. SUNY Binghamton [M]

Sunday, February 25

8:30 AM: Purdue vs. Alabama [M]
10:15 AM: Quarterfinal TBD [M]
12:00 PM: Semifinal TBD [M]
1:45 PM: Final [M]

Tournament Preview

Let’s start with what Easterns Qualifier isn’t: a brilliant showcase of a select group of elite programs. No, it’s something a bit muckier, more jagged. It’s a shoeless march through the peat bogs. It’s a self-guided tour through a faulty glass factory. It’s not a tournament so much as a scrum. Even if you’re paying attention, it can look like one of those cartoon brawls – a cloud of dust that only offers the briefest glimpses of arms and legs and biting. A winner always emerges from the chaos though, and the prize is priceless: a golden ticket to play with the respectable teams at Easterns to end the season, and the chance to build strengh-of-schedule points into a rankings portfolio that goes with the ticket.

Word on the street is that #13 UAH Nightmares, who had been scheduled to play, proved enough at Florida Warm Up and Queen City Tune Up to earn a free invitation to Easterns. That leaves #18 Penn State Spank as the only ranked team at the party and the odds-on favorites. Ethan Pigeon, Zander Lutz, and Doug Hoyer have led Spank to new heights in early 2024. They pass the eye test, and they have great results. Can they keep it going through eight more grueling rounds?1

Unfortunately for Spank, the 24-team field is fraught with peril. South Carolina Gamecock Ultimate, Georgia Tech Tribe, Ohio State Leadbelly, UNC Charlotte Skyrise, and UNC Wilmington Seamen have all been ranked or in consideration for rankings throughout the season. Any of them could get hot enough to bag a big-game win over Penn State. That doesn’t even say anything about the likes of Emory Juice, Purdue Undue, William & Mary Merry Men, Harvard Redline, and Duke Brimstone, all of whom are essentially on even footing with the first group of challengers.

You get the idea. Spank will be the overwhelming favorites against any of these teams in a single game. Safe money favorites, even. But the field is feisty enough that chaos is the true favorite heading into the weekend. Bet on unpredictability over everything else as a desperate rabble all try to pierce their way through the thin layer of the bid-bubble all at once. And if you aren’t the betting type, sit back and enjoy the show.

  1. The EQ format is five games of pool play and a three-round bracket. 

  1. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.




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