The man. The Myth. The Legend. Alex Garcia has a laundry list of accomplishments. High on that list is the first Champion of a freestyle division. That may seem odd, but in the past contests ran on a list of tricks similar to current “ladder” style divisions. But because if the rising level of play freestyles were introduced. In 1998 US Nationals instituted freestyles for Champion divisions, and Alex rose to the occation clenched the title.
Yuji Kelly is no stranger to the UK National title. In 2009 he first captured the title, and now 3 years later he wins again. Yuji has an unparallelled combination of fluid string tricks and amazing banger tricks. Congrats on another win Yuji!
You’d be hard pressed to find a more charismatic, versatile player then Paul Han. Paul was touring the world, playing yo-yo for huge crowds, before many hadeven picked up a yo-yo. Now, over a decade later, Paul still has the energy and passion.
In honor of “Throwback Thursday” we wanted to share Paul’s 1998 US National freestyle, along side his recent BAC performance. FIRE!
Over at YoYoFactory Europe there is a Video Contest going on with some great entries from all over the world. Be sure to check out the YoYoFactory Europe Blog for more entries and read all about the contest here. Also, check out one of our favorite entries so far. From Japan, Ginji vs. Ginji!
YoYoFactory is pleased to announce a new Protegé to the team: Betty Gallegos from Mexico City. Betty has been yo-yoing for almost 2 years, but don’t let that fool you. She has 2 National Titles in the Female division. She is also very active in the yo-yo scene, attending club practice on a weekly basis. Tyler has been an inspiration to her during his many trips to Mexico contests, so it’s seems fitting for him to take Betty under his wing.
Didn’t make it to BAC? Don’t worry, we were there and we brought our cameras too! Here’s some of the YoYoFactory team in action. Both Contest Team and Protegé squared off at one of the most competitive contests of the year.
One of the cornerstones of YoYoFactory is our team. You’d be hard pressed to find a more eclectic group of up-and-comers, veterans, future, and current champions. Their skill is undeniable.
Future Champions, Paul and Luis are focused and hungry any title they go for. With a 1-2 finish, their biggest competitor? Each other. You’d be hard pressed to find a more dynamic duo that push each other to succeed on and off the stage. Last year at the World Championships they showed what they were capable of. And this year they are on the top of the list for the top spot in the world.
The Veteran, Paul Han has accomplished the most winning BAC career in history. 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006 were champion years at BAC for him. And when he wasn’t the top spot, he was still on the podium. 2012 brought yet another top 3 placing. 15 years of undeniable skills.
Current Champion, for Harold Owens III, 2011 was a stellar year. And he’s not planning on making 2012 any different. With a US National Title under his belt, he hit 2012 running with a very experimental California States freestyle. For BAC Harold took a new approach to trick development. Trying to strip down all the filler and concentrate on amazing trick composition. And it definitely showed. Next stop, the Worlds stage.
The Up-and-Comer, Kevin Nicholas is fast becoming the underdog of 2012. Breaking onto the US contest scene at PNWR earlier in the year, at Cal States we knew we wanted him on the team. And after his back breaking performance at BAC, we knew it was Contest Team material. His precision and unique approach has gained accolades from his peers, and a firm hold on earning a finals spot at Worlds this year.
Prior to the competition Paul and Luis struck a deal. If they could win 1st and 2nd, they would win a trip to 44Clash.
I hope they like sushi.
Wild Card Paul Han. It is easy to forget Paul Han was a narrow 2nd at Nationals 2010 and how much of a contender he is every time he walks on stage. He was 2 Mexicans away from taking another BAC title 15 years after his first.
The People favorites
Gentry Stein wasn’t on the stage but he certainly was winning hearts off the stage. Without the demands of competing Gentry spent most of the day sharing tricks off to the side of the stage with anyone interested in learning. A true star.
One – Star was it. There is a challenge in making high performance low priced yoyos and it usually comes in the form of lower durability. At a low price less skilled users are not dissuaded from purchase meaning lots of people who don’t know what they are doing get their hands on yoyos you need a little bit of savy to use. This yoyo is our latest shot at it and it is too early to tell for sure but the general crowd reaction suggests we got it right.
Kevin Nicholas isn’t new to yoyo or competitions but a move to Seattle for school from Indonesia has put him firmly under the spotlight. Solid Cal States and PNWR freestyles enhanced his reputation and BAC sealed the deal. TRUE horizontal BEHIND THE BACK. Those in the crowd watching him practice off stage know he is holding his best stuff back too. Worlds? Nationals? LOOKOUT!!!
Harold Owens III
Come August in Orlando the USA could not have a better representative seeded into finals. Harold proved it once again he has the tricks he has the composure and he has what it takes. Over 3 minutes, on THAT stage? Game ON.
The battle continues! the winner? Guess who? (don’t sue!)
Pre-contest fun! over $800 worth of prizes GIVEN AWAY, grab bag deals plus the Avant Garde 2 release. Everyone had fun. Thanks guys.
Nothing better than finding somewhere relaxing to hang out, with food provided and some sunshine. The BAC organizers did it right. Cant wait for BAC 2013!