The 2014 Quidditch World Cup was an international Quidditch sporting event occurring in 2014. It was the 427th edition of the World Cup. The Cup took place in Argentina, in the remote Patagonian Desert. Bulgaria won the Cup against Brazil.
Nigeria and Norway entered the tournament as the two highest-ranked teams in the group phase. It was also the first year that the USA was thought to have a reasonable chance of reaching the final. Moldova, which had consistently produced excellent Quidditch teams and supporters, and the winners of the previous World Cup, failed to qualify due to an outbreak of Dragon Pox at their training camp. This left Moldovan players and supporters "heartbroken".
Much interest was generated by the return of Seeker Viktor Krum to the Bulgarian National Quidditch team. Krum had retired following the team's narrow defeat in the final against Egypt, in the 2002 Quidditch World Cup. Krum, aged 38, was considered old for a Seeker, but his return caused quite a buzz, and increased support from those whose own countries have not qualified.
The 2014 Quidditch World Cup was marked by several controversies even before opening matches began.
Rumours spread that Haiti was using Inferi to intimidate opposing teams. The rumours were initially dismissed by the ICWQC as "malicious and baseless", though it would be revealed during the opening ceremony that they were in fact true.
A further incident occured when Brazilian manager José Barboza insulted the Welsh Chasers by calling them "talentless hags" — Welsh manager Gwenog Jones promptly threatened to "curse the face off" him, and Barboza issued a statement insisting that his original remark had been taken out of context.
For the opening ceremony, the Argentinian Council of Magic planned it to be mascot-themed. Crowds cheered in the stadium on 12 April, 2014 as teams displayed their mascots with pride:
- Ivory Coast: River Genie
- Norway: Selma
- Fiji: Dukuwaqa
- Brazil: Curupira
- Nigeria: Sasabonsam
- Liechtenstein: Augurey
- Haiti: Inferius
Notably, Norway brought a Selma instead of the usual troll. Norwegian manager Arnulf Moe explained this by saying that the Selma represented the "steely determination and ferocity of the Norwegian players".
The ceremony went well until the Norwegian Selma and Fijian Dukuwaqa clashed in the small space of the lake. Handlers had to plunge into the waters to contain the mascots, but were hampered by the Brazilian Curupiras, who thought the handlers were harming the Selma and Dukuwaqa. With panic in the stadium and blood flowing both from humans and creatures, the Nigerian Sasabonsams grew crazed and joined the fray. The rumours of Haitian Inferi were proved true, as they joined in to attack the stampede, devouring those who tripped.
In the end, 300 casualties from shock, broken bones, and bites resulted from the disastrous opening ceremony, one being an infected Sasabonsam bite on Jamaican keeper Kquewanda Bailey. The Argentinian Council of Magic was ashamed by the record number of injuries before the matches even started but also found pride in the 10,000 Portkeys transported for the ceremony, another record.
- *Disqualified (90 points + illegal capture of the Snitch).
- NB: There was a play-off between the semifinals losers to determine third place; Japan beat the USA 330 to 120.
Norway vs. Ivory Coast
On 13 April 2014, Norway played against Ivory Coast, winning 340 to 100. Ivory Coast seemed not up to their usual level, and were easily beaten in two hours by Norway. Norwegian Chaser Lars Lundekvam was twice the target of jinxes from wizards still angry about the disaster at the opening ceremony in the crowds, and the match had to be halted twice as security wizards tried to find out the source of the jinxes. Ivorian Chaser Elodie Dembélé scored 7 of Ivory Coast's 10 goals. In the end, Norwegian Seeker Sigrid Kristoffersen beat Sylvian Boigny to the Snitch in the 128th minute.
Nigeria vs. FijiOn 14 May 2014, Nigeria played against Fiji, winning 400 to 160. The match started badly for the Fijian side, as the Beaters Quintia Qarase and Narinder Singh lacked the ferocity of their Nigerian counterparts Aliko Okoye and Mercy Ojukwu — the Bludgers inflicted, as a result, serious damage to the Fijian Chasers, who scored only a single goal while Nigeria scored 40.
In the 141st minute, Fijian Seeker Joseph Snuka — who had previously been dubbed an egoist by teammates — captured the Snitch, when his team was trailing 400 to 10. This move was met with the bewilderment of commentators, the fury of the Fijian supporters and the jeers of the Nigerians, as the game finished with a bruising defeat to Fiji.
Brazil vs. Haiti
During the early hours of the game, the Brazilian side Chasers Diaz, Alonso and Flores made as many as thirty assaults on the goal hoops; that they scored only ten goals is testimony to Haitian Keeper Lenelle Paraison's agility and courage. Paraison's nose was twice broken during the first sixty minutes, one of them by a Bludger mis-hit by her own teammate, Beater Jean-Baptiste Bloncourt. At the other end of the pitch, star Haitian Chaser Clairvius Hyppolite was responsible for eight of his side's nine goals.
In spite of Brazil's narrow lead in the fourth hour, many felt that the Haitian side was outplaying the Brazilians when Bloncourt hit Haitian Seeker Sylvian Jolicoeur (who was within inches of capturing the Snitch) with one of his poorly-aimed Bludgers, and knocked him out cold. The Snitch then flew up Bloncourt's sleeve — the Beater wrestled the Snitch out of his undergarments and held it up triumphantly, in clear violation of the rules of the game. Haiti was instantly disqualified.
USA vs. Jamaica
The fourth match of the tournament was on 16 May 2014, between the United States and Jamaica. The final score of USA 240 to Jamaica 230 was not immediately ruled valid by the ICWQC since there was suspicion of magical interference from someone in the crowd which, according to an amendment to the rules of Quidditch in 1849, would result in their team forfeiting the match, whether or not the team ordered or approved of the magic performed.
Jamaican Keeper Kquewanda Bailey suddenly and unexpectedly toppled from her broom shortly before US Chaser Quentin Kowalski scored their ninth goal. The Keeper's fall was hampered by a well-timed Arresto Momentum cast by the referee and, seconds later, on the 52nd minute, US Seeker Darius Smackhammer caught the Snitch ahead of Jamaican counterpart Shanice Higgins, resulting in a narrow victory for the United States.
The timing of Bailey's sudden unconsciousness was so convenient that the ICWQC thoroughly examined the possibility of crowd interference. The crowd's Omnioculars, from all over the stadium, were scrutinised, but no compelling evidence from the American supporters was retrieved. Later that afternoon, it was confirmed that Bailey was suffering from an infected Sasabonsam bite, sustained during the disastrous World Cup opening ceremony. USA, thus, passed into the quarter-finals.
Liechtenstein vs. Chad
Players took a short rest after eleven hours of continuous play, in which both sides displayed their evenly matched power. Each goal was hard won against Beaters showing superb precision and power. The Snitch was within catching range thrice, but thrice the Seekers were bested by well-hit Bludgers. The man of the match on the first day was Liechtenstein Chaser Willi Wenzel, who took two Bludgers to the head but still managed to score the third goal of the match from a distance of sixty yards. The score at the end of the first day was 140 to 120 in favour of Chad.
Players began to show severe signs of fatigue as the second day of the match, 18 May 2014, limped to a close. The Snitch had literally hovered above Chadian Seeker Jacques Miskine's left eyebrow for five minutes before he noticed it, and even then his reaction was so slow the Snitch was able to escape. Liechtenstein Chaser Otmar Frick was believed to have fallen asleep shortly before play was stopped for the evening. The score at the end of the second day was 260 to 250 in favour of Liechtenstein.
On the third day, Chad was just ahead in goals when the exhausted Liechtenstein Seeker Bruno Bruunhart managed to grab the Snitch inches from the outstreched hand of Miskine. When the teams finally reached solid ground, they wept and embraced in a pleasing show of solidarity and sportsmanship, and then went to receive medical treatment. The final score is Liechtenstein 470 to Chad 330 and the winning team will face the USA in the quarter-finals.
Bulgaria vs. New Zealand
On the 106th minute, referee Georgios Xenakis sent New Zealand Chaser Dennis Moon off, following a mid-air collision between him and Bulgarian Chaser Bogomil Levski, which he ruled was deliberately caused by Moon. Whether or not Xenakis was influenced by rumours that Moon and Levski have a long-standing feud (since the crash appeared accidental from many parts of the stadium), his decision undoubtedly turned the match in Bulgaria's favour. New Zealand manager Charlie Baverstock proclaimed himself "madder than a bloke who's been locked in a box of Fwoopers" at the decision. The Bulgarian side showed flashes of inspiration as they racked up an impressive score against the six-strong Kiwis. Viktor Krum's capture of the Snitch ahead of twenty-one-year-old Ngapo Ponika on the 134th minute was enough to dispel earlier criticism that Krum, who at age 38 is the oldest player in the competition, was taking the place of a younger player on "sentimental" grounds.
Japan vs. Poland
The seventh match, between Japan and Poland took place on 21 May. A well-played game all around, the match ended in a decisive victory for Japan, whose Beaters, Hongo and Shingo, were recently voted second only to the legendary 1994 Bulgarian Beaters, Volkov and Vulchanov, as best all-time Beater duo. Despite the Polish teams best efforts, the team's relative lack of experience cost them the match against Japan. Polish Seeker Wladyslaw Wolfke was the highlight of the game, a graceful and daring flier, missed the Snitch early in the game, and was only just beaten to it by Seeker Noriko Sato in the 59th minute of play.
Wales vs. Germany
22 May 2014 saw the eighth and last match of the first round, Wales versus Germany. The match went on without incident, until German Seeker Thorsten Pfeffer attempted the life-threatening Wronski Feint, failing to pull out in time and colliding with the ground at what onlookers estimated to be sixty miles per hour. Pfeffer was saved by the quick action of Healers, who swiftly flooded the pitch and administered Skelegro — Pfeffer survived the match and manager Franziska Faust later told the reporters that he was likely to make a complete recovery, although he had broken most of his bones and currently believed himself to be a budgerigar called Klaus.
Eleven minutes after Pfeffer was stretchered off the field, Welsh Seeker Eurig Cadwallader caught the Snitch, ending the match with a final score of Wales 330 to Germany 100. Neither players nor crowd were in a celebratory mood, and only once Welsh manager Gwenog Jones had heard that Pfeffer would survive did she tell the press she was "bloody delighted". Wales will now face Brazil in the quarter-finals.
Brazil vs. WalesThe first match of the quarter-finals was on 4 June 2014. Brazil played against Wales, winning 460 to 300. This proved to be the most contentious game thus far in the tournament: tensions between Brazil and Wales had begun shortly before the opening ceremony of the Cup in April, when it became public that Brazilian manager José Barboza called the Welsh Chasers "talentless hags", which unleashed the ire of Welsh manager Gwenog Jones, who threatened to "curse the face off" him (as it turns out, Barboza's remarks were said over a few drinks with loose-lipped veteran journalist Rita Skeeter). Even though Barboza was quick to issue the statement that his original remark had been taken out of context, Jones missed no opportunity to belittle and insult the Brazilians ever since learning that her team would face them in the quarter-finals. On the day of the match, she was even prevented from entering the stadium in an "IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HAITI" T-shirt (Brazil passed into the quarter-finals when opponents Haiti were disqualified), so missed the opening ten minutes of the match, which were notable for the ferocity of play and three brutal fouls.
Brazilian Chasers Diaz, Alonso and Flores put in a solid performance, regardless of the ferocity of the other players. Welsh Beater Iefan Rice viciously sent a Bludger to Brazilian Keeper Raul Almeida's head while the Quaffle was at the other end of the pitch, which earned Brazil a penalty. Special correspondent to the Daily Prophet Ginny Potter later commented it "arguably should have seen Rice sent off". Welsh Chaser Jackie Jernigan scored one of the tournament's most stunning goals from a distance of fifty yards, while it is estimated that Beater Darren Floyd single-handedly prevented at least seventeen Brazilian goals. The game ended following a stunning Snitch capture by Brazilian Seeker Tony Silva, who performed a spectacular dive in the 131st minute of the match to seize victory from under his counterpart Eurig Cadwallader's nose.
As the Brazilians seized victory, Gwenog Jones attempted to make good her promise to curse off José Barboza's face in full view of the packed stadium. The Welsh manager was dragged from the pitch by her own Beaters, and was later put in custody. The Daily Prophet later reported that Healers confirmed Barboza's skin had almost regrown, and that he was in excellent spirits.
Bulgaria vs. NorwayThe second quarter-final match, on 6 June 2014, was played between Bulgaria and Norway. It was labelled, by the Daily Prophet's Quidditch correspondent Ginny Potter, as "one of the biggest upsets of the tournament" — the Norwegians, one of the joint favourites, were ousted by the Bulgarian side, who many considered lucky to have qualified in the first place, 170 to 20.
Bulgaria showed good form straight from the start of the match. Nikola Vassileva was responsible for both of Bulgaria's early goals, but Norway's Lars Lundekvam soon equalised. The end came almost without warning: in the 42nd minute, Bulgarian Seeker Viktor Krum performed what looked like simple Bludger-avoidance, and his Norwegian counterpart Sigrid Kristoffersen not only neglected to mark him, but was actually looking the other way. After Krum raised his right hand to show he had secured the Bulgarians' victory, Kristoffersen flew directly to the ground and banged her head on it until she was dragged to her feet by Keeper Karl Wang. Krum, who had been written off by many journalists as too old and slow to compete at 38 years old, was borne from the pitch in triumph by fans.
Norwegian coach Oddvar Spillum had no post-match comment for reporters, apart from broken sobs. Many fans blame the Selma that the team brought as a mascot (and which was the cause of a bloodbath at the opening ceremony) for the usually outstanding Norwegians' lack of luck.
USA vs. LiechtensteinThe third quarter-final match was played between USA and Liechtenstein on 8 June, with the USA taking the victory with 450 points against Liechtenstein's 290.
Both teams performed remarkably. US Chaser Quentin Kowalski earned praises for his deft weaving and rolling, while Liechtensteiner Otmar Frick was the game's top scorer with 16 goals. Top praise, however, goes to American Seeker Darius Smackhammer, who secured the USA's place for a semi-final in a daring capture of the Golden Snitch on the 148th minute: it involved a breakneck dash through the cross fire of both Bludgers and risked collision with Liechtenstein Chaser Willi Wenzel to get to the Snitch hovering near Wenzel's left ankle.
Having historically put up a poor show in international Quidditch, being the only country to have embraced the game of Quodpot, the Americans could not help but celebrate this quarter-final win as though they had won the Cup. Red, white, and blue sparks were thick in the air after the victory, harried ICWQC officials failing to quell such jubilation. The celebrations required the casting of about 2000 Memory Charms on Muggles living around the edge of the desert, and special measures were taken to conceal them from aeroplanes. A futher incident included the kidnapping of Liechtenstein mascot Hans the Augurey by American fans, something that was only solved following terse negotiations between President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America Samuel G. Quahog and Liechtenstein Minister for Magic Otto Obermeier.
Japan vs. Nigeria
The fourth, and last, quarter-final match of the Cup saw Japan defeat Nigeria 270 to 100. The final result was a surprise, given that Nigeria was one of the tournament's favourites, but Japan put in a near flawless performance. The match lasted 63 minutes.
The highlight of the match was the veritable master class of Bludger work the Beaters of the two competing nations put on: Okoye and Ojukwu on the one hand, and Shingo and Hongo on the other, framed the action; special Quidditch correspondent to the Daily Prophet Ginny Potter pointed out that "[this] match ought to be remembered as the Battle of the Beaters. The turning point of the game was the staggeringly powerful shot hit by Hongo, that smashed the tail off Nigerian Seeker Samuel Equiano's broomstick (a Thunderbolt VII; professional brooms ought to be able to withstand all Bludger blows and an inquiry was immediately put underway). As Equiano span out of control, Japanese Seeker Noriko Sato soared through the middle of the action to seize the Snitch from the midst of distracted Nigerian players intent on saving their teammate.
The cup is now down to four teams: USA, Brazil, Japan, and Bulgaria. Former Beater Ludo Bagman reckoned he has the lowdown on every team in the semi-finals of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, and rated their chances in the Daily Prophet, as seen in the infographic at the left:
USA vs. Brazil
The match went on for more than a day; at the close of the first day, the States were leading 120 to Brazil's 100. The game ended in the twentieth hour of play, with Brazil winning 420 to 310. Players on both sides showed signs of stress, causing them to drop Quaffles, miss-hit Bludgers, and fail to protect their hoops; US Chaser Mercy Wardwell dropped the Quaffle five times before beating her head repeatedly against her broom handle until restrained by Seeker Darius Smackhammer. Fernando Diaz and Alejandra Alonso both had two Quaffle drops apiece, and Lucas Picquery's miss-hit Bludger hit Keeper Susan Blancheflower in the face (Blancheflower then attempted to jump onto Picquery's broom to remonstrate with him): soon after she made the elementary mistake of coming too far outside of the Scoring Circle, allowing Alonso to give Brazil a temporary lead, which Quentin Kowalski reversed as night fell. The sun rising over the Patagonian desert gave testimony to the skill of both sides; dynamic Quaffle play by Chaser trios on both sides could have won the match for either side, but in the end it was Brazilian Keeper Raul Almeida who decided the battle of the Quaffle, as he repeatedly repelled American assaults on the hoops. The match came down to a fight for the Snitch, first spotted by Darius Smackhammer. Smackhammer may have won the match for the US, if it hadn't been for a pair of precision-hit Bludgers directed his way by Brazilian Beaters Santos and Clodoaldo, which forced him off-course. Brazilian Seeker Silva raced each other on the very tips of their brooms, spiralling toward the ground before Silva caught the Snitch, ending the game in a Brazilian victory.
Japan vs. Bulgaria
The first match was followed by the Japan versus Bulgaria clash, which took place on Sunday 6 July 2014. For a World Cup that started out in such chaos and international hostility, the second match of the semi-finals was a refreshing display of sportsmanship. The match was decided exactly by Krum's 10th hour capture of the Snitch, putting the final scores at Bulgaria: 610 to Japan: 460. The early stages of the game were dominated by Shingo and Hongo, whose elegant Bludger work stopped play twice within the first hour of play. Soon after came a display of international sportsmanship that will go down in the annals of Quidditch history. With Bludgers flying around like the cannonballs they so oft resemble, Vulchanov deliberately intercepted a Bludger with his body to protect Krum. Vulchanov was knocked out and fell from his broom, only to be saved by Noriko Sato. Krum, instead of taking advantage of Sato's temporary incapacitation, pulled up and let the Snitch go by. By the 8th hour of play, it looked as though Krum would regret his previous sportsmanship; Japan was leading by 250 points, largely thanks to the work of Chasers Ryuichi Yamaguchi, Kimiko Kurosawa, and Yoshi Wakahisa, who showed that Japan had more than just two excellent Beaters on her team. As the game proceeded into what would be its final hours, the Bulgarian's determination began to pay off. The Snitch appeared for the second time; Krum raced Sato, driving her off, but refusing to catch the Snitch, a vote of confidence in his team and a stark contrast to his infamous catch in the '94 match against Ireland when he ended the game to avoid further humiliation for his team. Krum's second refusal to end the game marked the turning point of the match: the Bulgarians chipped away at Japan's lead, eventually tying up the score by sheer determination. Krum's faith and reputation proved true when in the 10th hour he performed "a magnificent piece of diversionary flying" which tricked Sato into believing he was escaping Hongo's line of sight. Before anyone, even his own teammates realised what had happened, Krum had caught the Snitch and secured victory for Bulgaria.
Japan vs. USA
The USA-Japan match determining third place took place on 9 July, during which Japan won with a score of 330 against 120. The match was brief, it was bloody and few will disagree that it was brutal. Japan, who many thought would go all the way in this tournament, and the USA, for whom 2014 has been a breakthrough year, have both had remarkable World Cups. All fourteen players in this third place play-off can hold their heads high tonight, though for some – notably American Chaser Arsenia Gonzales, who took two Bludgers to the face in the 34th minute – it will be extremely painful. The USA did well to score twelve times against Keeper Todoroki, an undersung hero of the Japanese side who was on superb form, while Beaters Hongo and Shingo were simply unstoppable. At the other end of the pitch, Chasers Yamaguchi, Kurosawa and Wakahisa put eighteen goals past Keeper Susan Blancheflower before Japanese Seeker Noriko Sato put in one of the most spectacular dives of the tournament. Zooming through flying Bludgers and a tangle of Chasers she successfully seized the Snitch from under the heel of American Mercy Wardwell, leaving Darius Smackhammer in a broom-lock with Lucas Picquery. Once on the ground, the teams embraced in a heart-warming show of sportsmanship. Word has since reached us that the Japanese have presented the American team – whose supporters famously kidnapped Hans the Augurey, the Liechtenstein mascot – with a Hoo-hoo chick.
Brazil vs. Bulgaria
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Pottermore - Quidditch World Cup 1990 - 2014 (Archived)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "History of the Quidditch World Cup" at Pottermore
- ↑ Pottermore - NORWAY VERSUS IVORY COAST (Archived)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Pottermore - NIGERIA VERSUS FIJI (Archived)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Pottermore - BRAZIL VERSUS HAITI (Archived)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Pottermore - USA VERSUS JAMAICA (I) (Archived)
- ↑ Pottermore - PLACE YOUR BETS WITH LUDO BAGMAN (Archived)— the USA's average time for Snitch capture in the first two rounds is given as 100 minutes. As the match between USA and Liechtenstein was 148 minutes long, USA's first match had to have lasted 52 minutes.
- ↑ Pottermore - USA VERSUS JAMAICA (II) (Archived)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Pottermore - LIECHTENSTEIN_VERSUS_CHAD_(I) (Archived)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Pottermore - LIECHTENSTEIN_VERSUS_CHAD_(III) (Archived)
- ↑ Pottermore - LIECHTENSTEIN_VERSUS_CHAD_(II) (Archived)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Pottermore - BULGARIA VERSUS NEW ZEALAND (Archived)
- ↑ Pottermore - PLACE YOUR BETS WITH LUDO BAGMAN (Archived)— Bulgaria's average time for Snitch capture in the first two rounds is given as 88 minutes. As the match between Bulgaria and Norway was 42 minutes long, Bulgaria's first match had to have lasted 134 minutes.
- ↑ Pottermore - JAPAN_VERSUS_POLAND (Archived)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Pottermore - WALES VERSUS GERMANY (Archived)
- ↑ Pottermore - PLACE YOUR BETS WITH LUDO BAGMAN (Archived)— Japan's average time for Snitch capture in the first two rounds is given as 61 minutes. As the match between Japan and Poland was 59 minutes long, Japan's second match had to have lasted 63 minutes.
- ↑ Pottermore - USA VERSUS BRAZIL (I) (Archived)
- ↑ Pottermore - USA_VERSUS_BRAZIL_(II) (Archived)
- ↑ Pottermore - BULGARIA_VERSUS_JAPAN (Archived)
- ↑ "Ginny Potter will report live from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup final this Friday, July 11!" on the Pottermore Insider