|| The Tak world has seen an unprecedented revival of competitive play in the last four months. Since the launch of the U.S. Tak Association’s 2020 U.S. Open this past December, we’ve seen a resurgence of organized tournaments take off, with the greatest diversity of tournaments ever seen in the Tak community. It has been an exciting and historic time for competitive play.
While the 2020 U.S. Open was wrapping up in early January, veteran tournament organizer Archvenison announced the 2021 Chandrian Tak Invitational - notable for being the first 7x7 tournament ever hosted, as well as touting a roster of six of the top-eight best Tak players. Among those invited were the two most recent Tak Champions, Fwwwwibib (2020) and NohatCoder (2018), as well as the likely #1 U.S. American Tak player, Abyss. On February 26th, NohatCoder emerged victorious after a brutal set of blitz matches against Abyss.
Meanwhile, the USTA hosted its inaugural Beginner Tournament, which brought 18 fledgling Tak players into competitive play. Ineria, who had only been playing Tak for two months when the tournament began, took first place after defeating her more experienced opponent, Asceric. Their matches sparked what has become a friendly rivalry between the two players.
While the Beginner Tournament playoffs were wrapping up, the USTA hosted its February 2021 Tak Blitz Open which surprised many players by revealing PlutoTheBrave’s meteoric rise in skill as he tied NohatCoder for first place. His performance in this one-day blitz tournament only served to increase the pressure on PlutoTheBrave as he entered into the first-ever Intermediate Invitational Tournament (IIT) in March.
The IIT made history for a regrettable reason, with the USTA disqualifying from the tournament a competitor for the first time. But the tournament rolled on and, at the time of publication, three players (PlutoTheBrave, ManaT, and Asceric) have qualified for the playoffs and the fourth spot is up for grabs in an exciting three-way tie between Nqeron, Nitzel, and Gowellja. Asceric, the runner-up in the Beginner Tournament just weeks ago, has had a breakout performance in this higher-level tournament. He won his group outright and secured a spot in the playoffs. His key victories came in splitting his match against Nqeron (who most recently took third place in the 2020 U.S. Open) and splitting against Morten, a higher-rated player who some expected would win the group.
While many in the Tak community are waiting on the tiebreaker games to play out for the IIT, Archvenison announced yet again, another first-of-its-kind Trans-Atlantic Tak Match with Team USA versus Team EU. At the time of publication, the two teams were tied 3-3 with 7 games left to play.
And if this array of six very different tournaments is not enough to get your fill, long-time community member ManaT recently announced perhaps the most original tournament: the Fisherman's Async Tak Tournament. However, it is less of a tournament and more of an experiment - limited to four players and designed to play with a modified opening variant called the "Fisherman’s Opening".
Coming up, the USTA is expected to announce yet another Beginner Tournament in early April, as well as a revamped tournament championship cycle for the coming years.