• Denis Medvedev

[ENG]KENING STRIID: LONG LIVE THE KING!

On whose forehead the heavy crowns of the largest tournament in Western Europe took place this year and what we have been told about the most vivid events by participants themselves.


Last weekend, the Netherlands hosted at it's land the strongest fighters from all over Europe in the framework of the Kening Striid tournament of the Masters status in the Buhurt League system. First, we will probably torture you with official figures, but then you will hear the voices of those who witnessed the most interesting moments of the tournament. So…


A LITTLE BIT STATISTICS


5х5 men

1st place: “Bear Paw” (Russia)

2nd place: “Partizan” (Russia)

3rd place: “Western Tower” (Russia)


English team “White Company” got the invitation to the 2nd edition of the Buhurt Prime Tournament in Monaco as the best team of the Buhurt Masters tournament in the Western European conference.



5х5 women

1st place: “Katyusha” (Russia)

2nd place: “Blood Griffins” (Germany-Denmark)

3rd place: “Sword of Cygnus” (UK)




12х12 men

1st place: “Bern”

2nd place: “Friendship”

3rd place: ”Order of St.George”




12х12 women

1st place: “Jalousie”

2nd place: “Vultur”


Most valuable fighter at men’s 5x5 – Roman Baranas (“Partizan”).

Most valuable fighter at women’s 5x5 – Lillis Nelson Meeh (“Morning Stars”).




And now, as we promised, the faces of the tournament with their stories!


ILYA SHOUR, knight-marshal



– Is there any difference in judging at the tournament of Masters status from the tournaments of lower level?


I do not see any fundamental difference in judging, except that there are more teams of a good level. Well, there were many knight-marshals.


– Was there any contentious issues at marshals?


There were contentious issues, as always. For example, with the admission of the axe of the Czechs. We have long argued whether the axe for firewood can be admitted as a battle axe; after that the fighter brought a scientific article with a picture of that axe from the arsenal of some castle in Moravia with dating and dimensions, and after that all questions have disappeared and the axe was admitted. But the helmet of Igor (Mozart) Parfentiev did not pass the admission, despite the very emotional performance of Igor. And the thing it's not in some "special" attitude to him, but in an absolutely alien form of this work of modern art. Still there were moments when the intervention of the marshals in order to prevent injury or check the condition of the fighter changed the situation on the field and deprived one of the parties of the achieved advantage.


– What teams, according to the marshals, acted the most honest and clean?


I can't say that there was any team that would have worked particularly dirty. Those who are weaker, lost to strong teams at the expense of a difference in a class, and top-fives break the rules seldom because (in my opinion) they understand - the punishment for violation can level the received advantage down.


CALLUM WALKER, the official commentator of the English broadcast


– Was you rooting for some team?


Although as a commentator of course I try to be as fair and unbiased as possible in my work, I would be a liar if I did not admit to having my team White Company as my favourite throughout the tournament.


– Do you agree with the results of the tournament or do you have your own opinion, who is the best?


The tournament was an incredible one that saw more than a few surprises. However the end result was due entirely to the incredible performances of the fighters. The teams from Russia proved why they are the best without question. Something to learn from.


– Has the fundamentally new system of broadcasting (with the chips of fighters) justified itself? Is it convenient? Many complained that it would be nice to include repetitions of iconic moments – what do you think?


I am in two minds of the new system, the electronic tagging of fighters has obvious advantage and on the livestream downed fighters are tracked throughout to make it easier for viewers to see how many each team has standing. Equally as a fighter is scanned into the list their picture appears to the viewer knows the exact team make up. But I agree that it would be great to see highlights throughout the day in a similar fashion that we have at battle of the nations. But to compare a tournament even a masters tournament to battle of the nations with the huge amount of media staff and equipment perhaps would be unfair. I feel the quality of the stream for Kening Striid was overall at a fantastic level.


– What is the general impression of the tournament organization?


Overall the tournament ran very well despite some huge hurdles including the weather working against us and severe construction works on the train system which caused delays for many fighters. For a tournament to run as well as it did despite uncontrollable issues like this is a testament to the team behind Kening Striid.


ARTYOM BEREHOVIY, the captain of the team “Taurus” (Ukraine)



– Can you tell more about the weapons situation at customs? There are rumors – one is scarier than the other.


Teams “Taurus”, “Warriors of Light” and “Caracal” went to the tournament Kening Striid together by minivans, plus some people by airplanes. On the Ukrainian-Polish border there was quite unpleasant misunderstanding at border service with one of our buses: the bag with falchions and a bunch of two-handed axes was withdrawn under the pretext of suspicion on transportation of cold arms. Neither the presence of documents of the state examination that these models are not edged weapons, nor invitations from the organizers did not produce the desired effect. As a result of this incident, the police was called and a protocol on the illegal seizure of models was drawn up. Ultimately the second bus was missed, but a lot of nerve had wasted.


– How does it feel – to take a round from the first team of Russia?


Fight with “Partizan” was difficult and long. Previously, we met with the fighters of " Partizan” at the Battle of Nations as with representatives of the team Russia 1, so we knew firsthand what our opponents are capable of. Fights with the strongest teams in the world – it's a great opportunity to improve your own level. To become the strongest, you have to fight the strongest ones!


– The team "Taurus" was seen at several Buhurt League tournaments at the same time. What purpose do you pursue?


“Taurus” is still quite a young club in Ukraine, although it has a lot of experienced fighters. Participation in a large number of tournaments gives us the opportunity to pump not only the main team, but also young guys. Current goal is Buhurt Prime!


– How did an Israeli from Nizhny Novgorod region come to be a part of the Ukrainian team? :) And how did Misha prove himself in the tournament?


We have been close friends with Misha Morgulis since 2012. At the beginning of this Buhurt League season Misha was looking for a team with similar goals, and we invited him to fight for "Taurus". Morgulis is an excellent fighter and tactician – he showed himself worthily on Kening Striid. And he is very concerned about the safety of his teammates: if he sees someone's helmet open, he will certainly close it... by his fist :D


ROMAN BARANAS, the Most valuable fighter at men’s 5x5”


– What fight was the most difficult for you?


The most difficult for me was the fight with "Taurus” – this is not the strongest team, but because of a random strike in the forbidden area in the second round Dima Kunchenko was sitted down, and they became one more. I fought with two rivals, but blow to me in a rump decided an outcome of a round; further, of course, we overcame them, but, as they say, a deposit remained.


– Under what number do you fight and what is your role in the team?


My number can be anything, and I can change both before and during the fight. And the role is always the same: to make as many frags as possible. I am myself usually act on the situation: aiming the victim and rushing. But if I cannot immediately get down the rival, then I move and improve position.


– Tell me, how do you think "Partizan" performed in the new, untested line-up?


To tell the truth, I did not expect such a result, so I am very pleased with the work of the whole team, even in this line-up. I think we did well.


– Did you manage to walk around the festival “Imaginarium”?


This time there was no time to walk. But I was here last year and managed to see everything, so I did not particularly upset. The main thing is that we won.


LILLIS NELSON MEEH, the holder of the title “Most valuable fighter at women’s 5x5”


– How long are you in HMB in general and in the team “Morning Stars” in particular?


I’ve been fighting for about three years. This was my first time fighting for morning stars, and my first time fighting on the same team with any of those individual fighters.


– What was the most memorable moment of the tournament for you?


I think the 12s were the most memorable for me. It was really fun fighting in that new format. I got to try new things and fight alongside new people. Another highlight was our fight against “Jeanne D’Arc”. I had a couple take downs that I could hear the crowd cheer for, which is always a boost.


– What is the impression of Kening Striid: organization, program, "Imaginarium"?


Kening Striid was excellent. The fights ran on time, questions were answered quickly, and there was some excellent live stream coverage. I was generally impressed with the marshaling, the efficiency with which the list was run, and everything behind the scenes. The organization team clearly works incredibly hard, and comes up with innovative solutions to the unique problems this sport presents. In particular, the RFID fighter ID system I think is going to lead to a lot more fan engagement. It has some amazing potential. As for the program, I really appreciated the inclusion of women’s 12s. I think our side of the sport is reaching an important moment where we have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that women’s bohurt is full of skilled fighters who can have truly excellent fights, and more mass battles is going to be key for that. Imaginarium seems like a really fun event for the community. The food was great, the music was fun, and the site is beautiful. It’s really nice to have an entertaining place to wander around while waiting for your fights, and it definitely helps get us exposure to a wider audience. In short, I plan to come back next year, and I hope to bring more Americans with me!


– Do you plan to go in profights or buhurts are closer?


I really want to start doing profights. I think it will expand my skill set as a bohurt fighter. Right now I really struggle with offensive grappling and close work, both of which are required for successful profighters. Bohurt is fun because I get to run around a lot, but profights I think will help me get to the next level as a fighter.


SVETLANA FYODOROVA, captain of the team "Katyusha”, gold medalist of women's 5x5



– How does it feel: on the first day there are streams 13 hours to a row, and on the second – fights?


It was a quite interesting experience! We had no any inconvenience especially, it was very exciting to comment on what is happening. The technical team of the tournament helped us in everything, it was a real pleasure to work with them. Personally, I first played in a similar role, but I hope that the audience was not bored to watch the broadcast with our support.


– How's the weather and the lists? Whether was the tactics change in these conditions?


Of course, the weather was not nice... But not to say that we were particularly surprised by this, because all this season of trips was extremely rich in rain and other disasters. We did what we always did, trying very hard not to fall under any circumstances. :)


– How do you assess your line-up at Kening Striid: the strongest one or someone was unable to attend?


We came exactly the line-up, which we expected, which I am incredibly glad.


– Did you like your performance?


In general, the result is good. However, I was somewhat upset by the absence of our main competitors at the tournament – I really wanted to meet with the Finnish team "Kivuttaret" and the girls from "Bayard". But I think this omission will be corrected at the Dynamo Cup.


– Which team was the most difficult for you?


There were no passing teams at this tournament, all of them from tournament to tournament steadily show progress. Perhaps the most difficult was the first fight with French women from “Jeanne D’Arc”. This is a very promising team with a good line-up, I am sure they will have a great future in HMB.


VITALY GRYZLOV, captain of the team "Bear Paw”, gold medalist of men's 5x5


– What can you say about the weather and the lists at the tournament? Did they determine the fighting style?


This season, the rain pours us for the third trip in a row, but we are already grated sea wol... overland bears, and after Serbia nothing can't get us! There were puddles at the lists, after a couple of steps sabatons stuffed with sand and it was very difficult to run and move – you could stumble out of the blue. Therefore, the first rounds we moved carefully, but then got used.


– What thoughts and feelings were after fights with “Bayard” and “Western Tower” when it became clear that that's all: not any fight, not even any round wasn't given to rivals, and you won at the most prestigious festival of Europe with the strongest teams?


The hardest part was with the "Bayard", reinforced with Dragan, a huge SanSanych and a standard set of heavy and tall fighters led by Ukolov. Moreover, there was a load of defeat in last season's Buhurt Prime hanging above us. “Western Tower” was easier: they just came out of the fight with the English “White Company” and survived three rounds, and this, we know in itself, very hard. But, again, the boys came in a very strong line-up: the returned Listopad and Boar, unkillable Savanovich, and the Fuhrer himself at the center. Each meeting with the “Western Tower” is always an intrigue, a confrontation. This time our Black mage using light forces beat their shamans, and none of us have stumbled out of the blue, no one man lost nailed bracers, and we won! The thought was the only one: everything is clearly worked, we survived and won!


– Who would you like to meet on the lists of those who did not get on you?


Initially, the English had to be in the subgroup – our old friends “White Company” led by Pasha Kurzak. But because of an emergency redraw this time we didn't cross with them. By the way, that their mages just were unable to defeat the shamans of the “Western Tower”, and in the final round Bohumil's Bracers unbuttoned that almost decided the outcome of the fight.


– What is in whole the impressions of Kening Striid and “Imaginarium”?


Funny festival, colorful people come, relax, have fun. Bobba Fettes, unicorns and dragons, storks, ducks and other animals, a beautiful park, a rich fair, great musicians and… RAIN! “...We've been through every kind of rain: there is a little bit of stinging rain and big ol fat rain, rain that flew in sideways and sometimes rain seemed to come straight up from underneath. shit, it even rained at night…” (с)

***

Well, there is an opinion that this time sabatons could be safely replaced with national Dutch shoes Sabo, which would be more convenient to swim in the lists on the first day of fighting :D But this all did not overshadow the joy of victory and the real pleasure of meeting the strongest HMB-fighters. And since events of this scale and level of organization can be counted literally on the fingers of one hand, such moments should be treasured and appreciated most of all!




Written by: Maria Malakeeva

Photo by: Buhurt League, Julia Sverchkova, Ilia Shour, Artem Berehoviy, Callum Walker, Jojo McCarvill.

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