As teams faced off at Montrose beach in Chicago on Sunday, July 8, temperatures peaked in the mid-90s. Luckily, as winds rolled off of Lake Michigan the temperature began to drop, but the competition – and Spirit – were just picking up.
Sandblast veterans Drazba and Red Stripe met in the game division finals. As two of the most notorious Sandblast teams, this was destined to be a fierce matchup. Both teams came out with big plays, but Red Stripe’s super speedos and microphone-enhanced heckling wasn’t enough to shut down this year’s champs – Drazba.
In the Spirit Division, the local BIG FUN lined up across from the Loyola University alum team, Cereal Killers. Big Fun fought through a number of difficult games throughout the day, including a huge quarterfinal comeback from a 9-2 deficit. However, it was Loyola, clad in cereal-mascot costumes, who went on to kill the competition in the final game. The true Champion of the “Spirit” division, receiving the highest Spirit scores from their opponents, was Unbirthday Party. This reincarnation of last year’s Slumber Party came out with their Alice in Wonderland inspired costumes ready to play hard, but cheer harder.
The easiest way to describe this year’s Sandblast is big: 64-teams big, to be exact, with a ten-team high school league to boot. But teams didn’t just come for the big competition. As always, there were big sponsorships. ZICO coconut water braved the heat to provide 4,500 complementary bottles of electrolyte-packed coconut water. Yet another highlight was the big party, which was hosted by the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville. Over 900 players invaded all three floors to mingle, play bags, and dance until 2 a.m.
Adam Levy, with the help of Midwest Ultimate and Ultimate Chicago, was able to provide yet another quality event, and he hopes that this year will help establish Sandblast as one of the Ultimate community’s staple tournaments.