Zone Cup 2015: Full Recap

Posted by: on Aug 25, 2015 | 2 Comments

zone logo$3000. The organizers of the 2015 version of Zone Cup decided to double the stakes this time. $3000 would go to the tournament champions. The difference between $3000 and the $1500 from the previous December is a cut for more players on the roster or a profitable as opposed to just a discounted tournament. What it meant on the field was some of the highest level competition this region has ever seen.

Going into the tourney there were at least five teams expecting to be in the running for the Zone Cup championship. The others came in with high hopes also but just didn’t tell me about them.

The A division featured five very strong regional clubs. Shiok from Singapore has been solid for years and represented the region beautifully in Lecco with a 10th place overall finish. Whisby Nation from Taiwan is a deadly mix of expats and locals, and though they lost a couple of their central men to a pick-up team, came to Saigon intending to compete for the top prize like they did at their home tourney the previous year, Turn Up Taipei. Junk from Hong Kong is always in the mix, racking up runner-up finishes in Taipei last year as well as this year’s Shanghai Open. Mulatto from Davao, Philippines, is a tight knit group of players regularly competing on the top levels of Philippines ultimate as well as in the region. The addition of Maimai and Dada made for an even more threatening version of an always competitive side. Finally Powers from Japan came in as a bit of a mystery, for me at least. Featuring pickups Michael Hu, the Asian Flying Disc Federation kingpin, and the still massive “Big Trang” no one was taking them lightly.

Meanwhile, three all-star pick up teams were put together with high expectations and came into the tourney counting their tournament winnings already. Darkhorse, a Jason Lopez joint, featured dreamy superstars (contractual obligations between and Derek Ramsay Productions require that any team he is on be referred to as “dreamy”) from the Philippines and Singapore. Jason is one of the best in the region at putting together solid players and making them into great teams (for example “K” from the previous Zone Cup). The Red Mao Bosses came in representing Greater China. While their men came primarily from mainland China and Taiwan, their female side featured a Singaporean Disc Knights contingent and everyone’s favorite everything, Noknoi. Finally,, a Jillian Du assembled roster, featured stars from Southeast Asia primarily with some help from some of her California ladyfriends. Many of these players had seen the money at the last Zone Cup.

The B division featured five teams excited to pick their games up to A level. Singapore’s Freakshow, Singapore’s mixed national champions, brought up a developmental squad that featured some of their regulars. Chuckies, an improving Singaporean club, came up with a hungry group. Baymax, a new Vietnamese club, added a couple strong pickups (read: JD) and joined the mix. Cambodia’s SWA brought a mostly local team with help on the female side. And the Expendables were one of the best floater teams seen in the region in a long time.

The question intrigueing me going into this event was, of all the teams trying to leave Ho Chi Minh City with the prize money, which teams would have the best chances, the well-established clubs or the pick-up all-star teams?

The first round of games showed no clear trend. Darkhorse won decidedly against Singapore’s Shiok. Taiwan’s Whisby Nation beat their rivals from Greater China, Red Mao Bosses. Southeast Asia/US’ destroyed Hong Kong’s Junk and Davao’s Mulatto pounded Japan’s Powers.

Round 1
 Darkhorse  10  12
 Shiok  5  Junk  5
 Whisby Nation  11  Mulatto  13
 Red Mao Bosses  7  Powers  5


The next two rounds continued the trend of there not necessarily being a trend except that two teams began to differentiate themselves from the rest. Darkhorse and Whisby Nation.


Round 2
 Shiok  11  Darkhorse  11  9  Junk  6
 Whisby Nation  11  Red Mao Bosses  13
 Mulatto  9  Powers  7


Round 3
 Darkhorse  11  Shiok  10  6  Junk  9
 Whisby Nation  13  Mulatto  10
 Powers  7  Red Mao Bosses  8


This finished pool play with one team in each pool dominant and one just happy to be there.

 Pool A  Record  Point Differential        Pool B  Record  Point Differential
 Darkhorse 3-0  +15  Whisby Nation  3-0  +12
 Shiok  2-1  -2  Mulatto  2-1  +10  1-2  0  Red Mao Bosses  1-2  0
 Junk  0-3  -13  Powers  0-3  -22


The format called for a round of winner-take-seed crossovers between the #1 and #4 teams and the #2 and #3 teams.

The 2/3 games gave us what we would expect, hard-fought, close games with the second seeds edging the third seeds out:

 A2 Shiok  10  B2 Mulatto 11
 B3 Red Mao Bosses  7  A3  10


And the 1/4 games gave us the same expected results with the winless #4 seeds beating both the dominant #1 seeds. Woh what?!?!

 A1 Darkhorse  11  B1 Whisby Nation 8
 B4 Powers  12  A4 Junk  10

Yup. Upsets in both of the 1-4 crossover games left 1-3 Junk and 1-3 Powers sleeping in as the top two seeds going into sunday.



The B pool showed a lot of parity and offered a lot of great competition for the development-minded teams. Except for two blowouts, all games were decided by three or fewer points, with a handful of games going to universe.


 Round 1
 Chuckies 11  Freakshow 9
 Expendables 2  SWA 6
 Round 2
 Freakshow 10  Baymax 11
 Expendables 9  Chuckies 10
 Round 3
 Baymax  10  Chuckies  9
 Expendables  9  SWA  8
 Round 4
 Freakshow  10  Expendables  11
 Baymax  8  SWA  8
 Round 5
 Baymax  13  Chuckies  8
 SWA  2  Freakshow  6



This left a logjam at the top of the B division rankings with Chuckies edging the other two teams out by points:

B Division Rankings
 Chuckies  3-1
 Baymax  3-1
 Freakshow  3-1
 Expendables  1-3
 SWA  0-4


Sunday brought the pre-quarters and chances for the B division teams to work their way into the money round. It was not meant to be for any of them this time though.


 Whisby Nation  9  Darkhorse  12
 Chuckies  7  Baymax  7
 Red Mao Bosses  13  13
 Freakshow  4  Expendables  5
Shiok 13


That brought us to the quarterfinals and the games that were going to decide the money. In two quarterfinal games, Darkhorse and Whisby reestablished the dominance they had shown before the crossovers on saturday by dispatching the surprise #1 and #2 seeds Junk and Powers. In the other two quarterfinal matchups, there were two club-versus-pickup team games that would begin to show us a pattern of club team dominance with Shiok and Mulatto pushing past and Red Mao Bosses with relative ease.


 Darkhorse  12  Whisby Nation  11
 Junk  5  Powers  5
 Shiok  11  Mulatto  11  6  Red Mao Bosses  6


This took us to the semifinals. Four teams were tasting money. Three well-established regional clubs and a JLo-led pickup all-star squad. The trend of one-sided games in the winners bracket continued as the clubs from Taipei and Davao moved into the finals. Davao’s Mulatto destroyed the only pick-up team left, Darkhorse and Whisby, perhaps the top club in north Asia (outside Japan), took out Shiok, probably the top club in Southeast Asia.


 Mulatto  13  Whisby Nation 10
 Darkhorse  5  Shiok  6


The game for the money. The rest of the players had finished their games and took their places in the stands or around the field. Taiwan and Davao took the field. The mic was given to me and we were off. I spent most of the final entertaining the crowd and trying to understand how the tourney could run out of beer, so I did not have a chance to put together a detailed description of the finals (look to the Hold the Line folks for that). I did see that was a high-flying affair which gave the fans more that the 15-9 scoreline shows. Both teams came out super hard and fair, and in the end Mulatto finished off Whisby Nation and took the money.


 Mulatto  15
 Whisby Nation  9



In consolation action…


Consolation Games
 Chuckies  9  Freakshow  10
 Expendables  6  Baymax  9
 Freakshow  10  SWA  8
 Chuckies  4  Expendables  5
Baymax 10
Powers 9 Junk 7 7 RMB 6



It was a great weekend that included a feast saturday night and a couple small parties as well. There was a lot of beer on the field, just not quite enough to keep up with the heat, good effort though. Thanks to Zone Sportswear and all the organizers and volunteers for a fantastic event.

Stay tuned for my breakdown of the Zone Cup scoring statistics coming soon.

How will you know when that comes out? Follow us on twitter at @asianultyblog and like the Asian Ultimate Life facebook page


  1. Adna
    August 25, 2015

    Great write-up, Jared!

    i think this might have been a typo, though

    “Davao’s Mulatto destroyed the only whore team left, Darkhorse”

    • Jared
      August 25, 2015

      It wasn’t but I changed it anyway…


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