On the weekend of May 1st/2nd this year we will be hosting our very first EJMSL champion of champions event, held in Margate, Kent. You can read all about the event here.
With just over 10 weeks to go until the start of the event, we are looking at who has a chance of qualifying, with currently 0 players guaranteed their place.
The tournament will feature just 4 players:
* Our current Clapham champion
* Our current Medway champion
* Our current Verbier champion
* A wildcard entry
Who will be our Clapham champion?
Izham Bin Sidek is our current MSL leader in Clapham, but he has already withdrawn from the future events. The new favourite is 2nd placed Reece Foxon, who has 3 MSL titles to his name, but his place isn't guaranteed, as any new players are welcome to enter when we resume in March, so this champion really could be anyone. Should the leagues not reopen before 1st May, Reece Foxon will claim the Clapham spot.
Who will be our Medway champion?
Realistically, though not mathematically, this is a straight shoot out between Paul Daniels and Shiel Dadrah. Daniels cannot do any more, he is a guaranteed a minimum of 780 points. Dadrah though can match or better that total when play resumes. If it resumes, he'll need to gain at least a 1st and a 2nd place finsh in the badminton and table tennis. He has a chance, though the odds are with Daniels.
Who will be our Verbier champion?
Elliot Jones has won the last 4 Verbier MSL titles in a row, and could claim a 5th too, however he has ruled himself out of the event in May, choosing to concentrate on the running of the event instead. On paper, the favourite appears to be Vincent Rayner, who pushed Jones particularly close in the summer of 2019. Graham Walkley, Sam Jephson, Sam Jost & Dan Clark are also in the running, and don't rule out any late entries in Verbier, with sports expected to restart on March 1st, unlike our UK leagues.
Who will be our wildcard entry?
This depends a lot on who doesn't qualify outright in their local area. If Reece Foxon doesn't qualify from Clapham, he'd be favourite. But whoever misses out of Daniels & Dadrah in Medway will also have a strong chance, plus theres two-time MSL champion Mark Grimwood to consider. Behind those players, its hard to see who else warrants a case, or perhaps the wildcard could go to our current or most successful online darts player, Sam Van Der Reijden maybe?
Who will win?
The bigger question. Lets consider 5 of the favourites to qualify. Thats Reece Foxon, Paul Daniels, Shiel Dadrah, Mark Grimwood and Vincent Rayner. Now lets see who the likely winners would be in each event:
Badminton: 1st/2nd - Reece Foxon & Vincent Rayner, 3rd - Shiel Dadrah
Darts: 1st - Mark Grimwood, 2nd - Paul Daniels, 3rd - Reece Foxon
Golf: 1st - Mark Grimwood, 2nd - Reece Foxon, 3rd - ???
Pool: 1st - Paul Daniels, 2nd - Mark Grimwood, 3rd - ???
Snooker: 1st - Paul Daniels, 2nd - Mark Grimwood, 3rd - Reece Foxon
Squash: 1st - Vincent Rayner, 2nd - Shiel Dadrah, 3rd - Reece Foxon
Table Tennis: 1st - Reece Foxon, 2nd/3rd - Shiel/Paul/Vinnie
Tennis: 1st - Reece Foxon, 2nd - Shiel Dadrah, 3rd - Vincent Rayner
Mystery Sport - ???
Based on our predictions, we think:
1st: Reece Foxon (28-20)
2nd - Mark Grimwood (23-19)
3rd/4th - Paul Daniels (24-17), Shiel Dadrah (27-14)
5th - Vincent Rayner (25-12)
Obviously this is all hypothetical, and there will only be 4 players competing, not 5, so who knows, but one thing is for sure, its going to be ultra competitive and we are excited.
See the slideshow below to see our favourites to qualify.