Vagabonds are the new Braun Battle of the Year champions after an epic battle against the USA’s Battle Born. The French crew sealed their victory in the world championship of breakdancing in Montpellier’s Park & Suites Arena on Saturday November 19.
But in a major upset, last year’s winners and hot favorites Jinjo Crew (Korea) did not make the semi finals. It will be especially disappointing for Jinjo after a crowd-pleasing performance that many tipped would see them through to the battle stages. It’s the first time a Korean crew has not made the final since 2001.
But it was the opposite story for America’s Battle Born whose 2nd place ended ten years of failing to qualify for the battle stage. “We are euphoric,” Battle Born crew member Jasoul said. “We trained so hard for this and we finally got to the finals.”But the night belonged to French crew Vagabonds, who won both best show and the Battle of the Year. “This is for us a great comeback after last winning in 2006,” they said. “All eyes were on us but we worked so hard for this all year. We won the UK b-boy championships last month and it’s so exciting to win the title again.” The victory was all the more sweet for the French crew who took the crown in front of a frenzied 12,000 strong home crowd whose cheers made it clear they were always the hot favorites. Vagabonds were named winners late on Saturday night after a virtuoso display of b-boy action, choreographed flips, acrobatics and provocative moves that impressed the judges Poe One (Puerto Rico), Movie One (Spain), Lilou (France), Crazy (Switzerland) and Taisuke (Japan).
Poe One said: “They had energy, control and precision. They seemed relaxed and kept their smiles. A lot crews feel the pressure and pull out all the guns and it doesn’t work. But Vagabonds looked at ease.”Their first round saw them put on a perfectly choreographed six minute routine. They then duked it out against TPEC (Taiwan) in the semis before securing victory in the 20 minute Braun Battle of the Year final.
Organizer Thomas Hergenröther said: “We’re the biggest b-boy event in the world with b-boys from 19 countries taking part. It was an amazing night. The crews practiced hard to win a spot in the final and there were some great battles. My congratulations to Vagabonds who are now officially the best crew in the world.”The night was hosted by MCs Maleek and Nasty from France and Spax (GER) and Trix (GBR) while DJs Lean Rock (USA) and MAR (JAP) on the decks heated up the vibes with their funky breaks and hooks and versatility.
The BOTY finals witnessed a week of hip hop and b-boy/girl action, workshops, performances, lectures, dance theatre shows. In the 1 vs 1 competition, b-boy Niek (Holland) beat Vicious (USA), wearing him down and impressing the judges with an energetic display of power moves, freezes and flips. Meanwhile in the We B*Girlz, LiL FeNeSiS and yuRie of Japan out-battled the audience favorites, French b-girls Aliya and Marion with some impressive footwork and synchronicity. For more news and background information on the event, visit www.braunbattleoftheyear.com. Check out our Facebook fanpage at: www.facebook.com/battleoftheyear