CCC 2018 Semi-Final Results + Feedback

The time has come. The two finalists who will be squaring off at Cardistry-Con this year are:

Luis Mecalco

Dabi H.A.

Coming in at third place is:

Yang Chan

And you can view the judges' votes and feedback for each of the four contestants of the semi-finals below:

Feedback for Bracket 1/2:
Salvador González vs. Luis Mecalco


Touch's thoughts on Salvador:
It’s great to see someone putting that much effort in the videos you produce each time - not only the quality of the video itself, but the creative concept behind it as well.

Your flow and skills really show here, and there were some very strong two handed cuts, like “Big Moonflower” and “Basket”.  

We also love how you “one-upped” some of Luis’ previous moves. You did it well - you didn’t just copy, but you put your own twist on it. That worked especially for the double U-Turn. That last move was also a good example, but we do feel like even though it was one handed, it wasn’t as strong as Luis’ move. Maybe if you did it in both hands it would have topped it? But yeah, sounds super hard…

We’re not sure about the fire moment though, we like the fact that it’s the theme of the video, but the “big moment”, with the flat square display was a bit disappointing: the move was just not that good, we think you could have found a unique/creative/flowy way to get into that shape, and the spin itself wasn’t that smooth.

Overall, great video, but don’t let the presentation get in the way of the impact of the moves, both should coexist.

Touch's thoughts on Luis:
Well, the cinematography was super lazy on this one... it didn’t really felt like you even tried to be honest, I mean come on, it’s the world championship. Again, we’re not asking for some Hollywood movie production, but something simple that shows your moves in the best possible way. Try to at least think of those 3 things: the angle that makes the move look the best, the background (everything else that we see in the shot other than the move itself), and the timing/musicality in the edit. Keep it simple, and try to show a little bit of personality too.

With that said… the moves were great. Really really dope, very unique and recognizable. Your style shows very well in the execution and in the design of the moves.

There were some very impactful moment, like that flat square spin, and that last bouncing square move. You definitely have a Noel vibe, but with your own personality and style, congrats.

Touch's vote: Luis Mecalco

Jaspas' thoughts on Salvador vs. Luis:
Once I watched both competitor’s videos I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. The kind when you find out you’ve missed out on something monumental. I wish I had the opportunity to react to both videos.

Salvador and Luis chose to approach the semi-finals in extremely different methods. Salvador decided to approach it by using a more cinematic style with a cohesive deck-music combination that put him in slightly less comfortable situations being out in the elements exposed to wind/humidity/sand/fire, whereas Luis decided to approach it from a far more technical standpoint, choosing to shoot indoors with a more controlled environment allowing him for more retakes and more relative comfort. 

This choice therefore affected the style of the Cardistry that both competitors decided to go with. Salvador’s style was dialed back from the previous full throttle of the previous rounds, to a much more mature feeling presentation with acts within its 2-minute run time. 

Luis, however, now afforded with longer retakes in relative comfort, decided to go with longer, higher risk combos. Many of which make me question how much time must he have invested into this video. I give the man huge props. 

Jaspas' vote: Salvador González

Patrick's thoughts on Salvador vs. Luis:
Salvador vs Luis is interesting, these are two completely different energy levels. You can tell they had different priorities going into this round. Salvador’s video was too long for my taste. It felt like the video tried to create too much excitement for the material when some of the material was pretty unexciting for me personally. It felt a little incongruent to get that much hype from the video but not have it feel anchored in the moves I was seeing. I liked the little jabs at Luis, that stuff can be fun to see. The OH box tunnel thing at the end was a great interpretation of Luis’ round 2 ender. I think Luis’ semi final video suffers from all of the opposite problems. The cardistry was pretty great, it had a nice consistent quality throughout the video. The video itself definitely didn’t serve his material much but that doesn’t really bother me personally. I think when it comes down to whose material was more exciting, Luis definitely takes this one for me. I had 2 or 3 moments with his video where I reacted out-loud, which is genuinely all I’m really looking for when I watch a cardistry video. I didn’t have those moments with Salvador’s video so this round goes to Luis for me.

Patrick's vote: Luis Mecalco

Feedback for Bracket 2/2:
Dabi H.A. vs. Yang Chan

Touch's thoughts on Dabi:
As usual, your style is out of this world. The performance and execution are again perfect, and the camerawork fits your style perfectly. With that said, we are starting to feel like we’ve seen those moves before in your last 3 videos, so it’s getting a bit redundant. 

We were hoping to see more variety and we wanted you to step out of your comfort zone a bit more, but we didn’t really see that in this round. You did try a few things differently, like the deck flips, but to be honest it wasn’t that great and didn’t fit your style.

There’s one more thing that kind of bugged us, even though it’s not that important: you used black NOCs, with a simple black outfit that fits your video perfectly and creates harmony, so why did you change your deck at some point in the video? Probably because you needed the other deck’s conditioning for certain moves, but still, you should have tried to condition a black NOC deck for this, it would have made the video more cohesive.

We did love the isolation-type moves, it fits your video perfectly and it was really the highlight for us!

So again, amazing video, but we didn’t get the “wow effect”. So if you do pass this round, please show us something different, still with your style, but something we wouldn’t expect, something more than what we’ve seen from you until now.

Touch's thoughts on Yang:
Your cuts are definitely some of the best in this tournament, especially some of the two-handed cuts you did there. The highlight for us is your flow and your confidence upon execution.

Overall your performance is perfect, as usual, but just like your opponent, we want you to step out of your comfort zone a bit more and try new stuff. Your cuts are great, your flow is out of this world, but we feel like you could be a bit more creative.

You’re definitely a great packet cutter but we would love to see more variety.

We also noticed that a lot of the moves from this round were actually already in your last year videos, and we do feel like CCC should be about showcasing new moves and new ideas.

If you do pass this round, please show us your weird side, your creative side, but keep that amazing flow of yours!

Touch's vote: Dabi H.A. (by a hair)

Jaspas' thoughts on Dabi vs. Yang:
Dabi and Yang’s Cardistry styles seem to me to be at the surface completely different, but at their essences exactly the same. 

From purely their aesthetics, Dabi’s style is very systematic, highly choreographed to fit with the camerawork and music, with strong geometric emphasis and angled movements. Whereas Yang’s Cardistry is far more flowy, designed to look effortless and yet logically designed. .  

However at their cores both feature a style of Cardistry that emphasizes strong fundamentals in two-handed cuts, with the skills and techniques to make even the toughest moves look effortless. There’s is a distinct emphasis on creating a wide sense of space within the confinement’s of their two hands. 

These similarities and differences make choosing between the two competitors really really difficult. 

Jaspas' vote: Dabi H.A.

Patrick's thoughts on Dabi vs. Yang:
Dabi vs Yang is definitely a heartbreaker. Don’t want to see either of these guys have to go, it’s been so fun watching them throughout the competition. Yang’s greatest strength is his amazing smoothness and execution. His somewhat simple designs really shine in his experienced hands and his skillset will always have a place in this culture. However, I think Yang’s biggest asset in this competition was pretty hard to see in his semi final video. For the first time I saw some hiccups and hesitation in his moves. That tiny lack of proficiency made it easier to see how simple some of his moves really are, which definitely took away some of their appeal for me. He has a four packet cut towards the end that’d I’d say is the best designed cut in this matchup, and if the other cuts in Yang’s video were on that level he’d take this one easy. But unfortunately that is not the case and this video does feel like a step down from the other stuff we’ve seen from Yang in this competition. I’d say Dabi’s greatest strength is his execution, just like Yang. The difference between the two though is that Dabi’s designs tend to hold up a little better under closer inspection than Yang’s do. I think this video was a step down from Dabi’s previous videos in terms of how well he strings emotions and moments along but at the same time, his energy is so captivating and I still find myself immersed in what he does. So overall because Dabi’s designs in this round were a little more refined than what I saw from Yang, and his execution goes toe-to-toe with Yang's as well, I’m giving this one to Dabi. 

Patrick's vote: Dabi H.A.

For those curious, here is the breakdown of the judges' votes for third place:

Touch: Yang Chan

Jaspas: Salvador González

Patrick: Yang Chan

We will be contacting the top 3 winners soon regarding their prizes and travel arrangements, respectively.

The Cardistry-Con Championship 2018 Finals
will be taking place on September 22nd,
LIVE at Cardistry-Con Hong Kong.

Follow us @cardistrycon to stay updated.