One day after the Freiburg Playoffs, I hopped onto the plane to visit the next SUMMER GAMES preliminary. It was a premiere: the very first SUMMER GAMES Playoffs at THE FIZZ Amsterdam – and my first time in the Netherlands!
“What to expect from in this country?”, I asked myself nervously. Dozens of weed-smoking Dutchmen and women, clacking with their wooden shoes and whiffing with cheesy breath? A wild bicycle race on the straight as a die bicycle highways alongside the Grachten and nothing to eat but Frikandeln and (again) cheese?
Now that I’ve checked every single cliché about our orange, funny-speaking neighbours, let’s get back to the topic.
This year, the Netherlands joined THE SUMMER GAMES for the first time.
Naturally, the community is new to the famous tradition of THE FIZZ to annually host the tournament series at all our locations. Thus, the enthusiasm of the tenants was very limited, yet two teams were brave enough to line up for the Games; a student team from Ecuador (Los Bandoleros) and a young professional team from Italy (L'Italiani).
Yes, you read it correctly: we had students from Ecuador battling Italian young professionals in the Netherlands. The official language was, of course, English. Such unique unions only happen at THE FIZZ!
As I arrived at THE FIZZ Amsterdam, it was already late in the afternoon. The house was empty and there was no sign of tournament players whatsoever.
House Manager Sander greeted me totally relaxed. “Oh, they’re on a Treasure Hunt”, he explained. While the contestants were somewhere in the neighbourhood solving puzzles, this gave us time for a house tour. It never gets old; I just enjoy traveling to the different locations of THE FIZZ and seeing all the different incarnations of the product.
The first team to arrive were L'Italiani. We waited more than an hour until Los Bandoleros showed up. First, they had got lost on the way, then they got hungry and I suspect that in between, they forgot what the tour was all about...
The next game was simple, yet genius. Two members of one team had to throw a raw egg at each other while increasing the distance between each of them step by step as they made successful catches. Los Bandoleros reached an impressive distance and decided the game for themselves.
After an extensive pizza break, the teams came together on the rooftop garden of THE FIZZ Amsterdam to play the most intense football match I saw in a very long time. The players got so excited, that they switched into their native language for yelling commands and curses. In just 20 minutes, I learned a handful of Spanish and Italian swearwords!
Finally, as the sun settled down, the last game decided over which team would move into the finals: good ol’ Beerpong. It was a tight match until the very end.
And the team that travels to Darmstadt and fights for overall glory is…
Albeit their rookie status, they are determined to win THE SUMMER GAMES. The question is, will they be able to stand up to the experienced teams from the other houses?
We will find out on June 29!