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Evan Nagao shares his thoughts on the 2018 Pacific Northwest Regional Yoyo Contest which was held on February 24th in Seattle, Wa.

Evan Nagao Explains How to Beat Evan Nagao: PNWR 2018 Contest Recap Yoyo Trick
Hey, I’m Evan Nagao, the current National Yoyo Champion, and I just got back from the pacific northwest regional championship last weekend in Seattle, also known as PNWR. I got to test out my new yoyo, the Wedge, at this competition and was very pleased with the results – I was able to hit all the tricks that I wanted to, and although I did the best routine I could have, there were some players that were even better prepared than I was, and showed up with tremendously awesome routines. The competition was really tight in the 1A finals with 17 out of 50 people going through prelims, and I felt this was one of the most competitive regional contests of all time. I saw a lot of fresh new faces this year, and I noticed a lot of different approaches in how players went about making epic performances and playing to the judging system. Let’s take a look at what they did right: First off, taking the top spot for the second year in a row was Nate “the great” Dailey, who dominated with a freestyle worthy of the top spot. Without a doubt, the winningest freestyle of the contest. What really made his freestyle stand out to me was that it was so densely paced. There was hardly a moment to gasp in awe. He had the right mix of high-scoring elements, as well as bangers, for example, check out this insane over the head triangle whip. On top of that, he brought out some fresh horizontal combos. Take a look. What I believe really allows him to consistently score high at contests is that his elements are crisp and easy for the judges to decipher as clicks. Nate earned a well deserved 60 out of 60 in the technical execution clicker score category, meaning that no other player matched his ability to score points. I want to give a huge shout out to my yoyofactory teammate. Congrats Nate! You the great… est. In second place, coming in from Colorado was Patrick Canny. The first thing that immediately caught my attention about this routine was the unconventional song choice. Patrick used a somber cover of the otherwise poppy song; Hey Yeah by Outkast. The result was a beautiful routine with a very emotional build up that I felt the audience connected really well with. Patricks tricks are very unique and extremely fun to watch, but his technical complexity was taken to the next level with an insanely well composed, charismatic performance. Especially noteworthy was the intricacy of his footwork which was well choreographed to his yoyoing. I also really enjoyed his attitude throughout the whole routine which was exemplified at certain moments by mannerisms such as these which convey his excitement and enjoyment of the sport. A passionate and provocative performance from my friend, Patrick Canny. Up next in third place, catching everybody by surprise was a new face on the American yoyo scene, shuyun tang. This routine had perhaps the most unique technical string trick combos of the whole event – His tricks are jam packed with tons of layered elements. You just don’t see this level of intricacy on stage very often. These combos are quite risky because one false move can lead to a jumbled mess of string and spell disaster for the routine, but despite this, Shuyun went for it anyway and really pulled off an awesome routine that stayed true to his style. A really solid performance, shuyun is definitely one player to keep an eye on. In 4th place was the handsomest man of the competition. That’s all you need to know about that one *Wink* In 5th place, representing the Bay Area was Keiran Cooper. His routine felt like a glimpse into the future. He’s throwing down tricks that are wonderfully complicated and slaying it faster than anyone else earning him the second highest technical score of the contest. His arm hop combos are groundbreaking, and he is also largely responsible for the recent trend of above the head tricks that a lot of other players are taking notice of, introducing more technical elements up into the air. Keiran Cooper is a trendsetter in every sense of the word, and although he only came in 5th this time around, I have high hopes for what he will come up with next. Finally, in 6th place, we had Paul Harness from Idaho, who got the regional seed for the Pacific Northwest, earning a spot in the semi-finals at US Nationals. Paul Harness is the Nikola Tesla of yoyo tricks, one of the foremost innovators on stage this year at PNWR. He maneuvers the yoyo with slack and a finesse that few can match. What’s really unique about his approach to competition is that Paul’s tech combos are very methodical, like neatly structured sentences, each trick makes an individual statement, independent of the whole routine, whereas other competitors are composing lyrical verses with seamless transitions, trying to fit in as many syllables as possible in the alloted time. The effect of this approach is that, while Paul’s tricks are uniquely smooth and flow like none other, his routine is paced very differently, with careful pauses and stopping points that allow the tricks to breathe for a moment, so the crowd can see what’s going on. Many of his tricks build up to incredibly complex string formations that re-define the meaning of picture tricks. Check out this crazy drop into a star pattern. This freestyle was my favorite of the contest and I’m excited to see what he brings to the table at nationals, which will be held in this year in Chicago at the end of June. So that’s the scoop. PNWR this year was the most stacked regional contest I have ever attended, and also the most fun I have ever had at a contest. Congratulations to all who competed, and especially to the novice division, keep up the great work, I got my eye on you guys. So what do YOU think? What were your favorite routines from PNWR? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and head over to yoyo contest central and watch the rest of the freestyles. Thanks for watching, Evan out.

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