Meet Leamington and Warwick’s new two-time UK champion - who now has his sights set on a world championship
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Leamington and Warwick can now boast a new two-time UK champion - who now has his sights set on a world championship.
Rob Kuczynski has just successfully defended his UK title for KLASK, a fast-paced magnetic tabletop air hockey style game that originated in Denmark. He will be competing in the upcoming World Championship on September 9 in Helsinki, Finland.
In 2019, Rob - who grew up in Leamington and now lives in Warwick - won his first UK Championship title and competed in the Klask World Championship tournament (again in Finland). He finished in ninth place and the pandemic prevented the competition from being held again until this year.
As the current reigning UK champion, he sought to defend his title but needed to battle through the UK regional competitions in order to become a finalist in the UK Klask Finals and compete for a chance to go to Finland and play in the World Championship.
In the lead-up to the finals there were four qualifiers which were held around the UK – in Watford (d20 Board Game Café), Cardiff (Chance & Counters) and Ilkley (Games Crusade), and a final qualifier was held in London just before the UK Championships.
The four finalists were Rob Walsh (Watford winner), Felix Press (Ilkley winner), Jack Morris (London winner) - and of course Rob Kuczynski (who was the Cardiff winner).
The finalists first did a round-robin group-stage to determine seedings, then played a knockout stage including all four participants in best-of-three matches. Rob beat Jack to get to the finals, and then Rob W in the final.
Rob said: ‘I’m thrilled to have retained my title as UK KLASK Champion, and now have my sights set on returning to the World Championships in Helsinki.
"It’s fantastic to be part of such a great event and compete against the best KLASK players in the world, and I’m determined to improve upon my performance from the last tournament in 2019.
"I’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me in my KLASK journey thus far and hope to triumph in Finland! Kiitos!’