Judging the Karstadt Sports Final in Berlin

So a while back I helped with the photo/video promotion (which you can read about here) for the upcoming Karstadt Sports freestyle football competition. The time had come to host the grand final that would take place at the iconic Adidas Base in Berlin.

For me however, I had a very different role for this competition. I can confidently say it was an honour to be on the judging panel alongside Marcel Gurk, a former German national freestyle champion as well as Kai Alexander who is a top street football player.

 The judging panel for the final  (from left to right: Kai Alexander, Philippe Gnannt, Marcel Gurk)

The judging panel for the final (from left to right: Kai Alexander, Philippe Gnannt, Marcel Gurk)

There had previously been qualifiers around Germany that would then see the best freestylers in the country all gathered under one roof for an epic final. The turnout was really good in terms of both numbers and the level was strong too. It featured the likes of freestylers Jannis Gasser, Kevin Buchert, Ricardo Rehländer, Kevin Kück, Corvin Berndt and many more.

 Some of the players during the warm up

Some of the players during the warm up

 Corvin Berndt showing off some of his uppers

Corvin Berndt showing off some of his uppers

It was something that I had always fancied having a go at in judging a freestyle football competition. Don't get me wrong I think I prefer the buzz of competing and pushing myself to do my best but judging nonetheless is an interesting and worthwhile experience in itself too.

 Sharing a joke with fellow judge Marcel

Sharing a joke with fellow judge Marcel

 Kevin Buchert on fire with his lowers

Kevin Buchert on fire with his lowers

In the end, the overall winner was none other than Kevin Buchert who beat Van Ael in the final. Kevin is also one of my closest friends here in Berlin and it was thoroughly deserved so I'm super happy for him. Jannis Gasser took the bronze in 3rd place also.

 Jannis Gasser managed to take home 3rd place after some impressive performances

Jannis Gasser managed to take home 3rd place after some impressive performances

 The onlooking freestylers were appreciative of the battles going on

The onlooking freestylers were appreciative of the battles going on

The atmosphere inside the Base was really good for this event as well. You could tell they went to a lot of effort for making this final as good as it could possibly be. In my opinion the venue was perfect for this and captured everything really well and to have it in the city of Berlin, for me, made it even better.

The day after the tournament we all decided to meet up and freestyle together and it happened to be the biggest freestyle meeting in Germany for the last however many years, maybe the biggest one ever here in fact! 

 The squad!

The squad!

It was such a good day out in glorious sunshine and was nothing but good vibes and good fun. I really like that we got to do this and it just reiterates the fact that freestyle football is generally a really positive and friendly sport and environment to be a part in. It's not just like a really serious competition where people turn up and compete against each other without any interaction and then go home.

That meetup the next day was probably stands out as one of my favourite days of the year and I hope we can do it again in the not too distant future!

 Myself alongside the competition winner and good friend Kevin Buchert

Myself alongside the competition winner and good friend Kevin Buchert

A massive thanks as well to photographer Viktor Schanz for all these awesome photos from what was a truly great event for the German freestyle scene.