After the k7 qualifiers back in march, all eyes were on the k7 Stage Up 2021 showcase. The anticipation and eagerness were high as the top 10 teams went head to head to claim the inaugural tag of CHAMPIONS of k7 Stage Up 2021. And when the time came to begin this endeavor, it didn't disappoint a bit as some high octane action, some big upsets, breathtaking comeback, and spectacular individual performances were big highlights of the event.
It all started on 22/7/21 - with the Pool A matches taking place first.
NKA and BS were the favorites to qualify to the next round from pool A and, they made it with ease as the teams lead by Manish Angrej (NKA) and Mohit Goyat (BS). NKA won 6 out of their 8 games as their start raider Vinay Virender and Rakesh Sangroya wreaked havoc in the opposition defense backed by Krishan and Manish with their solid defense. BS had a similar story as Meetu, Mohit Goyat and, Jaideep did the same for them. But the 3rd team was still a doubt before the tournament as to who will go through, but once Parveen & Jasvir Academy went off, there was no stopping them as they gave BS and NKA a run for their money. With a draw and 2 point loss against NKA and a resounding win and a 1 point loss over BS, they surprised all as they finished second, a point above BS. CRA And KA had a tournament to forget, as they were overpowered and outdone by other teams and had to bow out of the groups with just one win each.
After a week, it was time to shift the focus from Pool A to Pool B.
- Amit Ashok Academy
- Narwal Kabaddi & Sports Academy
- DNH Foundation
- Warriors Arena Kabaddi Academy
- Narwal Golden Club
Pool B was a much open affair than Pool A. This came in as a surprise to many onlookers, DNHF and NKSA were thought to be the favorites to qualify into the next round along with WAKA. But it was yet again the wildcard entrants who grabbed the center stage in the POOL B. They beat all the three favorites ( DNHF, NKSA, and WAKA) and became the first team to qualify to the SUPER 6 from pool B with an impeccable record of 7 wins and just one defeat from their 8 games. Ashu Malik (the captain) lead from the front and was backed by Mohit Rajesh and Akshay Kumar shutting out the opposition raiders in the back. DNHF and WAKA had an indecent start, as they lost their opening games while NKSA won the battle of NARWALS.
Narwal Golden Club had a miserable outing Himanshu Surajmal did his best but failed to inspire his team even to a single win as they lost all their games. The last day of Pool B saw 3 teams still in the race for a place in SUPER 6, NKSA on 16 points, DNHF on 15 points, and WAKA on 14 points. But WAKA lost both of their games on the last day of POOL B and made it easy for NKSA and DNHF to go through to SUPER 6.
- NK Academy
- Amit Ashok Academy
- Parveen & Jasvir Academy
- DNH Foundation
- Bhaini School
- Narwal Sports Academy
NKA started here in a similar fashion and cruised through the SUPER 6 with a dominant showing again as they won 4 out of their 5 games. Even though they lost Rakesh, their lead raider at their 2nd game of the POOL B, Umesh and Rohit Stepped up to back Vinay, to win back-to-back games to secure their place in the final. BS and AAA started on a brighter note, were placed 2nd and 3rd in the table, with DNHF and PJA languishing behind. But PJA losing their first three games they showed resilience and fighting spirit to win back their last two games against NKSA and DNHF by big margins and go through to SUPER 6. BS thought they are on their way to the next round midway through, saw themselves threw out the tournament with four teams fishing off at 10 points ( AAA, PJA, DNHF, BS). BS losing out on Points Different to crash out of the tournament from the SUPER 6.
Finally, after the two spectacular rounds, where the rest of the six teams tried their best to go through, we were down to just four teams at the business end of the table. First Semi-Final saw the hot favorites NKA take on DNHF who reached here by hook or crook. But NKA proved to be a step too far for DNHF as they were smashed and bruised as NKA wining it by 21 points, with Vinay Virender, Krishan leading the charge for them.
2nd Semi-final was a different story altogether, a match that went right down to the wire saw Ashu and Vishal going head to head Against Narender Hoshiyar as they canceled each other out at the end of regulation time. but Narender, despite playing on after sustaining an injury on his head, kept his nerve during the extra time and proved his worth when Ashu failed to score for AAA as Narender single-handedly took them to the finals.
The game started with teams playing cautiously as both team raiders Vinay and Narender scored points for their respective teams as defensive units looked a little jaded, as the first half went by with NKA leading by 9 points but PJA still having a chance of a comeback. Just when PJA thought they could go on a scoring spree during the second half NKA's defense came back to their usual best. They started scoring crucial tackle points to take the sting out of the PJA and played smartly on DOD raids. They built a gap which in the end was enough for NKA to lift the first trophy as CHAMPIONS of k7 Stage Up 2021 with a final scoreline of NKA 33 - 23 PJA.
Narender and co tried hard but failed to overcome the star raider of the match Vinay who scored a super 10 in the final and was supported superbly by Krishan and Manish in the defense.The inaugural tournament ended with a note, that we all be eagerly waiting for the next edition to see if there any team that would end the dominance shown by NK Academy or will it be the same story all over again.