After hosting the first ever WFTDA Division 1 tournament in mainland Europe last year (European Smackdown), Malmö, Sweden's Crime City Rollers have excelled themselves for 2017 by snagging the first ever WFTDA Playoff fixture outside the North American continent.
The Division 1 Playoff, scheduled for September 8th through 10th, will be the first playoff in the new Division 1 structure. This change to the Playoffs means that there will be only 3 Playoffs, each contributing 4 teams to the final Championship event (probably in November). Teams will be drawn from the top 36 teams in the WFTDA Rankings at the time of selection, with 12 teams at each Playoffs.
Given the distribution of Teams and Rankings in WFTDA at the time of writing, this suggests that potential European teams invited to Crime City's playoff include: the hosts, Crime City (currently #13), London Rollergirls (#5), Rainy City Roller Derby (#21), Helsinki Roller Derby (#22), Stockholm Roller Derby (#28) and Kallio Rolling Rainbow (#30).
This suggests that at least 6 teams will be flying over from the USA and Canada (or Australia) for this playoffs.
Speaking to us just after the announcement went public, Crime City told us, when asked about the work needed to bring this Playoffs to Europe:
"We applied like everyone else but without the awesome teamwork with the city of Malmö it would not have been possible. Without the amazing support from Attila from Malmö stad and Henrik from Event Skåne it would not have been possible. We also have amazing people in our league like Queen Mia and Vix, they had a vision and could simply not be stopped.
We are very excited about this event. The whole league has been waiting for the announcement and it feels great to be able to give Roller Derby Europe this experience. We aim to fill Baltiska hallen (the arena) and its 4000 seats during the whole weekend!
This means a lot for Roller Derby in Europe, not just because of recent events in the 'States but also for the acknowledgement of our level and of European Roller Derby. It also means a lot to be able to give people the experience to watch first class roller derby live."
With this announcement, WFTDA becomes the final significant institution in Roller Derby (after MRDA, MRDWC and RDWC) to host a significant tournament event in Europe in 2017/18.