Yesterday, the IQA announced that it will be bringing the unique magic of the World Cup to Frankfurt, Germany next July. Today, we are pleased to announce the Tournament Director for this event, Matthew Guenzel.
Originally from Derby in the United Kingdom, Guenzel started one of the first teams in the nation at his university in 2012. Later that year he played for TeamUK at the 2012 Summer Games, and joined QuidditchUK shortly thereafter. Rising from Gameplay Director to Vice President of that organization and organizing the first and second British Quidditch Cup along the way, Guenzel is no stranger to service in the quidditch world. He stepped down only recently in order to focus on his university studies and his new undertaking, acting as Tournament Director for the 2016 World Cup.
In light of Guenzel’s appointment, we took the opportunity to catch up with him and ask about his vision for the World Cup.
IQA: What do you do when you’re not playing quidditch?
Guenzel: I’m currently in my third year of studying for my degree in History at the University of Derby. When I’m not studying, I’m either watching rap battle videos or selling brownies!
IQA: Which quidditch teams are you associated with?
Guenzel: I started Derby Union Quidditch in 2013, which became associated with the University of Derby in 2014. I’ve been involved with the team in various ways since; as secretary, treasurer and coach. They just can’t get rid of me.
IQA: Have you ever been a Tournament Director before? How was it?
Guenzel: World Cup will be my eighth tournament acting as Tournament Director. I won’t bore you with all the details, but among the most exciting projects I’ve worked on have been the first and second British Quidditch Cups, as well as the Annual Mercian Cup. I love that feeling of watching something come together, and being able to blow people’s minds and expectations of the event.
IQA: Are you excited to be Tournament Director for such an important tournament?
Guenzel: Beyond excited! With this being the tenth year of the sport and the first World Cup organised by the new IQA, this is an enormous opportunity to kickstart a new era in the sport’s growth!
IQA: Any particular challenges that you think you’ll face? How are you going to tackle them?
Guenzel: There are always challenges when organising a tournament as prestigious as the World Cup, and there’s only one way to overcome them – by having a dedicated, passionate team who are all working towards the same vision. What makes World Cup different is that our ‘team’ is every quidditching volunteer across the world – from USQ to MLQ, from QUK to AQA, we are all striving towards advancing this sport, and World Cup is the perfect event to be bold in striding towards that future.
IQA: What’s your vision for the World Cup?
Guenzel: It’s pretty simple really – I want World Cup to be unlike anything that’s happened in this sport to date. The World Cup should be the absolute pinnacle of everything this sport stands for, and it’s the duty of the tournament director to make that mission manifest. I have a couple of fantastic ideas and some amazing people are on board with the project. It’s going to be unreal.
The IQA is greatly looking forward to seeing Guenzel’s vision realised in Frankfurt the 23rd and 24th July 2016 and wish him the best of luck in this exciting and challenging role.