This Week in the ITC 4-13-18, Team Focus!

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you a wrap up of this week in the ITC!

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In past iterations of this weekly spot for Frontline Gaming, I’ve discussed the overall standings, regional standings, and faction standings for Warhammer 40,000 in the ITC. This week I will, as promised, discuss the top 10 teams in the ITC currently. The top 10 is currently a wonderful mix of familiar faces and names, along with some up and comers and even a brand new team to the ITC! The current rankings are below.

In order to do this article, you the reader, and the teams in the top 10 justice I needed to really dig in and try to compile some information on these teams. So I contacted as many of the teams as I could and sent their leader, or whomever they chose, a simple questionnaire. To do this I needed to start on Sunday so as of today some of the teams I sent questionnaires to have dropped out of the top 10 and a few new ones popped in. I didn’t get in contact with everyone either because I couldn’t find contact info or members on Facebook easily. If you’re in the top 10 currently and I didn’t get in touch with you please contact me and I can include you in next week’s article! You can find me on Facebook and message me there. Let’s jump right in and look at the current top team!

“Death Spiral Down”

Death Spiral Down is the current number one team in the ITC with 1374.74 points and 10 of 10 events reported for their team. Death Spiral Down is technically led by Alex Fennel who you’ll recognize from my other articles about top players in the ITC, although he freely admits that being the team leader isn’t a position that holds any sway on his team. His history of the team is as follows one year several members played at the ATC and did so badly in the first round they ended up on the bottom tables. People were asking them what had happened and they went around telling everyone quote “we’ve had a wing blown off and are in a death spiral, going down” and the name stuck. When they got back from the tournament the name came back as well and it’s been in use ever since. Death Spiral Down has a roster of veritable who’s who in 40k with names that longtime players will recognize as being fixtures of the community for years. Besides Alex, they have Sean Nayden, Patrick McAneeny, Nick Rose, and Gareth Hunt among many others. They also benefit from being a team with diversity in terms of regions. They don’t all hail from the same part(s) of the US and I think that is a distinct advantage for a team, it opens them up to be introduced to a diverse set of metas.  DSD finished in the top 10 last year and they could definitely be a contender for the top spot this year.

“Mugu Legion”

Currently in second place is Mugu Legion, with their characteristic neon green lettering on black shirts they stand out in the crowd at big events. They also have some great players. Founded by Chuck Arnett, Vincent Price, and Ryan Ray the Mugu Legion have been a tournament fixture in the Pacific Northwest of the United States since 2015. Last season they finished 5th overall, and with players like Mitch Pelham on the team, it’s easy to see why. At big events like the LVO, it is rare to find a top 20 that doesn’t feature one of the members of their team. One of their better-known players, John Paul Mawet started, and admins, one of the bigger 40k pages on Facebook geared toward the competitive part of 40k, Competitive 40k. According to Ryan Ray Mugu are a team of Miniature Wargamers dedicated to making a good showing at tournaments. Outside of tournaments, they work together to make each member of the team as strong as they can be. Their team Values are as follows – Play Painted: Always play with fully painted models in events. Roll Dice: Take chances, accept the odds, look for a way to win and respect your opponent for the game with toys soldiers. Sweep the Leg: Play hard and defeat your opponent, don’t demoralize your opponent. We are Legion: Recruit, learn, teach. It’s a cool mantra to run a 40k team by, I am sure we’ll see great things from them this season just like the last.

“Beast Coast”

Beast Coast is an East Coast team that currently sits in 3rd place on the ITC team leaderboard. Led by Phil Rodokanakis and Werner Born they’ve been a team for about 3 years and were the best overall team in the ITC last season! With teammates that include Nick Nanavati, Andrew Gonyo, Mike Brandt, Tony Kopach, and Matt Schuchman it’s easy to see how this team could come to be a dominant force in the 40k world for seasons to come. According to Phil the genesis of Beast Coast revolved around the collapse of the East Coast teams and Beast Coast rose like a phoenix from those ashes. It helps that the BCP has an option built in for teammates to not play each other in the first round and many of the players listed had grown weary of having to play each other in the first round on occasion. Their goal is simple, get the top spot as a team in the ITC while also achieving their personal 40k goals. With a team as stacked as theirs, I am sure it’s an attainable goal.

“War Room Gladiators”

In 4th place, we have a team that didn’t exist prior to this ITC season, War Room Gladiators. Although they are based out of Las Vegas, specifically the store “War Room Games” for the most part, their most well-known player Aurelio Correa lives in Florida currently. The team came together after LVO when the new guys to 40k in their Vegas area joined up with the veterans in the area, the results are striking so far. Aurelio might be the most notable purely because he’s been playing longer and gotten the odd shot out here and there on podcasts and is active on multiple 40k based Facebook groups. The impressive thing to me is as a team right now they are currently holding 2nd Dark Angles, 2nd Drukhari, 3rd Tyranid, 2nd and 3rd Ork and 3rd Yannari while hovering around top 5 in a few other factions. Even though it’s early in the season that’s still quite an accomplishment for a brand new team! According to Aurelio, the team goal is pretty simple “Our goal is just to leave a mark on the circuit, especially since most of the team has only been playing since October 2017. We also just want to ensure that our opponents have a good hard fought game and we appropriately represent our FLGS, War Room Games, based out of Las Vegas.” That’s an admirable goal coupled with an admirable showing so far in the ITC this season.

“Frozen North Gaming”

Please note, this is the Wall, not The Frozen Norths Club House.

Sitting in 6th place is none other than Frozen North Gaming Club home to Adepticon 2018 Champion, and Flyrant nerf causing, Matt Root himself! They came together 8 years ago and besides Matt, their most notable players are Ben Cherwien and Erek Nelson. They come from the “frozen north” and judging by the accent Matt wrote his responses to me in I am assuming it’s near Wisconsin and Minnesota, donchaknow. Their leader is Paul Huck and last year they finished in the top 10. I am going to let Matt tell you about his team “Well gollyeeee gee about dem deer 8 years ago in da middle of one o’ brisk minneeesota winters up here a bunch of Doods done decided to make dat dere gaming club so dat when we trudge troo da snow for dat dere gaming we can meet up donchaknow! It started as a little friendly chat oofdah but den it just kinda exploded golly gee and by da now time it has dat dere almost over a thousand members donchaknow! We hail from da frigid cold Nord where da weader can be kinda chilly donchaknow” Good sense of humor aside this team has some serious 40k chops, good luck this year guys!

“Double Dutch Rudder”

Besides probably the best team name in 40k Double Dutch Rudder is currently sitting in 7th place in the ITC. This team has also been together a long time, Thomas Hegstrom Oakey, Rich Kilton, and David Johansen besides being great people and wonderful opponents form the triumvirate that leads DDR into the 2018 season. According to Thomas, it all started out with humor. “So it started as a joke. My buddy Dave and I played in a duo charity tournament. We had recently watched (the then new) Zach and Mary make a porno. In the movie, there is a monologue about the ‘double Dutch rudder.’ So jokingly we chose that name for our duo team name. Then through a serious amount of luck, we won the tournament. So the name was announced to the whole con to much laughter. So when we started participating in the ITC we needed a name and this one came to mind. Especially since it was our only past team victory. And it has the bonus of making tournament organizers have to announce our name!” Their core ideal or principle is a simple one they want to play competitively and fairly, but above all they want their opponent to walk away from the table looking forward to playing them again. Besides being an excellent core principle I can personally attest to the fact these guys live up to that. Thomas and I played an amazing game at the first annual Hammer of Wrath GT in Pasadena CA during 7th edition and although I lost it still ranks as one of, if not the, most enjoyable games of 40k I have ever played. Also, he’s not a bad painter either…


Currently, in 8th place we find Brohammer slugging it out. Brohammer was formed by a group of local friends and competitive gamers at a house party after local stores closed down. Since then, they have grown into the largest group in Florida and are branching out to attend out of state events. Brohammer is constantly recruiting new players, as well as hosting local events at newly opened stores thanks to a resurgence in the Florida gaming community. While only 2 years old they just barely missed the top 20 in the ITC team rankings last season. Their leader is Cass Corneal and their goal is to play competitively while being gentlemen to their opponents! Their best players are John Lennon- best Tyranids ITC 2017 season, Crucible 6.5 champion Jeff Biery, and Daniel Monsalve #3 Asuryani player currently NOTE: If scores update by the time this article goes up, Daniel Monsalve could be #1 Asuryani. Brohammer is looking good in the Southern Region and could finish real strong overall as a team this season.

“Team Zero Comp”

Don’t call it a comeback. In 10th place, we find Team Zero Comp! After being in “hibernation” last year TZC is back and they’re looking for blood. Formed around 7 years ago by Reece Robbins and Frankie Giampapa as a reaction to the comp heavy formats and because they wanted to travel for 40k and take it more seriously, Team Zero Comp has been the home to some notable players both past and present. Currently, the reigns of the team have been ceded to Geoff “incontrol” Robinson who is well known in both the esports and 40k worlds as a prodigious strategy gamer. You can watch Geoff reviewing the latest 40k releases and playing games on his Twitch channel. While they have no slogan they admittedly have a strong desire to “let slip the dogs of war”, and with players that also include Ben Cromwell and James Carmona this mostly California based team should have no problem doing just that! I look forward to seeing this team go out and take some names in this “comeback” season.

EDIT: According to Reece, see comments below, Frankie and his friend Will founded TZC when they received zero for their comp scores at an event and decided they would just run whatever they want anyway. Reece, while not a founding member, is still one of the most well known members of the team. -SaltyJohn


Warhammered was in the top ten when I began to write this article. They have since slipped to 15th but their story is still one well worth the telling! If you’ve been reading this series of articles than you’ll already be aware of a few players from Warhammered. 40k power couple Jessica and Paul Bowman are members as is very talented Knight player Patrick McNeill, who sits atop all the Knight players in the ITC at first place. Jessica is an excellent player, maybe the teams best, she currently holds 1st place in the Necron Rankings having won 3 RTTs with Index Necrons. I have said it before, I look forward to seeing what she does with a full codex of options at her disposal. The team started as a few Naval Aviation and Surface Warfare officers, and Jessica wanted to rock some sick tank tops and play 40k while imbibing. It evolved from there to pick up old friends and new as Paul and Jessica moved across the country. While the team has been together three years they only really became competitive in the ITC halfway through last season, but still managed to finish in the top 50! Their goal this year is to finish in the top 16 while having the sickest tank tops in 40k. Both of those sound like achievable goals to me Warhammered, good luck!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s article, let me know what you thought and be sure to contact me if your team should have been included in this article but was left out! I’ll get you into future articles, you deserve the recognition and the chance to tell your team’s unique story.

News from Best Coast Pairings, the guys who make the ITC and this article possible! The big news for this week is that ITC for shadespire and ITC hobby track have been launched and people can start requesting tokens for it. Also they are continuing to work hard to get all the broken event keys fixed so the scores will show up in the ITC rankings. I am sure they appreciate your patience as they work hard to provide us with such a great service.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!




About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

20 Responses to “This Week in the ITC 4-13-18, Team Focus!”

  1. Avatar
    Steven Pampreen April 13, 2018 7:45 am #

    So, first of all, I love the new focus on hyping results. Super cool!

    However, I think some care needs to be put into the actual scores. I don’t know what the numbers are coming from but they don’t match the scores. An easy check is the top score for DSD x 10 is less than their top scores added together. In fact when I tried to find out how many were being added I ended up being off by about 30 points around the 12th entry. So something is off there.

    On a personal note, I had one hand entry score from LVO RTT which hasn’t been entered. I know that it’s slower to enter but this is several months later. I also have an adepticon score that had my Warhogs team name on it but isn’t counted in the team results.

    Keep up the great work on all this research though, it’s really quite impressive.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 13, 2018 8:38 am #

      I pinged the BCP guys about the LVO RTTs, I thought that had already been taken care of a while ago. Will get it resolved quickly.

      As for the team score, can you email me with what you think your score should be and what it is? There’s a chance some of your teammates didn’t register correctly for an event, etc. and may explain why their score didn’t populate in the team. We can get it fixed.

      • Avatar
        Steven Pampreen April 13, 2018 8:56 am #

        Hey Reece,
        Honestly, I didn’t add up much, just looked at Death spiral down, 1300+ for a team score just seemed high as they’d have to have 10 scores averaging above 130. Their top score is Sean nayden at 119 points. So their top score is lower than the average needed to reach 1300. Looks like their total should be 1100+.

        Whatever is going on with scoring it’s likely doing the same thing to everyone so it probably won’t change rankings but just thought y’all should know.

        As far as my score, my personal sheet says warhogs for adepticon but doesn’t count it in teams. Maybe there is a leading or trailing space in the team name or something.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn April 13, 2018 8:45 am #

      Putting the scores in properly continues to be a headache, I don’t work for BCP so I have no first-hand knowledge but I have worked on app development for the school I teach at and I can tell you making things function the way you want is a lot harder than it seems.

      • Avatar
        Steven Pampreen April 13, 2018 9:02 am #

        I’m currently trying to add 2 columns to a table. I know their pain. However, not saying anything won’t fix it either. I even went and subscribed so I could complain without guilt.

        • SaltyJohn
          SaltyJohn April 14, 2018 7:18 am #

          Yes, it’s not impossible to fix but it is time-consuming and I know they are working hard on it.

  2. Reecius
    Reecius April 13, 2018 7:47 am #

    Great article! It was a lot of fun to read about the origins of some of these teams. I know almost all of the people listed but didn’t actually know how some of the teams came to be.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn April 13, 2018 8:41 am #

      When I was thinking about how I wanted to approach a team article, which was the most requested thing I do with this series from the beginning, it struck me how little I actually knew about a lot of these teams that I see all the time at events. I figured most people must be that way as well, I think I was right and this article does a good job of showing off the diversity of the teams.

      • Reecius
        Reecius April 13, 2018 8:43 am #

        Yeah, this is a great approach! It helps to get people’s names out there that are awesome players and as you noted, also awesome people that care about and contribute to the hobby.

  3. Reecius
    Reecius April 13, 2018 8:41 am #

    Also, fun fact! I am not a founding member of Team Zero Comp. It was Frankie and our friend Will. Frankie and Will went to a double’s tournament and got a 0 on their comp score despite having fully themed armies, lol, so they became Team 0 Comp! haha. This, ironically, is what got them playing ultra competitive lists because they figured if they were going to get tanked on their comp score anyway, may as well go all the way with it and the next event they brought 18 Obliterators, lol. Comp scores created a monster! =P

    I joined later when I moved to the bay and met them.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn April 13, 2018 8:46 am #

      Wow, I had no idea and we’ve been friends for years! I always thought it was you and Frankie who started it, Geoff didn’t put that in the questionnaire answers… 😀

  4. Avatar
    Agent X April 13, 2018 9:20 am #

    As a new 40k player can someone give me a primer on teams?

    Are the ITC teams simply good players in individual events who add their scores together under a team banner? Are the scores from team specific events?

    I’ve heard team USA etc. on some podcasts and it sounds like a system from DOTA or something where there is a strategy picking an opponent before the actual game even begins..

    I’m actually gearing up for my first “team” tournament at my local FLGS. 2 player teams…each player gets 1K points. Teams roll off and winner picks a target opponent from the other team. Defender picks board. No crossover stratagem or combat once the games begin.

    Is this type of alternate rule set the ITC team environment?

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 13, 2018 10:00 am #

      Any players can form a team, it is just a group of players that all contribute their ITC scores to their team and then the team ranks with their 10 best scores. It is a lot of fun and helps build a spirit of camaraderie as well as making it easier to go to events as yo have a group to help share costs and to have fun with.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn April 14, 2018 7:25 am #

      Hey Agent X let me add a bit of context to Reece’s response. So ITC teams are just groups of players in a club or team who’s best scores are combined to place them in a team ranking. You don’t have to play team events but you can! Team events can be a lot of fun and they do earn the individual players points toward the teams overall score. For example, my team #REKT came in 3rd place overall last ITC season, but we didn’t send a team to play in any of the major team events! This year we’re currently in the 60s somewhere I think because we don’t have too many scores yet, but 3 of our players best scores came from their strong finish at a big team tournament in Arizona.

  5. Avatar
    WestRider April 13, 2018 10:53 am #

    I’ve never actually made it over there, but I live in the same area as Mugu Games, and I’ve played a bunch of those guys at various events around here. Really great players, and all around good dudes from what I’ve seen.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 13, 2018 11:02 am #

      Yeah, all the MUGU guys I have met have been great guys and very strong players, too.

      • SaltyJohn
        SaltyJohn April 14, 2018 7:22 am #

        Yes, MUGU is a consistent presence in the top 20 of the ITC and at major events. One year at LVO I had an issue with one player but they quickly came and apologized and have since been really awesome players to work with from a judges perspective. I think they try hard to live up to their mantra that I posted in the article. Everyone can get a little heated from time to time at a big event, especially rounds 5 and 6 when undefeated, so it’s understandable of any person or team.

  6. Avatar
    Kyle Miller April 15, 2018 1:46 pm #

    Tfw youre on the only top 5 team that doesnt get a shoutout 😂 #feelsbadman

    Keep up the good content, love the focus on teams in addition to individuals, its always nice to be reminded that getting better at competitive means having a good group around you to help you improve. Ive become a much better player by playing teammates and practicing with them.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn April 15, 2018 8:34 pm #

      Sorry, I tried my best to contact every team as best as I could. Hit me up on the SaltyJohn FB page and I will make sure to get your team into the next article!

      • Avatar
        Kyle Miller April 18, 2018 5:57 am #

        All good, if you do another team focus maybe see if you can start sussing out what the team members feel like they get out of playing on a team? Could be a nice way to show the kind of camaraderie you get from playing with a competitive team and the relationships you can build with your teammates and other players you meet at tournaments

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