Quidditch Europe (QE) is happy to announce that Division 1 of the European Quidditch Cup (EQC) 2019 will be hosted in Harelbeke, Belgium. This will mark the third European Quidditch Cup held in Belgium, as it has previously hosted the European Quidditch Cup 2017 in Mechelen, and the European Quidditch Cup 2014 in Brussels. The European Quidditch Cup 2019, Division 1 will be held on the weekend of May 11-12, 2019.
Felix Linsmeier, executive manager of QE, commented on Belgium’s repeat hosting of the tournament: “Belgium has a proven track-record with regards to the hosting of EQC and this one is no different. With a great venue that can easily support a tournament the size of EQC Division 1 and great quality pitches to back it up, we are looking forward to travelling to Harelbeke for this newest installment of EQC.”
The tournament will be held at the Stedelijk Forestiersstadion in Harelbeke, at 15 minutes walking distance of the local train station, which is decently connected to the overall public transport network of Belgium.
Laurens Grinwis, president of the Belgian Quidditch Federation: “We’re very excited to bring EQC to Harelbeke. The city is known for hosting major tournaments and being very open to new and upcoming things. This is also a great opportunity for Belgium to grow interest for the sport in the region of West-Flanders, where we recently launched a new team.”
With quidditch continuing to grow across Europe, and with it the number of countries and teams hoping for a chance to compete in Europe’s highest tournament for club teams, QE recently decided it was time for a change to its European Quidditch Cup format. As such, this season marks the first time Quidditch Europe’s flagship event will be played out over two divisions, with 32 teams competing in Division 1, and 16 teams competing in Division 2. The countries competing in Division 1, as well as the number of teams per said country, are based entirely on past performances at EQC. EQC2019, Division 1, will host 6 teams each from France and the UK, 4 teams each from Belgium, Germany and Turkey, 3 teams from Norway, 2 teams each from Italy and Spain, and 1 team from Catalonia. The exact participating teams of the tournament are not yet certain, as various countries are still in the process of holding their qualification events.
Due to the new format of the event, Harelbeke is expected to host the most competitive European Quidditch Cup to date, with an expected 600 players coming to the city to compete and play, roughly 100 members of staff, officials and volunteers, and several hundred spectators.