The 2018 WGI season is coming to a close at the World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, this weekend. But before that goes down, let's take a look back at the numbers that got us to where we are right now.
The prelims get kicked off on Thursday, April 19, which means that there will have been 25 days since a WGI percussion contest. That is an eternity!
Most ensembles will have had several weekends' worth of rehearsals and probably performed at their local circuit championships.
To better understand how everybody was scoring at their last WGI performance we've compiled all the scores for PIW and when that score was awarded.
Now that you know where these groups stand coming out of their last WGI show, let's take a look further back into 2018 to see how they got here.
Percussion ensembles took the floor at a WGI show for the first time on Feb. 17. When prelims begin, that will have been over 60 days ago. Coming out of the gate on fire was the 2017 PIW champions, Music City Mystique, with an 83.900. However, Rhythm X overtook McM with a score of 83.650 during finals at the Dayton Regional the following day.
A sleeper group to keep your eye on is Monarch Independent. The group from Houston had a breakthrough 2017 campaign that saw it rise all the way to a seventh-place finish in PIW. Monarch's only WGI performance was Feb. 24, when it performed twice. In prelims, the group hit 80.100 and in finals rose to an 81.600. Monarch will certainly play a factor heading into prelims.
The first group to climb above 90 this season was Pulse, which eclipsed that plateau with a score of 90.200 on Feb. 25 at the Temecula Regional. The 2016 PIW champions finished that season with a 98.000 and in 2014 when they captured the title had a 96.812. Pulse's highest score so far this season was a 92.600 during prelims at the WGI West Percussion Power Regional.
The last weekend of competitions on March 24-25 showed us just how tightly packed the top of Independent World will be in Dayton. At the Mid-East Power Regional, Rhythm X and Music City Mystique again found themselves atop the leaderboard with scores of 93.538 and 91.650, respectively. Rhythm X's finals run was the highest-scoring performance of the season... so far.
However, on the West Coast at the WGI West Power Regional, Broken City, RCC, and Pulse have been locked in a three-way battle all season long. During prelims, RCC and Broken City tied with scores of 92.700 while Pulse was only 0.10 behind at 92.600. Then during finals, Broken City "broke" free with a 92.788, while Pulse finished second with a 92.000 and RCC came in third with a 91.850.
During SCPA Championships, Pulse was leading after prelims on April 7 with Broken City second and RCC third. Then RCC jumped everyone in the finals this past weekend. Pulse finished second and Broken City ended up third.
So what does all of this really mean when it comes to PIW prelims on Thursday?
It will be a complete crapshoot.
Music City Mystique has beaten Rhythm X and vice versa this season. You have complete wild cards like Monarch, Matrix, and United Percussion. Then you have RCC, Broken City, and Pulse who have all sat in the driver's seat at one point or another this year.
The WGI World Championships can't get here soon enough.