Dozens of beer lovers came together over the weekend to compete in the Isla Vista Beer Pong League Championships, held at Giovanni’s restaurant in I.V.
The two-day championship, which was hosted by the I.V. Beer Pong League, was held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Competitors and screaming fans packed the restaurant to watch as several teams, some of whom appeared in matching uniforms, battled for domination over four tables littered with red cups, with the Mad Twatters – a team of John Phelps and Daniel Chang – winning the grand prize.
The winners gained free entry into the World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas, a prize valued at $1,000. Other prizes included custom tables provided by BJ’s Beer Pong and shirts from Bpong.com. Although only one team can win the championship, other teams were awarded prizes for categories such as Most Valuable Player and Best Distractions.
The IVBPL currently consists of 54 teams, 24 of which competed in the championship after seven consecutive weeks of preliminary matches to narrow down the competition. Third-year engineering major Keith Russell and fourth-year chemical engineering major Bradley Odom said they created the I.V. Beer Pong League after reading about the World Series of Beer Pong in the Daily Nexus. Russell said the World Series awards a top prize of $50,000.
“We figured I.V. plays enough beer pong that it might as well put someone through college,” Russell said.
Fourth-year economics-mathematics major Chang, said he was drunkenly happy and that he thought the event was an amazing success.
Third-year communication major Jordan Hieshetter was not a competitor, but participated as a referee after learning that organizers were seeking sober referees to oversee competitors. She said the players were well-behaved and cooperated with the official I.V. Beer Pong League rules.
“Everyone’s really excited and we haven’t had any disputes at all so far,” Hieshetter said. “The turnout is even more than we expected.”
Russell said the event was held locally at Giovanni’s in order to ensure that there was no need for attendees to drive home.
Membership in the league costs $30 per new team and $20 per returning team, and is open to anyone at least 21 years old. Teams contact each other to schedule games, check regulations and report scores through the group’s Facebook page. Competitions between each two-person team are held once a week, and winners are determined by best of two-out-of-three games.