A Visual Analysis of

Battle at the Berrics

Basketball's March Madness and soccer's World Cup have many great visualizations.
Skateboarding's Battle at the Berrics doesn't. As a skateboarding fan, I decided to make one.
If you know nothing about skateboarding, I hope this gives you an overview of the exciting competition.
If you're a skateboarder, I hope this provides a fun summary and additional insight.

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You may be wondering "How does a skateboard match work?"

In each match two skaters face off in a game of S-K-A-T-E, similar to basketball's H-O-R-S-E.
Before we begin, let's look at the first match in the tournament:

Zooming out, we can see the whole tournament.

After beating Chhandy Khon, Eric Koston won 2 more matches, making it to the semi-finals where Luan Oliveira defeated him.
First-timer Cody Cepeda beat Luan in the finals to win the $20,000 grand prize.

Discarding the bracket, let's compare matches by their length.

The length of matches varied greatly, between 8 and 58 different tricks. Surprisingly, the longest matches weren't in the final rounds.
It took Cody Cepeda over twice as many tricks to win in the second round as it did to win in the final round.
Grouping matches by the final score, we see nine were shutouts and in nine others the winner won by a single point (SKAT v. SKATE).
Shutouts tended to be shorter. An exception was Nyjah Huston's 23 trick streak to defeat Gavin Nolan.

Diving deeper, we can compare the timeline of each match.

This shows us some exciting comebacks. Cody was one point away from being eliminated in the first round after his opponent landed 32 tricks in a row (the longest streak of the tournament) but miraculously turned the game around. He won with the same trick he used to finish off Tom Asta in round 3 and get a point on Luan Oliveria in the final: a Nollie Frontside 180 Double Kickflip.
Winning rock-paper-scissors and starting on offense was not a significant advantage. Half of the matches had 3 or more turnovers and in 42% of the matches the rock-paper-scissors loser won the match. Most matches started the same way: either with a Kickflip, 360 Flip or a Nollie Heelflip.

Let's group these timelines again, this time by trick instead of by match.

No two matches were the same: 159 different tricks were played, of which 49 were only in one match. The 360 Flip was the most-popular trick. The Nollie Heelflip was the most-made trick. Among more popular tricks, the Switch Double Heelflip was the most-missed. No one landed it on defense. 18 tricks tried were never made. Tricks can be grouped into four stances: 56 tricks were Regular, 30 were Fakie (riding backwards),
34 were Switch (non-dominant foot forward, think writing left-handed), and 39 were Nollie (switch but backwards).

Next, let's breakout the tricks again, this time by skater.

This allows us to see which tricks each skater tried and which they missed. If you ever find yourself facing off against Cody, you should practice your Nollie tricks. Cody tried 16 different Nollie tricks. Despite being in 5 rounds, Cody only missed 12 different tricks.
Eric Koston had a very different repertorie. Koston tried only one Nollie trick on Offense. Looking at Koston's misses, half were heelflip variations.

Finally, let's put aside the tricks and compare skaters.

Generally, skaters who made it further in the tournament landed more of their tricks.
Cody Cepeda landed 91% of all tricks he tried, while Chhandy Khon landed only 61%. Trent McClung was an exception to this rule.
He had the third-highest make perctange but had the disadvantage of facing off against Cody in the first round.

But, these visualizations didn't capture everything...

Below is the championship match.
Watch to see the excitement leading up to Cody's win and Luan's incredible style.

Chhandy starts on offense because
he won the pre-game rock-paper-scissors.