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5 Key Matchups To Watch For At The 2022 DCI World Championship Finals

Well drum corps fans, it’s that time of year again. Finals! All the hard work across the summer pays off in the most spectacular spectacle of the marching arts right in the middle of Andrew Luck’s grave this weekend. Drum Corps International (DCI), for those of you who didn’t get bullied in high school, is a competitive circuit of marching band (yeah I said marching band, drum corps is just band guys) that operates all across the US and Wyoming every summer from June to August, culminating in a championship between 40 groups every year in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Groups are judged and evaluated on their visual, musical, and swag (General Effect) on a three night bonanza, with the top three groups receiving a medal for their performance. Every year, there are a few matchups between groups that are close races that are fun to watch as they play out across the season. Here are five things that I’ll be watching for this weekend.

1. Will The Boston Crusaders Eat Up The Blue Devils?

For the first time in their history, The Boston Crusaders are positioned to medal at finals. Even more than that, they are closely knocking on the defending champion BD’s door and might even steal their first championship title. Will Boston have what it takes to overthrow the ditty dudes? With their show entitled “A Paradise Lost”, fans are loving the musical selections that transport them to a deserted island. But will the corps find paradise with a gold medal? We shall see!

2. Will The Troopers (+260) make finals?

I know I bashed Wyoming in the intro, but The Troopers this year are nothing to make fun of. With a show I think that is about oil or gold or something like that, they are incorporating string instruments into their program in a unique way. They have a prop that is really tall, so that’s probably at least worth .55 points by itself. They haven’t made finals in over a decade, but this year might be the year they get back into the top 12. It will be a fierce battle for the last spot between The Colts, The Blue Knights, and The Crossmen.

3. Will the Santa Clara Vanguard keep The Sanford?

SCV has been well-known for their incredible front ensemble and drumlines over the years, and this year is no different. Although the corps is slotted to place fifth, the drumline is going head to head with Boston BD and Bluecoats for the top drum score. As a percussionist myself, this caption is always the most interesting to watch and I think SCV has what it takes to take home another Sanford trophy with an incredible pit, but Boston’s drumline is just a tad better.

4. Can the Colts get 11th?

Show some love for Iowa! The Colts have taken DCI by storm this summer with an incredible drumline that’s placing in the top 8. It looks like they are a sure lock to make finals, but can they take it a step further by beating Crossmen and Blue Knights? It’s definitely something to root for.

5. Will Guardians make Semi-finals?

All DCI fans know that the top 25 corps make it to the second day of competition, semi-finals. The Guardians have come along way in the last five years, placing 5th at Open Class finals on Tuesday. Can they break yet another corps record and make semis for the first time? Maybe they need to add another rap/hip-hop section to their show or something; that’s their usual cup of tea.

It will be interesting to watch how these matchups play out and how finals shakes up this year. Here are my predictions for how the Top 12 will play out:

  1. Blue Devils
  2. Boston Crusaders
  3. Carolina Crown
  4. The Bluecoats
  5. Santa Clara Vanguard
  6. The Cadets
  7. The Blue Stars
  8. The Cavaliers
  9. Mandarins
  10. Phantom Regiment
  11. The Colts
  12. The Crossmen

I’m rooting for The Troopers to sneak in, but it’s a tight group and all I can do is sit back and crack open a Squincher and enjoy.