The Pharaohs made a strong showing in the first round, but it turns out they’d kept some of their secrets under wraps, and they came out shockingly strong, albeit with an odd lurch in their stride, as though they’d been resting for a millenia or two. The Athenas’ showed an impressively diverse skill set, from wisdom to craftiness, keeping things close, but for the Pharaohs, the writing was already on the wall, in their native hieroglyphics.
Sydney Opera House v Edinburgh Castle
Mascots: Avenging Arias v Mighty Tartan
The Avenging Arias were flat at times but left this one on a high note after settling into a good rhythm. It was all too much for the Mighty Tartan, who fell short by a Royal Mile.
Bilbao Guggenheim v Manneken-Pis
Mascots: Starchitects v Wee Whizzers
The Wee Whizzers are a team everyone either loves to hate or hates to love, the pint-sized scamps with the hot hand and the titillating reputation. Quite the contrast to the Starchitects, with their refined, even haughty sensibility—well-earned, given the hardscrabble roots—and penchant for going almost out of bounds before slyly pulling back. The irreverent little chaps from Belgian pulled it out when no one else expected it, though, and got the W.
Easter Island v Taj Mahal
Mascots: Furious Foreheads v Marvelous Minarets
After toppling Stonehenge in the first round, the Furious Foreheads were expected to have another strong showing, although there were concerns that they’d get [wait for it, you know what’s coming …] big heads. But leading up to this match-up they remained tight-lipped, even while the Marvelous Minarets grandiosely waxed poetic, evidently as a tribute to a deceased loved one. When it came to the actual face-off, the Furious Foreheads were rock-solid, using a Hack-a-Pishtaq strategy to great effect against the Marvelous Minarets.