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Bryan Bedell's Match Preview

Eye Against Eye

Well, here we are in the postseason already, with eight competitors carefully chosen by Layer Tennis aficionados via blind taste test.

You've chosen four match winners from Season 3 (Mark Weaver, Armin Vit, Mig Reyes, and Frank Chimero. You've chosen two Season 3 qualifiers, Noper and Emory Allen, and we've rounded out the field with Season 2's two finalists, Shaun Inman and Greg Hubacek.

You may know me as Layer Tennis' "Ref," the guy who flips the coins to determine who will serve, but you may not be aware that I also recruit and moderate our Friday morning Qualifying Matches. So I'm bursting with pride over our two qualifier selections. Both Emory and Noper are nothing short of amazing, and either has a perfectly good shot at winning this thing. I'm also excited that Greg Hubacek, a qualifier last year, made it all the way to the Season Two final and joins us here again, and note that Mig Reyes is also a former qualifier who won a "main match" this season and was voted into the finals. If you've lost count, half of the eight competitors in this tournament got their start in qualifier matches. It's clear the "qualifier" system is working, bringing in exciting new talent that can hold their own against the legends of the game. I'm an underdog-rooter, but I don't think of any of these guys as underdogs, it's going to be a very tight tournament.

On to the match at hand, our first quarterfinal features aforementioned qualifier Emory Allen of Minneapolis. Emory illustrates monsters and hand-draws type under the "Ocular Invasion" banner. Emory played against the formidable Phil Coffman in a week 10 qualifier, and they both brought out the best in each other. Emory's "I Smash Pixels" serve was among the most memorable in #lyt history and despite Coffman's masterful volley 10 fans chose Emory for the tournament. Illustrators often have a tough time keeping up in Layer Tennis, but Emory's blazing speed and sense of humor very well may win the day.

Mark Weaver (Atlanta, GA) will certainly not make it easy. As commentator John Gruber pointed out in his Week 4 commentary, Weaver's "Make Something Every Day" experience was great preparation for Layer Tennis, and his carefully-considered collages are what many people consider the perfect style for Layer Tennis. Mark edged out Obama campaign design director Scott Thomas with brains and a good eye for simplicity. I've often joked that a good Layer Tennis strategy might be to simply "clean up" each preceding volley by simplifying the layout and perfecting the type. In the last few volleys of this match, Weaver did just that, and it worked a treat.

Thanks for joining us, we're expecting a hell of a match, and a hell of a tournament.

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A Quick Favor From LYT

Our friends and longtime sponsors at Adobe have a quick survey for Layer Tennis fans. It would mean a lot to us if you could take a couple minutes between layers to answer some simple questions. Thanks a million.

The Layer Tennis Blog

Congratulations to Mig Reyes, Layer Tennis Season 3 Champion. jc-12.20

Thanks to all the players, commentators and fans who made Season Three of Layer Tennis a big success. And thanks to the crew at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and all the folks at Adobe Creative Suite for making it possible. Watch this space (or sign up for Season Tickets or follow us on Twitter) for news about some special exhibition matches being planned and about Season 4. jc-12.20

Cast your votes on The Championship Match. Both Finalists will receive invitations to play in the post-season tournament for Season Four. jc-12.17

Here's how the voting works. Decide who you'd like to declare as winner and then simply tweet their first name following a hash mark. Either #mig or #noper and, this is important, also include #lyt in that tweet. We'll leave the voting open all weekend and announce our Season Three Champion on Monday. jc-12.12

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