Claiming it would be "The Clash of Predators", the 2013 EDSUI Founders Trophy formally started today, promising exciting debates that the competition is known for. The tagline may be boastful but 22 of the 37 participating teams have at least one member with a championship title or best speaker award, living up to the tournament's reputation as Indonesia's toughest nationwide British Parliamentary debate competition.
In most competitions, the share of champions is usually far below that. The recent NUDC, the largest BP competition in Indonesia, only 6 out of 96 teams, or less than 7 per cent, could boast nationwide accolades when they entered the arena.
Picking a favourite for this year's FT is hard. Last year's champion Rifan Ibnu Rahman is back to defend his title with a different partner. Best speakers of the 3 most recent FTs - Satrio Adi Pratama (2010), Melanie Tedja (2011) and Luthfi Abdurrahman (2012) - will also return. The last two will even team up. The most successful pair this year, Invi Atmanegara and Jaran Walia from Binus International who married the two national titles, will take another stab at FT after exiting at the semifinal stage in 2012.
This does not mean FT is unfriendly to dark horses. It is still the only nationwide open contest in Indonesia that could be won by a full high school team - SMA Kanisius Jakarta championed FT 2004. This year, the organisers have given fee waivers and BP training to 4 high school students who want to repeat that feat.
There is also another special addition. Two debaters from different Sumatra colleges have crossed the strait to test themselves against the best of the country, who all come from Java. In their own island, Elsyam Maulana from Universitas Sumatera Utara and Heriyanto from Institute of Trade and Business are predators but they will be in a different jungle at FT, where some teams may see them as prey.
With the intense competition, FT is far from predictable. It is still anyone's game with each preliminary round to be crucial because only 16 teams will advance to the knockouts, which means a number of past champions will go home after round 5. Prelims start tomorrow at Universitas Indonesia's Engineering Center.
The 22 predatory teams with national tournament trophies that will compete in FT 2013 are as follows in alphabetical order of the first member who has a title.
Ahdiat Permana/Sabarudin Adinugroho - (1) JOVED 2009, Bawor 2010, 2011 champ/ (2) NUEDC 2012 champ
Albert Santoso/Aliefah Saras - (1) ALSA UI 2012 champ
Alif Satria/Romario Tambunan - (1) ALSA Unpad 2013, SODC 2013 champ/ (2) AUI 2013 champ/ (1&2) ACDC 2013 champs
Amir Abdul Aziz/Nabila Aghniarizqa - (1) SODC 2013, AUI 2013 champ/ (1&2) ALSA Unpad 2013 champs
Aulia Anggita/Dennys Kapa - (1) Bawor 2012, JOVED 2013 champ/ (2) ALSA UI 2011, GO 2012 champ/ (1&2) ALSA UI 2012 champs
Bernardo Tampubolon/Eldhianto Jusuf - (1) JOVED 2006 champ/ (2) JOVED 2010, IVED 2011, IFF 2011, Pimnas 2012 champ
Boby Andika/Satrio Adi Pratama - (1) IDO 2013, GO 2013 champ/ (2) NUEDC 2010, JOVED 2011 champ, FT 2010 best speaker
Cindy Fransisca/Silvya Suwandy - (1) E-Fest 2012 champ, IPSDC 2012, JFF 2012 best speaker
Dara Indira/Taufiq Bashori - (1) IDO 2013 novice champ
Dito Krista/Vicario Reinaldo - (1) IVED 2010, GO 2012 champ, NUEDC 2011 best speaker/ (2) AEO 2013, UADC 2013 EFL champ
Diovio Alfath/Gendhis Indahayu - (1) NNDC 2013 champ
Egalita Irfan/Roderick Sibarani - (1) Bawor 2012 champ/ (2) JOVED 2012, JM 2012, Atma IV 2013, JFF 2013, GO 2013 champ
Elvia Sumayastra/Nisrina Praharso - (1) JOVED 2013 champ
Indriani Pratiwi/Muhammad Fidhzariyan - (1) IHL 2013, NDC-NES 2013, ACDC 2013 champ/ (2) IHL 2012 champ
Invi Atmanegara/Jaran Walia - (1) JFF 2013 champ/ (2) Bawor 2013 champ/ (1&2) UADC 2012 EFL, IVED 2013, NUDC 2013 champs
Jane Revevalin/Rifan Ibnu Rahman - (1) ALSA UI 2013 champ/ (2) JFF 2011, IPSDC 2012, FT 2012, JM 2012, 2013, IDO 2013 champ
Junario Wibawa/Marchella Febriyanti - (1) IVED 2013 novice champ
Luthfi Abdurrahman/Melanie Tedja - (1) NUEDC 2009, ALSA UI 2010, SEO 2011, NDC 2011 champ/ (2) IVED 2003, FT 2012 champ
Melisa Irene/Wilson Salim - (1) Bawor 2013, GMDT 2013 champ (2) JFF 2012 champ
Midia Arifandi/Annisa Zuhairi - (1) IDO 2013 novice champ
Yosifebi Ramadhani/Andrianto Khiputra - (1) GMDT 2013 champ
Zivana Sabili/Roberto Lie - (1) Newbies 2012 champ & best speaker
The other 15 teams are dark horses that are bent on rewriting the script. Among them are:
The high school teams
Bradley Gunawan/John Amadeo - (1) Twaalf 2012 champ, ANPS 2012, Binus ECom best speaker / (2) Binus ECom 2013 champ
Christine Yaputra/Dimas Prakoso - (1) Enthusiastic Bogor 2012 champ
The non-Java team
Elsyam Maulana/Heriyanto - (1) SOVED 2013 champ/ (2) Dragon 2013 champ