Imagine, for a moment, that AVP Chicago was a 16-team draw, like Huntington Beach, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.

Actually, scratch that. I don’t want to imagine that.

I don’t want to imagine Marty Lorenz and Chaim Schalk, a pair of AVP semifinalists and one of the best defenders in the world, in the qualifier.

I don’t want to imagine the brothers Bomgren, Tim and Brian, back in the qualifier. The last time we saw those guys in the qualifier was New Orleans of 2015. They came out and took a third.

I don’t want to imagine Piotr Marciniak and Rafu Rodriguez, semifinalists just two events ago in Hermosa Beach, back in the qualifier.

Even if it’s an odd sort of team, a pair of defenders, I don’t want to imagine longtime veterans Mark Burik and Adam Roberts back in the qualifier.

That’s exactly how it would look, though, if the AVP hadn’t increased the size of the draw to 24 teams in Chicago. Thank goodness for that.

Yes, increasing the size of the draws makes for more navigable qualifiers, and as a qualifier player myself, I’m biased towards anything that might make my path a smidgeon easier. But aside from making the qualifiers more appealing, I love the increased draws because those four teams I just mentioned deserve to be in main draw. They make the main draw product better.

Don’t we all win when that happens?

Don’t we all win when a team like Lorenz and Schalk, seeded 13, could make a run to the semifinals, a Cinderella that isn’t really much of a Cinderella at all?

Don’t we all win when a pair of lovable Midwestern brothers, as kind of people you’ll meet, upset a few teams, get the fans behind them because, honestly, how can you not root for the Bomgrens?

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