PHOENIX, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In front of 6500 screaming fans at Phoenix's Jobing.com Arena, Nyjah Huston (age 15, Davis and Huntington Beach, Calif.) captured the first stop of Rob Dyrdek's all-new $1.2 million Street League DC Pro Tour fueled by Monster Energy. Strategy, big tricks and consistency were the key to Huston's victory as he edged out five other contenders that all had a shot to win in their final attempt. Ultimately, Huston fought off Shane O'Neill (age 20, Australia) to win the $150,000 first place prize and assume the overall tour lead. O'Neill and Huston were the final two professionals to sign exclusively to Street League's roster of 24.
Watch Saturday's action on ESPN2 on Wednesday, September 15th at 8PM ET. The Street League Tour now moves to stop number two at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. on Sept. 11. Detailed results and ticket information are available at www.streetleague.com.
Street League's introduction of the instant scoring experience proved itself on Saturday as spectators were on the edge of their seats from the first trick to the very last. Fans cheered every step of the way as each skater one-upped each other on the leader board. The event reached a climax in the fourth and final "big" section. With only one attempt remaining, five of the seven skaters still had an opportunity to win the record first place prize.
Down by 8.2 points on the last trick of the entire event, Shane O'Neill "switch 360 kick-flipped" the double-set of stairs and jumped from fifth place all the way into second with a 7.0 score, missing the win by only 1.10 points. It was Nyjah's "gap out to kick flip frontside board slide" that solidified the $150,000 win. O'Neill took home $97,000 with two best trick bonuses and the Zumiez 24/7 $7000 cash prize.
Prior to his Street League victory, the talented Huston had largely occupied the second place spot on the winner's podium, but moved into the forefront of the skateboarding world on Saturday night. "It felt so good to finally win," said the fifteen-year-old prodigy. "The format was great. It really brought out the best skateboarding."
Dyrdek, who has spent the past six years working to bring Street League to fruition, kicked off the event by turning off the arena lights and introducing the seven finalists to the roaring crowd. "Saturday was simply a dream come true for me. It would not have been possible without the support from our best pros and the undeniable entertainment that an instant scoring format brings to skateboarding contests," says the Street League creator. "Beyond anything it was the best skateboarding I have ever witnessed in my life."
Six of the Street League's seven finalists qualified via Friday's preliminary rounds where the 24 elite participants were split into four heats. Skating in the final group, Cole was dominant, racking up 83 points to runner-up Shane O'Neill's 79.1, to lead all scorers. Torey Pudwill (age 20, Simi Valley, Calif.) squeaked into the finals during the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) held immediately prior to Saturday's finals, to win the remaining slot. Pudwill landed all seven consecutive tricks on the big section en route to a LCQ high score of 33.3. Pudwill would go on to skate his way into third place with 112.8 points.
The custom-built concrete skate plaza, designed by Dyrdek and California Skateparks, featured a distinctive desert southwest theme replete with terra cotta colors, Arizona cobblestones, cacti and authentic city plaza elements. Although each of the three tour stops will feature four distinct sections, no course will ever be the same – making the look of Street League another dynamic feature of the series.
Street League's $1.2 million purse is the largest in skateboarding history and almost double the combined winnings for all other skate contests. Nearly $400,000 will be awarded at each of the stops beginning with Glendale, AZ (Jobing.com Arena) on August 28 and followed by Ontario, Calif. (Citizens Business Bank Arena) on September 11 and the finale in Las Vegas, Nev. (Thomas & Mack Center) on Sept. 25. The competitions will air on ESPN2 every Wednesday at 8pm ET/5pm PT, Sept. 15 to 29.
(1) Nyjah Huston – 116 points
(2) Shane O'Neill – 114.9 points
(3) Torey Pudwill – 112.8 points
(4) Sean Malto – 111.0 points
(5) Chris Cole – 109.6 points
(6) Chaz Ortiz – 102.2 points
(7) Paul Rodriguez – 100.1 points
SOURCE Street League Skateboarding