Street League's Select Series
Street League Skateboarding's first-ever pro qualifier is set for next week's X Games Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, the organization announced Thursday.
The SLS Select Series cherry-picks 10 non-Street League pro skaters and five local wild cards to compete against each other for an invitation to ride the Street League at X Games medal event.
Street League at X Games
With the inclusion of Street League in this year's X Games, the bar in skateboarding has risen to an all-time high. The first stop is in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, where a field of 10 hand-picked pros, along with five local pros, will fight for gold. Standing in their way is Nyjah Huston -- can he be beat?
The 10 prequalified Select Series invitees are Felipe Gustavo, Ryan Decenzo, Brandon Westgate, Evan Smith, Keelan Dadd, Cory Kennedy, Manny Santiago, Greg Lutzka, Youness Amrani and Jackson Curtin. In Foz do Iguaçu, they will be joined by Brazilian wild cards Lucas Xaparral, Danny Cerezini, Rodolfo Ramos, Danilo De Rosario, and Kelvin Hoefler Rodriguez.
"I'm honored to be one of the local guys selected to skate SLS," Rodriguez said. "It's a great opportunity for all of us. I hope we all skate our best and put on a big show for the spectators of my country and the world."
The 10 Select Series pros will face each other at each of the four remaining X Games events this season (Brazil, Spain, Germany and Los Angeles), with the top two overall ranked skaters qualifying for next year's SLS World Tour.
"The SLS Select Series is a great first step in creating a true qualifier series for becoming a Street League pro," Street League creator Rob Dyrdek said via email. "It is going to be exciting to see 10 of the best pros not yet in the league go against the best local skaters in each host city. At the end there will be two new guys in the SLS World Tour, which will be an amazing story to see unfold."
At each X Games stop, the 15 Select Series riders will compete on the same course as the X Games main event and be judged using the league's ISX Instant Scoring eXperience.
Street League dominator Nyjah Huston says ISX is "awesome in many ways," particularly in that it allows skaters to see their -- and their competitors' -- scores right away and adjust their strategies accordingly.
The X Games Brazil contest marks the first stop of the 2013 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour, which spreads out its seven-contest series across all four remaining global X Games events and three independent league stops in North America.
You can watch the live feed of the SLS Select Series at X Games starting at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 18, on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
In addition, the Street League fantasy game has been revamped for the 2013 season, with innovative salary caps, single-event and series-long games, and both free and pay versions, among other renovations. Players can also expect big prizes from Street League partners and the yet-to-be-revealed fantasy league Grand Prize Game.