There's honestly nothing that states a group needs a wgi championship level guard to score well. Obviously it doesn't hurt, but it isn't exactly a prerequisite. Broken Arrow has been keeping up with Carmel, Avon, and TS for years in visual and anyone can tell you their colorguard isn't at the level of those groups. Vandegrift has a terrific drill writer and I think people are exaggerating this whole thing. In a sea of tarps and dancing Vandegrifts straight up marching and playing is going to shine at nationals and I can't wait to see them.
I’m not saying that a group has to have a WGI champion guard to be successful. As I said, SFA was able to pull it off beautifully in their heyday. My concern is with the level of Vandy’s design. Comparing Vandy to SFA at their respective peaks, Vandegrift’s dancers aren’t as well incorporated and don’t seem to be quite on the same skill level as the Angels (not to say that they’re weak, it’s just very hard to live up to the Angels). My concern is, is the slight inability to properly utilize their dance team in the way SFA was able to going to hold Vandegrift as a whole back despite their consistently amazing musical and marching ability?