HPE’s Soper, Palo Alto Networks’ Evans To Face Off In Championship Round: Channel Madness

The Semifinal round of the 2024 CRN Channel Madness tournament is in the books, and the winners are ready to go for it all.

The Semifinal round of the 2024 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs saw a strong quartet of channel executives battle their way through the Field of Four, but only two can advance into the final round for a shot at the championship.

Two executives, both in their second tournament appearances, have bested the rest to make it to the finals with strong fourth-round finishes.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Phil Soper came out with an early lead against SonicWall’s Michelle Ragusa-McBain and kept up that pace throughout, winning with 65 percent of the vote to Ragusa-McBain’s 35 percent.

On the other side of the bracket, Palo Alto Networks’ Tom Evans looked strong throughout his matchup with channel stalwart Frank Rauch of Cato Networks. Evans won with 70 percent of the vote to Rauch’s 30 percent.

That means we’ll see Soper and Evans battle it out for the championship, the first time either channel chief has made it to the final round.

Representing the Transformation region, Soper’s road to the final included a Round 3 victory over Lenovo’s Rob Cato. He also beat out WatchGuard Technologies’ Michelle Welch in Round 2 and Crowdstrike’s Michael Rogers in Round 1.

Carrying the banner for the Evolution region, Evans was victorious over HP Inc.’s Scott Lannum in Round 3, fended off NetApp’s Jenni Flinders in Round 2 and was victorious over Schneider Electric’s Gordon Lord in Round 1.

Soper vs. Evans for the 2024 CRN Channel Madness championship kicks off today at 4:00 p.m. ET and closes Wednesday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Visit CRN.com/madness to cast your votes and choose your chief!