I think I disagree with you here. My disagreement rests in the future of Regionals. Alex - you are more than doubling your Regionals attendance by your own admission. Will and I are likewise. I can therefore foresee Regionals attendance skyrocketing. In these larger pools of talent, there is larger variance. In this intensely more competitive environment, I can also envision a bit more room for CP development in the local community. That being said, I can testify that our recent local League Challenges were not comprised of soft talent. In our area, the Masters grind for those 15 CP is going to be very difficult.
I have two league challenges coming up, and let me tell you that if I win both of them I’ll still be going to the next ones. They are more for trying out a deck versus the local meta than anything else, and it is fun to compete in a tournament even if you won’t get points for it. At this point I only have Fort Wayne on my schedule, so without any League Cups (?) it’s basically only Prereleases and League Challenges for two months.
I second this wholeheartedly. I’ll use the most recent LC I attended back in July as an example, out of 23 Masters we had the following players (most CP totals are approximations, I don’t remember exact numbers for everyone. Totals are also from 2015-2016):
- 300 CP in Seniors, Regional Champion
- 450 CP
- 315 CP
- 286 CP
- 780 CP
- 277 CP, Top 8 Nationals
- 250 CP
- 400 CP
- 3 players with between 150 and 200 CP
To expand upon this, nearly half of the players in the field should be statistically considered strong/threatening as opponents. Furthermore, even the players not on the list above were generally playing competitive, meta decks. Also keep in mind that there are 3 other worlds-invite players in my area that normally attend local events, but happened to be absent for this one.
TL;DR LCs are no longer free points, the talent pool is much deeper nowadays as Patrick said.
Yeah, Regionals will be bigger, but I don’t really anticipate them being much bigger than the ~500 players that Fort Wayne/St Louis got last year. Those Regionals already attracted players from all around the country, and while they might bring in more players due to being completely exclusive on the weekends that they take place, I don’t think they’ll double in size from last year.
The Regionals like Virginia, Arizona, and California that had between 230-300 players will probably be the ones that double in size. And yes, it will be much harder to do well at them, but the best players will still walk away with some amount of points in at least half of the Regionals that they go to. Combine that with 120+200 point allowances from local events (assume a Worlds caliber player will always earn 70% of those points, 214 CP), and it’s still relatively easy to achieve 300 points.
I really don’t forsee getting 300 points to be strictly harder than last year (in fact, slightly easier, provided you attend about as many Regionals as you did Regionals+States). Combined with the fact that I don’t feel that a 500+ person Worlds is really all that exclusive, I think 350 or 400 CP are better thresholds.
To the point that LCs aren’t soft, that’s true in many places. But if you have enough in your area (assume 3 per month, 9 per quarter, only the best 2 count), it’s pretty easy to take at least 1 win and 1 top 4. LCs are usually best of 1, so there’s a ton of variance. The best players won’t do well in every event due to bad pairings, bad deck matchups or bad draws, and they won’t even attend every event, especially if they get their 2 finishes early in the quarter.
And there are also plenty of areas where there are very few Worlds caliber players, allowing some weaker players to get “easy” wins. I attended at least 2 LCs last year where I was the only player in the room to have ever achieved a World invitation, or even top cut a State or Regional event. These areas are the ones where I especially fear 300 CP as being far too low to determine who should compete in the World Championships. Being the best in a mediocre area and never having to travel outside of it does not equate to being among the best in the World.
LCs are also always very competitive very early in the season and very late in the season. Players are eager to get the first points and also to close out an invite. In the middle months of prior seasons, we started to see declining attendance and I imagine we will in the middle month of the new quarters as well.
Are you taking into consideration that there’s more at stake than just packs and bragging rights/byes now? I feel like the draw of money (especially early on while it is a novelty) will have a bigger effect than you might think. Maybe not doubling in Fort Wayne, but I would still anticipate a somewhat larger increase than just weekend exclusivity alone will give.
There are two factors you have not considered in your Regionals attendance projection: Real prizes + advanced schedule. I would not be surprised to see considerable attendance growth. Looking forward to seeing how it shakes down!
I think I didn’t really express my thoughts on Regionals attendance numbers correctly. I would expect around 700 Masters at the larger Regionals like Philadelphia, Fort Wayne, and St. Louis and 400-500 Masters at most others. That’s a lot, but the best players will still take away 10 points on bad days, 15 points on mediocre days, and 45+ points on their good days, leading to around a 30 point average takeaway. Even with an overall very mediocre season of 15+15+30+30 from the BFL of 4 from Regionals (90 CP total), combine that with my prediction of 70% of League Challenge and League Cup points (214 CP), it’s very easy to get 300+ CP.
I’m not complaining about that, I recognize that travelling is and always be a big part of the game, I’m just sore because of how difficult they’re seemingly making it for people to get to worlds this year in an attempt to emulate Magic’s tournament structure.
But it’s supposed to be difficult to get to Worlds! Worlds isn’t supposed to be achievable for everyone or even most players. It’s intended to be a chance for the best of the best to compete. Competition among local players to make it there is supposed to be insane.
It’s interesting. Pokemon definitely has a culture that doesn’t want to hurt feelings in a lot of cases. It came up in the Professor forum recently that many judges are wary to give out significant penalties at higher tier events because of the community feel (not talking about League Challenges) - I even find myself guilty of thinking this way sometimes - and players have this feeling that everyone should accomplish getting an invitation to Worlds. My son started playing just after Phantom Forces came out (Primal Clash was the first pre-release we attended), and I remember in August when we saw people come back from Boston with their worlds gear, there was a sense of awe (as awestruck as you can get) when we saw those folks for a while.
This is a competitive card game. Penalties should be assessed - fairly but harshly when necessary - for errors in gameplay, and Worlds should be challenging to get to, and being a Worlds-level competitor should be something that takes hard work to achieve.
This is super off topic to the schedule so I’ll end my rant here, but I find myself in absolutely agreement with your thoughts, @kazambolt.
Oh, I fully agree with you. I just feel that removing select regionals from certain areas isn’t a good way to go about increasing the competition and decreasing the chances of people getting to worlds, because it creates an environment where the playing field isn’t level for everyone just based on where you live. Those are my thoughts, and I respect yours and agree with them for the most part. However, I do think that TPCi could have handled this better.
Note: I don’t think I’m entitled to go to worlds, and I don’t think I’d end up getting my invite this year regardless of the format change. But I want to try, and they’re making it much harder, which is why I’m frustrated.
At my last MTG event, I had a discussion with the head judge about how warnings are issued and the sequence that leads up to getting a ban from the game. It was quite matter of fact. Someone next to me got a game warning so I was curious. At another event, the judge made it very clear to the entire venue he would immediately DQ anyone for bribery and recommend to WOTC that such violation require a ban. All that to say: it’s a totally different feel with MTG judges.
I bet we see our first 1000 player (MA + SR + JR) regional this year. In fact I will go out on a limb and say we see 3 1000 player regionals this year.
Wouldn’t surprise me, I’d guess the split would be around 750 Masters, 150 Seniors, 100 Juniors
I guess you understand all the ins and outs of running such an event.
So are there 0 Canadian regionals this season
Toronto will have the only Canadian Regional this season. It will be on a TBA weekend in May.
Ok thanks . That kinda sucks
Yea it’s very strange.
Well, at least Toronto is closer than Waterloo/Kitchener