"Match Points" – A Detailed Analysis of the Imperfect 2017 Regional Championships Structure and Propositions for Remediation


If handing out participation prizes is an issue in regards to time, then do what companies who put on GPs for MTG have done (not to further slam MTG ideas onto pokemon, but holistically this makes sense), and that is give every player a ticket/voucher at check-in which is good for whatever the participation prize is. They way I’ve seen it done in the past is while collecting deck-lists, the judges will hand out the little voucher. It is then on the player to go get the prizes whenever they feel like it.

Another time-saver is to cut the lunch break for players, especially in masters. Judges can still get a break by having multiple ones to float in-and-out via rotation. I get removing a break for juniors and seniors is an issue due to their age, but their tournaments are typically shorter thanks to less players making it less of a problem. Masters, if I remember correctly, begins at age 18; these people are old enough to be able to handle the loss of a break in order to grind through it all.

Lastly, I feel it weird to shift from Bo3 to Bo1 mid-way through the event. Either it should all be Bo3 or all be Bo1. 30 card decks could be fun, but only if Pokemon limited wasn’t completely dreadful. At the very least make deck size consistent with limited, so 40. 30 cards seems a bit too small to get any sort of unity and cohesion in a deck. Those 10 extra cards, especially in this game where powerful draw is a thing, go a long way to ensuring decks play as intended more games than not.


I did not address check-in because it’s a very sacred concept to some of the folks running these events, and not something TPCi seems to be willing to dictate in event operation. I stuck to topics that clearly are within TPCi’s control and are central to the operation of any Regional event. With that said, I strongly favor the following check-in approach:
7:30 Late Registration
8:25 Roster Up
8:30 Player Meeting
9:30 Round 1 Pairings Up

The commonly argued issues with removing check-in are among these three things:

  1. Lack of opportunity to hand out swag. Like has been stated, this is easily remedied by trading a voucher for a decklist at the player’s meeting.
  2. May result in players being paired in the event that no-showed. I tend to agree that this is a good thing to eliminate, so I’d argue we simply need to use decklist collection as part of this process. If you didn’t turn in a list, you clearly didn’t show up — dropped.
  3. And this is the touchy one: some organizers 100% belief that every decklist must be checked for legality prior to Round 1. I’m not in this camp; it’s not my problem if you can’t manage to write 60 cards properly. But, even for the holdouts, I challenge that it can be no more difficult or problematic to collect every list, then dedicate 8-10 people to checking lists for that hour than it is to undergo the current process.

Another benefit: it’d eliminate the crazy lines that now plague these large events.

Masters can be as young as 14.

This factor is still a part of every tournament today, and I’m wholly unconvinced that Bo3 remedies it. If nothing else, I’d argue Best of 1 with extra Swiss does a better job of helping you minimize the impact of those non-meta decks on your day than Best of 3 does.


The more you lose, especially early in an event, the more non-standard decks you are likely to see. It’s not the number of losses that really matter, it’s when they happen. Bo3 can have a huge impact on that.