Tournament report Tournament INTL/US Modified tournament, Osaka, Japan ("Osaka City Championships"!) Date: June 29, 2008 (same day as US Nationals!) Attendance: 27 Like I mentioned in the INTL forums before, I organized an international tournament in the city of Osaka, Japan, together with local independent Tournament Organizer "LucarioTAI". I had three goals for this tournament: 1) To give Japanese players cool prizes that aren't available in Japan 2) To let Japanese players who don't have the chance to experience Worlds a chance to play a tournament in the US/INTL Modified format, and play with a non-Japanese tournament style, run with TOM and Swiss pairings etc. 3) To give Japanese players qualified for Worlds a chance to practice in a competitive tournament environment in Japan Goal 1 was reached thanks to some City Championship medals from a cancelled Norwegian CC and thanks to cool promo cards etc. generously sent to me via airmail from the US, Norway and the Netherlands. Thanks a lot to forum members SD Pokémon and Fireborn! I feel goal 2 and 3 were reached as well. The Senior AND Master winners are Worlds 2008 competitors, so I guess you can safely say they're ready for Worlds. Empoleon VS Empoleon in the last round of Swiss. Leafeon lvX/Magmortar VS Gardevoir/Gallade in the finals. The winners! <i>Winning decks:</i> <b>Junior</b>: Empoleon MD <b>Senior</b>: Gardevoir/Gallade <b>Masters</b>: Gardevoir/Gallade <i>Top players in each age division</i> <b>Junior</b> 1. Kazuma 2. Fukui 3. Eima <b>Senior</b> 1. Hiroki Y (1st Worlds 2006, 2nd Worlds 2007 - Juniors) 2. Matsumoto 3. Sanbu 4. Sho 5. Ryo <b>Masters</b> 1. Akimura (4th Worlds 2007 - Masters) 2. Maeuchi 3. Yano (Hiroki's father) 4. Ikehara 5. Max Baer (US) 6. Yohei Takeda (Top 16 Worlds 2006 - Masters) 7. Wakamoto (Worlds 2006 participant, LQ Grinder 2007 participant - Masters) 8. Hayashi 9. Nishimoto 10. Oshima 11. Tsujinaka 12. Takeuchi 13. Nomamoto 14. Fujimoto 15. Nakamura 16. Yuki 17. Hosoda 18. Suga <i>Masters final Swiss scores after 5th round (for those who went 3-2 and better):</i> 1. Akimura 5-0 2. Maeuchi 4-1 3. Yano 4-1 4. Ikehara 4-1 5. Max Baer 4-1 6. Yohei Takeda 3-2 7. Wakamoto 3-2 8. Hayashi 3-2 (Yes, this means Akimura went undefeated, 7-0, with his GG deck. Placing 4th at Worlds 2007 and then going undefeated 7-0 at a Worlds format tournament almost a year after is very impressive, and Akimura is definitely a player to look out for at this year's Worlds too!) <i>Impressions</i> This tournament was run just like the US/INTL City Championships. 5 rounds of Swiss, maximum top cut of 4, no 3rd place playoff. By request, I attempted to interview the players about their impressions of the US/INTL way of running tournaments. The 2nd place finisher in Masters, Maeuchi, was especially helpful. Maeuchi, "S-royal", is a dedicated Smash Bros Melee and Pokémon TCG player. He's interested in the way tournaments and events are run abroad, and has been to North America three times: San Francisco, San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles. All these times have been for Smash Bros tournaments, but he really would like to try to play in a Pokémon TCG tournament in North America as well. <b>S-royal</b>: I enjoyed today's tournament, and I'd like to try this as a bigger tournament. This seems <i>very</i> fun for tournaments with many people attending. I attended Smash Bros Melee tournaments in North America, and they're different from Japanese ones in many ways. One is that everyone watches the final, something I really enjoyed. We don't do that much in Japan, usually the public won't be watching finals in tournaments, or don't have any way to do it. Do you watch finals on the big screen in TCG tournaments as well? <b>Tego</b>: Actually, we do run the finals on the big screen at Worlds every year. <b>S-royal</b>: At Worlds everyone watches on the big screen? Wow, that sounds perfect. We should do more of this is in Japan. <b>Tego</b>: What differences did you notice in the way the tournament was run today? Did the use of TOM, Swiss pairings etc. have aspects that surprised you or made things feel different? <b>S-royal</b>: Actually, I don't really think today's tournament felt all that different. The only thing that can cause a really big difference is mistranslations and erratas. Steven's Advice used to be so different abroad. Same with Electrode ex. Now these kind of misakes seem to occur less often, and when they do they always are fixed to match Japan. This is very different from how things were done back in the days. I was mildly surprised by two differences in the way of running tournaments, though. First, in the playoff, I was surprised to learn that 4th seed always meets 1st seed and 2nd meets 3rd. In Japanese tournaments, there would be no seeding, it'd just be random. Secondly, when time is called in Japan, the player whose turn it currently is will finish his turn, just like in the INTL rules, but then the next player also gets one more turn. This is a big difference! <b>Tego</b>: It indeed is, and it seems like for this particular rulings difference, the Japanese version might be the best one. Thank you for your comments!