Thursday, February 5, 2015

News: Bushiroad Announces Team League 2015 and Spring Festival, Nega-Keiopojisis Promo

Bushiroad South East Asia has updated up their pages on the English portal site to reflect the upcoming Team League 2015 competition. A triples division tournament, League 2015 will be held as part of a Spring Festival comprising all three of Bushiroad's English-language TCGs. The Spring Festival involves participation at the shop and regional levels, with Team League itself taking place at regional qualifiers and (in North America) at the national level. For the rest of the world, the tournament will stop at the regional level. Controversially, this year's League 2015 rules make it possible for the tournaments to produce no winners.

Cardfighters who participate in official shop tournaments during the two month period from March 2nd through May 3rd will receive special promotional coupons from Bushiroad, which can then be exchanged at the Spring Festival regional tournaments for a promotional card, Snow Element Blizza. A maximum of four coupons for four cards can be exchanged for per person. In the tournaments themselves participation is restricted to those with current residence in the continent their tournaments are held in.

Those that take part in the Team League 2015 regional tournaments from April through July will receive a gold edition Onmyo Regalia Nega-Keiopojisis as their participation prize, and the top 50 teams will receive a commemorative bag. Like all Team League tournaments, the TL2015 format will feature teams of three facing each other in best of one games. The team with two or more victorious members will win the round.

This is the first English-language Bushiroad tournament to address the use of G-Units in decks. Although actual clan fight rules have not been formalized in the English-language format, during Team League 2015 participating cardfighters are required to have a deck of only one clan, with exception given to Cray Elemental G-Units which can be used as a part of any deck's generation zone. Royal Paladin decks may contain up to four copies of Blaster Dark, but no other Shadow Paladin units, and Link Joker decks may use any number of “Яeverse” cards. Furthermore, every team member must be playing a different clan.

The rules and organization of the tournament have already come under significant scrutiny on the web. Like the preceding world championship, Team League 2015 allows tournament organizers to run a round 0; a round 0 results in half of the teams in the tournament being eliminated in the first round of the tournament, so that double elimination rules to not apply during the first round. Round 0s have been used to deliberately cut down the size of Bushiroad tournaments without instilling an actual cap on tournament attendance. Their use has fired intense criticism of Bushiroad, as for many cardfighters the regional qualifiers involve a drive of seven or more hours, all to be eliminated in the span of twenty minutes without being given the same double elimination opportunities as the teams that survive the initial round.

The time limit of the tournament is likewise under fire. Twenty minutes is rarely enough time to play a single game in legion format, where an extended midgame characterizes most cardfights and draws games out into prolonged resource wars. Most concerning is that the time limit rules for League 2015 can result in no winner being produced. As during the elimination rounds, hitting time limit in the top cut causes both cardfighters to lose. This leads to a variety of situations in which the tournament finals will not produce a winning team; for example, if two teams have one win and one loss each and their third game hits time, neither team will win. Every team member hitting time will produce the same result, as will two games going to time. It would even be possible for a round zero to result in every team being eliminated immediately, if no winners were produced as a result of every team hitting the time limit.

Assuming that the qualifiers do produce a winner, each winning team will receive a first place certificate, and the second through third place teams will be similarly certified. The winning team at each regional qualifier will also receive an invitation to the national finals, with travel and accommodation expenses provided. There are no invitations for second through third place.

League 2015 features a very low number of regional tournaments, with only five spread throughout the Asia-Oceanian territory, four across Europe and six in the United States. A complete listing can be found through the official portal. The tournament series has downplayed the importance of international markets outside of North America, with no continental event for the European or AO countries and no international finals. For many cardfighters across the globe their closest regional tournament is several hours across country borders, and for others participation is simply not an option.