Monday, June 5, 2017

Announcement: Returning to Cardfight Pro

Everything began here.

I looked into the windows of this shop, and wanted to be a part of what I saw within it. It was here in this store that I learned to strike at an opponent without holding a single thing back. To count card advantage, compose a deck, and struggle with everything I had. Card Capital is where I was taught the rules of Vanguard; Card Capital is where I joined my first team. Card Capital is where I suffered my first defeat, scored my first victory, and swore to become stronger than anyone else. It was where I decided I wanted to make Cardfight Pro. This place did not just exist as an ethereal idea presented in a weekly anime, but through the Cardfight Capital BYOND client, it was a space where I visited with friends and trained daily.

Taken during the final days of Cardfight Capital, January 4th, 2013.
We likely did more talking than playing. From day one, the room was overcrowded, and we tended to gather in Card Shop Handsome more often than in Card Capital proper. (Or the beach.) Nevertheless, we knew that Card Capital was our home. And it remains so.

What did I believe in back then? What was it that lead me down this path? I saw in Vanguard a future. A future where the game was professionalized not just to the same extent as Magic, but to the level of chess, Go, and Shogi. A future where fighters could compete fairly and honestly before an eager audience, and trust in the fact that they would be rewarded not for winning nor losing, but simply for demonstrating their skill and testing one another's abilities. Where an association would provide serious fighters with the freedom to concentrate solely on overcoming the opponents in front of them, without giving thought to anything else.

And I still see that future today.

There is nothing I can do which could ever get those times back. Even resurrecting Cardfight Capital would not bring back my lost friends, my teammates, nor the once bustling community we enjoyed. The world has changed; people have changed. But Vanguard is still here, and its future is still to come.

The world makes sense when I play Vanguard. In my life I have not experienced anything so engrossing as struggling with all of one's might against an indomitable opponent. Nor have I witnessed any scene so special as seeing several hundred people clash in hopes of making the top cut.

This is the destiny that I myself have chosen. No one chose me to do this; not Akira Ito, not Takaaki Kidani, not Nakamura Satoshi, nor did any other representative of Vanguard go and make me into this. I chose this path of my own will, to create the future that I glimpsed so long ago. And I will continue on this path that I have chosen, for the sake of everyone we lost along the way. All this I do, so that this place will continue to be here for those that come after me. No matter how many obstacles I face, my determination will not waver; such is the power to turn despair into hope.