Saturday, April 21, 2018

First Vanguard Championship of Standard format to be held June 3rd

Tournament hall Bato Loco.
The Sukacat CS, an unofficial Cardfight!! Vanguard tournament series dating back to January 2015, announced Friday it will be rebooting alongside the game itself this June. The "first" Sukacat Championship will be held June 3rd, 2018, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Tournament Center "Bato Loco" in Takadanobaba, the neighborhood that first birthed the Vanguard Championship series six years ago.

In March 2012 the first VGCS tournament ever was held just four blocks away at the neighboring Horindo bookstore, but the championship series has long since outgrown these smaller venues. The Sukacat CS will host 126 cardfighters divided into 42 3-man teams. Unlike many of the civic centers VGCS events have previously been held at, Bato Loco is an arena created specifically to host trading card tournaments, from Pokémon to Magic and Duel Masters. Cardfight!! Vanguard first made it into Bato Loco one year ago with the advent of the 3rd Kantо̄ VGCS in January 2017. It seats a maximum of 130 players at one time, making it one of the largest TCG-dedicated venues in Tokyo.

The 3rd Kantо̄ VGCS finals, streamed from Bato Loco January 2017.
Although some tournaments up to now have permitted the use of V-series cards or hosted sub-tournaments using the Stardrive and Crested Dragon Start Decks, the Sukacat CS will be the first championship to exclusively use Standard format cards. Sukacat's manager has stated they want to use the Standard format to welcome new fighters into the tournament environment that had never participated before. A Premium format sub-event will be hosted alongside the main tournament.

An important regulation that is still being evaluated through a community surveys is whether or not to implement clan limitations. Only four clans (Royal Paladin, Kagerо̄, Oracle Think Tank, and Nova Grappler) will be playable in Standard format at the time of the tournament, and both limiting teams to not duplicating their clan use and not limiting them poses problems. If diversity is enforced as in most team tournaments, then teams are more likely to need one of their members to play a deck they don't want to, and it may become more difficult to find teammates in general. If duplicates are permitted then Sukacat runs the risk of creating a tournament environment in which all members on a team are using the same clan. Currently just over 40% of respondents have submitted in favor of limiting clan use.

"Sukacat Playmat Ver. 001," to be distributed to the top 2 teams.
Each team will need to pay a 4500 yen ($42 approx.) entry fee to participate, and the tournament will consist of 4 rounds of Swiss pairings followed by a cut to a 3-round tournament bracket. Registration will begin at 11:00 AM Japanese time, with round 1 starting at noon, and the tournament finals will end at 9:00 PM. Each fighter will play a single match against their opponent on the opposing team, which will last 30 minutes. During the tournament finals fighters will instead play best-of-three matches with a time limit of 2 hours; grand finals will have unlimited time.

First place will win 12 boxes of V-Booster Set 01: UNITE! TEAM Q4, and three "Version 001" Sukacat VGCS playmats featuring Tokura Misaki and CEO Amaterasu. Second place will win 6 boxes of V-BT01 and three Sukacat playmats, third place will win 3 boxes, and fourth place will walk away with a single box to split among their three members.

The Sukacat CS organizers are also preparing custom Gift Markers featuring their playmat design. It should be noted that while custom markers are allowed in VGCS, Cardfight!! Vanguard producer Shimamura Masatoshi stated last month that custom markers should not be used in official tournaments.

The VGCS tournaments are a series of unofficial tournaments organized by fans and cardshops in Japan. Unlike Bushiroad's official tournaments, most VGCS events are done using a best-of-three, Swiss tournament model. Turnout is typically 70-80 persons, but some events see 100 or more participants, all of whom compete using pseudonyms and internet handles rather than their real names as in official events. The VGCS model of fan-organized play has caught on internationally as an alternative to Bushiroad's model, embodied in the United States through the ARG Circuit series.