Sunday was the Last Chance Qualifier for German Nationals here in Berlin, out of a total of five LCQs in all of Germany. The top four players would qualify for Nationals (and the four eventual winners told me that they planned to go). There was a certain confusion about the way the tournament should be run. One LCQ location made a cut to top 8 after the swiss rounds, then played one round of draft, two locations just played one more round of swiss and qualified the top four people after swiss standing, and we and another location made a cut but let people play with their sealed decks. I still don’t know which modus operandi was correct (though it seems that a draft was wrong). In the future better communication is necessary.
We had 54 player, a rather disappointing turnout for an event of such importance. We were five judges, Huy Dinh, Sascha Wagner scorekeeper), Cristian Hoof, Christopher Eucken, and myself. Christopher is a level one judge, all others are level two judges. This was our usual Berlin judge crew and the judge organizational went as smooth as expected. Cristian and Sascha had to suffer from many jokes by us other jokes, since they have disappeared from the list of certified judges. This unfortunately happens from time to time.
I lost the coin flip against Huy so I had to be the Head Judge for this tournament. This was a bad omen. Whenever I am Head Judge, I have to deal with severe cases of Unsporting Conduct, absolutely understaffed events, and other chaotic occurrences. Huy on the other hand has always very quiet, nice tournaments. I wonder what this says about me …
During deck construction we had a few notable events. One Champions of Kamigawa tournament pack contained seven commons twice. None of them were foil. Normally this should not happen. We replaced that tournament pack, since this could be an unfair advantage to the player receiving that pool. Another tournament pack contained two uncommons with two square edges each (see picture). We replaced the uncommons as well.
While building decks, Christopher approached me and told me that he had told a spectator twice not to speak with players while they were deckbuilding. I looked over and saw that spectator chatting with a player and pointing to cards. When interviewing the player and the spectator the player told me that he tried to send the spectator away, but that he wouldn’t go. I believed him, but after consultation with other judges and the acting tournament organizer I nevertheless issued a Match Loss penalty. While the coaching might have been unsolicited, the player did not fulfill his responsibility of calling a judge in this case. Even if they are friends, such behaviour is not tolerable, especially at a REL 3 tournament. The spectator was removed from the tournament site (but was later readmitted after he apologized sincerely and promised that this wouldn’t happen again.) Unfortunately this kind of coaching (which is more a kind of discussion among friends about the choices the deck builder made) is quite common here in Berlin. But we have to reinforce that it is not okay at all, and is normally considered Cheating.
Later in the tournament I had to disqualify a player for Cheating. This was the first DQ I had to issue myself, and the second DQ investigation I had been part of. I will not go into details as long as the DCI investigation isn’t finished, but I will certainly blog about it, once it’s over. I just want to thank Huy and my other judges for being very supportive in this case.
The tournament ended rather early at around 20:30. At around eight all top 8 matches except one had finished, which took another half an hour for game 3. I am happy to see the winners next weekend at Nationals!