This is my first “From the Producer” in a while. Since Richard has been introducing cards in CoW (Card of the Week) and we had the report on the world championships, it didn’t seem like a column was necessary for a while. But that being said, it would be bad news if I forgot, so I figured it was about time for an update. Thanks for joining me.
The Chinese language version going on sale
First off, there’s something I’d like to ask all of you. Did you know that the Chinese language versions of FFTCG Opus I and the starter decks “FF VII,” “FF X,” and “FF XIII” all went on sale on 5th January? I mentioned it several times officially, so some of you might be aware. Yep, as of this year, a 7th language has been added and now we’ll have Chinese speaking FFTCG players amongst us! We didn’t waste any time and held a Chinese language version release event in Shanghai on 26th January. This is so great!
I participated in this event in the capacity of adviser, so I’ll be writing a bit about that experience this time around.
It snowed in Tokyo
At the very beginning of that week, on 22nd January, there was a record-breakingly large snowfall in my home of Tokyo. We don’t get much snow, and are rather bad with it, so the entirety of the traffic network, starting with the trains, will come to a standstill. Consequently, the distribution system is also delayed, meaning convenience stores and super markets are often sold out of things. Basically, when it snows, it’s a real hassle. On top of that, I have really low cold tolerance, so all I really wanted to do was run away to Shanghai, which in my mind, is a warm place.
As I’d only been to Shanghai once before, I thought I should look up some local information on the internet, but when I did, the weather forecast was dire. Snow. Lots of it. In fact, the forecast for that weekend predicted the sort of snowfall that Shanghai only sees once every 10 years. Of course, a forecast is just a forecast. There’s plenty enough chance that it will be wrong. Hoping it would be, I continued to prepare for my trip.
It was snowing in Shanghai, too
And then it was the day of my departure. Of course, it snowed. Weather forecasts these days are pretty accurate and don’t often miss the mark. Thankfully, my airplane landed safely, but there was some pretty serious snow falling. To think that the same sight that had greeted me in Tokyo some days earlier was now greeting me in Shanghai!
With my low cold tolerance, I didn’t waste any time in getting sick. My nose was running, and by the time I developed a fever, things had gotten bad. There were two days left until the event and I still had lots of work to do, so I took some medicine and did my best to get better. Thankfully, by the night of day two I had started to rally, but the weather was showing no signs of doing the same. I approached the next day worried that with such awful weather, no one would show up.
The day of the event
While the weather on the day of the event was somewhat better, it was still pretty bad. But despite my worries, we were able to hold a proper event, with 27 participants, five Swiss rounds, and three final rounds. If the weather had just been a little bit better, we would likely have had closer to a 50 to 60 person tournament. It’s a bit disappointing, but for a regional event held right after the product was released, I don’t think it was a bad showing!
This tournament was held just after Opus I was released in China, so of course it was based on Opus I. While there were lots of deck arrangements brimming with originality, there were also decks with no backups and cards like Golbez (cutting-edge at the time), so it was quite a high level tournament for being the very first one.
The winner - Mr. Zhouquan - used an earth/lightning deck. But in the semi-finals, his precise use of [1-107L] Shantotto to counter the no backup/Golbez deck was a stroke of brilliant playing. The release was delayed by a year, so it will take a while for them to catch up with the other languages, but during this event, I saw the world championship potential of the Chinese language audience. I’m looking forward to it!
In the end, the event was a success, and the drawings for prizes held between the rounds were good fun. I’m sure there are lots of tournaments and events around the world doing things like this, but doing it between every round isn’t something you see every day. If it doesn’t seem like it will have any negative effects on tournament progression, I’d like to try it too.