Hello everyone. This is Tarou Kageyama, producer for FFTCG. As big tournaments, such as FFTCG Reraise and Meijin-Sen, are being held for the first time in a long while, and with store tournaments making a return across many regions, the tournament scene is gradually returning towards its original state. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the shops that are hosting these tournaments, the staff members of the tournaments, and the players for this. It is thanks to you all that we can participate in tournaments again in such a difficult time. Thank you very much. The development team is working hard to hold even more events around the world. I, myself, am eager to visit other regions. If you see me at events in the future, please come by and say hi to me.
The excitement towards the future can expand infinitely, but it is also true that COVID-19 is still at large and is not to be taken lightly. In Japan, where I am, official tournaments implement droplet countermeasures by installing an invisible partition between players during matches. Additionally, the rule generally prohibits touching your opponent’s cards. Of course, I do not wish to enforce the same set of rules around the world. The countermeasures for this disease not only vary across nations, but across regions as well, so I believe that there should be no issues as long as each respective region’s rules of infection prevention measures are followed.
However, I do want to add one rule for deck shuffling during this COVID-19 pandemic. That is: “Only when the host of the tournament or the head judge approves, cutting or shuffling the opponent’s deck is not required.” Normally, the correct method is to have your opponent shuffle your deck after you shuffle it yourself, but if the setting calls to prohibit contact with others’ belongings like events in Japan, I believe that it is acceptable to apply this rule. With that being said, this rule will only be in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will not be applied obligatorily. In general, it would be up to the discretion of the host or the head judge after considering the respective region’s COVID-19 protocols.
However, exempting mutual shuffles leaves only your opponent shuffling their deck, so some of you may question the fairness of the tournament. Because of that, you are allowed to specify your opponent’s shuffling method. Official events in Japan generally have opponents separate their deck into 3 to 4 piles after they shuffle, and players can then specify the order of how it gets stacked back into a deck. Aside from that, players can also specify other shuffling methods such as “faro shuffles” and “separating a deck in an arbitrary number, such as 5 or 7 piles, and then shuffling”, but please refrain from specifying uncommon shuffling methods that are not seen in typical tournaments, or shuffling methods that require an excessive amount of time.
To reiterate, applying this rule is optional and not an obligation. It is only adopted when the host adheres to the respective region’s guidelines and comes to a judgement that it is desirable for players to not touch their opponents’ decks.
I wish to have players keep joining events and enjoy them in a safe manner. Thank you.