Friday, June 28, 2013

10 years of competitive TCG: The failed experiment of PUI



Hello everyone!


Today I’m doing my most controversial entry of the 10-years of competitive TCG –series.




One of my favorite cards EVER.
However, I’ll leave all the names and too sensitive information out of this entry to avoid as much controversy as possible. Today, I’ll be discussing my -and only - my point of view about the 2006-2007 season and you’ll see that the season was not only the worst and most controversial out of all the seasons in the history of this game, but also the season when I was probably at the top of my game.

I have had a decent amount of controversy in my blog the previous weeks, so I wanted to just get this out of the way as soon as possible, so I don’t have to concentrate on controversy as The Deck Out is going to start a new chapter in its existence VERY soon (what might that mean??). The 2006-2007 season is also the season I am most disappointed of and it’s good to notice that all the things in this entry are only my own opinions – not absolute facts. I also hope to hear from the players that played this season that how YOU experienced the season and did you encounter the things I encountered during the season.

Anyways, before reading this, you MUST read the previous years in order to know how I ended up here and what has affected my attitude. Click below to read the previous parts.


- 2004
- 2005
- 2006


A quick recap of where we are now. It’s autumn 2006. I am 15-years old and just failed in the World Championships in my first year in Masters by going 3-5 with the same deck as Jason K used to win Worlds. I was hungry for success since over 300 hours of playtesting (and my whole summer had gone in vain). Miska Saari had also just become the first non-US or Japanese World Champion. Pokémon TCG is booming in Finland thanks to our great Local Distributor and OP Admin, the game is growing all the time. The final needed boost was Miska’s World Championships victory, which blew up the attendance in leagues all around Finland. On the other hand, I had almost succeeded in destroying the Hyvinkää league and we only had 7 attendees per week. However, my big brother finally came back from Germany and was ready to save our league. Will he succeed and what makes this season the most controversial ever?







The failed experiment of PUI

The season got a REAL interesting kickstart as it was revealed that World Championships will be held on Hawaii for the first time ever. On top of that, only 60 invites will be awarded for players around the world (the rest 4 will be awarded in the LCQ) and only 64 players can attend Worlds per age group. And how were the invites and travel awards distributed? With Nationals victories and…ELO RANKING!!!! In Europe the top4 of each age group in Elo Ranking got the travel award. As Finland still had a relatively small Masters division compared to other countries, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to get the travel award unless they win like 97% of the games that season. Well…. Challenge accepted! Of course we also had National Championships, where we could get the travel award and invite (for the winner), but the ELO ranking was my number one goal.

When PUI released the info, I though it wouldn’t be a bad thing. It rewarded those who played and did the best. At that point, I didn’t know it was the worst decision ever made by PUI and I’m sure they didn’t understand the impact of their decision either at this point. In the end, distributing the travel awards with Elo Rankings proved to be the wrong decision, but why? That I’ll explain later on.




Hyvinkää league rises

Meanwhile in Hyvinkää my big brother had returned to be the league leader and quickly thanks to Miska’s success, he got the league back on track. In the 2nd week of the league, the player base had increased from 7 to 14. After that it was over 20, and in just a month our league had over 30 players who would come every single week. It’s crazy how much one GOOD league leader can affect the popularity of a league. We always joked that every city in Finland should have one Isto (my big brother’s name) and we would have over 1000 active players in Finland! The funniest part is that it’s the truth…

Pokémon TCG has endless potential as there are so many children who buy the cards, but don’t even know you can play with them. All they need is a league leader “good” enough and they will be sucked into game. It was very easy for Isto to “sell” the game as well as the Miska was a recent World Champion and he could tell story about the prize money of 7,500 dollars etc. In my opinion, my big brother is the most fluent and convincing speaker I have ever met – a complete opposite of me that is.



Tournament season and the pressure

Now to the second most depressing part of the season – the playing! I played the first two CCs (there were no autumn BRs back then) with Flygon d EX/Eeveelution and won both of them by only losing once. And the person who I lost to was obviously the soon-to-become World Champion Tom Roos. After that I switched to MetaNite, which I played THE REST OF THE SEASON.

MetaNite is easily the most techable, consistent and BEST deck I have ever played. I modified it differently for every tournament, because the metagame in each tournament was different. I had enormous success with it during the season, but before I get to that, here’s the skeleton, which I used in all of the tournaments I played.

Pokémon:

4x Beldum d
2x Metang d
3x Metagross d
1x Metagross (EX DEOXYS)
3x Dratini
1x Dragonair
3x Dragonite
4x Holon’s Castform
1x Treecko d
1x Sceptile EX d (the best card ever)
2-3x Mew* d/Mew d(Promo)/Latios EX/Lugia EX
=25-26


Trainer:

4x Holon Transceiver
3-4x Holon Mentor
1x Holon Adventurer
1x Holon Scientist
1x Holon Farmer
4x Rare Candy
1x Switch
1x Warp Point
2x Windstorm
1x Holon Ruins
=18



Energy:

4x Special Metal Energy
9x Lighting Energy
1x Holon’s Voltorb
=15


The deck was so consistent that I never doubted if I had a good opening or not. I KNEW I wouldn’t ever draw into rubbish and from all the 72 games I played that season; I only had a few bad opening hands (which most were still winnable). It wasn’t the most difficult deck to play, but I can say I mastered the deck so well that I have never ever played any deck as well as MetaNite that season.

But how well did I play? VERY well.

I continued to have a lot of success and in just 4 or 5 tournament, I were leading Tom with over 200 Elo Ranking points. However, soon I realized, I couldn’t lose a single game, because I dominated Finnish players so much. If I ever lost to a mediocre player, I would lose 30 points, whereas if I won them I would get only 6-12 points. It was a real uphill battle as the Finnish player base in Masters wasn’t as big as the rest of the European’s player base.

However, thanks to my unbelievable success with MetaNite I could hold on to the 2nd and 3rd spot of the rankings when I was 32-1 in my games played that season. However, I couldn’t afford losing a single game. If I ever did, I would drop out of top4. Well, eventually in one Hyvinkää City Championships, I did lose my second game of that season. Thankfully it was to Tom, who was 2nd in rankings, so I didn’t lose that many points. I can’t really describe how distressed I was playing the whole season during a huge pressure. Playing wasn’t fun anymore, because in all the games I played I only had one goal – to win. Losing wasn’t an option. And this continued through the whole season. It wasn’t fun, believe me. It pretty much reflects the game all around the world. This year we saw more drops and concedes than ever in the game even in tournaments like the U.S. Nationals. The points system wasnt' healthy.

Later on in the tournament season I faced one Finnish player in top8 of States Championships, who had something like 1500 Elo ranking points. I got 3 horrible opening hands in a row and lost the game 1-2. I would have lost my chance to Elo ranking trip with that loss, but as she was a good friend of mine, he gave me the win. At that point I understood how flawed the system was. All the top4 players who would get the Elo trip, will get autowins from people who didn’t want to take away their points. I know this happened all over the world and there was a lot of discussion about whether conceding a game was a right thing to do or not. What made things very difficult for me was that Tom didn’t for some reason want to scoop me the games even though he admitted I was the only one from Finland who would have a shot with the rankings. Of course it was his decision and thankfully I only lost him once during the time I knew I would be the only one who would be able to get the trip with Elo in Finnish Masters. Masters indeed…


Finnish Nationals 2007

I decided to sit out Finnish Nationals, because I wanted to give the travel award from Nationals to someone else (which would probably be Tom as he was easily the 2nd best player in Finland at that time and back then skill mattered a LOT more than nowadays), so I judged the Nationals. I had a blast judging and Tom not-so-surprisingly won Masters. I was happy for him as he was from Hyvinkää league as well. However, our Juniors and Seniors players who had the Elo invite bombed in the Nationals big time. Some players who already had the trip went 3-4 and due to the harshness of the system, they lost their invites and travel awards, because of playing badly in that one tournament. It was a sad tournament for many Seniors and Juniors from Finland. Miska was in top4 of the Nationals once again, but conceded to the winner of the tournament in top4, because he already had the trip to Worlds thanks to his Worlds victory last year.



The master plan breaks down

So, I was 2nd in Elo Rankings when the season after Nationals ended. The only player above me was Arco Oliemans from The Netherlands, who had the most Elo ranking points I have ever seen in Masters. However, I believe he got them fair and square. There were also two Danish guys if I remember correctly with me in the top4. I had a nice gap to 5th place, so I would be guaranteed to get the trip no matter what happens. However, the unexpected happened… The master plan I was aware of broke down and I was the only one who suffered from it.

Finnish tournaments had ghost players. An unknown person contacted PUI about this and they contacted our main TO about this. It was illegal (of course), so Finland got punished by that. Premier tags were taken away from 3 tournaments, where the ghost players were. In the end, the only person who suffered about this was me, because I was the only one who didn’t have a HUGE gap to the other players.

Even after the punishment, I still was 3rd in the Rankings, so I had the invite and the travel award. All the Nationals were played, so I was safe, right? Well, someone disagreed. There were Battle Roads after Nationals with K-rating of 32 (same as City Championships K-rating) and the two Danish players rose in front of me in points. We had only 2 Battle Roads after Nationals, so I was at disadvantage especially since Tom didn’t want to attend the tournaments, because he didn’t want me to get any use out of his points. And then the unexpected happened.

An unnamed person started his HUGE rise in the ELO-ranking points after Nationals. I think he had something like 1700 points after Nationals, but suddenly started to get 100 points per each Battle Road. It was something, I did not expect and before I realised it, he was above me in points as he had suddenly won all the games after Nationals in the Battle Roads he played. The funny part of this was that his dad a TO of most of these tournaments…  And as much as I would like to think he just got lucky, I know that isn’t the truth. Also, don’t bother searching for his name, because I don’t think he is active anymore and you can’t find it from Pokemon.com either.

Well, as we discussed with the main TO of Finland about the situation, we tried to sanction more Battle Roads in Finland and didn’t succeed. This left me with no invite or travel award after a season, where I couldn’t lose a single game and had huge pressure in every single game.  I went 56-2 in my season’s games that season and what did I get? The bitter 5th place in rankings and nothing else.  

I cursed what happened and contacted PUI about this. Dave was nice and understanding and replied me that they would look into problem of having Battle Roads after Nationals next year. They did change it the season after, but it didn’t help me now. And those who don’t understand why Battle Roads shouldn’t be after Nationals with ELO-rank, the reason is this: people who have done well in the Nationals have a lot of points and they can pretty much GIVE the points to the players who need them the most. I know for fact that this happened at least in two countries and suspect that it happened everywhere where players had still a chance for the ranking trip, but of course I don’t know it for sure. Since Tom didn’t even want to play in our Battle Roads after Nationals, because he didn’t want me to get the trip to Worlds (I don’t know why, because I pretty much gave him the win and travel award from Nationals), I was at huge disadvantage and lost the trip.

I had just worked my butt off the whole season, played as well as I could and had given someone else to have a chance at the second trip from our Nationals and what did I get? A huge dissapointment and no support from the fellow Masters (especially Tom who got the trip from Nats). As I was only 16-years old back then, I think you can believe how awful and confused I felt. Lesson learned.

Anyways, I knew the player who got the sudden rise in Elo Rankings wasn’t that good and hadn’t played that well during the season. I knew that there were at least 100 players in Europe who would have deserved the trip more than he did. Prior to Worlds I joked that at least I know who will go 0-6 in the World Championships. Well, whaddya know…




2nd Finnish World Champion!


I didn’t really feel like playing Pokémon obviously in the summer, but went to the Miska Camp of course. I playtested with everyone and Tom visited the camp as well. I played against him with my Mewtric/Eeveelutions rogue and was able to beat him 3 times in a row when he was playing the Absolutions deck. He asked me to show my own Absolutions list, becaause of this, which I did and well… he copypasted it. If you want to see my Absolutions list, you can just check the list from the Worlds booklet. It’s card-by-card the list I gave to Tom and which he used to win Worlds, lol.

Anyways, after Miska camp I just waited for Worlds to come. The time difference to Hawaii is 12 hours from Finland, but didn’t’ stop me. I was awake during the Swiss and top cut of the tournament and asked my big brother for information (he was the Finnish translator). Miska was playing a crazy rogue and had made it all the way to the top8 once again! What I was shocked about was that Tom was in top8 as well with the Absolutions. However, after Miska lost in top8 when not drawing into energy in 8 turns (yes, the games were slower back then) and Tom beat Yamato in top4, I lost my faith into humanity and went to sleep. And after I woke up, Tom had won Worlds! Good for him, frustrating for me.

Some of you may remember the 400-elo ranking rise guy, who got the 4th trip from Europe. Want to know what happened to him? Well he went 1-5!!! And guess who did he beat? *drumrolls* a BYE!!! Seriously! I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh when I saw his results from Worlds, because I knew he didn’t deserve the trip and that he was a worse than a mediocre player, but as he and his dad beat the system, at least they got a nice free Hawaii vacation. Well, good for them and as the system was flawed I can’t really blame them for exploiting the holes, because there was so much rules breaking all over the world.

Moral of the story: When life gives you lemons, you can try to make grape juice out of them, but sometimes it just does not take the bitterness away.



So, this was probably the most chaotic entry and year of mine so far (and the grammar is horrible), but I think it pretty much strongly I feel about this season. I am happy that I got finally a chance to write about it since even though it doesn’t really bother me anymore (it’s been 6 years already), writing always helps me clear my thoughts. And believe me, I wanted to get this season out of my system as quickly as possible.

Anyways, in hindsight, this season had more positive things into it than negative things. I really grew up and understood the realities of life since I was just a teenager back then. As a person, I believe this season helped me to grow up the most. And in the end, a second World Champion from Finland was a GREAT thing even though I didn’t feel good about it back then. Finland was officially one of the most competitive countries in the world and everyone recognized this, because winning Worlds in Masters is a huge deal. But what would have happened to me in the Worlds since I had an unbelievable track record during that year and “even” Tom was able win Worlds? I knew I was at the top of my game that year. Would I have become a World Champion instead of Tom? That I doubt, but I’m sure I would have done extremely well. And since the season was very skill-intensive I can sincerely say that Tom deserved the win, because he beat a lot of good players along the way.  

Ok, so the past two seasons had been HUGE disappointments for me Pokémon TCG-wise. Will the gods of Pokémon TCG ever smile to me? I really started to doubt that at this point of my playing career, but as always, I was proven to be extremely wrong right next year… But more about that in my next entry! I'm also glad to inform that rest of the entries will be mostly with positive tone and that this season was the only season when I was disappointed at virtually everything considering Pokémon TCG.




Conclusion


This time the entry wasn’t as long as usually, but I knew the grammar was so bad and it was probably a bit painful to read that probably the short length is only a good thing. I hope I was able no to offend anyone and those of you who didn’t play that season really understood the big problem with the PUI’s experiment. I’m glad they learned quickly and the invitation and points system has been developing ever since.

I can’t wait to write about the next year, and I hope you enjoyed this one too even if it was a bit confusing at times. Feel free to ask anything or everything about the season and this entry and I would love to hear from the European players who played back then, did you see anything questionable anywhere and how often did you see players conceding to each other (I believe too often).

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Miska camp is this weekend so look for photos once again next week!

43 comments:

  1. I've been looking forward to this year as I have played games from this format and I also know it is very skill intensive. I felt so bad reading this and seeing how your invite was essentially stolen from you. At least you can put it behind you now.

    Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your 2008 season even though I know how that story turns out!

    Good luck with your testing at Miska camp!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The funny part of this is that Finland got caught with ghost players, however a lot of European countries (I don't know about everywhere else) were cheating all day everyday to abuse the holes of that system.

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  3. This is one of the vainest things I have ever read. Your arrogance in this article is bad for the game!

    I also think its incredibly disrespectful that you assume you'd have won nationals if you went. Tom won worlds that year! Sounds like he might have done ok in nationals with you there. Maybe he still would have won.

    You even go as far as to say 'Tom for some reason wouldn't scoop to me' while complaining about other peopl scooping. Hypocritical AND a terrible attitude.

    I read every article on your blog and consider myself a fan but the tone of this and other recent articles is meaning me reconsider. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that it is ridiculous that you would make such a comment so negative on his blog. it's a blog. you are here for his opinion...

      beyond that, he didn't assume that he would win. he didn't want to risk his invite at the time and figured that because that was sealed up, he didn't want to knock out potential (say he wins t4 and loses t2, even though his t4 opponent has an auto win for the finals). let's not forget that he has won 6 nats, and it is pretty safe to say that with that and how good his decklists were (the winner that year used his...) that he would have done very well.

      even Tom was being hypocritical there by admitting that esa was better but still not scooping.

      blogs are supposed to be fun, but then people like you come along.

      Delete
    2. yea I agree this blog as he most of the time states is his opinion

      Delete
    3. I support the guy who said this was incredibly vain.

      Whether this is Esa's blog is neither here nor there. The truth is the truth. I don't understand what the defensive responses are about... This was incredibly arrogant, hypocritical, and insulting to the fine players of that season who Esa feels didn't deserve it as much as he did.

      Delete
    4. Me again (first comment). I know it's his opinion. My point is that i'm a long-time and regular reader and this makes me want to stop reading! I have heard from LOTS of people who have said this. In fact, i found out about this post from negative things on facebook!

      If this was my blog i would want people to know how negatively this was all being perceived!

      Delete
    5. And for the guy who said Esa didn't assume he would win, i present 3 quotes fromthe article showing he assumed he'd win:

      “I decided to sit out Finnish Nationals, because I wanted to give the travel award from Nationals to someone else”

      “Tom didn’t even want to play in our Battle Roads after Nationals, because he didn’t want me to get the trip to Worlds (I don’t know why, because I pretty much gave him the win and travel award from Nationals)”

      “I had just worked my butt off the whole season, played as well as I could and had given someone else to have a chance at the second trip from our Nationals and what did I get? “

      Delete
    6. Tom seemed kinda like a jerk to not help you get to Worlds, imo. Where I'm from people will usually scoop or drop in Top Cut if they go up against a player that has a chance for a Worlds Invite and they don't.
      I also don't understand why you are getting so heated up about this. From my point of view Esa is/was very frustrated that he didn't get a World's Invite. To me it seems like he deserved one, as he was so close only to have it disappear. Congrats to the guy who found the loophole, but he dishonestly made his way into Worlds when it for all intesive purposes should have been Esa. If you were so close to have an Invite and have it ripped out of your hands, you would probably be bitter too.

      Delete
    7. Nothing you guys say makes any sense. Esa's point is that he almost got an invite but he didn't. Esa's was probably angry when he wrote this article which is why it is a bit harsh. I find the most ironic thing as that he make the winning deck at worlds and tom didn't thank him

      Delete
    8. For the first Anonymous poster. As I said in the article.

      "Playing wasn’t fun anymore, because in all the games I played I only had one goal – to win. ".

      You nailed it there. The writing wasn't my opinion RIGHT NOW, but a reflection how I felt BACK THEN. And as I said in the entry, it wasn't fun anymore and that's why it was a huge lesson for me. My priorities were way off back then, because I needed to win every single match. My motives weren't healthy back then.

      Delete
    9. Which I think you stated very clearly in your article Esa. Don't worry about the haters. If they can't bother to read the whole thing before criticizing, then their priorities are out of whack.

      Delete
  4. I had to comment on this post...

    2006-2007 were the years that I most played pokemon tcg in my life, and I saw tom's decklist on the 2007 book and found it incredible, but I started to read your blog and became a fan of you, well now that I know that decklist was yours I have no other world than congratulations, that thing was amazing.

    I also feel very bad for you losing your trip to the worlds, but well... thats how harsh things are in life... wish you most of luck for you in the future, and great article.

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  5. The smug is strong in this one.

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  6. Jesus.

    People say I am arrogant? You take it to a whole new fucking level.

    You say that this year took the most skill out of every year, yet you constantly bash all of those people who EARNED their invites, because you didn't. You still act like you are 16.

    My name is to the left. If you have an issue with this post, find me on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This year took the most skill out of every year because you couldn't lose a single match because then your ranking was changed. Most of the people who earned their invites won through loopholes in the system. He's not bashing every one.

      Delete
  7. So interesting how the things went... waiting for your next "10 years of..." article! Keep up the good work!

    PD: What's Miska's camp?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In order to prepare for Worlds, a group of players gather at Miska Saari's house to playtest all day and have fun.
      You can check out last year's camp here: http://www.thedeckout.com/2012/07/how-finnish-players-prepare-for-worlds.html

      Delete
    2. hey it sounds amazing! thanks man

      Delete
  8. For the record; I think Arco and the 2 Danish players deserved the invite. However, the 4th player didn't. And as I said in the entry there was probably around 100 players that deserved the invite more than he did. I don't really how anyone can interpret that I bashed anyone else than the person who I sincerely believe abused the system and didn't deserve the invite. And yes, I believe I deserved the invite more than he did. Also, it's good to note that the writing reflected my opinions when I WAS in fact 16. But still I don't get how anyone can say that I was bashing anyone else than the one person O_o

    And as me being arrogant. If I wasn't expecting to win Nationals after that kind of season and considering my history in the Finnish TCG scene, I think I would have some serious confidence problems. I went 56-2! And for Nationals we would have only had 4 Swiss rounds (I would have gotten 2 byes) and a top4.

    Back then, the game was so much more skill-intense than nowadays that I knew Tom would win Nationals since he was easily the most skilled player among the players that played in the Nationals. And not-so-surprisingly, he didn't lose a single match in those Nationals! After all, almost all his losses during that season were to me. We were the two best Masters at the time in Finland and I believe no one can deny that.

    What I am a bit disappointed about is that no other European players really commented on this entry. I knew there were a lot of shady business going on back then, but I guess it's still a bit sensitive thing (after all some Finnish players didn't want me to release this entry).

    I know that not all the things I say in my blog doesn't please everyone, but that really isn't my mission. This is a history of Pokémon TCG from my perspective and I encourage anyone disagreeing with me write about their own perspective. I think we would see a lot of interesting discussion about all of these seasons if they weren't only my opinions. After all, this is a blog, not a some website, where machines spill out decklists and strategy analysis. And even though some of you may disagree or get angry with me from time to time, but in the end I believe that's part of the charm of The Deck Out. My blog is subjective, not objective.

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    Replies
    1. So you're claiming that the man who won WORLDS couldn't have beaten you at nationals? Because that's how you talk here.

      You obviously aren't aware of the negative reaction this article is getting du to your arrogance. Did you just get bumped from underground for your arrogance?

      Delete
    2. Esa! Quickly! block anonymous comments,most of us act like jerks on here!!

      Delete
  9. I was being kicked out of UG, because I posted the comment I posted on the UG forums, on my blog. But anyways, you just gave me an idea for an article! It's way different to win against a one person who you know very well than to play against total strangers and to defeat them for the tournament victory. We played against each other in every single tournament that season and I believe the wins were about 12-2 to my favor and in lifetime I'm something like 20-3 against Tom in tournaments. It's just like me and Miska. If I remember correctly, Miska has never won against me in a tournament, but still he has World Championship title, one top4 in the Worlds, one top8 in the Worlds! And what do I have? Only one top8 placement in the Worlds.

    I think anyone can easily say that I'm more comfortable playing against people whose skill level and playing style I know than playing against strangers and that's what I base my claim on. In the end, I said I wouldn't have probably won Worlds like Tom did, because you need different kind of skill to win Worlds than local tournaments and obviously I lack the skill required for Worlds victory.

    And to the other Anonymous: I would like to keep Anonymous comments as long as possible, because just like this one out there, they usually give me good ideas! And I wouldn't like a few bad apples to ruin every one's possibility to post. However, I will keep the suggestion in consideration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That last Anonymous guy was clearly being sarcastic.

      Delete
  10. 2010 was my favorite year of pokemon

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  11. All this negative feedback is seriously flawed. While you claim Esa is arrogant, you fail to realize you're speaking nothing but opinions, which is what Esa's been doing since his first retrospective article. You really can't accuse him of arrogance when you don't even know him or know the story from another perspective. In fact, I'm pretty sure you didn't play through the 2006-2007 season or knew how harsh the system was back then.

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  12. This is Esa blog and he should write how he wants and should not feel confined by how he does so...but he also needs to realize how he writes his blog will effect how people from around the world look at him...his arrogance regardless of right or wrong has had a negative effect on peoples opinion of him.

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  13. I am not suprised to see you didn't get (and got) what was going on that time.
    You were not the one suffering from the ghost players incident, others missed their invite/trip due to this.
    Actually you weren't suffering, you should not had that many points at all period.
    The same for some Finnish players who got the ranking trip in Seniors/Juniors.
    There were more tournaments with ghost players (and extra rounds so more ELO points). Only 3 were removed while there were at least 4 more.
    You gained points from rounds who shouldn't even been played.


    I told you that years ago and I still stand for it.
    While the system used was not the best one to use, I do agree.
    But I still get mad about what happened that year.

    Lia

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    Replies
    1. Then again, the system heavily favored people in areas with many players whereas players with fewer possible opponents had virtually no chance of getting even close to the rating trip even if they didn't lose a single game. It's harsh to see people with an X-0 standing throughout the season in the 20s of the ranking list, just because others had so many tournaments and opponents that losing several games could be compensated.
      It's questionable to call one way of abusing this system unfair and another fair.

      Delete
  14. Excuse me, what happened in Finland wasn't abusing the system.
    It was not about fair/unfair or living in an area with many/lots of players.
    It was about uploading false/fake tournaments which simply is not allowed at all.

    Concending is allowed.
    Traveling to many tournaments is allowed.
    No matter if you like it or not it's still allowed.
    Adding ghost players (and not one but several) to tournament is simply not allowed.


    You know what is harsh: seeing a child not getting an invite/trip due to one person in a certain country faking tournament results.

    Esa was warned about the misstandings and didn't listen.
    He even defended the person who was uploading the fake tournaments.
    And yes more player overthere were aware of this, no doubt.
    At least those in the Masters group.
    Come on everybody of that age playing a few years knew you couldn't get a top 4 with only 6 Masters playing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Why is has the game become less skill intensive. Is this good or bad?

    Anyway, nice articles. I'm sorry about what happened though.

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  16. I get that you are writing the feelings you had as a 16 year old player down so that you can deal with them now since you obviously didn't come to terms with them then. But you need to be aware that your teenage ineptitude of handling the "unfairness" of that season and your teenage inflated sense of self will not be viewed solely as the teenage version of you.

    People are going to assign those same characteristics to you now because you didn't really do much to counter balance those faults with the wisdom and humility that age and maturity should bring to a representative of competitive play.

    While I believe I understand the point of this post (most of which I think was for your own emotional benefit), I think you failed to convey what was needed to your readers, for them to understand completely. I hope that it helped clear out any personal demons you had about the season, but if your not talking intelligently and rationally about a controversial topic, rather than with emotion and opinion, I would definitely suggest you relegate such an article to a diary or journal rather than a public forum.

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  17. Lia: A several people have contacted me after I made this entry by e-mail and said that same kind of things happened in their countries than in Finland. And in the end, it's nothing that anyone should defend. We break the rules and so did many other countries. In the end, the only person who I believe did get the invite and didn't really "deserve" it was the 4th player who got 300-400 points from Battle Roads. I don't even want to know how that's possible, because getting me 30 extra points was almost impossible.

    Also, it's good to notice that I am probably one of the only Master player in Finland who knew about it and even I didn't know about the magnitude of it since I wasn't a TO and didn't have an access to the tournament data base. Anyways, I decided not to point fingers in any but one direction in this entry.

    Anonymous1: When the game is less skill-intensive is better for casual players and worse for competitive players. Just the way PCI likes it.

    Anonymous2: I am happy that you see where I was going with this entry. The whole series is about my personal history in competitive Pokémon TCG and just like about this season, there are as many stories as there were players back then. I edited this entry very carefully and edited over 1500 off from the original version, because I noticed that I was pointing fingers to all kinds of directions without a solid proof.

    What I would like people to understand is that The Deck Out isn't SixPrizes or PokeGym and it will never be in the same "niche". It's my blog and almost every entry is based on my personal experience, personal bias etc. I already stated in the beginning of this entry that things said in this entry are only my opinions and not absolute facts. I don't think anyone benefits from digging the facts out from 5 years ago, so I just made this entry to tell my story and explain what I experienced and felt back then. No one should take it as a history lesson, but as a story.

    Also, I had so many unintended controversies in my blog in the last few weeks that I think was the a good addition to those. In the future I will stay completely out of controversies. And as I said, TheDeckOut isn't SixPrizes or Pokegym.net, it's my blog and too often people mistake it as an robotic article library.

    Anyways, mostly, you are correct.

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  18. Esa, indeed it's 5 years ago and I really don't know if there was more faking going on in others countries.
    If that was happening it's sad people were aware of it and benefit of it.
    2 People were kind of "asked" to leave the game that year.
    The Finland and France OP coordinator.


    It's history and happened.
    But your view on it was a little unbalanced, so that's why I posted comment.
    It's your blog so you are free to post whateven you want. If you want to delete my comment fine, it's not up to me.

    About the format. I did like the way the game was those days.
    I dislike those big basics so much, starting with SP.

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    Replies
    1. Whoa, I didn't even know our coordinator was asked to leave. He just disappeared. It's weird how much more I have learned about the situation now than 5 years ago.

      But naturally my point of view is unbalanced, because I lacked the information and it was only my point of view, not a history lesson (not that history lessons are always accurate either). And I would never delete your comments, for me it's interesting to learn and see different perspectives about the incident, because I don't have any grudge anymore.

      P.S. I didn't like SP, but compared to the current situation, SPs were a blessing, lol.

      Delete
  19. Heya!

    I have no idea why you´re writing in such a manner after six years of what happened, but for whatever reason you´re doing it, having honored you in every aspect of the game, i´d appriciate if you at least told the truth.

    As you described, season 2006-2007 was pretty much your dominance in Finland, while i collected most of the second places & first places in tournaments you didn´t attend. We played excessive amounts of games not only in tournaments, but in league and all sorts of training camps too. While undoubtly we were the two most skilled masters in Finnish masters at the time, what is also worth a mention,is that most players couldn´t afford playing any deck availible at the time, me being one of them. When borrowing the teams ( and in other words, your teams) cards, you always knew what i´d play and tech against it (which i don´t blame you for). Knowing this though, i only knew i could beat the non counterdecks in any tournament. Now what i give you credit though, you were a better player at the time - i believe you won in around 40%-60% ratio when we played on an equal ground playtesting, which is not a small number.

    What comes to finnish nationals, i find your reasoning a bit confusing. You told many seniors did attend & lose their GUARANTEED invite and it was a big mistake for them to do so. At the same time, having guaranteed your own invite before nationals, you´re saying you gave me your absense as a gift. If you knew there was a 0,1% change out there that you´d lose your ranking invite, you would´ve come to the nationals without caring about having duplicate invites. This is not to insult you though - we were awfully competitive players back then and we both know either of us would´ve done the same.

    Let us move on to me "not willing to get you to Havai'i", which is really saddening me big time, as it is one of the two big lies you´re writing about. I didn´t have any trouble with you getting to worlds and in fact, it would´ve been quite opposite. Worlds would´ve been my FIRST EVER tournament, where we actually would not have been the rivals, but we could´ve trained for worlds together instead, without having to care about teches vs. each other. What IS absolutely true though, is what you wrote about the battleroads. Isto requested me to attend to the BR's only to scoop vs. you twice per tournament. If refusing to cheat & spend time and travel money for cheating on your behalf is equal to me not wanting you to come to the Worlds, then you´re correct in the first place. I never cheat or considered cheating during my "career" and i feel it should go without saying for any tcg player.

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  20. You took credit for creating two world championships decks in your blog if i do remember correctly. I know you made Miska's list which is a great achievment, for the deck was magnificent. I hoped you had created another champions deck i didn ´t know about (but knew, you were capable of doing so), but seeing you´re taking credit of something you had no business with is such a shame. In worlds booklet 2007 under my name, one can find my version of absollutions which was a result of 3 weeks and around 200 hours of playtesting with my brother, whom i give all the credit for the win. Only thing i "ove you" for the win, is the fact that we agreed in Finland that you´d borrow some cards for my brothers absollutions deck. Isto told he´ll give the cards after the qualifier tournament, but told instead a night before the tournament that he´ll give me absolutely nothing. I made sure my brother would have the deck he wanted to play and there´s a single person that receives my ETERNAL thanks, that borrowed me the cards you decided to have your revenge (for what though, is a mystery to me) on me with. Thanks to this person, i got to play the deck we worked so hard with too.

    After the incidents in 2007 (including the fact, that you started a national flaming fest towards me) we didn´t have any kind of communication in season 2008. We couldn´t play that much, but one thing that changed was that we were finally able to meet on an equal ground in terms of card access in Nationals 2008. During this tournament you lost to me and my girlfriend won the whole nationals. I guess it was luck. After 2008 worlds that we couldn´t find time to prepare to having barely had the time to even visit nationals, we decided to move on only to make a comeback for season 2012. During 2012 nationals we had one more epic game (that i believe, you included to your hall of fame matches) that you in turn won, about 30 seconds before time limit. I believe it was one of the most epic finals (if not the best) Finnish nationals had seen.

    For our epic games & rivalry during the past years, i do thank you. What you did in 2007 worlds to me, what you did to my girlfriend after 2008 (you actually focused on her bad performance in the worlds, instead of anything else in your tournament report... Having appriciated you, she took it pretty hard back then.) and what you´re doing in your blog right know, i can´t say i have much if any respect left towards you.

    - Tom Roos

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  21. Tom Roos: pls, http://i.imgur.com/42zRCWw.png

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