Hey everyone, hope you were able to tune into the stream for the Water Crystal Cup this past weekend. Today I am going to talk about the weekend in general and how the event played out. I plan to break down my deck and some of the others brought by my friends in a later article.
First off, I’d like to congratulate Chris Neal for taking the event with his Fire/Ice build. This was seriously impressive as Fire/Ice has been a strong deck in this meta but has been under-represented at Crystal Cups so far. Alright, with that said, let’s begin!
P.S. All of the photos I took this weekend have disappeared... so I am going to just use photos of Gumbah to help pace the article appropriately.
The event this weekend took place at Epic Gaming, a local game store just outside of downtown Portland. When I arrived at the store, I was impressed with how big it was. They had a ton of tables, many washrooms, and a two camera/table streaming area. They also had this section that looked like a mini retro living room. It consisted of a coach facing a TV on a stand with a classic console (I think it was an N64 but I cannot remember now) plugged in. This is where the commentators sat and watched the streamed games in style. The store also had flat screen TVs mounted on the walls everywhere. These were used for round timing and showing the current stream.
I have to say; Epic Gaming did a tremendous job with this tournament. With a team of about four people (3 employees and a judge) they managed all 124 of us… and a dog! Rounds seemed pretty fast for me, and they were very quick at posting pairings in multiple areas of the store.
After registering our deck lists, we received our Cecil storage box and an Illua full-art non foil promo card. Once the pairings were up, we were off to our first matches. For every match you won at the Water Crystal Cup, your received one pack of an Opus of your choosing. This was a great incentive for players not to drop as they could grind out some wins later in the tournament to earn some extra packs. A pack was also given out for anyone that stuck around to the end without a win.
After 7 rounds of swiss, the top 32 cut was announced over microphone, and standings were posted very quickly after that. The employees quickly got to work photocopying all the deck lists of the Top 32 so that each qualified player had access to the information at their fingertips.
Day 2 started a bit behind schedule, so I played some matches with my friend who made Top 32 to pass the time. I had to loan him a deck, as the store was checking through all of the competitor’s decks during that time. Once the Top 32 was underway, Epic Gaming started some side events including ad-hoc drafts and a constructed Win-a-Box tournament, I entered the latter and won! I ended up taking a box of Opus VI and pulled 2 Estiniens, a Nidhogg, and a Rinoa out of 10 Legends #whattabox.
The draft worked so that as soon as a group of 8 players signed up together, they would run a draft. They also had a list of single players that were waiting for a draft, and once 8 were assembled you picked your set to draft and they fired that off. Everyone that drafted was given a choice of promos that the group could play for as prizing.
After the Win-a-box, I unfortunately had to leave before the Top 4 concluded in order to get back to Canada in a good time.
I want to take a little time to shout out some of the incredible people I met this weekend! In my first match I met Brian Burckley, someone who I had read about/seen play on stream. I was very excited (and very nervous) to play against him and tell him I read his Meta Potion articles (his latest one is here), and he was very friendly to me during our match and the entire weekend.
Ari is another awesome guy that I played against. After we both started the tournament 0-3, we comforted each other in our 4th round match. Throughout the weekend we had some great conversations!
It was great seeing all the Seattle players again as well, special shout out to Caleb for coming and talking to me about one of my articles, such a nice dude! Also, Sam from Indiana, who was also on Mono Wind, we never got to play but I hope we can meet up again at another event soon to have a match!
Finally, although I didn’t see her too much, it was nice talking with RB a few times throughout the event. She is one of the friendliest people you will meet, and I appreciate all the work she does at these events to help them be a success!
Overall, I was happy to have attended the Water Crystal Cup. Our AirBnb was fantastic and I enjoyed staying up late playing games with all my friends, especially the second night when I may have gotten a little sauced.
Epic Gaming was such a well run and cool store that I am actually thinking about how I can go back down there sometime to play again.
P.S. In case you were wondering what everyone on the second day won for playing so well, check out the prizes they received below (from the FB event page).
TOP CUT PRIZES:
1st – Qualify for 2019 World Championship, Hotel and Travel Accommodations for World Championship, Crystal Cup Trophy, Full Foil Set of Opus VIII + Top 4 Prizing
2nd – Non-Foil Set of Opus VIII + Top 4 Prizing
Top 4 – Qualify for 2019 North American Championship, FINAL FANTASY Bring Arts Figure + All Below Prizing
Top 8 – Exclusive Crystal Cup Playmat (Cecil)
Top 16 – Monthly Foil Promo Card, Lasswell Foil Promo Card, Noctis Foil Promo Card
Top 32 – 5 Booster Packs of Opus VIII
Alex is a FFTCG player from Vancouver, Canada. His favourite Final Fantasy is IV and his favourite Elements are Earth and Ice, although he has a soft spot for fire.