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Satellite Tournaments to Worlds

Hi everyone, reading the “Nationals & Worlds Roll Call” thread has reminded me how exclusive the World Championships are to players outside of the US, so I was just thinking to myself whether there is anything we, as a community, could do to help the issue or as an alternative?

I thought about the “satellite” model that large buy-in poker tournaments use, whereby players participate in a smaller, lower-cost event with the winner(s) receiving a ticket to the main event instead of straight up cash. Could that work for Netrunner? It would have to be unofficial but my thinking would be to arrange large events (of the kind of scale as a Regional but external to the Organised Play structure) with the proceeds going into covering travel and accommodation at Worlds.

Would people be prepared to buy-in to that kind of a model, or is the top-heavy payout structure too off-putting?

Likewise, is there an official Continental Championship, i.e. Europeans? I know there was an event at Stahleck last year, but I wasn’t sure if that has been officially recognised. I’d be interested in seeing that happen - either at Stahleck or possibly Essen in the future.


When I have both feet in netrunner (usually after taking a month off) I start wanting for a 3rd party organization to function as a commission for netrunner.

Sort of like how pokemon has smogon university? Ideally, such a commission would be able to host true world championships, and run events that players and sponsors want.

The hardest part about doing something like this would be finding the money. I’ve never seen anyone but rich mtg corporations sponsor MTG events, so I imagine finding sponsors for netrunner would be harder. The “world poker tour” had a great run, but once the money rug was pulled out from underneath them, they completely disappeared.

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The tournament organisers in europe are trying to make Euro championship happen.

I like the idea of unoficial tournaments run to get a plane ticket for the winner but how much money would that represent ? 1000 Euro ?
It would take 100 person paying 10 Euros… Not easy to achieve. And Asking 15 euro will bounce some players too.

I’ll talk about the idea on the french forums though. But if we did that in France we could only make it a few time every year.

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[quote=“Arkhon, post:1, topic:1862, full:true”]
…how exclusive the World Championships are to players outside of the US…[/quote]

Worlds is still the place to be if you want to play the best of the best. In my opinion, it’s not exclusive enough. FFG should run pods of other players, but Worlds should be a tournament allowing only with winners of the Nationals to compete.


I actually thought about this in depth. I wanted to do a specific tournament circuit with rankings and all that jazz. I think organizing some sort of payout is the way to make this a reality, but I don’t know who would sponsor or bank roll Netrunner tournaments. Versus is a crappy game (in my opinion) but they regularly have cash payout tournaments. People enter those tournaments just for a chance at the cash, even if they’re not top tier competitive players. 20 bucks isn’t a bad gamble for a chance to win $5000.

I majored in business and work closely with the financial numbers of a multi-million dollar corporation and I cannot wrap my head around how to make Netrunner tournaments a break even proposition, let alone see some sort of return on the time investment.


It’s the nichest market imaginable: card gamers who don’t play magic the gathering.

Seriously though, I think the only way it even partially works is by being player-funded for long enough to prove their is an audience large enough to market to.

So basically, not at all :c


I agree, and that’s my point - there will be only a handful of Europeans there, anyone at all from Asia or Oceania? There will undoubtedly be plenty of Americans who stay home for it who might have had ashot.

I don’t agree that it should only be National Champions invited. The very nature of LCGs is that there is an element of variance to it and the best player doesn’t necessarily always win. Not to mention that the Nationals have been fairly exclusive in themselves because of how and where they were hosted in some places.

I wouldn’t mind it if the requirement to enter was a win at any level of Organised Play (i.e. a PI/CP Tour, Store Champ, Regional or National) plus a bunch of qualifiers from a day 1 swiss.
I’d also like to see a format for Worlds in which players had to play different decks on different days. That would really shake things up.

Anyway, that was a bit off-topic. My point was that we should do what we can to make Worlds accessible internationally.

How about an online World Championship?

I think we got some pretty good data from the “tours” that FFG did last year. Plugged in gave away playmats and bags and got 100+ to turn out at a few locations. If we could get 100 people to show up, it could be a thing. And of course, once it’s a thing, people would start to show up in larger numbers and the prize pool can grow.

Let’s say we do entry for “premier” events for $20. We could easily pay out $1000 to the top player, $500 to 2nd place, 250 for 3rd and $50 for 4-8. Raise your hand if you would pay $20 to play in this event. I know I sure would. It may hurt the meta (a la magic netdecking tournament nightmares) but that’s the price of a strong competitive format.


I used to play a lot of Legend of the Five Rings back in the day, and, when the game was in limbo, the players had some $500 and $1000 tourneys to keep up interest in the game, that were purely funded by entry fees. We paid $20-25 to enter those, and that was 14 years ago.

If I’m travelling to a tourney, $20-25 seems like a minor cost, esp. if there’s a neat promo or door prize. I would think FFG OP would be willing to help by spending $20 to print out 100 cards to give away at the tourney.


If there would be any prize support from FFG, I’d see this as a go. Or even if someone would produce unofficial card alters as a prize, that would be highly coveted.

Around here (Eastern Canada) the player base is so spread out that you have to have decent prize support to make it worth it for people to travel, but once you’ve enticed them to come out, it doesn’t really matter what the entry fee is.


One of the UK games shops does an event called “Winter is Coming” for AGoT, in which the first prize has been some replica Valyrian Steel (Needle 2012, Hound’s Helm 2013). That gets very high attendance and the prize structure is decidedly top-heavy. They also have loads of cupcakes made up with all the house crests on haha.

For some of the big European events the community have made alt. art house cards as door prizes for AGoT (including a particularly tasteful set of nude ladies). Although they’re not “official” nobody would bust you for playing them as a house card because they never get shuffled into the deck (much like IDs in Netrunner). So that’s definitely doable.

I’m not really suggesting anything like a Premier Series (I think we’re a long way from that as a community) - I’d just like to see the competitive side of the game grow and the competition season extended. This is especially because in the UK all of our Organised Play was squished into a period of a couple of months and the rest of the year has been dead. We had Chronos, straight into Store Champs then straight into Regionals (the week H&P released) and they were all over in a fortnight because the Nationals were fixed to be at the end of May. If we could lay on some bigger events that had something worth attending for then it would probably help the game as a whole - I wonder how many players we lose because there isn’t anything going on?

An online tourney would be a great start. Of course with OCTGN being an unofficial application, it’s not happening anytime soon.

Every RL location has it’s issues with travel expenses etc. Moving it from Minny to NY, or Amsterdam or Berlin would still impact some part of the community.

I used to regularly play in the StarCityGames Power 9 tournaments. That was financed through themselves, and in the end they couldn’t financially support it. Both WoW and VS had difficulty supporting the financial end of their competitive associations. I think this is why FFG is so apprehensive to get something so big going. So far only WotC has been able to maintain a competitive environment, and it takes a lot of people to keep that going. FFG are looking at such things as Judges, but that’s still a small step in the right direction.

Other players could play in smaller tournaments, but the world championships are for the best. In any major sport, you don’t let random teams compete in the finals, only the ones who make the cut.

As a graphic designer and 3D modeler, I’ve got a few things sitting on my computer that I’ve looked at designing for myself, ie custom tokens, 3D printed/engraved stuff. There are also a bunch of POD places where you could make custom deck boxes, playmats, etc if you wanted.


But in other major sports every team has ample opportunity to make that cut - in Netrunner that’s not the case because Nationals are on a single day / weekend so not everyone could even attend to have a chance of winning. Case in point: one of the UK’s top players who would have been a favourite for that National title decided to play AGoT instead (both events were the same day).

Moreover, in pro sports the elite cut (i.e. playoffs in US Sports, Champions League for soccer etc.) is determined over a whole season of play (sometimes multiple seasons) - not performance on a single day over only a handful of games. In golf you play a number of rounds; in tennis you play several sets, each of 6+ games - a single error or piece of misfortune there is unlikely to end your tournament. LCGs are high variance and, while I wholeheartedly agree that over the long-term the best players rise to the top, in the short-term luck plays a factor. Does the “best” player necessarily win? What does “best” even mean in this context?

Not to take anything away from any Champion, but very few people take home a title without a few near misses that might have played out differently on a different day with an unlucky draw / top-deck access etc.

Besides, if you restricted Worlds just to National Champions you’d have like 8 people in attendance and the rest of the world wouldn’t care because it would be fairly meaningless.

Once again, I’m going to point to what the community is doing in Privateer Press’ (PP) Warmachine/Hordes games with their Masters and Iron Gauntlet systems. Basically, points are earned based on finishes at major events, and if you get enough points, you’re invited to the championships. Also, there are usually last chance tourneys at the Championship event.

I don’t play in these, but have friends who do. One is skipping Warmachine Weekend in St. Louis to come to FFG Worlds instead. Jason Flanzer from the Corp Draw podcast (you can see his name in the list in the link below) is doing the opposite, as he’s qualified already for Warmachine. Basically, people may think that no one will come to these championships if they aren’t qualified. Dead wrong. Not only is there the last chance, but TONS of side events, and lots of prizes to go around.

FFG has a long way to go to have even a shred of the OP support that PP has. People care greatly about their events there, and there’s more given to placing in larger events as opposed to just the winner.

tl; dr - read the first two pages on the PDF on this site to see on an interesting OP championship for a game such as ANR could be run. http://privateerpress.com/organized-play/iron-gauntlet

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I actually communicated with FFG through email in regards to a tournament series and/or ranking system. I’ll copy and paste:

Thank you for your email and for your interest in supporting the Android:
Netrunner community. At this time we are not interested in a ranking
system. You are of course free to work on something privately so long as
you are not infringing on any intellectual property rights. We can not
approve the use of logos or in game images for your ranking system.
Please let me know if you have additional questions pertaining to your

I didn’t ask about possible prize support, but I’m skeptical of their interest level in supporting non-ffg tournaments. I could be wrong.

My idea was similar to the Iron Gauntlet, and I think there are enough people who take netrunner seriously to make it a possibility. Basically, you would earn points for any tournament that would be considered “sanctioned”. Each sanctioned event would be granted a points pool based on attendance and type. For example, a league tournament with 10-20 players would be the smallest supported sanctioned tournament and would receive the smallest points values. From there are store championships, then regionals and special “tour” type events, followed by national and world’s tournaments.

People with high enough points values would be invited to the premier events where we could do a cash payout. I really wanted to work with whoever created the ANR tournament manager to integrate the tournament manager into an upload feature that would allow for automating the process. The plan kind of shut down because it’s a lot of work and I’m not sure there’s interest in the community for this level of play. If I knew people were interested and this could become a thing I may be reinvigorated.

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I think you may be surprised. If FFG were willing to throw in prize support (LEAST they could do; very least), it would really help. I believe the PP Masters is akin to this, no? I think that is fan-run, with prize support from PP. IIRC, it is also more popular than PP’s Iron Gauntlet, which is that company’s in-house ranking system.

This might be worth a shot. It would really help if FFG gave it love via promotion on their social media sites, prize support, etc. Would provide competitive games year round without having to step on the toes of league kits. However, I think FFG likes selling their Store Champ and National kits too much. I wouldn’t see a reason they couldn’t be incorporated into the scoring system, but, FFG may disagree.

Most tourneys get reported in some form or another somewhere. If not, c’est la vie. However, if FFG made it know to stores that XYZ site is interested in who finished where in their tourneys, I think they would report. Points could be given accordingly, and those could culminate in an annual championship.


I’d want to have the finished tournament data from the program. I want people to be rewarded for participating in tournaments with points that could lead to an invitation to the money games. The winner and top “X” would get more points, probably decided on by the size of the tournament.

Just guessing, but based on their email they were saying “do whatever you want with scoring, just don’t use our copy-written material”, which we wouldn’t need. If the idea gained any traction it’s not out of the question that FFG would want to be involved: it’s more money in their pockets when the game gains popularity. When you add cash prizes, people will be more interested in checking it out.

I support this and I would also watch a youtube documentary about it.


Documentary currently in the works.