In our last article we announced the expansion of the World Championship in 2018 from 8-coaches up to 16, meaning that there are going to be a whole new set of National Championships to take part in during 2018. If you missed this pretty huge announcement you can find that information HERE. Today, we’ve got even more to reveal, particularly about the future of tournament Guild Ball in the USA. This means everything from local store tournaments, to independently run tournaments, and certain tournaments that take place at conventions.
US Regional System – Bang, and the Dirt is Gone!
So, it’s a year on since we first announced the US Regional system, and frankly we’ve learned a bucket load about how we can do this better. We’ve massively simplified how tournaments are going to work in the USA, and if this method is successful we intend to roll out similar plans worldwide to support National Championships both new and old. Here it is:
A Guild Ball tournament in the USA that runs by the rules laid out in our Regional Cup document can apply for a SteamCon US Guest Pass. If the tournament has at least 30 paid sign ups before the tournament takes place, the winner of the tournament gets a Guest Pass for SteamCon US (meaning that you get free entry to SteamCon US).
That’s it! No qualification to a local convention, no trying to work out what qualification to the next event means. It’s as simple as: if you win a tournament which has a SteamCon US Guest Pass, you get a SteamCon US Guest Pass.
This does many hugely positive things for the US tournament circuit; primarily encouraging events to grow in size while adequately supporting independently run tournaments as well as convention events. There are a few caveats however, and these are:
- A convention may only apply for a single SteamCon US Guest Pass regardless of the number of tournaments that take place at the convention
- A gaming store or Pundit can only apply for a single SteamCon US Guest Pass every 12 months (to begin with, this can and will change over time)
- A Pundit and the gaming store that Pundit is attached to can only apply for a single SteamCon US Guest Pass between them
- This is to prevent the same area running tournaments purely to earn a boatload of Guest Passes; we want to encourage tournaments to grow all over the USA
- If the winner of a tournament already owns a SteamCon US Guest Pass, the Tournament Organiser awards the Guest Pass to another competitor (so, for the best painted team, to the most sporting coach, the second-place coach, or to the last place coach etc) at their discretion.
How Do I Apply for SteamCon US Guest Pass?
SteamCon US Guest Passes will be handled by our Pundit Quartermaster for the US, Zach Stein. You can apply for your tournament to get a Guest Pass at HERE. Applications are open for 2018 from now!
How Does All This Affect the US Championship?
There will no longer be an ‘invite-only’ US Championship at SteamCon US, and there will no longer be a Last Chance Qualifier at SteamCon US. Instead, there will be an open USA (East) Championship that anyone who attends SteamCon US can enter. The winner will be invited to compete in the World Championship. Nice and simple, last coach standing wins!
For those who played in the marathon event that was the Last Chance Qualifier at SteamCon US 2017, don’t worry, we won’t be asking you to do that again. The USA (East) Championship in 2018 will run over two days at SteamCon US. For example, if we achieve 128 entrants to the USA (East) Championship, we will need seven rounds to determine a winner. In this case the first four rounds would be played over one day and the remaining three rounds would be played over a second day.
BUT WAIT! There’s more! In our last blog about the National Championships we mentioned that the USA would get an additional qualifying spot. We have confirmed that the USA (West) Championship will take place at KingdomCon. Make sure you keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates which can be found HERE.
What About the Rest of the World?
As we said above, we are more than willing to roll this program out worldwide if this is successful in the US. For example, it is possible that tournaments in Germany will one day be able to apply for a German Championship Guest Pass meaning that the winner will receive free entry to the German Championship. For now, we are waiting to see how this program performs in the US.
In the background, we’re busy trying to nail down all the new National Championships. Since our last blog post we can confirm that, in addition to Belgium: France, Hungary, and Poland will all be holding their own National Guild Ball Championship events for the first time in 2018! We will be bringing you the details of each of those events as they come to us, including where to buy tickets and how to get involved. This brings our total list of National Championships to:
Republic of Ireland
+ SteamCon UK LCQ
This leaves two spaces left to be decided! Our message for all our brand-new tournaments all over the world is still get out there and support your local events; this is about bringing as many coaches, old and new, together to play Guild Ball as possible and have an amazing time doing so.