PTCGO Winter Series
The Online TCG Scene is Growing!

Over the weekend of 03 September I hosted the PTCGO Winter Series Open sponsored by Solarpop and Unplug Yourself. This event was the first of its kind where we deviated from the previous format of having 1 tournament per quarter (or set release) to 2 tournaments a year. This has us hosting a winter and summer series.

This was done to start re-introducing in person play as we slowly move towards paper tournaments in the year to come. The Pokémon Company International (TPCi), has made the announcement that organized play will be returning in January 2023 which is VERY EXCTING news for players around the globe. I speak for the general player base around South Africa that we are very happy to have this returning as well as having Solarpop and Unplug Yourself recognize this as a great opportunity to invest in.

With the frequency of events dropping, we saw a bigger prize pool (biggest thus far) which had players from all around South Africa chomping at the bits to get involved. We had 48 players take part this time around. This was the biggest attendance to date! We also retained majority of the players for the day with having the lowest amount of dropped players to date as well! This showed players were dialed in from Game 1 till the end!

Winter Series PTCGO Open Gameplay

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Format Changes

The overall format for this event changed slightly from previous events where we had Swiss rounds being “best of 1” opposed to the usual best of 3. This allowed us to complete the event in a single day. With Best of 1 being the qualifying stage, we saw a lot more aggressive deck builds throughout the event. This was key to success as draws were very detrimental to those trying to make the top 8.

How the event went

The event overall was a great success. There was widespread meta game with many different decks on display. Within the top 8 we had 5 different archetypes on display which has never happened before. This is normally restricted to 3. In this top 8 we also had representatives from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg battling it out. Top 2 players were both from Cape Town meaning the Mother City took it home! (Not biased at all).

Our champion of the day was Aaqil Sedien, who has previously won the South African National championship. He said in his post event interview that, “sticking with what he knew how to play with and it being a natively consistent deck was the key to his victory.” He also gave a shout out to his training partners, 1 of which being in the final against him mentioning that “practicing with the best, makes you the best.”