|Asian Championship Plus 2011 Singapore Qualifier pin-ups|
The format for the tournament is something unique to regions under Konami Entertainment (Hong Kong), where each teams would have to get together three members who would form decks that, when combined, not exceed the current Asian Forbidden and Restriction list. Due to the nature of the format, it is not uncommon to see the usual tier 2 and below decks from being utilised in the tournament, as each team attempts to dish out different strategies to handle the event.
I had the honour of teaming up with the core of last year's winning team, Team Attack, which comprise of Jeff, the reigning Asian Champion, as well as Michael Santoso (or more commonly known as Bahamut84), Singapore's representative to World Championship 2008. Both of them represented Singapore to the inaugural Asian Championship Plus held in Hong Kong in 2010.
After some playtesting and discussion, we had agree of the setup of Dark World, T.G. Agents and Machina Gadget.
Team Name: Challenge Accepted!
Michael: Dark World
Jeff: Machina Gadget
Myself: T.G. Agents
We arrived at the venue slightly pass 9am, and with registration slated to start at 10am, we proceed to fill in our decklist with the provided forms.
|Venue of Asian Championship Plus 2011 Singapore Qualifier|
|Team "Challenge Accepted!" getting ready for the event. Also featuring Colin from Duel Society in red Tees|
|All participants busy preparing for the tournament|
Swiss Round 1: vs Team "LSD" (Table 9)
Teamleader: Michael 2-0 Samuel (Machina Gadget)
Member A: Jeff 1-2 Ze Xuan (Junk Doppel)
Member B: Jeremy 2-1 Dylen (Blackwings)
|After swiss Round 1, Team "TAL", last year's runners-up to Singapore Qualifier in foreground|
Our prayers were answered.
Swiss Round 2: vs Team "Insane Tech" (Table 3)
Teamleader: Michael 2-1 Poh Seng (Agent Angel)
Member A: Jeff 2-1 Wesley (Junk Debris)
Member B: Jeremy 1-2 Wee Min (Rabbit Lagia)
We were informed that our table were to be hit with an impromptu deck check. So our games were pushed back by 15 mins. It also meant that our game went into the lunchtime for the other participants. We had to rush to get some takeaways at the nearby coffeeshop before returning to the venue.
Having a 2-0 at the end of swiss round 2 allowed us to play without much pressure. It was clear cut, win 1 of the other 2 games and advance.
Swiss Round 3: vs Team "Heng Heng" (Top Table)
Teamleader: Michael 2-0 Wei Ann (Machina Gadget)
Member A: Jeff 0-2 Alvin (Agents)
Member B: Jeremy 2-1 Aim (Dark World)
If there was to be any participants that I have to give special credit to, then it has to be Aim from Team "Heng Heng." Playing through the discomfort of a fracture, he has to shuffle his cards in a tedious and intensive manner which would put most players off from playing. Nonetheless, he made it to the event and competed in a professional manner, displaying great perseverance.Way to go, Aim!
Now 3-0 overall, we were assured of qualification. Swiss round 4 was a formality and the pressure is off for all of us.
Swiss Round 4: vs Team "NA" (Top Table)
Teamleader: Michael 0-2 Shelton (Lightsworn)
Member A: Jeff 1-2 Zan Hao (Gladiator Beast)
Member B: Jeremy 1-2 Calvin (Dark World)
Overall: 0-3 (Team Wipe OMG)
Prior to the game there was the mention of the perfect swiss curse amongst the two teams. Add that to the confirmed qualification of both teams, so the drive to win was not very high within both teams. Calvin was my playtest partner for Dark World for this event, so I knew the chance of winning my round was not going to be high. Nonetheless I tried and pushed it to 3 rounds.
Our team finished 4th overall in the swiss and made it to final 8 of the event. The four teams which won the various shop qualifiers would join us at this point.
|Judge Jeryl checking the decks of Team "Challenge Accepted!"|
And finally the pairings were announced.
|Team "Challenge Accepted!" vs Team "FTW" The handsign given was an insider's joke on William.|
Teamleader: Michael 2-1 Nian Jie (Rabbit Lagia)
Member A: Jeff 1-2 Daniel (Gladiator Beast)
Member B: Jeremy 0-2 William (T.G. Agent)
From this point, we knew there would be no pushover. All of the teams remaining were either elites with portfolio of topping events or were playing unusual strategies that was hard to predict. Team "FTW" had two of the most recent toppers in World Championship Qualifier 2011 Singapore Finals. The overall winner Daniel and 2nd runners-up William, so it was not going to be easy.
To me it was a finals brought forward, team of past champions vs young champions. And indeed, after defeating us convincingly, they went on to clinch the trophy and overall representation rights for Singapore in Taiwan this coming December.
Overall, I am pleased that Team "Challenge Accepted!" managed to top 8 for the event, given that most of our preparation were held when Jeff and I had our finals in University recently. I felt that perhaps with a bit more luck, we could have achieve more. But results are final and we were indeed defeated convincingly.
To end it off, good luck to Team "FTW" in Taiwan. I hope you guys will win it for Singapore this time, and bring back the title as a fitting tribute for the hosting country of Asian Championship 2012.