Author Topic: DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community  (Read 451 times)

Offline Queensryche

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DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community
« on: July 14, 2019, 06:58:53 AM »
Last week I was at the Lightning Crystal Cup in Midlothian, VA for the Final Fantasy TCG. The Crystal Cups are the game's major events: the winner qualifies for the World Championship, while 2nd through 4th qualify for the North American National Championship. During the event there was an incident which caused a lot of controversy and is still being talked about and causing a lot of controversy among the community.

The incident was as follows: in the sixth round of Swiss (out of seven rounds), a player called a judge to inform them that his deck was illegal. The deck had five copies of a particular card in it, and only three copies of any card are allowed. The player's decklist had listed a legal deck. After some discussion and consultation with Hobby Japan (the publishers of FFTCG and the ones responsible for events), the decision was made to give the player a game loss for an illegal deck and allow them to correct the deck so that it matched the deck list. Because Swiss is best-of-one, this was essentially a match loss. After the player corrected his deck, he was permitted to continue playing in the tournament.

This is causing controversy because many in the community thought that it should've been a tournament disqualification and also speculated that the player in question was actively cheating. It caused an uproar which is still continuing, and I felt like this would be a good place to ask you guys about it.

The arguments for ruling the player cheated and thus a DQ are as follows:

-The player was 5-0 when he reported his illegal deck, and thus guaranteed to make the Top 32 cut
-Having four of the same card in a deck is an easy mistake to make. Five of the same card, not so much
-It'd be hard to not notice you're running more than three copies of a card that late
-The card in question allows someone to search for a Scion of the Seventh Dawn Forward, which is very helpful for the deck he was playing
-The card in question is also a starter-exclusive card, and the majority of players who play the game don't own more than three of any starter-exclusive card


On the other side, the arguments that a game loss was appropriate and that there wasn't any cheating are as follows:

-The player called the judge on himself
-The player's reaction was of embarrassment. Witnesses say the guy was mortified when he discovered the error and on the verge of tears when he called the judge.
-Per several witnesses, prior to the tournament, the player had been playing some friendly games and had been swapping cards between two decks. One of the decks was his tournament deck.
-Given how the player's deck is built to win fast, it's entirely plausible that he could've gone that long without noticing the error
-On the flipside of the card he had being useful, the player had omitted two copies of a card which were also useful and thus unknowingly handicapped himself


I later learned from one of the judges that this was contentious even among the officials there. Richie Brady, the game's North American manager, wanted to immediately disqualify the player, but the judges argued that their investigation gave them no reason to believe that the error was intentional and that per tournament guidelines, a DQ is only to be handed out for cheating, which requires intent. This led to both parties agreeing to contact Hobby Japan, who made the ruling to give the player a game loss but allow him to correct his deck and continue. After the tournament, Hobby Japan and Kageyama-san (the game's creator) issued a statement, saying that they will be revising the tournament rules. They intend to come up with new guidelines and also rethink what penalties are issued, with the statement saying that new penalties may be formulated as well.

Me personally, I'm on the side of the argument that a game loss was the correct call. Based on what we know, there's no indication the player intentionally made that error. The player's reaction also tells me it was a mistake on his part and not an attempt to deceive. In my own personal experience, I've made a similar mistake. I once played a deck with four copies of a card and didn't realize it until near the end of the weekly tournament I was playing in, when I realized my error in the middle of a game. I reported that myself and conceded to my opponent. The arguments of the pro-DQ side are based on speculation and hearsay, and you can't base a DQ off of that. You don't need irrefutable proof to issue a DQ, but you do need reasonable suspicion that a player knowingly performed an illegal act. Since the investigation did not turn up anything which would lead to a reasonable suspicion, then you can't assume it was intentional and thus DQ them.

What are your guys' thoughts on this?
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Offline Scotty

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Re: DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 09:32:30 AM »
Tough situation, but that’s what random deck checks are for.

I agree with you, one game loss. There’s no real way to tell if it was intentional, but I’d put an asterisk by his name for a year (as well as any other player with illegal deck) to have to have a judge review their deck before an event starts.

Offline CreedP

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Re: DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 09:39:45 AM »
I think swapping cards out of your tournament deck to play side games is idiotic, just use proxies in side games!

That said, it was dumb but probably accidental, and it's very possible his deck was legal when he started.  A single loss seems the right call IMO.

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Offline Daeva

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Re: DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 12:12:43 PM »
I would give that player a game loss, rather than a tournament disqualification. I agree with the assessment that cheating requires malicious intent, and the player turning themselves in demonstrates, to me, a lack of malicious intent.

The only thing that would make me wonder if it was deliberate cheating would be if he did it in the round immediately preceding the top cut AND if deck checks are common practice between Swiss and the cut. I could see a case for using a malformed deck to breeze through Swiss and then falling on his sword in the last round to get into the top cut with a legal deck.

In any case, the decision that the judges made on the floor is absolutely correct and worth standing by, because they have more information on the environment and demeanor of the players involved than we do in the cheap seats.
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Offline Queensryche

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Re: DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 06:40:49 PM »
I think swapping cards out of your tournament deck to play side games is idiotic, just use proxies in side games!

That said, it was dumb but probably accidental, and it's very possible his deck was legal when he started.  A single loss seems the right call IMO.

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There's a very weird taboo against proxies in FFTCG. Players like building multiple decks that share cards, and players will sleeve their cards with the exact same sleeves so that all you need to do is take the shared cards out of one deck and put them into another. Even though nobody says anything, there's a silent understanding that proxies are a no-go. One store I go to actually does proxy-legal tournaments just to help new players get into the game, but even there players don't use proxies.

I can't explain it, and it doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is.
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Offline necrobaron75

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Re: DQ or not? An issue in the Final Fantasy TCG community
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 05:31:00 PM »
All other ccgs that have that happen,its a game loss.
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