2018 Season Two Invitational – Viewer’s Guide

The Invitational Tournament is the capstone tournament of each ETS Season, each one of only five premiere tournaments per year. Unlikely weekly tournaments, you must be invited to attend, and such invitations are hotly contested throughout the season. Additionally, they feature major prize pools for the players to fight for – $500 for this Invitational, as well as custom mousepads courtesy of Inked Gaming for the top 8 and a custom hoodie for the winner! Each Invitational features thirty two of the best tournament players from the current season and two days of high stakes Eternal Card Game action! In light of recent announcements, this may be the final time the Invitational is the pinnacle of competitive Eternal, so take this chance to check it out while you can!

More general information on Invitational Tournaments

ETS 2018 – Season Two Invitational

The Season One Invitational will be held over two days, beginning at 11am EDT on Saturday, June 2nd and continuing at 11am EDT on Sunday, June 3rd. With a Preshow happening at 10 AM EDT on both days.

Watch Live

Tournament Format

Invitational Tournaments are two day events that feature two tournament formats. On the first day, a modified Swiss tournament takes place with 32 players. On the second day, a single elimination tournament takes place with 16 players to determine the winner.

Tournaments use the same basic ruleset as all other ETS tournaments.

Day 1 – Modified Swiss

Day 1 is a 32 person, 7 round Swiss tournament with a modified rulest. In a regular Swiss tournament, players will play all 7 rounds. However, in this format, players are removed from the Swiss event once they reach either 4 wins or 4 losses (ties are not possible). If a player reaches 4 wins first, they qualify for Day 2. If a player reaches 4 losses first, they are eliminated from the tournament. Otherwise, the rules (including pairings) are the same as any other Swiss event – play is best of three games with sideboarding after game 1.

Day 2 – Top 16 Single Elimination

On the second day, its down to the wire – players play in a single elimination tournament to determine the winner. Seeding is randomized and has no basis in Day 1 results. Once a player loses, they are eliminated. In Top 16, games shift to best of five with sideboarding after the second game. Only one match in the round of 16 will be broadcast, but all matches from Top 8 and beyond will be played live on stream.

Prizing – $500 Prize Pool plus special prizes provided by Inked Gaming

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Invitational Mousepad Mockup

What are Series Points?

1st Place: The winner will receive the title of Invitational Champion, an invitation to the 2018 All Star Event, a custom 2018 Invitational Winner hoodie, 12 Series Points, a cash prize of $200 USD, and an Invitational Mousepad.

2nd Place: The runner up receives 10 Series Points, a cash prize of $100 USD, and an Invitational Mousepad.

3rd/4th Place: Receive 8 Series Points, a cash prize of $50 USD, and an Invitational Mousepad.

5th through 8th Place: Receive 6 Series Points, a cash prize of $25 USD, and an Invitational Mousepad.

9th through 16th Place: Receive 4 Series Points.

Who’s Playing?

Great question. rekenner did the invites so I have no fancy chart for you this time. In lieu of that, I’ve put together an introduction for each and every player, including fun nicknames for each one – this may be my last time doing this, so by god I am going to introduce them like they’re wrestlers. Players will be introduced in order of IP and please – remember this is all just for fun.

TinMan “the Teamless” (25 IP, 19 SP)

When there’s money on the line and the chips are down, players band together into testing teams and help each other try to break the format. Many teams have grown in size and stature until they contain double digits of players, all working together toward a shared goal – to win. And then there’s the exception. TinMan has made Top 2 in three out of eight weekly tournaments this season with three different decks, and he’s done it completely alone, with no testing partners or team to support them. Let the weak team up – the strong walk alone!

Mouche “the Conman” (25 IP, 13 SP)

The long con – after middling performances throughout most of 2017, Mouche turned it on in the last Invitational and earned just enough points to steal a World’s invite. In the round robin portion, Mouche came dead last with an unprecedented record of 2-13. He then won the last chance elimination segment, crushed the second round robin and earned himself an easy bearth in Worlds Top 8. Since then he’s been on a tear, with one of the best seasons we’ve seen. Keep an eye out for the Conman – his specialty is playing dead.

flash2351 “the Drafter” (23 IP, 9 SP)

Our very own draft specialist, Flash is probably at least as surprised to be here as I am to see him on this constructed stage. He (allegedly) had a great season capped with an (alleged) win against camat0, the reigning World Champion. He says he’s coming out to win, too, but I’m pretty sure he’s just using this tournament as an excuse to avoid writing draft articles about set 3. Look for him to flame out as publicly as possible – he gets nervous on camera.

Magikarp “the Sponsor” (22 IP, 19 SP)

Our angel sponsor and Inked Gaming representative loves Eternal for one key reason – he’s actually really good at it. He was cruising to the top of the standings until TinMan made a last second push, so he’ll be out for revenge at the invitational. Look for this man to ship himself a mousepad – and a hoodie if he can!

camat0 “the Constant” (21 IP, 17 SP, 49 Lifetime SP [Tied for 1st], World Champion)

When you integrate, you always add C. When you form a top 8, you pick 7 and add camat0. No man has been more dominant or become more influential than camat0 in the days since his World Championship win. His trademark laugh is copied, his decks are imitated, but his winning ways are his alone. Our reigning World Champion is looking to repeat, and he’s well on his way to doing so.

IlyaK “the Absent” (21 IP, 8 SP)

Just kidding. IlyaK has a work conference and had to decline his invitation.

Jez2718 “the Outspoken” (19 IP, 6 SP)

Jez has put together two solid seasons back to back and returns for his second invitational of 2018. Clearly a solid player, Jez is perhaps better known for his match long debates and on the fly commentary in Twitch chat. With strong views and the will to fight for them, many an epic battle has been fought while another, lesser battle raged on stream. He’s got a different approach to the game than most – how will it serve him in this tournament?

BenBuford “the Uncle” (18 IP, 6 SP)

After a bunch of big names we reach the everyman of Eternal. With a name that actually looks like a name and a friendly demeanor, Ben has made plenty of friends and (unusual for a competitive player) no enemies during his time in the ETS. However, don’t confuse his contented nature for complacency – Ben is here to win, and he’s made the finals before. Victory wasn’t his that time – will he claim it today?

childroland “the Aggressor” (18 IP, 20 SP [1st])

Who’s the beatdown? childroland is the beatdown. The best known aggro player on the list and an Invitational Champion, childroland continues to go aggro no matter how hostile the metagame becomes. In a time when even Unearthly himself was forced to lay down his Plates, roland stuck to his Torches and Ronins. (It worked out pretty well for Unearthly in the end, but that’s not the point here) Our overall SP leader looks to close in on camat0’s lifetime records and see if he can become the first ever player to win TWO Invitational tournaments.

Kangbreath “the Successor” (18 IP, 15 SP)

While not a successor in the conventional use of the term, Kang has taken up the banner that Unearthly lowered and then discarded, and took up the role of the last bastion of Rakano in the ETS (at least, the last one that’s still Top 8ing). Yes, he plays a lot of other decks as well, but even Unearthly had his Minotaurs. An Invitational was one of the only things Unearthly didn’t win – can Kang surpass his “master”?

SooNo “the Unpronounceable” (18 IP, 11 SP)

“I remember him complaining about a caster calling him Sue No, or the occasional Sue New” – TheSkeeJay

Somehow, two 2 letter words stapled together makes everyone lose their goddamn minds. It’s all very well and good for some nonsense like gschmidtcleach to get people confused – that’s clearly nonsense. It’s another for a 5 letter name of two common words. C’mon people! Complaints about his name aside, SooNo has been quietly but effectively working his way up the rankings. He got all 11 of his points this season, and he’s not looking likely to stop there. He’ll certainly be on the hunt for more points at this Invitational, and likely to get them too.

(In case anyone is still confused, his name is pronounced So No)

ThePlatypusKing “the Monarch” (18 IP, 6 SP)

What else can you call a man who’s kinged himself in his very name? Royalty has descended to play among commoners in the ETS, and done quite well for itself – three top 8s or better this season alone. A man who’s up to the demanding tasks a 365 day stream schedule requires is no one to dismiss lightly – look for a full years worth of constant play to show everyone why he is king.

DrStein “the Monster” (17 IP, 5 SP)

Subverting the expected joke, Stein’s monster has arrived! While neither a member of the old guard nor a new face, DrStein has been banging away at the ETS for a long time without success at the Invitational level. However, science is a learning process, and its all about failing until you succeed. Will this be the Invitational where the Monster comes to life?

IllserbIll “the Barcode” (17 IP, 5 SP)

Like with boon companion SooNo, the focus here is more on the name than the man. While he just goes by serb, he has for reasons known only to the 5 character minimum placed upon Eternal names, decided to sandwich his name between what I believe to be the word “ill” twice. We can but speculate. As a player, serb has made most of his waves in Team League aside SPG, playing the odd weekly here or there. This season he took more seriously – is SPG playing the numbers game, or is serb here to win?

Pupicitus “the Puppy” (17 IP, 5 SP)

I’m not actually sure of the official pronouciation for this one, but I am Eternally grateful (get it) that the official short form is “Pupi” (pronounced Puppy). Another Team League name, he’s got two Top 8s this season and a tall task ahead of him. As the sole veteran Owls and Dragons player in this Invitational, he’ll have a lot of expectations riding on him. Let’s hope this puppy knows a few tricks!

Tobboo “the Captain” (17 IP, 2 SP)

You might not have expected it (I certainly didn’t) but Tobboo was able to more or less singlehandedly put together a team from players as differently minded as camat0, ManuS, and VSarius, and get them to actually work together. This speaks volumes to his interpersonal skills, not to mention his patience. Those are also the players that are now helping him prepare for this Invitational – quite the line up! With the full support of ET behind him, the only person to be able to make them work together heads off to battle.

Vampus “the Nosferatu” (17 IP, 4 SP)

We avoided the obvious nickname, but only after a long night with a thesaurus. One of our rookie invites, Vampus has had a solid debut with two Top 8s and a point finish. He’s got a good chance at the invitational – Top 8’d enough to feel a little more comfortable on the bigger stage, but still unknown enough to fly under the rader. If he can avoid being intimidated by the Invitational, he’ll do well.

aromanova “the Pro” (16 IP, 8 SP)

This is the player ManuS talks about, and Manu doesn’t talk about anybody. A current MTG player doing the Pro Tour circuit, aromanova is no stranger to high stakes or big tournaments. Nor, indeed, is he a stranger to Eternal success – he’s got a tournament win under his belt to go with three other Top 8s. A man of his profession will be well prepared to, well, prepare for tournaments like these. Expect him to be well positioned.

Krizalio “the Russian” (16 IP, 3 SP)

Four Russians battled in the Season One Invitational. If heywhyyou doesn’t make it through tiebreakers, we’re down to one. Krizalio has nearly an entire continent’s hopes riding on him, but he’s had a long time to prepare for this day. This is not his first rodeo – he’s been playing in the ETS since early 2017, and he was in the Season One Invitational as well. Will he be able to take down the tourney? No need comrades, when you have bear.

Paradox “the Overworked” (16 IP, 3 SP)

SPG is the largest Eternal organization, outstripping even ourselves (RNGEternal). They’ll take anyone who wants to play for real, and that’s what the majority of their players do – play. Paradox, the only admin left standing after the retirement of at least four major SPG players has such a tall task on his hands he’s chosen TonyGeeeee as his “best” option for a second in command. And a tall task it is – in addition to managing the team and producing essentially all the content for SPG’s website, Paradox somehow finds time to put together meta reports and tune decklists for his other players, while still fighting on the frontlines. Paradox is aging by the day trying to keep this pace up – but you’ve just got to cheer for a guy who puts his team first.

Alarmadillo “the First” (15 IP, 13 SP)

Our first ever ETS winner in 2018, Alarmadillo had an incredible first few weeks and a great showing at the Invitational. Now, after a much rougher Season Two, he’s back (if shakily). The rookie member of OND is out to equal or better his last Invitational result, and if my sources are correct he’ll do it with Xenan or die trying.

sifudanny “the Star” (15 IP, 2 SP)

sifudanny is on Team Rankstar and if you’re active on Twitter boy will you know it (they retweet each other a lot). He’s another player with the full weight of a team behind him – both their support and their expectations. Not a rookie, but so far not an established name either – will he be able to make his team proud?

TonyGeeeee “the Champion” (15 IP, 17 SP)

As expected of our Season One Invitational Champion, TonyGeeeee absolutely crushed the second season of the ETS and easily landed himself a berth in the wait that’s not right at all. Limping in after an unsuccessful LCQ due to drops, TonyGeeeee certainly didn’t have an inspiring entry into this tournament. However, he’s sure to do better now that he’s actually there. While he relaxed a little (okay, a lot) after his tournament win, TonyGeeeee must live up to his bold claim that he is aiming to win the remaining big tournament this season – including Worlds.

BassoonBuffoon “the Buffoon” (14 IP, 1 SP)

What can I say? He lost a bet. The friendliest player this side of BenBuford, BassoonBuffoon exudes more of a “I’m here to have fun” aura than anything else. That said, he is here at the Invitational where anything can happen. Keep an eye out lest he steal Mouche’s title of the Conman – twas merely an act!

BruisedByGod “the Carry” (14 IP, 11 SP)

If Paradox is the brains of SPG, BruisedByGod is definitely the muscle. He more or less singlehandedly carried the team through team league and providing decklists that were invaluable resources throughout much of Season One. A master of midrange, he’s taken a step back from rattling off Top 8s this season, but still managed one for old times sake. The slumbering god has woken – is he back in carry mode?

TheRocke “the Paper ‘the Scissors’ ” (14 IP, 0 SP)

Okay, a joke here was unavoidable, and I had a Dwayne Johnston reference almost all the way to print. One of our rookies with no results yet, and a good example of how the Rookie system is taking less experienced places and introducing them to Premiere environment. Expectations are low and the intent is just to help them gain some experience and confidence – but we’re in a RPS metagame and anything can happen.

trumpets “the Controller” (13 IP, 13 SP)

A breakout player from Season 1 of 2018, this time around trumpets placed with IBlue then won an ETS with IBlue and then vanished once he earned his spot. Will he be rusty or was he right to take a break?

Marvin “the Imp” (11 IP, 0 SP)

Another rookie, another unavoidable nickname. While he may be small in stature, he’s certainly making his moves early – he’s already taken the (limited) measure of his fellow Invitational players and set them up with the classic “I’m just excited to be here”. Trust no one who leads with this line – they’re up to something!

Wald “the Bold” (11 IP, 0 SP)

A hero’s name, Wald somehow escaped the 5 character limit of Eternal that slew such greats as LSV and serb. Boldly stepping into unknown naming territory, Wald also takes his first steps on the premiere stage this season. Will he live up to his heroic name, or is his a cautionary tale?

SecondBlue “the All Star” (10 IP, 19 SP)

Okay, it wasn’t a breakout season for SecondBlue. But last season he set the all time record for IP and came second in three weeklies, with a Top 8 at the Invitational to boot. He only played in four weeklies this season, and dutifully showed up and won the LCQ to earn him his spot. Like TonyGeeeee, he’s leaning on older results, but as long as he makes magic happen at the Invitational all is forgiven.

Walloittaja “the Winner” (9 IP, 4 SP)

One tournament, one win, one invite. That’s enough for me. Walloittaja has an unpronouncable name been resting up for the Invitational since the third week. His only known card is that he can play Argenport Midrange – that’s generic enough to be nearly no card at all. Does he have something in store for us after 6 weeks of prep, or will he double down and bring the Argenport deck that got him here?

Dunkelwerk “the Unexpected” (4 IP, 0 SP)

The darkest horse of this event, Dunkelwerk has, after a seven week hiatus, taken us all by surprise and won an LCQ berth. He’s hidden all his cards but he’s seen nearly all of ours – will he be able to double down on the shock and take the Invitational as well?

There are also four players in tiebreakers for this event: DrPringles, Farodsbro, heywhyyou, and komodo. However, due to extreme fatigue and not knowing which will make it, they didn’t get writeups. Earn a direct invite next time!

Predictions

The real draw of this document – two RNGEternal members randomly guessing which players they think will make day two and Top 8. We’ve never had much success with this, but as always, these predictions are just for fun! There are 32 players at the Invitational, and 16 make day two, but we’ve chosen to pick Top 8 players rather than Top 16 to make it less of a coin flip. Players are listed in alphabetical order.

aReNGee’s Top 8 Predictions

  1. aromanova – ManuS speaks highly of him, and ManuS doesn’t speak highly of just anybody. There’s got to be a reason, and he’s already a proven winner.
  2. camat0 – Pick seven players, add camat0.
  3. childroland – Nobody actually plays Hailstorm at the Invitational level. …right?
  4. flash2351 – If I flame flash too much he’ll quit. Plus, putting him on this list will probably jinx him since I’m never correct.
  5. MarvinTheImp – He’s already proven himself two steps ahead of the rest of the pack. I believe he can win the card games as well as the mind games.
  6. TinMan – The lone man against a sea of teams. He’ll swim against the tide as many times as it takes.
  7. TonyGeeeee – How could the (self proclaimed) 2018 World Champion falter here?
  8. Walloittaja – Argenport Midrange is probably good enough.

rekenner’s Top 8 Predictions

  1. BruisedByGod – In 3 invitationals running, we’ve had a player from the LCQ make the finals. I’m not saying, but I’m just saying… BruisedByGod is an incredibly strong candidate to continue that trend.
  2. camat0 – World Champ, leader in career SP, and his own most harsh critic. But he has a strong motivation this time – Would another win finally be the nail in the coffin to DWD putting “jajaja” into the game as a Justice emote?
  3. childroland – The aggro allstar that’s evolved into a well-rounded player of… well, mostly aggro, but he’s shown himself on midrange and control. He’s been the strongest overall player in 2018, leading into this Invitational – can he solidify that lead with a good showing?
  4. flash2351 – So, I get to watch RNG and flash talk behind the scenes. RNG makes fun of flash, calls him washed up… and then flash finally wins his first ETS. RNG continues to make fun of flash… flash wins his first Invitational? Basically, I’m saying flash might win entirely to spite RNG. That seems like good enough motivation to me.
  5. Mouche – So, shhhh. If you don’t pay close enough attention, you might not notice – but Mouche has casually tied himself for third for career SP. After his comeback story at Worlds and a strong 2018, Mouche is poised to make a serious attempt at #1, if he can place significantly higher than camat0.
  6. Paradox – One of these days, an aggro player that I predict is going to bring aggro as the metabreakrer and make it to top 8 is going to pull it off. One of these days. Until that day, I’m cursing Paradox to not make Top 8. Sorry, Paradox.
  7. Tinman – My vote for “most improved player” over the span of the last 2 seasons. He started as plucky upstart playing… some interesting decks, but has evolved into one of the strongest players in the ETS. We’ll see if that trend continues with a deep run here.
  8. trumpets – He’s an IBlue player – I’m contractually obligated to include him in my Top 8 predictions. It’s my favorite deck, so I have to root for it. And trumpets is a good player, and more than capable of piloting it to a deep run.