At long last, the announcement you’ve all been waiting for! Many, many things have happened or changed behind the scenes to delay or add onto this announcement, but this should give you a pretty good idea of how things are going to be for the rest of the year. Let’s jump right into one of the more controversial topics:
Let’s talk about Sideboards
Sideboarding has been a part of Eternal Tournament play since as far back as the first Scions League in April, 2016. Sideboards were tested in client at that time, and we’ve stuck to them ever since. However, The Fall of Argenport brings forth a new consideration: Markets. Intended to replace sideboards, it was a popular topic of debate for weeks as to how they could work alongside them. At the end of the day, our conclusion was that they can’t – sideboards and markets do not work well together. Since they’re both intended to fill the same role there’s a lot of overlap between the two, and managing both leads to some strange and awkward rulesets in addition to the cumbersome logistics of handling 3 separate deck sections per person. Banning merchants and sticking with sideboards was an option that was considered, but was deemed too drastic a change – many decks rely on merchants to function and it would make the market and ladder metagames completely divorced from each other.
The Rule Changes – Weekly Tournaments
- Markets replace sideboards
- No structural changes – bo3 swiss followed by bo5 top 8
- We will continue to use Battlefy and EternalWarcry
Deck registration will now consist of one 75+ card main deck and one 5 card Market with 5 unique cards. You may not have more than four copies of a card between your main deck and market, and must actually play a Merchant in order to access your Market, but you may submit a legal market without playing Merchants in order to reduce administrative headaches. Neither of these will change once a deck is registered – there is no swapping cards between main deck and market or market and anywhere else. As such, we anticipate match times will go down slightly as there is no need for a break between games.
Despite the rules changes, we’re going to hold onto our current format. However, it’s more of a test than anything, and we’ll be keeping an eye on its performance in the coming weeks.
The Rule Changes – Invitationals
- Markets replace sideboards here too
- Complete design rework – now using three deck nonpower unified conquest
- Rookie Invites have been removed
- Tournament format remains the same – Invitational Swiss into top 16 single elim
A lot more has changed for Invitational tournaments. The shift away from sideboards has allowed us to test more kinds of player skills than simply piloting. At an Invitational, players will now submit three decks (75 card main deck and 5 card market) rather than just one. Players will play each other in a three to five game Conquest match. How does this work? First, each player chooses one of their three decks blind. Then they play the first game. Yes, singular game, not best of three. The player that wins that first game has their deck eliminated, then both players choose their next deck blind. The winning player always switches, since winning decks are eliminated for the match, but the losing player may keep their previous deck or switch. The first player to win 3 games wins the match!
Rookie invites did not end up serving their purpose and could be counterproductive in the new, more technical Invitational environment. Additionally, and this is the real reason, holy god they were a pain to track. As such, they have been removed, and replaced with additional SP invites.
Announcing the ETS Team Series
In addition to the many rules changes we are making, we’re announcing something new. “Team League Season Three” is finally here, although its changed so much as to be entirely unrecognizable. Let’s quickly run down what it entails.
- A team captain will register four other players and a team name. This is the Team.
- Registration will close after midnight on the day of the third ETS of the season.
- That’s it. That’s all the teams need to do.
So how does it work, if all the players do is register? Well, in the absence of the ability to run an actual team league, we’re going to be looking at teamwide ETS performance instead. Teams will be ranked based on the total current season IP of the members, using total current year SP as the tiebreaker. The best performing teams will be the ones who are winning the most ETS matches, so you’ll want to help each other be as successful as possible in that arena.
What does all of this build into? The four best performing teams will be invited to a Team Series Playoff tournament after the Seasonal Invitational, where they will submit a bunch of decks and actually play together as a team. There will be prizes for this event, so be sure to select a team that will both get you there and be an asset once you get there.
So what does the schedule look like?
(The Season 3 break week has been shifted from week 5 to week 2. The second weekly tournament takes place on what would previously be week 3)
July 14 – ETS Weekly #2
July 21 – ETS Weekly #3
July 28 – ETS Weekly #4
August 4 – ETS Weekly #5
August 11 – ETS Weekly #6
August 18 – ETS Weekly #7
August 25 – ETS Weekly #8
August 26 – Last Chance Qualifier
September 1 and 2 – Season 3 Invitational
September 8 and 9 – Season 3 Team Series Playoffs
Amidst all this change, we have some huge changes to our tournament production backend. Both Millertool and rekenner have left active service, and their protégés Tixij and Xenorath are stepping into their shoes. Both of these people have been working tirelessly behind the scenes since 2016, and their retirement is greatly mourned. It also leaves us with a bit of a dearth of backend staff, so we’re looking for producers and tournament organizers. Please contact aReNGee on discord if you’re interested in either of these roles.
That’s all for today
These are some pretty drastic changes to be coming out all at once. We’re still holding back on some of the more jarring ones – a server migration was planned, but deferred. Please continue to support the ETS in all its forms, and don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any feedback or are interested in helping out!