Updates to the Eternal Tournament Series: 2018 and 2019

Living in the modern world means embracing change, and change has come once again to the Eternal Tournament Series. Fortunately, all of these changes are positive or necessary improvements, and we’re particularity excited to announce some new events and nail down the date on some existing ones. Let’s get started!

What’s New

2019 Community Championship

March 23rd and 24th, 2019

Dire Wolf Digital has announced the Eternal World Championship 2019, a sixteen person invite only tournament with a one hundred thousand dollar prize pool. One of those invitations has been allotted to us to award the winner of the 2019 Community Championship! Be sure to check out the announcement article for all the details and to learn how to qualify.

Prize Pool Increases

Invitational: $500 -> $1500

World Championships: $3000 -> $5000

We’re ecstatic to announce that we’ve received some additional prize support courtesy of Dire Wolf Digital! Invitational prize pools have tripled and the World Championships has gone up to a respectable $5000, on par with the newly announced Eternal Championship Qualifiers. It takes a lot of time and energy to sit down and play Eternal every weekend in order to qualify for these big tournaments, so we’re very happy that we’re able to better reward the players that have been keeping us going all this time.

What’s Changing

Premiere Tournaments return to Weekly Format

Conquest is no more – Premiere tournaments will be returning to single deck best of X series. This includes Invitational tournaments, Worlds Wildcard, the ETS World Championships, and the 2019 Community Championship. The swap between single deck weeklies and multideck Premiere tournaments was felt to be more jarring, and with the increased stakes it was important to keep everything consistent. Additionally, both time and ironically variance were problematic factors – round times were half again that of even a single deck best of five, and players burned out far faster. Additionally, sets were played best of one to avoid stretching these round timers even further, which left players at the mercy of variance. There are some good multideck formats out there, but they all fall prey to these three issue which is why we’ve decided to return to what we know.

Last Chance Qualifiers are removed

Speaking frankly, we did not have enough players to populate the last LCQ we ran. While it has always been the easiest way to qualify for the Invitational, in recent times its become more of a First Chance Qualifier as players wait the entire season, then play a single tournament and get put right alongside those who’ve ground it out for 8 weeks. With the increased stakes, LCQs have been removed to preserve the spirit of competition and give more slots for those that play regularly. The Invitational will now invite 8 weekly winners and 24 players based on Invitational Points per season.

Rule Changes!

A large number of rules are changing, but we’re not going to take the time to list them all right here. Check out the full list of rule changes at the bottom of this article.

What’s the Same

ETS World Championships

December 8, 9, 15, and 16

Our flagship tournament remains our flagship: sixteen successful players will earn invitations to the World Championships, held over two weeks. The winner will walk away with a whole ton of prizes (although not an invite to the 2019 EWC) and the title of 2018 World Champion. After Worlds, we’ll crown our 2018 Player of the Year and 2018 Rookie of the Year before celebrating with our traditional Eye of Winter Classic (III).

There are three ways to earn an invite to the ETS World Championships. Four (4) players earn direct invites by winning an Invitational tournament. Ten (10) of the players with the highest Series Point totals earn invitations for their overall success over the year. Finally, two (2) players will earn an invite by finishing in the top two of the ETS Worlds Wildcard tournament.

ETS Worlds Wildcard

November 24 and 25

The Worlds Wildcard is a sixteen person invite only last chance to get to the ETS World Championships. The two players who finish the tournament in the Top 2 will receive an invitation to Worlds, every else goes home – their seasons are done. Series Point invitations for the World Championships will go out prior to Wildcards. Once we have our ten players, the sixteen (16) remaining players with the highest Series Point totals that have not already earned a Worlds invite will be invited to play in the Wildcard tournament. There are no direct invites, players are only invited via Series points after the Season Four Invitational.

Key Dates

In order to ensure we’ve got everything ready to go, we’ve scheduled out the next six months in full. Here are the dates you need to know.

September 22: Season 4 Weekly Tournaments Begin

November 10: Season 4 Weekly Tournaments End

November 17 and 18: Season 4 Invitational

November 24 and 25: Worlds Wildcard

December 8, 9, 15, and 16: ETS World Championships

December 29: Eye of Winter Classic III (as is tradition)

January 5: 2019 Season 1 Weekly Tournaments Begin

March 2: 2019 Season 1 Weekly Tournaments End

March 9 and 10: 2019 Season 1 Invitational

March 23 and 24: 2019 Community Championship

Rule Changes – All Levels

Card Legality Rule Removed – Cards are now legal for tournament play as soon as they are available in client. You must still own all cards you register/play.

Card Banning – At the organizers discretion, they may deem it necessary to ban a card or card(s) from tournament play. Card bans will ONLY be used when there is a bug with the card that causes unintended behavior or gameplay problems. For example, End of the Story killing units through Aegis without tribute active would be considered a bug worthy of a card ban (since the player can’t do anything about it). Casting Levitate without any targets would be considered an exploit (since the player has control of targeting). There are three kinds of possible bans.

  • Exploit Ban – Cards are legal for tournament play, but there is a certain intentional player-triggered action that causes a bug. Triggering this bug is banned and will result in an infraction. Bugs that trigger without the player causing them to will not result in an infraction, though most cards of this type will receive a more severe ban.
  • Card Ban – Announced at least 24 hours beforehand. Banned cards are not legal for tournament play and may not be registered. Generating banned cards (i.e. not in your decklist) is not an infraction, although banned cards are considered exploit banned as well.
  • Emergency Card Ban (pretournament) – Announced less than 24 hours before decklists close. Banned cards are not legal for tournament play and may not be registered. Players with illegal cards will be contacted and allowed to privately resubmit decklists (before check in begins) or exchange the banned card(s) for any other legal card (after check in).
  • Emergency Card Ban (tournament) – We really, really hope this doesn’t happen. Whatever happens will be at organizer discretion.

Card bans will be lifted as soon as a hotfix is available.

Spoiling The Stream

Talking in chat while your feature match is in progress has been added to the list of infractions. We’ve received many, many complaints about players talking in twitch chat while their match is in progress on the stream, at the very least letting all and sundry know that this match is over within five minutes. In worse cases, they can spoil an exciting comeback, tease a topdeck, or just reveal that you’re stream sniping (having the stream playing during your feature match is considered stream sniping). We get it, you want to discuss the game/celebrate your win/bemoan your loss. That’s totally fine – just please please please wait until the match is over on stream as well as everywhere else.

Rule Changes – Weekly Tournaments

Streaming – Participants are encouraged to stream their matches! It is strongly recommended, but not required, that you use a stream delay of at least five minutes and do not read your chat during matches in order to prohibit stream sniping and backseat coaching/outside assistance. If the tournament organizer has cause to believe that infractions may be occurring, they will investigate and you may be asked to turn off your stream.

Spectating – Spectating at weekly events is allowed, but discouraged. You must stop streaming if asked to do so by a participant in the match you are spectating or the tournament organizer. Players are encouraged to keep spectating off during tournament matches. If the tournament organizer has cause to believe that infractions may be occurring, they will investigate.

Rule Changes – Premiere Tournaments

Force Play Draw is now in effect at all Premiere Tournaments – The player who lost the previous game in a match will start first in the next game. Not may start first, will start first – the player does not get a choice of play/draw. In order to facilitate this, it will sometimes be necessary to concede and rechallenge until the correct configuration is reached. This should always occur before redrawing. As soon as the technology to do this in client without concessions is available, it will be gratefully adopted.

Streaming – In the interest of providing the most competitive environment and avoid any cheating allegations, livestreaming Premiere tournaments is banned. Players are welcome to record your tournament play and use it anytime after that day of the tournament is complete. Streaming with delay is unfortunately also banned due to issues with detection and enforcement.

Spectating – Spectating a Premiere tournament match is banned, with the exception of the production crew for feature matches. Players are encouraged to have spectating disabled except during a feature match, for the same integrity reasons as above.