Hello Everyone. Let’s get going with our latest “From the Producer” shall we? Thank you for tuning in again!
In this instalment of the blog, I will be reporting on the “French National Championships” that were held over the 8th and 9th of July.* The cards permitted at the event were only up to Opus 2, so it was not fully up to date, but I feel like these results can still be used as a reference for getting new ideas and creating new decks.
So who became the first French national champion for FF-TCG? Here’s my report on this historical moment!
■ Japan Expo
Sorry that I wrote the above sentence so passionately, but before I start reporting on the tournament itself, I would like to talk about the venue where it was held. This time round, the tournament was held at, you guessed it, “Japan Expo”, the famous Japanese pop culture exhibition held in France every year. This is the second national tournament in succession held at a big event, following on from the recent UK National Championships. This really fired me up and It felt like a big, serious event. Although the tournament venue was set up a bit away from the main area, you were still able to feel the atmosphere of Japan Expo, and it had that “Special Event” type of feel to it.
This is not connected to the tournament at all by the way, but if you collected stamps from the various Square Enix booths that was set up on the show floor, you were able to get a parallel card of 【1-098R】”Gabranth”. This has the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary logo on it, and as of right now, it’s only out in French, but there’s a possibility that the same card will be made available in other languages as well so watch out for it!
■ Tournament Format
Ok, let us get into the details of the tournament report. In France, there were preliminaries held in 24 places around the country, and the winner from each regional tournament was able to enter the national tournament. This means that there were 24 players battling it out.
The main tournament was held over 2 days, and on the first day, a Swiss-system tournament format was used, having 5 rounds, with the top 8 players proceeding on to the second day. Then on the second day, a Single Elimination format was used, having those 8 players play through 3 rounds before the overall winner is announced. Even just writing that down, it has made me realise quite how hard to become the national champion in France.
■ The First Day
Let’s get into the details of the first day. The group that stood out the most was called “Team Mustadio”. They had 4 players in the main tournament, but their teammates had come from all over to cheer them on. There were about 15 of them, and they had a big presence there. It really does feel like a big tournament when you have teams like those guys coming on united and ready to play!
■ The Second Day
As mentioned above, the second day saw the final 8 players aiming for glory. You win the tournament here, and you become the French Champion, but even if you only make it to the Final 4, you still earn the right to participate at the European Championships in October. Put simply, if you win the first round, you have the right to play against the best players from the rest of Europe. Because of that, there were many heated battles played across the first round.
The player that drew the most attention here was 14-year-old Evan Tanguy. He was using a pure Lightning deck and defeated many strong opponents to get to the final 8. I’m a judge, so obviously I cannot be biased towards a specific player, but I was certainly curious about him. Evan did his best, but sadly he lost in the first round of day 2 and couldn’t make it to the final 4. Even so, he is at an age where he will still get better, so maybe in a few years’ time, he will be one of the best players in the world. He is one to look out for.
The tournament itself went smoothly, and the grand final was fought between Raphaël Le Levé and Tobi Henriet, who both used the same elements; Earth and Ice. This kind of deck is not good at plays involving removing characters at key moments, and is more of a technical deck that lets you control the situation and create moves such as making the opponent throw their hand away. The strength of this type of deck really depends on how good the player using it is, but both Raphaël and Tobi were worthy finalists, showing their strength and potential to the full.
The Final was a heated match between two formidable players, but in the end, Raphaël Le Levé won the match by a thread and was crowned the first ever French national champion. Let’s see how he and the Final 4 from this tournament do at the upcoming European Championships!
*Missed the tournament? The whole stream of the event is available below!