Recently, once again, it feels like there’s a light starting to pour out of me, warm and dazzling with possibility. How I’ve missed that feeling! Is it the gorgeous spring weather helping to wake me up, or is it that the world lights up when I smile? Well, what can I say, I have my Van Gogh phases like most of the artists I know, which is all part of the process of having a fresh and exciting awareness of how awesome I am, which is the way more fun thing to share with you all.
Right now I have tons of excitement for my primary competitive hobby, Legend of the Five Rings. It’s a collectible card game (like Magic, but better) and we’ve entered a season of major tournaments called Kotei. This is my third season participating in Kotei: my first, I did really well for a first year; last year, I did awful; this year, my first tournament was in Evansville, Indiana, this previous weekend. There was a costume contest in addition to the card tournament, so I came dressed accordingly:
I was feeling pretty good about myself, I must admit! I ended up coming in second in the costume contest, though, to a guy with props and fake blood smeared on him, so I thought that was fair. Anyway…
Major L5R tournaments proceed in a fairly predictable manner. We start with preliminary rounds using a Swiss-system, which means that players are randomly paired up within their win record. So, the first round is totally random, but in the second round people who won play other people who won. In the third round, two wins play two wins, one win plays one win, etc. Seven rounds of 45-minute matches determine preliminary rankings, then a top cut of players goes single-elimination until a winner is determined.
We had 84 players in Evansville, and in the system being used required winning any five of one’s Swiss matches to make the cut. I went win-win-win-lose-win-lose-win and made it! If you want to read a detailed, geeky break down of how that went, you can find it here.
This is only the second time I have made a Kotei cut, and I consider it a pretty big deal. It doesn’t mean that you’re one of the very best players, quite, but you can’t do it if you suck, for sure. So, while six people played off for the last three spots in the Top 16, I changed into something comfy and got serious.
My Top 16 match was against a very good and well known player and was selected as the round’s feature match, meaning that it went out on the event live stream. The tremendous turn of good fortune this is for my Treasure’s is that the recording of the match is available! It’s not easy to tell what’s happening in the game, but if you like to watch my hands you are going to go crazy for this! It’s 40 minutes long, but if you don’t watch it all, be sure to catch the waving and kisses blowing at the end. I liked noticing how many of my things that appear in the video were gifts from sweet Treasures, including:
1) Some of the cards I am playing with.
2) The deck sleeves I am using.
3) The mini My Little Pony lunch box I keep my dice in.
4) The pants I’m wearing.
5) The Camelbak backpack I occasionally take a drink from. (Wow, this thing is amazing for tournaments!!!)
6) My watch.
On top of the not visible, but present, necklace, shoes and underwear that were also gifts from precious Treasures. Oh, and sometimes I lean forward and you can see my face, and all of my makeup came into my life the same way. I feel so loved!
Anyway, what the video shows is a really brilliant match-up. Jeff’s deck is rough, and he got ahead early, but I had both great luck and my best play of the day and pulled it out. That put me, for the first time, in a Top 8! Top 8 is a whole new level of respectability, in my mind. It’s like making the final table of a poker tournament; the best players will win the most often, but anyone left at that point has it within their capability to win out. It gives me cred, at least to myself.
What it feels like to make Top 4 I will have to wait to find out, as in my last game I was paired up for the second time against someone who trounced me in Swiss. I was proud of myself for trying different things and fighting back longer than in our earlier match, but I was unfamiliar with his deck type and if there was a winning strategy I didn’t discover it.
I finished the day 5th place and Top Unicorn, which is the an award to the person who finishes highest from each clan, the various factions in the game world. Between prizes for those things, participation, and my 2nd place costume, my loot was a pretty delightful pile.
So, yeah, I’m a proud peacock, can you tell?
Oh, and see the sexy lady whose picture is at the bottom of the prizes? She’s the new leader of my clan, Unicorn, which I have played for many years. Her stats include the keyword “Living Goddess”. I can’t possibly think of that sort of connection as anything but the Universe shamelessly flirting with me.
Now, don’t worry, I have at least a few weeks to concentrate on the pleasures of being a goddess myself, for a while, before being distracted by the next Kotei. I am looking forward to getting caught up on some e-mails and I’ve very excited to be writing a script called “Goddess Fix”. (Custom version available, contact me if you’re interested.)
In the meanwhile, I want to go to as many Kotei as possible, and I really want my spoiling inclined Treasures to support that goal. You can see the full list of locations and dates here. To get me to tournaments, I can use cash contributions, extra recording purchases, Southwest gift cards, Amazon gift cards, and gifts related to the hobby from my wish list marked #kotei2012. (I just updated it, and the thank yous for purchased gifts, too.) In addition, if you see a location near you on the list and would like to book a live session of some type as part of a trip, get in touch! It would be the Friday before or Sunday after the tournament, depending on the travel schedule. Direct all inquiries and contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org.