**IMPORTANT NOTE THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN ON 3-6-19 BEFORE THE NEW SCORING ALGORITHIM WENT INTO EFFECT**
Some of you may be reading this article series for the first time so let me begin with a rundown of what this is and who I am. Last year for the 2018 ITC season Reece reached out to me about writing a weekly review of what is going on in the ITC. I was happy to do this, and over the course of last season, I wrote many articles, not always every week mind you and the format I did changed week to week. Some articles were succinct reviews of the standings, some of them were interviews with high ranked players or teams, still, other articles focused on changes to the ITC format or the Las Vegas Open. My name is John Weyermuller, I am sometimes referred to as Salty John, and I am one of the Head Judges for the Las Vegas Open. One of the reasons Reece entrusted a weekly article on the ITC to me is I have years of experience in competitive 40k, particularly writing and talking about it. I’ve played 40k since 3rd edition, and I began playing competitively at the end of 4th. I was there at the beginning of the West Coast competitive scene and the ITC, attending the first Bay Area Opens run by Frontline Gaming, and I have since helped out with the ITC Missions, Format, and most recently the Code of Conduct. Years ago in the dark ages of 40k Forums and the 40k Blogosphere being hyper-relevant, I ran a small blog called Capture and Control which is where Reece originally found me as a writer for FLG, these days besides being an LVO/ITC head judge, and writer for Frontline Gaming, I am also one of the members of TFG Radio. TFG Radio is a group of dedicated individuals that do a bi-weekly podcast, usually recorded live over Twitch, and recently we’ve begun running events in the Southern California area. TFG Radio is comprised of fellow LVO head judges Adam Solis and Danny Ruiz and we are often joined by Tom Malone who you will see listed later on in the article. We also receive a lot of input on the show, and help for running events, from our 40k teammates on #REKT. Check out the TFG Radio Facebook page and the page for our next event The Battle for Los Angeles GT being held at KublaNOW! in Burbank this April.
Now that’s out of the way let’s move on to what most of you came here for in the first place, news about this week in the ITC! Last week in my article I discussed a lot of the changes happening in the ITC this year and how we plan to use March as a Beta Test month for the Mission changes we want to adopt and announced there would be a poll at the end of March to gain some feedback on the ITC. This week I want to look at the actual standings for some of the ITC. I always find the earliest months of the ITC to be the most exciting. It’s like the wild west before Adepticon hits, where there are dozens of RTTs played a few GTs and a smattering of Majors but nothing huge yet. The names in the top 10 come and go quickly, the Faction Rankings ebb and flow with known names and newcomers. It’s a cool time to look at the ITC and see just how many great players there are in the circuit who are known locally as big fish, but for various reasons might not show up later in the season on the ranking boards. Before that though, this week sees the release of Vigilus and potentially huge shakeups to the Meta. While you can go anywhere on the internet for rules rumors and insight on how these new releases might affect the meta, here, I want to share with you some of the choicest memes to come from this release so far. If you don’t like memes, you probably aren’t going to like my articles. Sorry.
Memes out of the way let’s jump right into the current top 10 in the ITC and take a quick look at what’s going on early in the season.
The top 10 is a little crazy at the moment. Just over 1 month into the season and we have players with 4 of 5 events played! That’s nuts, where do these guys find the time!? No, really I want to know the secret. Joking aside a few of these guys have some impressive wins notched on their belt already. Let’s look at a few of the players more closely.
Michael Sarapta is in first place with 4 events and repping Cult Mechanicus in a strong way so far this season! 3 RTTs and a GT already in the books for him, with a 1st place at an RTT puts him good position to continue making progress on his score ove rhte next few months. Jim Vesal just won the Dicehammer GT over the weekend with Chaos Daemons. Winning Dicehammer is no easy feat. That GT is a local one in Southern California and it has some of the stiffest West Coast competition you can find. Number 8 player Danny Kwan also played in that event and got 12th. Danny is representing the Dark Angels right now and has a single RTT win already. Taking a look at Dicehammer’s top 30 you can see what I mean by it is a tough field.
The international players are making more and more headway in the ITC. Last season the London GT had a huge turnout of players and despite growing pains, they are going to have a big event this year as well. Anton Wilson and Karl Abrahamsson are currently dominating the European and Scandinavian regional rankings and both have spots in the top 10 right now. An international ITC champion for 2019 is a definite possibility!
Another part of the ITC I find fun to watch is the team performances. Although the big team tournaments like ATC currently skew the Team Rankings pretty hard to the winner, it is still fun to look at which teams are performing well and what regions they might represent. Currently the top 20 teams in the ITC have some very faimiliar names to those of you who paid attention to the top 20 throughout last season.
Let’s take a look at the Top 3 from the factions as they stand right now.
I love seeing so many new names mixed in with the old. We have veteran players changing factions, and taking breaks, so we will probably see a lot of new names in the early months. Then some of the old names coming back and then, the most interesting part, we will see new talent rising up and sticking in the top spots! I am going to leave with a few plugs for new events in the ITC! There are new GTs and Majors cropping up every month it seems, and with the ITC growing at an exponential rate it also feels like we’re never going to run out of players to fill them up! First up the one the TFG Radio crew is running. The Battle for Los Angeles GT at KublaNOW! in Burbank.
The last few years Wasteland Games has put on the Gentleman’s GT in Las Vegas. This year it’s expanding not only to Major status, but making the weekend a full fledged Convention! Check out the Facebook page for details on the newest Vegas gaming Convention!
Complete new comer as far as I know is the Battle for the Peak being held in Florida! Check it out!
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!