This Week in the ITC: 6-13-19 Top 10 and Top Teams Deep Thoughts

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you another article reviewing the ITC Standings for the 2019 season with the new scoring method in place.

With the 40k ITC season in full swing and the FAQ having settled into the meta the top players have teams have started to solidify a bit. Today I wanted to take a more in-depth look at the top players and teams actual records so far this season. So first take a look at the top teams, then look through a break down of the top scores from those teams. The bold lines are the scores that are counting toward the team score.


The top 5 teams are all over 2000 points at this point in the season, but no one team has anything resembling an insurmountable lead yet.

Jim Vesal and TJ Lanigan share a unique thing in common. They both have so many high scores, as you would expect of the number 1 and 2 players in the world respectively, that not all their scores can count toward the team scores. In fact, a few of the scores their teammates put toward the score are in fact lower than scores of Jim’s and TJ’s that are not included. These teams also have a veritable who’s who of 40k lined up in them. From Lanigan and Vesal to Nanavati, Rose, Fore, Harpster, Siegler, Lennon, and Reidy. Names from Competitive 40ks roots deep in 4th/5th through to the young guns of today.

This top 10 is very impressive. Looking back to the team scores you’ll see a direct correlation between those teams at the top, and the players also at the top.

Now, not every player in the top 10 has a team on the top 5, but many of them do. The more important thing the top 10 has in common though is the number of events attended and their placing at said events. Not a single one has played less than 5 events, as would be expected given how far we are into the season, but they also rarely finish outside the top 10 at any given event! That’s truly impressive. Be honest with yourself, could you finish in the top 10 of 4 out of 5 GT and Majors you attend this season? I couldn’t. Playing at that level was also almost unheard of prior to the ITC, but also it was almost unheard of just a few years ago at the beginning of the ITC.

While the caliber of player has been on a steady rise the number of players who win while doing things less than honest has been on a steady decline. The ITC as a whole is at an interesting point. Some of the most infamous names have fallen by the wayside, whereas players of great integrity have been outperforming them by leaps and bounds. The top players in 40k also seem to be increasingly younger, unmarried, and childless. I think being great at 40k now, with the ITC and LVO being enormously popular, requires a lot more than just local prep and traveling to a Major or two. The days are gone when you could win a few local RTTs, a GT, and then travel to LVO with enough experience and points to win there and the ITC overall. Just look back at the scores I posted in this article. The individual scores are impressive but look again at the team scores too. With a GT (or more) every weekend somewhere in the US, let alone the world, and Majors at least once a month the potential to score huge points is there for those willing, and more importantly able, to travel for it.

I hope to get some more concrete info on this little thesis of mine soon,  but what do you think? Has competitive 40k, and the ITC had a significant paradigm shift from the earlier seasons in terms of not only what it takes to won score-wise, but what it takes to win on the player by player level?


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About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

10 Responses to “This Week in the ITC: 6-13-19 Top 10 and Top Teams Deep Thoughts”

  1. Tony the Tiger June 13, 2019 3:49 am #

    Young – doh

    Unmarried – doh

    Childless – doh

    It would seem the odds are stacked against me 🙂

    • Charlie A. June 13, 2019 4:21 am #

      You and me both, man. Old, Married, Dads – UNITE! Now accepting applicants for team OMD.

      • Embrace Your Inner Geek June 13, 2019 4:49 am #

        Hang in there – with 2 of my three of to university, I can see light at the end of the tunnell.

  2. Sevitar June 13, 2019 4:06 am #

    I completely agree with the hypothesis. I think the amount of time it takes to compete and travel to this many events is almost prohibitive if you have a family, or serious commitments. Heck I’m married and (relatively) young and one of my biggest constraints is that I don’t want to lose 8-9 weekends (if not more) away from my wife just playing 40k.

    It would be fascinating to see a demographic cross section of the ITC population.

  3. jifel June 13, 2019 7:02 am #

    Bad enough my family asks about me being unmarried, you just have to pile on? 😂

    Great article John, keep ‘em coming!

  4. Zapntoo June 13, 2019 8:11 am #

    Bob Marley “No Woman No Cry”

  5. JimV June 13, 2019 8:33 am #

    “The top players in 40k also seem to be increasingly younger, unmarried, and childless. I think being great at 40k now”

    I feel attacked.

    • Sevitar June 13, 2019 9:00 am #

      Don’t worry Jim it’s just what those of us who can’t win big events tell ourselves to protect our egos ; )

    • SaltyJohn June 13, 2019 1:44 pm #

      Just looking at the reality of the situation!

  6. Jeff Poole June 17, 2019 12:03 pm #

    As a married dad with two young kids I can absolutely say that those are huge hindrances to being high in the rankings. But that is true of almost any competitive sport/game. If you have a lot of free time, then you can obviously spend that time competing, traveling, and practicing (budget notwithstanding).

    I don’t think there’s much there in the terms of a “hypothesis”. It seems pretty apparent. I do think though, that it would be an interesting exercise to look at the top 50 or 100 players in the ITC and note what percentage of them are married, have kids, or travel outside of their local area.

    Like, for the top 50 players, note who:
    – traveled to 1 event more than 50 miles from home
    – traveled to 2 events more than 50 miles from home
    – traveled to 3+ events more than 50 miles from home
    – is married
    – has kids

    This would require a little bit of FB research, but nothing a Salty John & crew can’t handle. And plus, it gives you something unique to talk about on your podcast…shit I should have saved that for me! lol

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