This Week in the ITC: So You’re Going to the Las Vegas Open

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Senior Judges, here to bring you my weekly article on the ITC.

With the Las Vegas Open right around the corner and with it again topping its own success from last year being the largest single Warhammer 40k even in the world I thought I would take the opportunity to write up a quick article about what to expect from the LVO your first time. There are some LVO veterans who may benefit from a couple of these topics as well…

So, you’re attending the Las Vegas Open, which continues to set the standard for what Competitive 40k can be and wraps up the ITC season, crowning both a winner of the largest 40k tournament ever (until next year) and the ITC Champion. While nice, that doesn’t quite do justice to the experience you will have, and what you can do to make this experience all it can be. I began attending the LVO with the very first one, and since then I have only missed two. I played in one, and I have been a judge for the rest. The LVO is a great place to play games, have fun with your miniatures, and experience high-level 40k competition with Games Workshop and the best players in the world. But it can be, and really is, much more than that.

One of the best parts of the LVO is that it’s held in Las Vegas. You should definitely try to take advantage of the fact you’re in one of the most entertaining places on earth. Even if alcohol, gambling, and other of Vegas’ less conventional fare are part of your appetite there are still plenty of things to do. The shows in Vegas are exceptionally well produced and very entertaining, they also run the gamut from Rock/Pop concerts to theatre and burlesque. The food is another great part of being in Vegas, experiencing a great meal in one of the amazing Vegas restaurants really is a must. If drinking is your thing, you might consider finding out the details on the LVO pub crawl that happens on Saturday night and join in on the revelry.

So the LVO is a huge event. No matter the game system you’re playing in at LVO and a lot of these tips will be helpful to you.

  • Wear comfortable shoes. I know as a judge I will be walking a lot more than you are as a player, however, you will be on your feet a lot standing at the table and walking the hall. Do your feet, and back a favor.
  • Hydrate. Believe it or not, remaining properly hydrated is important to success at gaming. Drink water, drink it often. I know it’s Vegas but you really should try to temper your alcohol consumption during the event with plenty of water.
  • Snack. Make sure to keep your energy up by eating a snack in between rounds.
  • Bring medication. You’re going to get a headache at some point. It’s almost guaranteed. Bring Excedrin and Advil. If you have other medications don’t forget to take, or bring, them!
  • Double-check you have your rulebooks (hardback, epub, pdf, etc) print out your FAQs.
  • Double-check your gaming gear:
    • Models
    • Measuring instruments
    • Dice (if you have dice with unique symbols bring some extra “ordinary” dice in case your opponent says he can’t tell what the symbols are)
    • Counters
    • Cards
    • Bag
    • Tray
    • Super Glue
    • Extra copies of your list
    • External power pack, wall charger, and power cord for your phone/tablet device(s)
    • Deodorant
    • Hand Sanitizer
  • Keep track of the time.
    • Plan to arrive early to start times. Pay attention to announcements.
    • Wear a watch.
    • Bring a Chess Clock
  • Manage your expectations: Chances are you won’t be winning your event, but that’s ok! Go into the weekend with the goal of winning all your games, but manage the disappointment when that doesn’t happen. It’s ok, focus on having good games.
  • Read the relevant materials:
  • Maintain Hygiene: I know this may come across as a “smelly” gamer joke, but being in Vegas and staying out late around the bars, tables, restaurants and the stress of playing your games will make you smell. Take a shower each morning, wear deodorant, brush your teeth. Nobody will thank you if you do, but they certainly will notice if you don’t.
  • BCP! The Best Coast Pairings App is used by many gaming systems to organize tournaments. If you’re not familiar with how it works, or how to access it, get yourself familiar with it before Round 1 begins! Especially with how to “Check In” to the event on the App itself.

The Las Vegas Open is a really great event, and it can be a truly amazing experience if you take full advantage of everything offered to you with just a little bit of mindfulness on your part in regards to your personal needs, not just your… ahem… desires.

Going into the last 7 days before the Las Vegas Open 2020 here are the standings for the top 30 in the ITC and the top 10 40k Clubs in the ITC!

Those people, and Clubs, represent in my view the people and clubs with the best chances of winning the overall ITC awards that are handed out after the Las Vegas Open. As far as who could win the Las Vegas Open Warhammer 40k Championships? Well, any of the 800+ people could do it. My money would be on someone in the top 100 of the ITC though as they clearly have the experience over the course of the year to do it.

I hope to see many of you there! In case you missed it, here is the Judges PSA video for the 40k Championships one more time.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!


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.

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