This Week in the ITC: LVO Recap from a Judges Perspective

Hello, 40k fans SaltyJohn here from TFG Radio to talk about my experience as a Judge at the Las Vegas Open this year.

The Las Vegas Open 2020 has come and gone and with it the 2019 ITC Season! Congratulations to Richard Siegler for his outstanding performances all season and for winning the LVO as well as the ITC!

LVO 2020, was an amazing time with some great Warhammer 40k being played competitively. My highlights for the weekend were all based around the people I got to hang out with and games I was able to watch unfold. Some incredible matchups occurred throughout the weekend and some insanely, perhaps overly powerful, lists and combos made appearances and dominated their opponents. I also heard the LVO Pubcrawl was once again an amazing alcohol-fueled night of revelry and glory.

I would like to thank everyone who came up to the judges and expressed their gratitude and took time out of their event to hang out. That’s really what makes all the work we put into the event worth it in my opinion. We put many hours of work into the event itself and also the ITC season as a whole so getting to see it all come to fruition at the apex of the season at LVO is really nice.

LVO 2020 Judges! Matt Root, unfortunately, could not be reached to take part in this photo.

The Las Vegas Open didn’t pass without issues, unfortunately. The widely discussed and publicized issues with the Best Coast Pairings app was unfortunate. Going on 4 years of escalating issues with the app at the marquee 40k event in the world has become a bit taxing. Luckily we were able to cobble together the data and make rounds 2 and 3 happen, although with massive delays amount to about 4 hours total for Day 1. I personally would like to apologize to anyone who missed dinner, show, wedding (?), engagements, etc as a result of the delays. I had sincerely hoped that round 3 would start close to on time, that didn’t happen, and without an actual time estimate on when it would occur, I felt stuck for options and rushed to simply try to get the data necessary for the round to begin entered. Ultimately we probably should have announced that the delay would be over an hour and let the attendees go to get food, drinks, etc with a time to return. Unfortunately, we were all, as I said deep into damage control mode and it did not occur to us to do that. Again, for that, I would also like to apologize to attendees who would have appreciated that. Day 2 ran much smoother and the RTTs and Top 8 also run by our team of judges ran smoothly as well, so thank you for your patience and understanding.

Aside from that, there wasn’t too much drama from the judging perspective this year. We did issue quite a few Yellow Cards and even one Red Card with an accompanying event DQ. While the 40k version of the cancel culture brigade has done it’s best to stir the pot on Facebook and Reddit (seriously I went through some of those threads, Reddit users are straight making up most of what they write) the main issue with players, sportsmanship, and the Code of Conduct continues to be one of self-righteousness and lack of self-advocacy. I understand that sounds contradictory so let me explain. It is two separate issues that are equally prevalent. On the one hand, you have players at the LVO who view themselves as the righteous IRL representatives of the 40k lynch mob. Trying their best to get certain players carded and out of the event. I can tell you from experience several of these players ran seriously close to doing the exact opposite of getting these players they were targeting kicked out and instead almost earned penalties themselves. Targeting people out of a sense of righteous zeal is a dangerous game to play. The other problem is still the issue of players coming to us long after an issue with a player, hours later, and asking us to do something about it. I understand calling for a judge at the moment makes some people nervous but you have to advocate for yourself. We cannot actively judge 400 tables, if you won’t stand up for yourself then I don’t think anyone is going to do it for you.

On the topic of sportsmanship, the exhibition match between Alex Fennel and Marc Merrill from Riot Games on Thursday night was awesome! If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, you should!

Overall LVO 2020 was really successful but it was unfortunately marred by the delays due to Best Coast Pairing issues. I sincerely hope that changes in the future. Looking toward the ITC 2020 season I really hope we see some exciting changes to the format, missions, and game overall. I am also hoping I get to participate more as a player this season than last season, so far the family calendar has me hopeful that I will get to play a few more two day events than last season. Three-day events continue to be a struggle for me but I am going to try and swing the Bay Area Open again.

I also plan to continue writing these weekly, mostly weekly, recaps of the comings and goings in the ITC world of Warhammer 40k so if you have suggestions on things you would like me to focus more on let me know!

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

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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.

2 Responses to “This Week in the ITC: LVO Recap from a Judges Perspective”

  1. Avatar
    r3v0lv3r January 31, 2020 3:48 am #

    No drama and no salt. This topic is lacking the most important information.
    Where is the info about the cheaters exposed and disgraced ?

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