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Gridlock II: Vying for World Domination

by Jens Kreutzer

"I pulled no bitgainer cards, no Bodyweight or Jack'n'Joe, and was even forced to include Codeslinger as a Sentrybreaker!" - such statements are often heard after sealed deck tourneys, expressing a certain dissatisfaction with the random aspect of the format. Even though it is the general consensus that Netrunner plays excellently right out of the starter box, getting flatlined in a sealed match by a corp player who got both Schlaghund and I Got A Rock (plus the trace cards to use them) does seem a bit harsh. This happened to me once, by the way.

A constructed tourney, on the other hand, tends to scare off lots of players who think that they haven't got enough cards to be competitive, which is, unfortunately, not altogether wrong.

In 1998, the TRC is organizing the first Netrunner World Championship - at last we can find out whose deck-building and playing skills are fit for World Domination! During the last weekend in February (Feb 27th to March 1st), Gridlock II Weekend, qualifier tourneys will be held all over the world. The top runners and corp players will be invited to the actual world championship, World Domination, to be held later this year, via Internet Relay Chat, beginning on April 1st.

But, in the light of the problems mentioned above, there was the big question concerning a format which would be equally fair to each and every participant - eliminating the advantages of "card lords" as well as the luck of the draw in sealed deck play.

Therefore, TRC people came up with a completely new format, which could be labelled "Limited Pool Constructed". In December 1997, an election was held via the Internet. Using a ballot form, players posted their suggestions for a card pool that would be the basis for each participant's tourney deck. Certain limitations on card type and rarity ensured a healthy mix, and in the end, only 6 "rare" cards ended up on the list. Considering that there are 180 cards total (90 for each side), and that each card may only be included once in any deck ("Highlander" format), players should have no great difficulty in constructing almost any style tourney deck they fancy.

Having addressed the issue of the format, the TRC faced another difficulty: How will a runner based in the Eurotheater face off against a corp that's based in Sydney City Grid? What about a U.S. hacker versus Arasaka in Japan? The only feasible solution was more than obvious, actually. Do the Long-Distance-Link stuff via the Net.

So, this is what you have to do to become the 1998 Netrunner World Champion: Get the list with the cards that are allowed for the tourney (available at the TRC website), build yourself two decks for the tourney using only the listed cards, and each card only once, keep your eyes open for the Gridlock II tourney that's held nearest the place where you live (a list of tourneys is also available at the TRC website), go to the tourney and play. If you're among the top finishers, you might just make it to "World Domination". This depends on how many players are competing in your Gridlock II tourney - the more players there are, the more will advance to the next round. Perhaps only the first, possibly as many as the top three players.

For the Finals, the TRC will coordinate Internet access for the competitors and arrange times convenient to the individual opponents. Further details are to be announced. But one thing is certain, the prizes for the winner will be everything but shabby, not to mention the bragging rights for the world's Top Runner!

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