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Masters... of the Universe!

by Kris Sonsteby, Director of Organized Play

27th June 2018

It's Time to Boldy Go… Where No One Has Gone Before…

In early March, the Organized Play team solicited feedback on both the public and private forums here on The Continuing Committee website to gauge interest in giving the online community a Level 3 event. While the feedback was somewhat mixed, in the interest of finding ways to "let the players play" we have decided to move forward with our inaugural Online Masters tournament series. That's right, 'trek fans! For the first time ever, the popular 'Trek Masters will take to the airwaves with both a First Edition (OTF) and Second Edition (Standard) event, each commencing on 8/20/18.

Question: I've never played online, but would like to try. What do I need to know?

Answer: Online tournaments operate a little bit differently than in person events, but are functionally similar. The most imporant thing to remember is that you MUST pre-register. If you do not pre-register before the start date, the Tournament Director (in this case, yours truly) won't know you wish to participate and you will not be included in the opening round pairings. On the morning of August 20th, these pairings will be announced on the forums (here's an example thread for reference.) Wins and losses of the various matches are then also reported on the forums, and Round 2 pairings will be posted once all of the game results from Round 1 have trickled in. This process is repeated for each subsquent round, until everyone has played all of their games and a winner has been determined.

Question: Alright, technically speaking, what programs will I need to use to participate?

Answer: As standard operating procedure, tournament games for either First or Second Edition are to be played on the Lackey server (a handy "How To" guide can be found here) and voice chat for the matches should be facilitated via Skype. Whatever method you use to arrange your match with your respective opponent(s) - be it forum PM, Skype, Discord, text message, smoke signal, etc. is up to you.

Question: Sweet! So, this is a 'Trek Masters event, right? I'm guessing that means it is special in some way compared to other online events. What makes it different?

Answer: Correct! The 'Trek Masters tournament series are Level 3 events, which means the ratings points applied to each tournament game have been increased. But more importantly, this tournament series also offers exclusive prizes to the participants in the form of alternate image foils, buttons, and play mats. This year, we are celebrating the Non-Aligned affiliation, and eight lucky players from each tournament who complete all of their matches will be sent an exclusive virtual promo foil commemorating their participation. For First Edition, that means you will recieve Kivas Fajo's ship, the Jovis, and for Second Edition that means you will be entered to win Baran's ship, the Fortune. But enough of my rambling... Johnny, show 'em what they will win!

Question: Wow, I'm sold. But I gotta ask... with increased ratings points, exclusive foils and all on the line, how do I know my opponents won't cheat against me? What can I do if I suspect someone I played against was cheating?

Answer: The Organized Play team takes cheating and even the suspicion of cheating very seriously. We are aware that players looking to gain an advantage in their games can do so more easily online than could otherwise be done in person, and as a result we have mutually agreed to a Zero Tolerance Policy towards cheating.

It is our hope that by pre-registering for these tournaments each participant will act in good faith, and play in a manner that is both honorable and in-line with the spirit of comradery that defines our gaming community. However, as this is our first attempt at expanding Level 3 events to the greater online player base, we simply refuse to allow anyone to ruin these and potential future events for others. Any participant found guilty of cheating will be penalized severely, and the Code of Conduct will be strictly enforced throughout. To that end, members of The Organized Play team and various other TCC at-large personnel have graciously offered to participate in order to serve as our eyes and ears on the ground. As the event date gets closer, these secondary T.D.'s will be formerly announced and it is expected that they will serve as both another point of contact for this far-reaching issue and be available to answer general rules questions. Further, it is my intention to 'drop in' periodically without warning on games in-progress that I find on the Lackey server, effectively wandering the tournament hall as I would if these events were transpiring in person.

But with that said, we acknowledge that however many safety measures we try to put into place, the capacity to cheat (and get away with it) will always be there. There is no hiding from it, and for that reason alone we politely request that everyone mutually agree not to be "That Guy" who ruined online play for everyone else. We are counting on you, the potential tournament participant, to resist the temptation to cheat and to police your own ranks as best you can. Above all else, it is our hope that everyone involved in this 'Trek Masters series will epitomize the level of sportsmanship we often find offline at tournaments held in person. It is the Organized Play team's belief that despite the geographic distance between yourself and your opponent, this same level of sportsmanship resides within the online community as well.

Now then... who's ready to boldly go where no 'Trek Masters event has gone before?

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