Toronto Beyblade Tournaments Weekend Report: BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 (BSC/BST/MFL)

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May 24–26, 2019 at Anime North 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Toronto squad reunited! Left to Right: Suntailhawk, pyrus10000, JesseObre, U wot m8, Kei, OldSchool™, Mitsu, 1234beyblade, LMAO

It’s that time of year again! After our milestone tenth year at Anime North in 2018, I returned once again to host the 2019 edition of BEYBLADE NORTH!

In this report, I’d like to first give some context and talk about the things which happened before the convention; this includes my mindset, goals, and ideas as it relates to the event. Then, I will move on to talking strictly about what happened on each of the three tournaments I hosted over three days at the convention.

Recognizing Limits & Working Smarter, Not Harder

At the beginning of 2019 in January and February, I dove extremely deep into planning for WBO X Championship.

Something on the scale of what we want to do for WBO X Championship demands an extremely high level of strategy, collaboration, commitment, financing, and fortitude.

While that event, its status, and the story behind its planning is something for another day, the reason I mention it is because the amount of time I dedicated to that–as well as BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019 which also happened in January–forced me to think about doing things more efficiently and simply for BEYBLADE NORTH 2019.

Planning for WBO X Championship and the massive events that were Beytuber Brawl and BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019–and several other things that happened recently–have opened my eyes on so many levels with regards to what it is the WBO is, what the WBO should be, and what the WBO is capable of as a non-profit volunteer organization.

It made me realize more clearly that we have limits; both as an organization and as individuals. And the only way to respond to this is to acknowledge them and fashion what we do based around those limitations. Only then can we think about how to surpass our limits.

As a result, the team and I have been working steadily to improve our guidelines, simplify our lives, and question everything that we do. It’s an ongoing process, but you can see the fruits of this in things like our most recent Organizer’s Guide updates:

In years past we allowed ourselves to continue expanding without really thinking about what that means and what extra responsibility comes along with that. There’s a lot of things we didn’t think through before that we are starting to now, and there’s a lot of busy work that we added for ourselves which we’re trying to remove now. Some of it was more sustainable back when the WBO was smaller or our team was larger, but for one reason or another, a lot of it is worth re-considering now so that we can build a stronger, more prepared, sustainable WBO moving forward.

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I remember that during the first five years or so that I hosted our Anime North events, I always felt this sense of–likely self-inflicted–urgency and pressure to present something new every single year. A new brand, a new name, a new schedule, a new side event, a new contest, bigger scale … All of these things are nice, but the question we started asking ourselves actually back in 2016 was: is it necessary? What do people come to our events actually want? What are we capable of? Are we executing the fundamentals well enough?

These sort of questions led to the creation of “BEYBLADE NORTH” as we know it now. A recognized brand which people understand, trust, look forward to, and expect certain things from. Over the years we’ve still tried new things, but there has been a lot more consistency from year to year at least in terms of branding and overall expectations for the event.

It’s important to experiment, but as an organization predicated on the work of volunteers, the far smarter approach is to build a sustainable base first. So, this year I took what I felt was the essence of BEYBLADE NORTH and did what I could to make sure it was executed to perfection with minimal stress and effort in a way that would be repeatable for future years.

And I’m happy to say that my feeling is we came pretty close to it thanks to that approach and to the new guidelines derived from from our experience with events like Beytuber Brawl, BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019, and WBO X Championship.

The Essence of BEYBLADE NORTH & The Strength of the WBO

Our events at Anime North have been many, many things over the years. We’ve played basically every format in WBO history at some point during our run at Anime North, we’ve done every side event imaginable, a few North American Championships, had Beyblade voice actor guests, various social media events which were not too successful, a Beyblade Museum, a training session for new players, and more …

So, what is the essence of BEYBLADE NORTH? This is a question I’ve been asking myself for a long time, including in my report from 2018.

While I understand how we got there, I think it is a mistake moving forward to necessarily think of it strictly as an international event. But make no mistake: I want people from all over to attend if they are interested. However, slowly I’ve been realizing that the true strength of the WBO itself is our Organized Play structure, everything associated with that, and the local communities who use it. Not complicated, stressful international events.

Our website is a great hub for this activity and we are linked through things like our worldwide ranking system and standardized rulesets. But the local communities are what I feel we should be most proud of and what I feel people value the most when it comes down it. Considering this, encouraging the growth of local communities is where I feel the greatest opportunity for us lies.

I remember just being so blown away when I traveled in 2017 to New York and 2018 to Los Angeles to play in local events. What we’re doing on the local level is special and impacting people more than we realize sometimes.

While a noble idea, rather than trying to take on responsibility very few people are willing to commit to by aiming to unite players at an international event, I think it is a lot more realistic and meaningful for us to focus our efforts on expanding the number of local communities active on the WBO while also lowering the barrier to entry wherever we can.

I’m confident that our organizers can host killer local events (both casual and more serious at local conventions) if they are managed correctly, but I’m not so confident we are ready to do what it would take to do an international event justice.

With ambition now in check, this is what the essence of BEYBLADE NORTH comes down to for me:

  • Opportunity for Exposure: It is an opportunity to nurture the local Toronto community and the WBO due to the exposure Anime North offers. I do think that moving forward there might be some things we can do to capitalize on this and attract people at the convention more actively.
  • Multi-Day: Because Anime North is multi-day, BEYBLADE NORTH has also always been multi-day. This is unique as it never happens any other time throughout the year and it also contributes to the idea of nurturing the local community because over several days you can certainly start building relationships that are stronger than those with people you only see once a month.
  • Higher Production Value: This comes through the use of things such as a speaker/microphone, our stand-up banner, giant Taka/Fumi and Beyblades cutouts, trophies, and so forth. It’s like a G2 event as opposed to a G4, to make the analogy with TAKARA-TOMY’s event system.
  • BeyShop: This is a more recent development, but I think especially for Anime North having a shop of some sort available for players and con-goers is important. It helps players, attracts attention to our booth, and increases the likelihood of people playing with Beyblade after the convention and then finding us again.
  • Planned Further in Advance: Unlike most regular events, BEYBLADE NORTH is planned months in advance not only by necessity, but to help build interest and excitement for the event.

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Organizational Methods

With the above essence in mind, here is a look at some of the organizational methods and ideas we employed for BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 and how they ended up working out in practice.

I’ve spoken about many of these ideas previously in things like my report for BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019, but this time is when we were able to put them into practice finally:

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Participant Capping
The recently implemented (and still work-in-progress) participant capping feature and rules were a massive boon to our ability to properly plan each of the three events.

I was able to set participant caps based on a few factors:

  • The size of our space
  • The amount of time we had
  • The amount of staff we had
  • The complexity of the format

For instance, on Friday we had far less time than we did for our Saturday event due to the venue closing at 10 or 11PM and we were also playing the more complicated Burst Classic Format, so the cap for that day was set to 30 as opposed to 85 on Saturday.

Previously we had no way to control this, which led to situations like our Friday event at BEYBLADE NORTH 2017 where we ended up being kicked out of the venue and had to finish it at the hotel across the street. Or BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019 where we ended up with close to 170 participants when we had only expected around 130. That’s just poor planning and anticipation, so I’m glad we are being smarter than that now by allowing for participant capping.

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The implementation of participant capping necessitates that there be a clear method for players to secure a spot in the event beforehand, especially if the event is ticketed like Anime North. The last thing you want is someone who bought a ticket to the convention just for the tournament showing up before registration has ended and not having a spot because the cap has been reached by people who showed up earlier.

This required manual work, but I had players e-mail me their Anime North ticket confirmation along with their username and event(s) they wanted to reserve a spot for.

I’m glad that I did this as it gave me what turned out to be a pretty accurate baseline for how many players to expect. We had more players than the amount of people who pre-registered, but the pre-registered list helped me form a more accurate picture in my head beforehand.

What we did at the events themselves was start the list of participants with a bolded numbered list of all the pre-registered players and then unbolded them as each one arrived.

Players who did not pre-register were added at the bottom of the numbered list and then if we exceeded our participant cap with pre-registered players remaining on the list, we would have created a waiting list for the players who did not pre-register. It worked pretty well.

Challonge Event Page
Along with the recent introduction of the WBO Challonge Community page, I also took this opportunity to try out Challonge’s Events feature to compile all of the information about the weekend in one place on Challonge for participants and parents.

I also made use of the Description field to provide key information about each event on the individual tournament pages. Not everyone is going to browse the WBO event pages, so I think it is beneficial to make sure key information is posted as widely as possible.

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Booth Setup
Thankfully, we were given a substantially larger amount of floor space this year for our booth.

This allowed us to keep the free play and spectating area larger than the actual tournament area, which in an ideal world should always be the case since there should always be more people outside the tournament area than there is on the inside.

Within our booth we also did a few other things:

  • Spectator Seating: Ensured there was a few rows of spectator seating facing the tournament area. Parents want to watch their kids and the less people we have walking around, the better.
  • Tournament Area Entrance Pathway: Added a pathway along the right side of the booth that players had to walk through in order to fully enter the tournament area. In previous years it had simply been a straight line of pylons and barriers dividing up the booth into two sections, but the issue with that is people will inevitably crowd the entrance. By doing this we were able to control the flow of people a little bit better. This is something that I had first devised earlier this year when mocking up potential floor plans for WBO X Championship.
  • Strategic Placement of BeyShop, Registration, and Challonge Bracket: The BeyShop and Registration took place at the entrance to the booth and running of the Challonge bracket took place at the back of the booth at the tournament area away from the crowd.

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To further assist with managing the flow of people in and out of the tournament area was our “Gatekeeper”, henwooja1’s dad.

He stood at the entrance to the pathway which led to the tournament area and lifted/closed the barrier to let people in only if they had been called for a match.

He also fielded questions from parents/players and let us know when someone had gone to the bathroom. I cannot overstate how helpful this was. It is so much easier and efficient to run a Challonge bracket when you don’t have 30 different people coming to you every few minutes asking questions or telling you these types of things. They’re all important, but it just isn’t efficient to allow that to happen as we have in the past.

Set Break Times
Ever since Beytuber Brawl and BEYBLADE SHOGATSU which took over nine hours each to complete from start to finish it’s become obvious that we should be building in time for breaks into our event schedules. It isn’t reasonable to ask someone to go for that long or even five or six hours without a break.

With guidelines for large events like the two I just mentioned now being less intense than they were before (you can’t do Double Elimination with over 120 people anymore, for instance), and with organizational improvements like the ones I’ve talked about here, it’s become much easier to set break times at our events.

For BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 on Saturday for instance, we were able to have a one hour lunch break between 3-4PM or so after starting at around 12PM. Then, we finished the tournament by a little bit after 6PM, ahead of my 7PM estimate. I was extremely happy with this.

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Assigned Stadiums for Judges. Strictly Enforced.
Each stadium was assigned a number. Each judge was assigned to one of them.

We’ve tried this in the past many times, but the issue is that we did not do a good enough job of ensuring  that it was strictly enforced. Often we made compromises and moved judges around when it felt convenient, but it ultimately just causes potential for confusion and delays.

With very few exceptions, at BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 we ensured that judges only judges matches at their assigned stadiums, even if it meant waiting sometimes for them to come back after finishing a match of theirs.

This was important not only for keeping things organized, but because it means we always know who judged every match if there is any potential issues brought to our attention later on.

We also made sure judges did not return to their stadium after reporting their result until they got a visible thumbs up from us.

Maximum of 6 Stadiums
At events like the Beytuber Brawl we had set up something like 10-12 stadiums … and for other events in the past we’ve tried 8. In theory, the more stadiums you have, the faster you can get through an event, right?

In practice, this hasn’t seemed to necessarily be true. Because there is only one bracket happening at a time and one set of people calling matches for it, I feel like there is a limit to the amount of matches you can call or keep track of at once without things becoming confusing.

For BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 a maximum of six stadiums seemed to make the most sense given the amount of space and judges we had. With six stadiums running it seemed we hit the sweet spot in terms of tournament speed and traffic within our tournament area at any given time.

Waiting For Players to Arrive When Called
This is again something we’ve tried to to previously that somehow slowly got abandoned as an event progressed.

Whenever we called a new match, we waited to make sure both players were at their assigned stadium or at least that they had raised their hand and indicated that they were on their way. Judges held up number cards to help guide players.

Needless to say, this was extremely helpful.

One Parent Policy
We announced before the tournaments that one parent was permitted to enter the tournament area with their child at a time in order to prevent overcrowding.

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Asking for Responses During Pre-Tournament Announcements
This wasn’t something we had planned necessarily, but during the pre-tournament announcements for Saturday JesseObre asked for responses during his announcements to make sure people were paying attention and retaining what he was saying. I forget exactly what he said but it was things like “clap twice if you understand!”. Especially with our primary audience being children, I think this was brilliant.

Manually Assigned Matches Via Challonge Stations
We first tried out Challonge’s Stations feature at BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019 and it was a bit of a disaster. However, this was because of their flawed logic when “automatic assignment” is enabled.

For BEYBLADE NORTH 2019, we tried it again, but used manual assignment this time to ensure that we could run through the bracket in the way we wanted to.

This worked out extremely well. Challonge Stations allowed us to be aware at all times exactly which matches were happening and at what stadium they were supposed to be happening. Because judges were assigned to specific stadiums we also knew who should be judging them. It all meshed together perfectly.

Well, almost perfectly … if I had to be nitpicky, the one minor fault of the feature currently is that the matches don’t retain the station selection in the Match Details after it has been completed. This usually doesn’t matter, but would be helpful in verifying what stadium a match took place in later on if an issue came up.

Tag Teaming Challonge Bracket
Throughout most of the weekend JesseObre and I tag teamed running the Challonge bracket. This is a job that could be done by one person, but two people simplifies things and increases efficiency.

JesseObre primarily focused on announcing the matches over the microphone and ensuring that the players were coming or had arrived at their stadium. I focused on inputting results and assigning the stadiums. Right before we announced matches we both looked at the bracket and agreed which one to do and which stadium to assign it to.

It worked quite well and I would recommend all Organizers run big events like this.

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Giant BeyStadium for Free Play
This wasn’t something I had planned, but not long before BEYBLADE NORTH 2019, veteran Toronto member @[FlameDragon25] messaged me about bringing a giant custom beystadium that we could use for free play throughout the weekend.

It was pretty cool and kids got a ton of use out of it. For long events especially, I think having novel, fun stadiums available for use in free play is key.

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Again, not something I had planned, but this came into play at the end of the day on Saturday. During the final matches JesseObre started giving commentary on what was happening for the crowd that was watching.

I was busy judging the matches, but I feel like this sort of thing certainly made it much more engaging for  a general audience to watch, especially since they wouldn’t necessarily understand the format being used, the context of the situation, what Beyblades were being used, and so forth without the commentary.

The thought came to mind for me now that maybe in the future at least for the main event on Saturday we have another break before the finals or the final matches and then announce to the hall that they will start at X time in order to encourage a larger crowd to watch.

Then, it could be made even more exciting by having someone on staff commentate like JesseObre did.

Burst Classic Tournament – May 24 2019

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Top 3: 1234beyblade - 2nd (Left), Kei - 1st (Middle), BladerBeast - 3rd (Right)

In the early afternoon of the 24th, JesseObre met up with me to help transport equipment and gear to the convention. Then, we met up with 1234beyblade, FlameDragon25, and OldSchool™’s mom in front of the Delta Hotel across from the Toronto Congress Centre where BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 was to be held.

We then made our way over to the TCC to join OldSchool™ in setting up our booth.

At around 3PM is when we were allowed to pick up our staff hotel room keys and this is when the problems first started … JesseObre went back over to the Delta to pick them up, but was told we were not in the system and that we had been moved to the Doubletree which was much further away.

To make a long story short, eventually he made it over to the Doubletree and then was told that Anime North’s credit card was declining … ultimately, I had to jump through some hoops over the phone and e-mail to send them authorization to use mine instead in the meantime since there was a deadline of 6PM and it was already like 4:30PM. Thankfully by the end of the convention it seems they had resolved the issue and switched it back over to AN’s credit card, but I’m still not entirely certain what happened.

That experience was not thrilling, to say the least … especially as it was happening just before the first event was going to start. Compounding with this however was when we realized that we didn’t have the microphone/speaker that we had requested. Again, not sure what had happened, but we weren’t able to get it on Friday ultimately and had to do the tournament without it. Not ideal.

Thankfully, the next morning they had set it up for us. Not sure how we would have got through Saturday without it!

In any case, we did what we could for Friday to push onwards with the Burst Classic event!

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Lack of Understanding of What Burst Classic Is
Despite my placement of “MUST READ:” in big red bold letters at the top of the event page describing the ban list, and placement of printed ban list sheets around the booth, one issue which came up immediately was how few people actually understood what Burst Classic Format was or what was allowed to be used.

I knew that this would be inevitable to one degree or another, but this just reinforced to me once again how much of a hardcore format BSC is right now. Unlike Metal Fight Limited which is comprised of parts which most people actually own (as opposed to the Zero-G Synchrome which dominate MFB), BSC suffers from being just a bit too classic for a general audience. Most people right now seem to have Beyblades from the Switchstrike/God Layer System onwards.

Considering this, despite how much fun Burst Classic is, I wonder if it was misguided of us to start with this format as opposed to one focused on the Switchstrike/God Layer System and/or Turbo Beyblades.

The Burst Classic Metagame
After the trial unbanning of all Dash Drivers at IT’S TIME TO RIP IT! AGAIN did not have a huge effect, I decided to try it again at this event with the addition of a trial unban of Xtend Plus.

Throughout the event there was a lot of random stuff in use as many kids had to borrow parts in order to  participate, but here are a few of the other standout moments and characteristics of the event which I can recall:

  • 1234beyblade vs. bladekid: In the second round bladekid was able to defeat 1234beyblade’s V2.H.X’ with Unicrest on Unite. The viability of defense in BSC has been something I’ve questioned after seeing 1234beyblade go undefeated in our first BSC event a few months ago using V2.H.X’, and how relatively poorly it has done in my testing. But it was nice to see it perform well in a tournament environment.
  • Hasbro Ωcta: Continuing the same train of thought about defense discussed above, I think it is relevant to talk about my use of Hasbro’s Ωcta Driver. In the lead up to this event I had done some testing to try and find a defense type that seemed viable. Obviously, in a tournament environment maybe things like Unicrest or G2 using Unite are better than I am giving them credit for, but in my testing I found G2.G.Ω to be pretty solid. You can still score KOs on it if you shoot really well, but the sheer weight of the combo helps to save it a lot. Hasbro’s Ωcta is a lot more stable than TAKARA-TOMY’s, so I really like how this combo performs. I was able to basically deflect anything 1234beyblade threw at me during the few rounds I used it in the final match. My main concern moving forward would be to see how it performs on Layers with more stamina, but overall I am fine with including it for now at it seems to only pose a threat as part of a defense type. It’s pretty stationary, so I would think that pure stamina Layers would be pretty easily burstable on it.
  • Xtend Plus: I didn’t have any time to test this myself before the event, so I didn’t use it at all. And I don’t think many people used it either, actually. The only usage I can remember is I think henwooja1 who used it on Dragoon Fantom once or twice. I can’t remember the exact matches or outcome, but just like other Dragoon Fantom combos, it seemed inconsistent overall. I need more data, but I’m fine with keeping this unbanned for now.
  • Kei vs. OldSchool™: In the fourth round I was matched up against OldSchool™ and lost to his Wolborg on Eternal using V2.H.X’ 3-2 … lol. This illustrated to me just how crucial ongoing practice is if you want to do well with Attack (I hadn’t launched V2 in several weeks), so even though it can be very good, it is balanced by the skill required to use it.
  • Zephyr’: Initially, I thought that Zephyr’ was balanced by the fact that combos using it still can’t OS top tier stamina combinations … which is true. However, on second thought after this event I’ve come to the painful conclusion that it (and Accel’) probably should be banned due to their high level of versatility. There is very few matches for combinations like Odin Yell Zephyr’ which are unwinnable right now. It outruns attack. Outspins defense and low tier stamina. Has the chance to KO or Burst top tier stamina, which is only really possible due to the greater burst resistance provided by it being a Dash Driver. Over about nine matches to date, I’ve only lost one round with it against A2.K.R. It’s a beast. And its popularity is starting to grow slowly; BladerBeast borrowed my Z’ for his final match and it helped him to win.
  • Zeta’: I used this a few times on V.K.Zt’ in the finals, but couldn’t even get a Burst Finish on VGR lol. I understand that it’s been wreaking havoc in the UK, but it just didn’t do it for me in this matchup. Of course, this is just anecdotal and in my previous testing I was able to find some level of success with it. Regardless however, I don’t see it as a problem unless it is able to consistently burst defense combos. Against mobile attack combinations, it will probably lose. It’s still a jack of all trades, master of none. Happy to hear more opinions on this, but my feeling is that it should be left unbanned for now.
  • It’s interesting to note 1234beyblade’s reliance on defensive Layers on stamina Drivers for the first stage. I guess with a great launch, it’s safer to a degree to stick with these types of combos in the first stage.

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Winning Combinations

1st: Kei
Odin Yell Zephyr’
Deathscyther Heavy Revolve
Gaianon G2 Gravity Ωcta (Deck Format Finals Only)
Victory Valkyrie Heavy Xtreme’ (Deck Format Finals Only)

2nd: 1234beyblade
Gigant Gaia Yell Yielding
Gigant Gaia Knuckle Yielding
Wyvern Heavy Revolve
Valkyrie Gravity Xtreme’ (Deck Format Finals Only)

3rd: BladerBeast
Acid Anubis Knuckle Revolve
Dragoon F Yell Eternal
Dragoon F Spread Eternal (Deck Format Finals Only)
Odin Yell Zephyr’ (Deck Format Finals Only)

More Photos

Final Stage Deck Photos

Burst Format Tournament – May 25 2019

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Top 3: henwooja1 - 2nd (Left), OldSchool™ - 1st (Middle), Hunter08 - 3rd (Right)

Next up was the main event on Saturday: Burst Format! We pulled in 65 players for this event. A nice, manageable number!

Because I was so busy running the Challonge bracket I didn’t get a chance to watch many battles, but as you would expect, the usual suspects played a large role throughout the first stage: Perfect Phoenix, Hell Salamander, Xtend Plus, Eternal, Bearing, Atomic. MDK Shady tells me that he used S3.00W.Br to beat aH.00C.Xt+ and won some matches with hS.St.Ch, and OldSchool mentioned that he observed aH combos in general losing to hS and pP throughout the day.

Many experienced players–including myself–lost throughout the event. Cye Kinomiya lost both of his matches using hS on Xt+ to Cho-Z Valkyrie and Bloody Longinus combos, 1234beyblade lost with pP on At versus B3 Br ...

I lost to Avatar999’s Cho-Z Achilles two times first using pP on Xt+ and then hS.0B.Kp … lol. I played him twice because it was discovered later on that he had used a fake Cho-Z Achilles for his initial matches (and he admitted to doing so, but he was a kid and didn’t realize it was fake). Thankfully, the nature of double elimination makes it possible to re-do matches (unlike Swiss), so we were able to go back a couple rounds and fix things.

The second time around I was pretty sure he would use Cho-Z Achilles again since we had found a real one for him to borrow (in fact, OldSchool bought one from me for PurryRedRanger then lent that one to Avatar999 … so essentially I beat myself!). But he had the classic crazy kid launch and after the first match I was scared of 超A’s recoil so I went with hS.0B.Kp thinking “I don’t want to get KOed and this should have enough LAD to beat Dimension, right?”. But I was wrong and lost 3-1. A good lesson for me to never again break my fundamental rule: never use something you haven’t tested in a tournament!

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Later on in the Loser’s Bracket, I lost to MDK Shady after unsuccessfully predicting that he would use pP Xt+. I chose pP on At, but he went with hS on Xt+.

An important takeaway from this event for me is that it’s okay to not play if you aren’t prepared. I fully accept my losses and commend the players for winning, but also realize they are in some way a product of my inability to practice for this event beforehand; my loss to Avatar999 illustrated a gap in my knowledge, adaptability, and confidence in the face of pressure that really should be filled, and my loss to MDK Shady illustrated a lapse in judgment which resulted in me taking a risk that could have been minimized with some other choices. And in general, I didn’t feel comfortable due to my very low knowledge of Wizard Fafnir, Ratchet, and Rise.

This is now two years in a row that I’ve been knocked out of the main event at BEYBLADE NORTH in the first stage. I place a lot of pressure on myself internally to perform well, but it might not be fair to myself to maintain such high expectations if I also haven’t put in the time to be able to meet them. Sometimes you can get away with running on instinct, but doing so makes it harder to accept mistakes you make when they do happen. If you’ve put in the time to practice, it’s easier to feel like you did your best if you do end up making a mistake at a tournament.

In retrospect, knowing that I had very limited time to prepare in the lead up to Anime North due to planning for the event, work, and other things in my life … I probably should have chosen to practice for this event in the one night I had instead of practicing for the unranked Burst Classic event. Live and learn, I guess! Smile

OldSchool™ and PurryRedRanger were able to make it to the finals using exclusively pP on Xt+. While many people would jump to the conclusion that the combo is perhaps overpowered, I would argue that it depends pretty heavily on the competition you’re facing. This was perfectly illustrated by my initial loss to Avatar999 and also by originalzankye who lost to him in a later round using pP on Eternal.

In the end, advancing to the finals were:

Winner’s Bracket:
  • 1. OldSchool™
  • 2. henwooja1
  • 3. Hunter08
  • 4. Flashh
Loser’s Bracket:
  • 5. MDK Shady
  • 6. PurryRedRanger
  • 7. Nate1255
  • 8. Eman-Toronto

Third Place Match: Flashh vs. Hunter08
The third place match pitted tournament newcomer Flashh against veteran Hunter08! Strangely, Flashh’s deck was not comprised of the following:

Instead, he made use of 超S.Rt.Br, hS.?E.At, pP.Ω.Xt+ for some reason!

Hunter08 used 超V.Bl.Ch, hS.Ω.At, and pP.0B.Et faced an early deficit due to Flashh’s pP.Ω.Xt+. But was able to mount an impressive comeback via KOs with his 超V.Bl.Ch!

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This was definitely my favourite match of the weekend. As much as I love competing and winning myself, in another way, I love even more to see young kids improve, achieve success and learn how to win in high pressure situations. It was Flashh’s first tournament and Hunter08 has been a tournament regular for years now–playing in over 20 tournaments to date–and never made it to the Top 3 until now.

First Place Match: OldSchool™ vs. henwooja1
The first place match on the other hand featured two experienced Bladers who have previously achieved Top 3-level success in our tournaments.

  • OldSchool™’s Deck: LC pP.0C.Xt+, 超V.Bl.At, and hS.?W.Br
  • Henwooja1’s Deck: dH.10D.X’, 超S.Ω.Xt+, G3.?C.At

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Round 1: LC pP.0C.Xt+ (OldSchool™) vs. 超S.Ω.Xt+ (henwooja1)
OldSchool™’s pP was able to OS henwooja1’s left-spin 超S to take a 1-0 lead.

Round 2: LC pP.0C.Xt+ (OldSchool™) vs. G3.?C.At (henwooja1)
OldSchool™’s pP was able to OS henwooja1’s G3 to take a 2-0 lead. At this point, the match became significantly more difficult for henwooja1 because normally same-spin Atomic-based combos should beat same-spin Xt+ … but G3 just didn’t have enough stamina to do it. I wasn’t sure why he chose it, but OldSchool™ told me:

OldSchool™ Wrote:To add to the Saturday report, Henwooja1 would have been on par with my deck if he had pP in his. He expected me to have lS so he opted not to. My deck had (Bladekid's) lS the first 2 matches of finals so that's why he chose not to include pP in his deck against me, instead he had (I forget) to counter lS. I got an easy win because of this with pP.

By lS, I believe he is referring to lS on Br, which MDK Shady has also borrowed earlier in the event to beat an aH Xt+ combo.

Round 3: LC pP.0C.Xt+ (OldSchool™) vs. G3.?C.At (henwooja1)
henwooja1 self-KOed with G3, handing OldSchool™ a 3-0 lead.

Round 4: LC pP.0C.Xt+ (OldSchool™) vs. dH.10D.X’ (henwooja1)
OldSchool™ launched too weakly trying to counter dH and ended up being outspun. The score was now 3-1.

Round 5: LC pP.0C.Xt+ (OldSchool™) vs. dH.10D.X’ (henwooja1)
OldSchool™ shot better this time and ended up OSing dH. It’s also worth noting that henwooja1 wasn’t able to get many good hits in and that he was also using the BeyLauncher Heavy Ver.. I haven’t used the Heavy Ver. in a long time, but I do wonder if that put him at a disadvantage. Precision matters arguably as much as launch strength when using attack types, but even so …

The score was now 4-1.

Round 6: LC pP.0C.Xt+ (OldSchool™) vs. 超S.Ω.Xt+ (henwooja1)
henwooja1 switched back to 超S.Ω.Xt+ as his last hope, but ended up just barely being outspun by pP … which handed OldSchool™ a 5-1 victory and title of BEYBLADE NORTH 2019 Champion!

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Winning Combinations

1st: OldSchool™
Perfect Phoenix 0 Xtend Plus
Perfect Phoenix (Level Chip) 0 Cross Xtend Plus
Cho-Z Valkyrie Blitz Atomic (Deck Format Finals Only)

2nd: henwooja1
Perfect Phoenix Ωuter Xtend Plus
Hell Salamander Ωuter Xtend Plus
Dead Hades 10 Dagger Xtreme’ (Deck Format Finals Only)
Hell Salamander 0 Wall Bearing (Deck Format Finals Only)
Perfect Phoenix 00 Cross Atomic (Deck Format Finals Only)

3rd: Hunter08
Slash Valkyrie Sting Xtend Plus Retsu
Perfect Phoenix 0 Bump Eternal
Hell Salamander (Level Chip) 0 Cross Atomic
Cho-Z Valkyrie Blitz Charge

More Photos

Final Stage Deck Photos

Metal Fight Limited Format Tournament – May 26 2019

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Top 3: Kei - 2nd (Left), henwooja1 - 1st (Middle), Crimson - 3rd (Right)

The final event of the weekend was Metal Fight Limited Format and we managed to pull in 30 players for it. Quite good for a series that ended over five years ago!

This was our first MFL event since last August’s THE BEYS ARE BACK IN TOWN. That event was our first since the banning of Scythe (Metal Fury) and mode switching restrictions were implemented for Gravity.

The metagame turned out in this event to remain basically the same as it was during THE BEYS ARE BACK IN TOWN. Lots of Earth on various Tracks, Flame 230CS, Earth/Duo on TH170D to counter Flame 230CS, Bandit Wyvang on RF/RSF, F230GCF, Gravity on MF, Lightning L Drago, and so forth. Even though I hadn’t practiced for this event, it was a little bit easier to jump in cold because the ban list had remained stagnant. That being said, when I started using MSF-H Bandit Wyvang DF105RF in the finals, there was certainly a lot of rust when it came to my launch technique haha. I’m so used to the Burst Standard Type stadium now; the BB-10 Attack Stadium and MFB in general feel so different.

I again feel like the only thing which is really questionable is Gravity’s mode switching. It doesn’t feel super overpowered, but it still is more versatile than a lot of stuff because of it … might be worth considering banning mode change on it.

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A notable thing for me in this event was the return of @[Crimson]! She is a Toronto community member from the Off the Chain and early WBO days and I hadn’t seen her in around four or five years since the last time she played at Anime North.

I convinced her to play at the last second and she ended up placing third! She received help from myself and 1234beyblade, but I was impressed by how well she was able to shoot and read different situations after all these years. It demonstrated to me that there’s certain skills associated with Beyblade that can be learned and persist even years down the line.

I also have to commend henwooja1’s play in this event. After doing not so well in his first MFL event last year, he rebounded this time with a first place finish, edging me out in the finals 5-4. He paid particular attention to what others were using and adopted things like Flame 230CS and Gravity CH120MF in the finals.

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Winning Combinations

1st: henwooja1
MF-L Earth Cancer GB145EWD
MF-L Earth Cancer 90EWD
MF-L Burn Leone T125EWD
MF Lightning L Drago LW105R2F
MF Earth Cancer 90CS (Deck Format Finals Only)
MF Flame Leone 230CS (Deck Format Finals Only)
MF-M Gravity Perseus CH120MF (Deck Format Finals Only)

2nd: Kei
MF Flame Hades 230CS
MF-H Gravity Perseus CH120MF
MF-L Gravity Perseus F230GCF (Deck Format Finals Only)
MF-H Earth Cygnus 90CS (Deck Format Finals Only)
MSF-H Bandit Wyvang DF105RF (Deck Format Finals Only)

3rd: Crimson
MF Flame Hades 230CS
MF Earth Cygnus 100EWD
MF-M Earth Cygnus TH170D (Deck Format Finals Only)
MF-H Screw Gemios 90MF (Deck Format Finals Only)
MSF-H Bandit Wyvang SW145RB (Deck Format Finals Only)

More Photos

Final Stage Deck Photos


An event as large as this is a team effort. I’d like to thank all of the following people for the roles they played this year in helping the event be successful!

Thank you to the staff @[JesseObre], @[OldSchool™], OldSchool™’s mom, @[1234beyblade], @[Justin TC], @[MDK Shady] for helping organize, set up/clean up the booth, run the shop, judge, answer questions, transport equipment, and more!

Thank you to the judges @[henwooja1], @[bladekid].

Thank you to henwooja1’s dad (AKA “The Gatekeeper”) for helping manage the entrance to the tournament area, answering questions, and for relaying information to us throughout the tournament so we could focus on the bracket!

Thank you for your incredible prizing donation and for shooting video @[originalzankye].

And finally, thank you for for creating awesome trophies again for us this year @[Manicben]!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about this event, please feel free to post below!

More Beyblade Tournament Reports
If you enjoyed this report, then you may also enjoy some of my other Beyblade Burst tournament reports:

Cool, this was a fun tournament.
I think reason, why only 64 peoples of 85 limit is comed, is this: peoples think: "there is only max 85 participants. I don't go to there, I can't get spot"
Awesome report!
Having about 30% more space than last year helped loads with the free-play area. The "Gatekeeper" henwooja's dad did an outstanding job. Without having a gatekeeper over the weekend each event would have been an hour longer at least. Having each judge assigned permanent stadium number helped the the bracket handlers tremendously. It is the least stressed I've ever seen @[JesseObre] and @[Kei] at a large event. Also, having the Bracket handlers FAR away from the crowd also played a major part in this haha
Not skipping over matches and doing them in order helped keep confusion down for the Bracket handlers as well as the judges. I am wholly behind the Challonge Stations option. It worked very well throughout the weekend.
6 Stadiums seems ideal for a 64 player turnout. I'd say if we hit the 124 mark 8 stadiums may be better.
Minor stuff that made a HUGE impact was Jesse's commentating. I drew in many spectators as well as passers-by.

A huge shoutout to all the judges and @[henwooja1]'s dad. You are officially the Gatekeeper at all big events! Smile
Also thanks for henwooja's dad for helping me bring ALL the stuff back to my storage unit on Sunday. My ride was MIA and Uber XL surge pricing was insane!
Oh, last but not least, thank you Mom for handling the BeyShop for us! Many of the spectators we got were roped in by her haha

MVP of the day: That speaker system! Without it, it would have been so stressful on the Saturday main event.
(Jun. 03, 2019  4:50 PM)ks123 Wrote: I think reason, why only 64 peoples of 85 limit is comed, is this: peoples think: "there is only max 85 participants. I don't go to there, I can't get spot"

I would tend to disagree because there was a clear method listed for pre-registering to secure a spot. I would say it might have more to do with the higher barrier to entry for getting into Anime North. Not only the price, but the time it takes to get your ticket at the convention and get to our event space. I know for a fact that there was regrettably a few people we had to turn away that showed up after a tournament had already started because they underestimated how long it would take to get into the convention.

(Jun. 03, 2019  6:07 PM)OldSchool™ Wrote: It is the least stressed I've ever seen @[JesseObre] and @[Kei] at a large event.

I see this as a huge win. Smile I still have nightmares about Beytuber Brawl and BEYBLADE SHOGATSU 2019 ...

But honestly yeah, I do feel like the Saturday event in particular was one of the best we've ever run in terms of organization. There was some hiccups towards the end of the first stage due to some mistakes that were made (causing us to re-do a bunch of matches), but even with that our processes were so clear that we were able to respond to those issues and execute a plan to fix them rapidly. Everything was smooth.
I decided to go with G3 00C At because it had realitivly done well against pP Xt+. And I thought it wouldn't get spin stolen from in opposite spin from ls3. I should have used something like pP outer bearing instead of dH as backup. My first instinct was pP At but I guess I second guessed myself. I've learned to go with my first instinct and more often than not I would have won if I did. But I guess I learned from saturday and came in first for MFB! And thanks Kei for letting me use "your" combo! I remember 1234 Beyblade told Jesseobre to call him and pyris to stadium 5 as a joke match. I was confused and didn't get it until 1234 pulled out his bey holder and the I'm not taking myself seriously voice. But anyways I had a great time this was the best one yet! Still, I'm probably the only person who doesn't want the next one to be a classic. XD
On the topic of Burst Classic, I would probably go for another round of testing on Xtend+ (since not a lot of people brought it) and Zeta' (since it is effectively a Massive' for defense beys).

Zephyr' and Accel' looked like issues given how well O.H.Z' did. There's not much data for H' or Rb'. Could those be in possibly the same vein as Z'/A'?

Doesn't seem like anyone used Volcanic', but it might need looking into after how it's being used in Burst Standard.

I'm surprised no one is trying out Destroy' in Classic. Why is that?
(Jun. 05, 2019  7:42 PM)AirKingNeo Wrote: On the topic of Burst Classic, I would probably go for another round of testing on Xtend+ (since not a lot of people brought it) and Zeta' (since it is effectively a Massive' for defense beys).

Zephyr' and Accel' looked like issues given how well O.H.Z' did. There's not much data for H' or Rb'. Could those be in possibly the same vein as Z'/A'?

Doesn't seem like anyone used Volcanic', but it might need looking into after how it's being used in Burst Standard.

I'm surprised no one is trying out Destroy' in Classic. Why is that?

We're getting to the point where soon we are just going to have to make a judgment and put out the initial ban list for ranked Burst Classic events. Inevitably, there is going to still be some things which emerge that are worth considering banning. That's OK. Like Metal Fight Limited, I think it is fair to look at Burst Classic as something which can evolve over time.

In any case, yeah I would like to see more testing for Xt+ and Zt', but they also aren't sounding massive alarm bells to me at the moment. Xt+ didn't seem to be an issue on Dragoon Fantom at the tournament (which was a primary concern going in), and yeah maybe Zt' on the ball tip could be used for defense ...

Rb' not a chance. A' and Z' are so good because their only weakness when paired with top tier stamina layers is other top tier stamina combos using things like Revolve. Check out Wombat's testing. Rb' just doesn't have the same qualities.

H' I still don't have yet, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have the same amount of stamina that A' and Z' do.

Similar to H', I also imagine Ds' doesn't have the same amount of same spin stamina that A'/Z' do ... and it also isn't really effective on Dragoon Fantom, so it's not super attractive.
I agree that you guys shouldn't have started out with classic. I understand it's hard to fit the tournaments you want into a 3 day event but starting out with a format that most kids don't know, and don't have the beys for, is a bad idea. The biggest surge in players, atleast in the west, happened around the start of Evolution, so unless they looked into the tournament description properly, which I doubt most younger participants do, they probably still wouldn't take dual layers with them to a tournament.
(Jun. 05, 2019  8:24 PM)Limetka Wrote: I agree that you guys shouldn't have started out with classic. I understand it's hard to fit the tournaments you want into a 3 day event but starting out with a format that most kids don't know, and don't have the beys for, is a bad idea. The biggest surge in players, atleast in the west, happened around the start of Evolution, so unless they looked into the tournament description properly, which I doubt most younger participants do, they probably still wouldn't take dual layers with them to a tournament.

In my comments about this I mainly meant our selection of whether to create a Classic format first or an Evolution/God-based one.

But since Classic is what we have, there was really no other way to structure the weekend: Saturday had to be Burst Format because it is the most popular day and format that would appeal to the most people. Sunday had to be Metal Fight since it is the least popular day and the least popular of the three formats. Friday had to be Burst Classic since Burst was scheduled for Saturday and Friday had the shortest window for us to do an event since it started at night and the venue closed at around 10-11pm.

You can't ever please everyone, but we do our best at Anime North to do so.
Dragoon F is strange. My testing for TT's is that it acctually takes away some of the L.A.D of drivers! Sure it can OS right spin stamina types on revolve when it's on Xt+ or et, but it gets countered by pretty much any right spin eternal on any layer. But the only break through the I've found with it is when you use Polish Xtend plus in attack it some times can barley beat out right spin eternal. Dgf is over all an inconsistent layer but it can sometimes get the win.