World of Tanks Blitz - 61 The Tournament, part 1
Amaunet85 21st Oct 2016
I'm fairly sure that all of the people that read this blog won't have missed this - we've had our first official Blitz-tournament. We knew it would be coming quite a while in advance, even if it was only that WG was planning 'something big in September/October' at first. What it was became apparent when it became clear we would be getting a tournament system in the game.

This, of course, had to be tested. Eight clans connected to WG by Community Contributors from different language sections were invited for the test, Phoenix included. The test-tournament had to be postponed a week though, as the update had to be postponed because of "Metal" or "That which makes the tanks look shiny".  We got told this like a day or so before we were supposed to have been testing it. So, a week later than originally planned, the test-tournament was held.

Phoenix's team had been decided beforehand, and I wasn't to be a part of it. Since I had had very few battles with the team during training, I wasn't really surprised at that. But because it was postponed, some people couldn't make it, and literally half an hour before it started, I was asked to be a reserve. This meant cancelling my plans for the day, but luckily, I could get away with that and be there while this whole test-tournament ran.

The 8 teams were divided into two groups of 4, and the principle was a 'round robin', with best of three. The first hour literally nothing happened, and we had to wait for WG to get things sorted. By the time the battles actually started, we were actually quite fed up with waiting already. I was there on ts with my team, and together with Warbladex, I didn't see a single battle, just listened to the guys as they fought, and did my best to be a good cheerleader between matches. Sometimes Doggykalhoon would listen in, and ask a few questions in between battles, and he talked to us some more when the test-tournament was officially over. Phoenix won the test-tournament without losing a single match.

Even though it was only a test-tournament against 7 other clans, I'm proud of that. Fighting in a tournament is quite something else than fighting while training, it's more tense, and it's more intense. We got a few days prem-time and a special medal for our troubles (which to me felt much like getting a crucial contribution whenever Filip gets a Ras when we toon - quite undeserved, but nice all the same). That, and we were told that we would have a slot reserved in the real tournament that would follow not that much later.

Shortly after, the Twister Cup was announced, and we knew things would be getting really serious now. But as the rule-set for it was set up, all the trouble began for me. I'm a really big busybody - I want things to be organised properly and that conditions and rules are clear from the start. And I really do not understand the way WG set this up so unclearly, with such vague statements. They have had massive tournaments in the PC-version of the game. It already started with the rules-post saying that those that would go to NYC would have to be 'of age to travel alone' and have a valid passport, while the news-post said that the whole team had to have a valid passport - and didn't mention the age thing at all. Aside from that, 'of age to travel alone' can mean anything from 12 years old onwards, depending on the airline and the country the one travelling alone comes from. Yes, this had 'vague' written all over it and I hated it.

Since we had youngsters on our team too - and with Sten turning 18 in November - which would be either just in time or just too late for the offline event, I contacted the staff, wanting a clear answer. Did the whole team need a valid passport, or just the ones that would be going? What exactly was the age limit? And what of our reserved slot? Would that be for the team that fought the test-tournament, or could we put whoever we wanted in there? The answer I got back was that they would ask. Now, to explain a little how that goes, that means that our staff has to ask higher up, who then has to ask the legal department or the product specialist (depending on the question), those have to sort or figure it out, then get back to the higher up, who gets back to the staff, who then gets back to me. Bureaucracy at its finest.

Because we had to register a team within a few days - registration opened on September 27th, and ended September 30th -, and there were a limited number of slots, these were questions that I needed a reply to quickly, as the answers would determine who could be on our team or not. This would have been no problem, had we actually had a reserved slot. Only, and that was the first thing I got an answer back about, we suddenly didn't after all. Now, when I say I asked the staff these things repeatedly to try and get an answer, it'd be an understatement. I'm fairly sure that what I did counts as harassing.

And to be honest, I really do not feel guilty about that. I feel slightly guilty about causing them so much work because I know these specific people and know they try their best, but I didn't exactly ask them to do rocket-science, and in my opinion, the things I asked them about repeatedly were things that should have been thought through before the whole tournament was even posted up. I could have thought of quite a few better ways to spend my birthday than having to hammer them for information and not really getting anywhere (yes, thinking back on that, I -still- get frustrated).

Slot-thing 'sorted', next was the age. On September 29th, I finally got an answer regarding that. The age-limit was 18+. Now, I may work in the administration, but I still work at a legal firm, and I know a few things. There are ways to let people go to the offline event even if they're not 18+ yet. Either with permission of their parent(s), with a parent accompanying them (even though they'd have to pay for it themselves), or by signing over a sort of temporary custody that would make someone else the adult that would accompany them (I don't know the English term for it). Which can be easily legalised by any notary public (at least, here in the Netherlands it can).

WG would have a legally approved way of accepting people under 18 to join whichever team would go to the offline event. So, as soon as WG told me the hard age-limit, I started harassing them again to get them to lower it, with the abovementioned certain conditions. Considering the offline event hadn't been announced, we didn't know where and when it would be exactly still, and that did make it difficult to prepare and find exact information on what would be needed to go there. But the three terms I mentioned above go for any location, and any country.  A lot of the great players on EU server are not 18 yet, and it would just be a bloody shame if age would keep them from attending the offline event when they're of perfect legal age to travel alone.

Now, while I was doing that, Sten had to register the team. The original team had five minors, with Sten being either just of age or just under age at the time of the offline event, but that still left four definite minors. So, in order to be able to make it to the offline event if the age-limit was 18+, he would have to switch someone out. When WG stated that the team going to the offline-event had to be 18+, it meant I was moved into the main team all of a sudden, because I was an adult, and I would get the number of definite adults to seven, if Sten would be counted as an adult as well. I knew that was a risk - like I said, I hadn't had much training with the guys yet, and I'm not aware of all the tactics that we have - but I was grateful for the trust put in me all the same.

Later that day, I heard back more about the age-question, and what I had been nagging about had hit home enough apparently for WG to let up a little and get them to lower the age-limit to 16+ with specific conditions. So that was finally sorted and a load off my back.
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