Leeks

Favoritism in the Gwent Partners Program during Reveal Seasons

Introduction

A reader unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the Gwent community might falsely assume that they might have discovered the only gaming community fascinated with vegetables, well leeks to be more exact, and presumably healthy lifestyle. Have all the news segments and articles about obesity and junk food among this sedentary subculture been fabricated out of thin air? Well, that’s unfortunately not what this article aims to delve into, but allow me nonetheless to place this topic question on the window sill of my article, for any crafty passing-trough writer to steal.

The legendary Gwent “Leek Season” describes a period of approximately a month before the release of an expansion for the game, during which content creators that have entered the official Gwent Partners Program as well as CDPR themselves and other affiliated individuals such as artists, or popular personalities from the Gwent community reveal cards that will be coming to the game in the upcoming expansion. Seems pretty cut and dried, not? Well, it might be, but not in the sense you might think at first perhaps.

The aim of this article is to analyze the process of card reveals with a focus on the peculiarities of what precedes the revelation itself, that is the selection of the limited number of Gwent partners that will get reveals, and to provide partial insight into how the distribution of card reveals is made among the partners. Ultimately, the article seeks to provide an alternative to the established system through the means of constructive criticism as well as arguments for the change.

 

The Case

I think I should introduce the body of my article by stating that I am a Gwent partner and I have experienced two expansions with their two respective leek seasons (Master Mirror and Way of the Witcher) and I have not had a reveal before. Before I started working on this article, it was rather difficult for me to find a position where I could dodge any bias and judge the situation fairly and objectively considering I am a cog in the machine that I aim to rewire, if not to dismantle, by my words, nonetheless, I believe that thanks to the method that I have chosen to use and a few rules that I made for myself, the article should be as fair and as objective as possible.

What was my methodology then and the reasons for it? In short, my suspicion for a very long time was that some partners are prioritized in the selection over others, therefore I have gone through every single season of card reveals and noted who got a reveal before, nonetheless due to the fact that there were numerous variables in play in each and every season, be it the number of reveals, preceding expansions, cards revealed by CDPR, etc. I have decided to only focus on the state of the latest expansion, Way of the Witcher. The potential article covering the whole entirety of Gwent expansions reveals therefore rests for now right next to one about the healthy lifestyle of the Gwent community.

Alongside individuals that have had a reveal before, I have also naturally noted the ones who haven’t and finally made a special category for CDPR’s official reveals and affiliated individuals (tournament casters, faction ambassadors, etc.) as well as anomalous cases (e.g. card artists). More than three categories could be made, but considering how small the selection pool of one expansion is, I decided to not divide the numbers any further for clarity as well as to minimize the impact of abnormalities.

 

The Gwent Faction Ambassadors have been proudly bearing their banners for almost two years now, one of their privileges being regular card reveals of cards from their chosen factions. 

Finally, to take emotions out of the equation, as I will be technically speaking (or writing) about some of the most beloved members of the Gwent community, I have decided to not mention who I have placed into which category, in fact, the analysis will stay completely anonymous, each individual being represented just as a numerical fraction. Thanks to the fact that all of the card reveal threads have been archived on Reddit, I can and will share all of the sources that were used for making this article at the very end for anyone that would like to verify my data.

Mentioning verification, I do believe that some individuals could be placed in two categories based upon how you judge their involvement with CDPR. A perfect example of this would be chat moderators for CDPR’s Twitch account, which I have personally decided to not include among CDPR and misc. but one could place them there, therefore the approach that I have chosen to go with does not evade statistical flaws completely, which would disappear if a larger pool of compared reveals could be used and more categories to be made, but for the aforementioned reasons, this isn’t an option in my opinion. Furthermore, there was also a case of an individual who got a reveal before, albeit not for their personal channel, but for a project with another creator. This case I have counted as a repeated reveal, especially considering the other co-creator also had numerous reveals before. Also, one case of a Gwent team getting a reveal appeared, this one was counted as the first reveal, despite the fact that multiple members of the said team had been given reveals before.

Ultimately, a very limited amount of reveals from previous expansions had no traceable link to whoever revealed them and therefore the sources are not perfectly clear either, paradoxically though, two out of the three categories would not get reduced, even if the links were there and I believe that this imperfection in fact only emboldens the argument that I want to make. That being the fact that some partners are prioritized over others as the only outcome possible from the uncharted reveals could possibly be an increase in size for the “had a reveal before category” in the latest and future reveal seasons.

 

The Data

Finally, let us take a look at the data itself. The reveal campaign for the Way of the Witcher expansion has brought us exactly 71 card reveals. In spite of that, there can be found 75 cards on the WotW reveal page, but 4 of these cards are tokens that were not given a reveal of their own, these being Red, Blue, and Green mutagen and Saber-Tooth Tiger: Stealth. Interestingly enough, there was in fact another token that was given a reveal, that being Witcher Student, which will be naturally counted among the normal card reveals.

If we break down the 71 cards into the aforementioned categories, the largest group becomes what I decided to dub “Regular Reveals” (CDPR, Faction Ambassadors, Casters, Community hubs’ representatives) with 30 reveals that add up to 42.25% of the entire card reveals’ pool. The numbers are much closer with the remaining two categories that I have named “First Partner reveals,” for, surprisingly, partners that had their first times with this expansion, and “Recurring Partner Reveals,” for partners that have had at least one reveal before, but some of them in fact have had even up to 4, potentially even more if we count in cooperative projects! These two categories split the pie (And there is a lot of pie analogies and metaphors in this article, isn’t it?) by getting 22 reveals (30.99%) and 19 reveals (26.76%) respectively.

For even closer comparison we can omit Regular Reveals which leaves us with 41 and sets the numbers to 53.66% for First Partner Reveals and 46.34% for Recurring Partner Reveals.

Taking into account all the statistical factors that I’ve mentioned before, that is among others a rather small card reveal pool, individuals with ambiguous categorization, forced simplification, and more, we cannot make any final statement that would unequivocally prove anything, nonetheless, we can observe that a very high number of partners is getting their second, third, or maybe even fourth reveals, such high amount of them in fact, that they almost even out with first-timers.

 

The Questioning

Now you might be asking yourself, does it even matter? Surely some content creators deserved getting more reveals, right? And I wouldn’t disagree completely, though I would like to present an opposing view to such mentality. Yes, some people have been making their name in the Gwent community, uploading, writing, streaming, or competing for years, nonetheless, while it makes sense in their individual cases, what sense does it make in the greater scope of things? What sense does it make for a brand new content creator that is wondering whether they should or shouldn’t apply for the Gwent Partners program? Is it even worth it to enter a group of fellow creators, provided that those who win win more and those who don’t win are either ignored or pushed to the sidelines?

Now, to be fair, the Gwent Partners program isn’t only about card reveals, in fact, it is very generous towards those who enter it, nonetheless there is so little coming from it on the basis of involvement and cooperation from your side that in the end, the reveals is all that it can boil down to in the case of your active participation unless you enjoy providing regular feedback (which you can also on the CDPR forums or community hubs) or participate in the very sparse Partners tournaments.

Furthermore, it can be so impactful and beneficial for a new or a smaller content creator to be able to shout: “Hey, I exist! I’m revealing a card for the game that I love and while you’re at it, feel free to check out my channel and help me out.” Creativity has no bounds and small steps like this, if done correctly, can jumpstart a new channel, bring a bunch of new followers, gain some public awareness. For instance, I have never before heard of Xioniz, but thanks to his very clever card reveal I have visited both his Youtube and Twitch channels and had a good time there, despite him making content predominantly in Polish, simply because of the card reveal, of the way I could be introduced to him as someone that cares about what they do and they do it with passion. On the other hand, I dare to argue that for larger content creators with established viewer bases that already are in the public eye and have ties to other individuals that they can cooperate with and mutually expand their viewer bases (which is exclusively what the Recurring Partner Reveals category consists of), it is almost negligible whether they get a handful of new followers or not from getting a bit more attention thanks to the card reveal, in the end, it is more of a fun and exciting opportunity to get a sneak peek for what is to come.

If CDPR wants to stay on good terms with the most successful of Gwent content creators, why not engage with them in some way that goes beyond the Partners program? Add easter eggs to the flavor texts of the new cards, allow them to participate in PTR’s, make card arts with something that is connected to them, or even use their resemblance and their personalities to give life to completely new characters, I could see it already… But I’m digressing here! The topic of shortcomings of the Gwent Partners Program has been also brought up before by my fellow teammate, Babyjosus. 

Back to the topic, I simply do not know why are “those who already won” prioritized over those who are only starting their climb to the top, presumably because the prior are considered to be reliable long-term participants in the program or literal “partners” and CDPR wants to stay on good terms with them. That being said, while I do not want to take away anything from them and I think they deserve what they were given, at the same time I would like to give what they have to the small, fragile, and growing partners, that might actually find a great use for the spotlight. For as long as this “VIP reveal club” is a thing and the selection is done purely on the personal choice of whoever is in command, a strong aftertaste of favoritism will be left in the mouths of those who hoped to get a chance for a card reveal but were not chosen over someone who had 3 reveals before.

This is especially painful as this expansion was one of the first where the selection was done purely by CDPR. To explain this, in the previous expansions Partners were asked to let the person in charge know whether they want a reveal or not in a dedicated text channel which usually resulted in an avalanche of requests and demands on what type of card would people want and how their viewers would be excited by it, etc. In short, convince us that you’re more worth it than the guy next to you. I personally have been very disappointed by this approach as it brings the worst in people in my opinion. Individuals who haven’t been active on their respective platforms reappeared magically, people who had had a reveal or two before presented their preferences for what they’d like to get this time, and worst of all some of them were actually selected because why not. I think I cannot judge anyone, in fact, I’d be guilty too because we all want a card of our own, but for as long as this is meant to be a program without any hierarchy, where all are given equal opportunities to participate and cooperate, such approach just feels flawed and corruptive. In fact, the influence of “asking and potentially getting” has been so strong that many requests were made in the respective channel this year even in spite of the fact that they supposedly shouldn’t have affected much and while I cannot show messages of other people without their approval, many of the ones who asked were given reveals and at least one of them was given the exact type of card they asked for, that being a meme card.

I have asked for a reveal before once, not really expecting anything. This reveal season I didn’t do so both because I have grown critical of the system and because I wanted to stay as unbiased as possible.

 

The Proposal

So, what would be the solution? Before I present my take on what would make the system fairer in my eyes, let me mention that it’s completely up to CDPR to do whatever they want with the Partners Program, it is purely their initiative and in fact, there is no legal involvement of the individual partners, no closure on how many reveals they have to get or anything like that, so nobody is bound to do anything, everything is based upon goodwill. Furthermore, I can see pros and cons for both the established system and for the one that I would like to propose, therefore, one could object to mine just as critically as I have been trying to throughout this article to the current system and that is completely fair and a correct thing to do.

I personally believe that in order to make anything as fair as possible you need to take the human factor out of the equation. Without anyone deciding who deserves it more than anyone else, who would fill a certain category well and how to make it so, so that nobody would feel offended, but also without anyone trying to not to mix their personal preferences and opinions in the selection process, without any person being tasked with a burden like this, it would be much easier to find a state of balance, perhaps seemingly unfair sometimes, but unfair in a “fair” way. How to achieve that you might ask and what does it mean in the first place? Well, there are multiple ways with their respective nuances, but I’d personally argue for just making a list of all the Gwent Partners, alphabetical, randomized, it wouldn’t matter as much in my eyes for as long as there would be one criterion followed and that is: “Those who have had a reveal before go to the bottom of the list. The more reveals you have had, the further down you go.” When a new expansion arrives, you could go from the top down taking only Partners that haven’t had a reveal before, and once the reveal campaign would end, you would just take those who got a reveal before and placed them on the bottom. Next expansion the process would repeat. When new partners join the program, you either shuffle them among those who haven’t had a reveal before or put them on the top. Once you’d have no partners without first reveals, you’d move on to second reveals. Over time, as new partners regularly join the ranks of grizzled veterans, a healthy mix of first-timers and recurrent partners could be achieved in every expansion.

The arguments for this system:

  1. Treats all partners equally.
  2. Is very beneficial for new partners.
  3. Simplifies the selection process.
  4. Introduces more creators to the community.
  5. The chances of each partner getting at least one reveal are higher.

The arguments against this system:

  1. While the selection process is simpler, making and updating a list of partners is required.
  2. It isn’t as beneficial for old partners (especially those who have had reveals before).
  3. Prevents CDPR from highlighting certain individuals.
  4. The chances of getting your second or more reveals are lower.
  5. Introduces new creators that might not be seen as reliable (might leave Gwent for something else).

 

Conclusion

In reality, I could easily see the current system stay unchanged, all that is need for a more fair environment to be achieved is to reduce the amount of recurring partner reveals. You can still highlight anyone that deserved it in that period of the year, but the numbers shouldn’t be almost 50:50 in my honest opinion. If we take into account how many partners there are (This list is obsolete, by the way, there are many, many more!) and that some people were given a reveal almost every single expansion season despite being on the same level as anyone else, participating in a system like this may feel very, very underwhelming and might even discourage people from ever asking for a reveal in the future, it certainly discouraged me.

Whatever the situation will be when the future expansions come out, I hope that as many new partners as possible will get a chance to cooperate and show proudly what they have achieved. Not only what they build on their channels, blogs, and ladder reports, but also where has that all lead them, that they became the official Gwent Partners and can cooperate with those who made a game that means so much to them. Merry Christmas and thank you for reading this article everyone!


Sources

A Recap Of The Second Gwent Open Of Season Two

This article has been written by Babyjosus, in collaboration with Sawyer1888.

With the amount of positive feedback regarding our first recap, Team Bandit Gang has decided to continue to write recaps for the official tournaments in this season. The Gwent Open #2 of this season was being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28th. So, if you were going to a cottage in Quebec to go kayaking or just want to feel a little nostalgic, we got you covered with another recap. And just like Gwent Open #1, Gwent Open #2 was being broadcasted from the home offices instead of the famous studio at the headquarters of CDPR. WatchFlake was unfortunately not able to cast, instead we got to see Shinmiri cast alongside McBeard. 6 Shupe plushies were spotted throughout the tournament, which is 1 more than last time.

Before we head to the matches of day 1, we would like to mention that the prize pool amounted 22000 USD thanks to the community purchasing the Earth Pack & Overgrown Bundle. This meant that each player received extra 2000 USD in addition to the base prize pool distribution. On top of that, each participant received 500 USD for reaching the Quarterfinal, 1000 USD for reaching the semifinal and 1000 USD for reaching the finals. The winner received an additional 1000 USD. For the community that was watching the tournament at home, they were able to receive Twitch Drops. After watching for 4 hours, viewers were able to get a unique Germain Piquant avatar. And after 8 hours – a brand new Master Mirror Keg, to be opened when the expansion releases on June 30th (which is tomorrow!). If you strive to qualify for a Gwent Open yourself, then book yourself a coaching lesson to make this dream a reality. For more information about coaching click here. Let’s jump into the matches now!

Day 1

The first match was between Tailbot vs Green-knight who is a member for Team Leviathan Gaming. Green-Knight is not a brand new face. We have seen him before when he qualified for the Gwent Open #8 in season 1. He played against Molegion from Team Aretuza in the quarterfinals who managed to win 3-0 over him. And to face Tailbot now is definitely not an easy task for the Brit knowing that he is the underdog if you look at the poll. 78,5% of the fans voted in favor of Tailbot. If you look at Tailbots decklists you will see that he was not bringing The Great Oak but Saesenthessis instead for his Mystic Echo. Not sure if this was a key factor for him to win the first game but it ended up working out perfectly. In the second game Tailbot pushed Green-Knight in round 2 just like he did in game 1 and managed to beat the Harmony archetype with Blood Scent in round 3. It was now 2-0 for Tailbot and perhaps this caused flashbacks to the Gwent Open #8 for Green-Knight. In the third game Talbot managed to win again, this time with a satisfying board sweep from Wild Boar of the Sea which caused a lot of girls to scream in the Twitch chat. A 3-0 from Tailbot over Green-Knight meant that the curse of the quarterfinals for Green-Knight is continuing. Hopefully he will manage to overcome this someday. Because it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see him another time. You can check their decks here:

The second match was between Wangid1 vs Magpie131, winner of Challenger #5, who managed to bring a very unique lineup to the table. 56,2% of the fans rooted for Magpie131. Sadly for Magpie, the unique lineup wasn’t enough for him to continue in the tournament as he lost 3-2 to Wangid. But, he definitely got our mad respect for bringing memes to the tournament. If you are interested about what Magpie has to say about the games that he played against Wangid, you can do so here. You can check their decks below:

With the third match between Team Aretuza member Redrame, the best player of North America, vs Iluxa228 a member from Team Legacy, we know we were gonna get treated with skillful displays. For both it was actually their first time playing a Gwent Open. 65,1% of the fans voted in favor of Redrame. While Redrame was unlucky to draw twice into Affan, and a card down in the last match, he still managed to win 3-2 over Iluxa coming back from a 2-1 in favor of Iluxa. The excitement that Redrame had for playing this series resulted in people spamming BIGRAME in the Twitch chat. Does this indicates that the fans have found their new champ to root for? You can check their decks here:

The last match of the day was between Ineverhood vs kams134 from Team Leviathan Gaming. And just like Green-Knight, kams also played in the Gwent Open #8. He was playing against wangid1 and lost 3-0 in the quarterfinal. But that didn’t stop the fans to not vote for him with 70,4% being in favor of kams. It must have been a surprise to most of the people that INeverhood ended up winning 3-1. When kams lost the first round on even, which meant he was a card down in round 3, it was simply not possible for him to win to make it 2-2. You can check their decks here:

Day 2

With day 1 coming to an end, eventually day 2 had to arrive. And everyone was not only waiting for the outcome of the final day, but also on a razors edge about what will be the last cards to be revealed. We will discuss those cards and share our opinions about the upcoming changes here

The Semis were fought out between Tailbot vs Wangid1 and Redrame vs lneverhood. In the first game, casted by McBeardCH and Shinmiri2, two veterans from Open faced each other: Tailbot, one of the fans favourite, against Wangid1, one of Chinas top class players, who just qualified for Open 3 at the latest qualifier last weekend. After both of the players picked their faction to ban (Tailbot banned Wangids Elder Bears Imperial Formation, Wangid1 bannend Tailbots Uprising Draug), the first game was a clash between two of the strongest decks on ladder right now: Tailbots Vampires against classic Mystic Echo from Wangid1, which went in favour of Wangid1 in a close final round. Game two Wangids Crones faced the midrange SK deck and maybe was decided, not only be very unfortunate draws for Tailbot, who missed Wild Boar and Hemdall with some other golds, but also by an offensive Ozzrel, which was used to eat the Morkvarg right away in round 2. Now only Wangids Draug was left, which got beaten in game 3, also by a perfect clapping from Hemdall, which killed 2 revenants. The last game went in favour for Wangid1 again, who just lore friendly beaten up Talilbots Scoiatel with an overwhelming display of NR Uprising. 

To be fair and in all respect for the other players, but seeing Redrame reaching the semis after a nailbiting day 1, was for many fans the highlight of the Open so far. While his double ball deck got banned by Lneverhood, he banned syndicate himself. The first game of this series seemed to be the perfect matchup for Redrame, playing against elves with Draug on blue coin. With a lot of tempo, he tried to win round 1 here, even committing royal decree for a thick Voymir, which was his biggest mistake and cost him maybe the whole series, Redrame admitted later on. Cause not only missed Draug in round 3 to just lose by a small amount of points, he also wasn’t able to get his Draug through all the time. In the second game Redrame managed to get a win with his trademark Mahakam Forge deck against Lneverhoods Overwhelming hunger, just to take a heavy pointslapping in game 3 against it with again, Draug. Game 4 went into a tie and after that was decided in Redrames favour with just one single point, to get his syndicate list through against greatswords. The final game not only was decided by the power of a wild boar greatsword combo at the end, but also by unlucky draws and missing some key cards for Redrame again.

Before the final we got treated with a developer update. You can check it here:

With the developer update revealing lots of new cards and abilities everyone was hyped up for the final matches of the day.

So, after two intense Series we had the final between Wangid1 and Lneverhood. Wangid1, which was beaten round 1 in the last Dpen by the eventual finalist Nik_R, was the 2nd consecutive Chinese player making it into the final, after Demarcations impressive performance last month.
This time Wangids Mystic Echo got banned rather than his Imperial Formation, so it was the first time in the entire series that we saw this deck. On the other side, there was no love for Lneverhoods Tactical Decision Shupe Ball deck. The first game was a strong performance of the old school Elder Bears, who managed to win on even and clapped Greatswords with a double last say in round 3. Game number 2 was interesting, cause both players played different monster decks, which was eventually decided by a misplayed Yghern in round number 2 by Wangid1, which allowed Lnerverhood an aggressive Ozzrel. Games number 3 and 4 both went in favour of Wangid1, who managed to get a smoth victory with Draug yet again against Greatswords, continuing the roll with a heavy control focused display of his crones against elves.

And, like last month, the winner of Open number 2 was a Chinese player, Wangid1. Congratulations on a strong performance and a great respect for all the other participants.

After day 2 came to an end, CDPR announced that the next Gwent Open will be held in August. 29th-30th of August to be precise. Aside of that, we would like to inform you about The Invitational, which is the largest independent tourney that has ever been organized. A total of 100 players, including 6 players from Team Bandit Gang, will battle it out for a $1000 prize pool. Watch the trailer here:

A Recap Of The First Gwent Open Of Season Two

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Iancm1997, Mercernn & Banditpig.

Disclaimer: We have edited a section of this article (on 01/06/2020) in which we mentioned Santtu2x had chosen to not play a druid from Ermion and suggested this could’ve changed the outcome of the game – this is in fact a mistake as it turned out that no druids were drawn therefore that was an impossible suggestion, not a misplay.

Gwent Open #1 came to our homes in the weekend of May 30th-31st. If you were not able to watch it or just want to get a bit nostalgic, we got you covered with our recap of the event. Among some of your favorite veterans there were a lot of new faces this time. Definitely keep your eyes peeled on them because they could very well be seen again in any of the future tournaments. The Gwent Open #1 was being held from home due to global circumstances aka COVID-19. Which allowed us to get a peek inside of the casters and the players their personal homes. We spotted exactly 5 Shupe plushies during the tournament.

Before we head to the matches of day 1, it is worth mentioning that the prize pool of the first Gwent Open of season 2 was almost tripled thanks to the community purchasing the Flaming Pack & bundles which amounted in a total of 29200 USD. This meant that each player received extra 2400 USD in addition to the base prize pool distribution. On top of that, each participant received 500 USD for reaching the Quarterfinal, 1000 USD for reaching the semifinal and 1000 USD for reaching the finals. The winner received an additional 1000 USD. The community that was watching the tournament at home had a chance of getting all kinds of goodies. 50 Meteorite Powder or 3 Kegs during the tournament days, and if you watched the official stream for a total of 4 hours, you would also get a unique Pavko Gale avatar. Alright, let’s jump into the matches now.

Day 1

The first match of day 1 was between Team Aretuza member Kolemoen vs SuMo. Fans predicted Kolemoen to win by a large mile. 88% out of the fans that voted were in favor of Kolemoen. With Kolemoen making a joke of the current situation that we are in and bringing Lockdown. It was unfortunate for him that Lockdown seemed to have quite a disadvantage in the mirror and he did not manage to win. The disconnection from the spectator mode prevented us from seeing it, but Kolemoen got the score back to 1-1 in the second match. SuMo had to wrestle his way back into the series and got ahead 2-1. And although Lockdown did quite well for Kolemoen in the fourth match, the pure power of Morkvarg, Heimdall, and Wild Boar of the Sea was just too much to handle for him. The discard package included by SuMo really helped him draw into his high-end gold cards and he ended up winning 3-1. This was a shock to most of the people watching but it shows that the Chinese players shouldn’t be underestimated. You can check their decks here:

The second match was between Wangid 1 vs GwenDetta team member Nik_R. Also, this time, the results from the polls were not very close to each other with 77% of the fans rooting for Wangid1. This could be because Wangid1 has won a Gwent Open in season 1. Funnily enough, Nik_R managed to win the first match with a beautiful display by putting back Invocation in the deck with Assire and drawing it with Matta to eventually put Anseis on the top of the deck to play it with Joachim. The second match was horrible for Wangid1. He ran out of time and couldn’t use a leader charge of the Blood Scent ability in time and ended up having  to use all three leader charges to get an Ekkimara to win the first round. Since Korathi Heatwave would only get him a draw. Alas, because of his mistake Wangid1 lost the match and it was 2-0 for Nik_R. Wangid1 didn’t manage to get a reverse sweep and Nik_R was able to win 3-1. You can check their decks here:

Next we got to watch the clash of the titans. Demarcation vs Tailbot (also known as Tailgod). Although, 78% of the fans voted for Tailbot. This could very well be a wrong indication since Twitter is banned in China and therefore it’s likely that the Chinese fans were not able to vote for Demarcation. Demarcation lost the first game from Tailbot which was a brutal victory for the Polish man. After the first game, the second game resulted in a draw because Demarcation got unlucky with his RNG from Bribery and they had to play same matchup again. Demarcation said that the first two games made him tilted but ultimately he brought back the tension by winning the third game when he got his Zen back. He hard pushed Tailbot in the fourth game which proved to be the correct and fruitful tactic for Demarcation. Thanks to his charge possessing leader with more flexibility, he was able to conserve part of his leader potential for R3 while Tailbot had to invest it in R2. And ended up winning the fourth and fifth match from Tailbot as well. With the fifth match being a win by only 1 point. Another veteran was quickly wiped out of the tournament by one of the new faces. Does this mean that the end of the era of the Gwent veterans is near? You can check their decks here:

The series was followed up with a break, where we got presented a card art leak that was fresh from the press:

Could this be the Squirrel that is seen in the card art of Iorveth’s Gambit? In current Gwent, Iorveth’s Gambit is all about the trap archetype. Therefore, this could very well be a new Scoia’tael trap card.

After the break and many hours into the tournament we finally got our final series of the day. 66% of the fans predicted Santtu2x from Team Aretuza to win this series from Andi99, who is a member from Team Legacy. Santtu2x is a well-known community tournament player and made it for the first time to a Gwent Open, just like Andi99. Although, the way things played out was not how Santtu2x expected things to end up. Santtu2x won the first two matches due to internet issues on Andi99’s side. According to the rules you automatically lose the match whenever you get disconnected from the game. In the third match Andi99 was allowed to turn off his webcam and they were able to play their third match without any issues. Unfortunately for Andi, this was too late, and he lost the match which got Santtu2x a quick 3-0 win over Andi99 without him having to speed Gwent. This series was certainly a consecutive of tragic circumstances and hopefully CDPR will come up with something that won’t allow this to happen a second time. In competitive play of League of Legends, the match is being paused whenever any issues occur. After the issue is fixed, the game will then resume from where it was left at. This is something that CDPR could look into. You can check their decks here:

The following video pretty much sums up day 1:

Day 2

After an eventful day 1 and a night of sleep, day 2 arrived for all of us to get excited about. Not only because of the match ups but also because on the PlayGwent website there seemed to have appeared a thick fog with a countdown in it. The early morning fog loomed as far as we could see, it was almost tangible, shrouding everything in a thick white veil, the countdown barely managing to penetrate the haze. More things seem to appear overtime. This raised a number of question marks. Will we get a new expansion announced in the new season of Gwent? Fans have been predicting the fog indicates that we will get a return of Dagon who was a leader in beta Gwent for the Monsters faction.

With all the fans getting excited about the news, the match between SuMo vs Nik_R was about to start. 61% of the fans had put their vote in for Nik_R. Which made a lot of sense since he played really well on day 1. In his matches against SuMo, he also played really well and ended up winning 3-1 that got him through to the finals. It seems that the CIS community have gotten a new star to cheer for.

After the first semifinals, we got to the semifinal that everyone was waiting for, Demarcation vs Santtu2x. Demarcation that beat Tailbot to get to the semi’s and Santtu2x only having to do very little to reach it, meant that Demarcation was slightly favored with 59% of the fans voting for him. The first game between the two resulted in a draw, unfortunatley Santtu2x did not manage to draw a bronze Druid, which left Gedy at 1 charge unspent. Perhaps that could’ve made all the difference. They had to play again, with Demarcation ended up winning it thanks to his better defense that prevented Santtu2x from countering his vital engines. The match after that was also won by Demarcation. Santtu2x did got back into the series by winning the third match which got some fans excited. Some of them were yelling perkele in the Twitch chat and got a timeout for doing so. Unfortunately this didn’t helped out Santtu2x that much because Demarcation won the fourth match and got to the finals with a score of 3-1.

Before we got to watch the final between Nik_R and Demarcation we got treated with even more leaks than during day 1. Aside of a new board, a new Arachas Queen skin, a new border and a new avatar we got presented with a couple more card art leaks:

When you think the art in Gwent can’t become any better than the current art that we already have, CDPR keeps surprising us because so far it’s truly outstanding. The first card art leak of the day reminds us a of Aloy, who is the protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn and the sole playable character throughout the game. The second card art is a golden Nekker who is sitting in a cave. This might be a reference to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, more commonly referred to as the Golden Idol, which is a fictitious artifact that appears in the opening sequence of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first entry in the Indiana Jones franchise created by George Lucas. There have also been rumors that it could be a reference to a Cthulhu Idol and that the speculated expansion will be horror themed. The third card art leak is Ethereal, who is a demon-like, nightmarish creature appearing for the first time in the Hearts of Stone expansion from the Witcher 3. For Iris, it takes on the form of her husband, Olgierd.

After the card art leaks, the final was starting. If you have looked at the bracket, so far Nik_R has only played against Chinese players with Demarcation, another Chinese player, being the final boss. With Demarcation winning the first match, the second match resulted in a draw. Nik_R played Dagur and it got Gradened by Demarcation, however Nik_R decided to not revive it with his leader. Instead he played Morkvarg and then Wild Boar of the Sea.  Nik_R’s decisions may have been influenced by the fact that Demarcation did not spend his last 6 coins on Sea Jackal, which could be considered as a big brain play by him. They had to play again and Demarcation beated Nik_R which got him to the point he had to win one more game to be crowned the winner of the first Gwent Open of season two. While Nik_R needed a reverse sweep against Demarcation. He did manage to win a match, but Demarcation was simply too good for Nik_R and ended up winning the fifth game of the series by a huge amount of points. We can therefore crown Demarcation the winner of the first Gwent Open of season 2, which got him a ticket to the Gwent Masters that is being held at the end of the year. Demarcation said in his interview that he will slow things down the next season and focus on his studies, but after that he will try to play as much Gwent as he can and maybe will achieve many more wins.

With day 2 coming to an end, and being a lot smoother than day 1, CDPR announced the upcoming Gwent Open that seems to be around the corner. It will be held on 27th-28th of June so keep that weekend free in your agenda.