As the sun sets on 2022, we can look back and say that it was the first year that resembled what Flesh and Blood organized play (OP) is intended to look like.
Flesh and Blood OP programs, spanning 38 countries, set the industry standard for global OP in 2022. Some of the highlights include:
- 40,805 Armory Events
- 1220 Skirmish events across 2 seasons
- 296 Road to Nationals that qualified players for 37 National Championships
- 601 ProQuest events that qualified players for the Pro Tour
- 30 Battle Hardened
- 12 Callings in Indianapolis, Krakow, Taiwan, New Jersey, Las Vegas, Madrid, Sydney, Utrecht, Singapore, Lille, Charlotte, and San Jose.
- 3 World Premiere weekends in Las Vegas, Madrid, and Sydney
- 2 Pro Tours in USA and France
- 1 World Championship in San Jose
As of writing, there have been over 935,000 official matches of Flesh and Blood played in 2022, from fun and friendly Friday night card slinging in local game stores, right up to the championship match for $100,000 USD that saw Michael Hamilton crowned the first World Champion.
In August last year, we made a pledge that 2022 would be the start of the $1M Pro Play circuit, and I am proud to say that in 2022 we have paid out $1,063,044 USD in tournament prize money.
I am pleased to share some insight into what Organized Play (OP) will look like for 2023, including some changes in response to feedback, learning, capability, and our goal to create the best OP experiences we can.
Firstly, I want to cover off what isn't changing.
The OP Pathway launched in 2022 has served us well, and will continue to be the foundation of our OP programs in 2023. We believe the programs are well understood, with each program meeting its intended purpose at this time.
- Tier 1 being Local level events, that create the foundation for strong local communities through weekly and seasonal instore play.
- Tier 2 being Regional level events, that serve as the doorway to Pro Play.
- Tier 3 being National level events, that bring the best competitive players together from across the country and continent.
- Tier 4 being International level events, that showcase the best competitive minds in the TCG world, alongside a bustling public events hall that welcomes, celebrates, and entertains all fans of Flesh and Blood.
We are reaffirming our commitment to the $1M Pro Play circuit for 2023. An indicative breakdown of the $1,000,000 USD (minimum) prize money budget is:
- $300,000 - World Championship
- $200,000 - Pro Tour
- $200,000 - Calling
- $200,000 - National Championship
- $100,000 - Battle Hardened
What Is Changing?
It has been a real highlight for myself and members of the LSS to team to travel to a number of major events this year and spend time meeting and talking with fans. We have heard a lot of wonderful stories about how FAB has been a positive element within peoples lives, and we have heard a lot of great feedback from fans about things they would like to see to improve the OP experience in the future. We really appreciate fans sharing their stories and feedback with us, and want to let you know about some of the changes that we are making and working towards, based on feedback and learnings over the past year of delivering a full suite of global OP.
Major Event Scheduling and Lead Time
We know that fans want more visibility and lead time to plan for events and organize travel. We have been, and are continuing to invest in our team and global partnerships to be able to deliver the standard of OP experience that we all can be proud to be part of. We understand that you have many factors to consider in your lives and having time to plan and organize travel is important.
I have to be honest with you, we are still building out some of the capability we need to achieve the standard we are striving for. Saying that, I am confident you will start to see rapid improvement in scheduling visibility as we move through Q1 next year.
Although we are unable to provide the forward looking schedule many of you probably would have liked to see today, I hope that the information we can provide sheds some light on what to expect in 2023.
3 Main Products, 3 Main Seasons
2023 will be split into 3 major seasons, corresponding to each of the major booster set releases, with each season featuring a pinnacle event.
|Season||Product||Pinnacle Event||Seasonal Programs|
|March - June||Outsiders (Standalone Set)||Pro Tour USA||Road to Nationals, Skirmish s6|
|July - September||Expansion Set||National Champs||Skirmish s7|
|October - January||Standalone Set||World Champs||ProQuest|
There will be one Pro Tour in 2023, hosted in the USA late April or early May. The date and location will be announced ASAP.
In 2022 we ran two Pro Tours, each awarding $100,000 USD. The single Pro Tour of 2023 will combine those prize pools, awarding $200,000 USD.
There are a number of reasons for this change. The travel associated with Flesh and Blood should be a high point of the year for players, not a burden or an insurmountable barrier to participation. In 2023 we are putting more focus and resources into bringing competitive OP “closer to home” for fans. Part of that is elevating National Champs to be the pinnacle event of the mid-year season, along with significantly scaling up the frequency of Battle Hardened events. We are aiming to deploy 50 Battle Hardened events in 2023, up from 30 in 2022.
Another reason is we want more people who attend the big marquee events to be rewarded. This change enables prize money to be paid out deeper into the standings, rewarding more fans for completing the quest of making it to the Pro Tour.
For similar reasons, we are also updating how the prize pools for the Calling are structured, to allow us to bring Callings to regions with smaller player communities and where Flesh and Blood is just beginning to find it's footing, while simultaneously getting prizing deeper into the standings at our largest events.
In 2023 there will be three tiers of Calling prize pools based on the estimated number of players for that specific event. The prize pool will be set and locked in at the time the Calling is announced. For events where we estimate attendance will be close to a threshold, we will err on the side of the larger prize pool. The estimated player thresholds will be:
|Estimated Number of Players||Total Prize Pool (USD)|
|Up to 300||$10,000|
Time to Prepare After a Release
We heard that players sometimes felt there wasn't enough time to prepare between the release of a new booster set and the start of seasonal programs like Skirmish, ProQuest, and Road to Nationals.
As much as possible in 2023, there will be a 2 week window between the release of a new set and the start of seasonal programs, so you have more time to acquire new cards, play test, and tune your decks.
We heard during the back-end of 2022 that FAB seasonal program frequency was becoming relentless. We think its important to have access to regular OP and we want players to look forward playing in the special events and programs. To address the issue of OP overload, 2023 seasonal programs like Skirmish, ProQuest, and Road to Nationals will run for 3 weeks instead of 4, to open up more downtime between programs.
Additionally, we heard the feedback about the tight timeline between Pro Tour Lille, National Championship season and Worlds, and how much pressure this put on players schedules. You will see the major events better spread out in 2023, across the 3 major product seasons.
Major Event Operations and Environment
There were certainly many things to cherish and celebrate from the two Pro Tours and World Championship events, and there was also much that we learned, and a lot of valid and helpful feedback that fans let us know about. I don't want to go into detail in this article, but to simply say that we care deeply about the quality of your experience at our marquee events, and we are learning, investing, and trying our best to create world class OP experiences in 2023 and beyond.
I am pleased to share with you today, the Calling and Battle Hardened events running prior to the release of Outsiders in March. The first Callings of 2023 will be taking place in Auckland and Indianapolis, with an announcement coming early in the new year about the first European Calling of 2023.
As we head through Q1, we will be rapidly updating the events schedule for you to start planning your Flesh and Blood event travel throughout the year. Thank you to everyone who was part of FAB's first full year of OP, and I look forward to seeing you at one of the big events coming in 2023.
Founder & CEO
Legend Story Studios