Artifact is the new digital card game by Valve. The lead designer of the game is Richard Garfield, who some might know as the creator of Magic: The Gathering. This weekend will be the first live-streamed Artifact tournament and our first real look at high-level gameplay. The tournament will feature 128 of the closed beta players fighting for large cash prizes and notoriety in the Artifact scene.
The tournament host is Beyond the Summit, an esports broadcasting company. The casters for this event are David “Luminous Inverse” Zhang, Fwosh, and Swim. Throughout the day they will be joined by pro players with a background in Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, and Gwent.
The first of the pro players to join is Joel “Proel” Larsson. This is a player who is largely unknown to people new to the card game scene, but Joel has been around for a long time. Starting out with Magic: The Gathering back in 2005, Joel has won a pro tour and a Grand Prix event as well as many high-rank placements throughout the year. Joel is currently seen as one of the best players in the Artifact closed beta by many.
Next up is Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy. First of all, Lifecoach has built up his legacy with dominance in poker, before switching to online card games. Lifecoach has been long regarded as one of the best Hearthstone players of his time. Back in September of last year, however, Lifecoach switched from the more popular Hearthstone to one of the new card games, Gwent. Early on in the development of Artifact, Lifecoach joined the closed beta and has been helping shape the game since.
Above all, Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen is one of Hearthstone‘s most popular streamers. With a 10-year background in Magic: The Gathering, and tens of thousands of hours streaming and playing Hearthstone, Savjz is a true card game veteran.
George “Hyped” Maganzini is an esports veteran, having competed at the pro level of Hearthstone in 2015 and Overwatch in 2016-17. It is good to see Hyped return to the card game scene with Artifact, to once more compete to become the best.
The format used for the Artifact tournaments is quite unique and not something we have seen recently in the online card game scene. As quoted from their blog post on Reddit:
The tournament’s game mode is Draft and will be fully online, capped at 128 players. Players will construct decks using Valve’s in-game draft system. There are 7 rounds of Swiss play on Day 1. On day 2 a single-elimination top 8 bracket is played to be out.
Players will draft once before Swiss Round 1, once before Swiss Round 4, and once before Top 8. Typically, a 7-0, 6-1, and maybe a 5-2 record will qualify for Top 8.
The tournament will use the tournament timer, which is 4 minutes total time bank, with 1 minute extra per turn. In-game deck trackers are allowed for the tournament. This means the players can see their own and opponents decklists using an overlay in-game.
Dates: Nov. 10-11
Time: 09:00 a.m. PT/ 18:00 p.m. CET / 12:00 p.m. ET start (both days)
The tournament will be streamed on the Beyond the Summit Twitch channel: twitch.tv/BTSartifact
You can also watch on steam.tv: PlayArtifact.com Announcement
For more coverage of online card games, check out “Saffron Olive on Magic: The Gathering Arena.” Or if you are more into a game such as Hearthstone, check out our top 5 cards of Hearthstone‘s latest expansion, The Boomsday Project.
Featured Image credit: Playartifact.com
I’m Arend Zijdenbos, from the Netherlands. Gamer for as long as I can remember. My current focus is further improving at esports journalism. Currently, I write for Daily Esports and PCInvasion. For more of me, find me on twitter @Azijdenbos.