Standard Pauper Sealed League. We started out with 44 players, and as of this post, only 10 of those have already dropped out. 4 players remain undefeated currently, but of those only bava has played out his match for this week; at least one of the remaining three will also drop their match this week. And with one more week to play, no more than 2 players will emerge with a 5-0 record from the event.
After Week 5, the league will cut to Top 8, and while the exact probabilities aren't yet determined, it's likely that players will have to finish at least 4-1 in order to survive this cut. However, with prizes available down to Top 16, even those going into Round 5 with two losses still have something to play for!
For me, it's been an odd experience thus far. I've lost the only two matches I've gotten to play; while both of my wins have come from opponents dropping out of the event and thus conceding without a card played. While I felt like I made some big mistakes with my pool for Round 1, I feel like I actually have a decent decklist now, and so I am hopeful that I can scratch out a win next week and at least secure a spot in the Top 16. We will see.
Today on the pdcmagic.com Standard forums, JMason expressed something I thought was worth discussing:
I hate to say I'm not enjoying the league as much
as I had hoped. The sad state of the client makes managing the pools
and trying to use different decklists (transformative sideboard) a real
chore. And playtesting is nigh-on impossible. I find I'm putting a ton
of work in to set things up for not much payoff. My last 2 matches I had
bad beats, and I'd love to be playing more matches a week to get back
some of the investment and see the deck work the way it should do at
least a few times.
I can't help but wonder if others have had this same experience. While the inability to "playtest" your list is fairly consistent with the Sealed experience, the fact that the event is stretched out over five weeks definitely makes that lack more palpable. Perhaps the next time a league is put together that uses an "off-beat" format, it would makes sense to organize a couple different playtesting sessions where players could interact, share decklists, and play some practice matches without having it affect their official record. Heck, perhaps I could even organize some sort of mini-tournament, where the winner walks away with a ticket or two, just to encourage players to participate in these practice sessions. If you have some ideas on how we could make this experience better, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.