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The Begining of The Great Bandai Part 2: ARG's Exit

On July 17th Bandai made the announcement that Alter Reality Games (ARG) will no longer be the premiere tournament organizer for the Dragonball Super Card Game. With the release of their own game, and shortcomings from expectations, ARG was relieved of their duties as the TO for Dragonball Super. At a glance this may seem like a blow to the DBS card game, but from a deep detailed look, this is another reason why Bandai, and the Dragonball Super Card game will continue to succeed!

Conflict Of Interest

First off, there is no doubt that ARG did a fantastic job getting the game running in season one of organized play. From the release of the game until Nationals 2018, ARG did a great job promoting and growing DBS. No one can discredit that (Huge shoutout to Michael Sency). For that I truly am thankful for ARG. However, the past 6 months has been nothing but lackluster with asterisks over the way events were ran, dating all the way back to Nationals 2018. Whether it was the Janemba-Gate, Origins disaster, or the Atlantic City Invitational, some sort asterisk is attached that questions ARG’s interest in Dragonball Super. 

Were the events ran for Dragonball or a promoting platform for Argent Saga? Is it really possible to support both your own game and a competitor? Does Coke and Pepsi share fountain drink slots? Does Mercedes sell BMW at their dealerships? Do Republican Presidential candidates pick a Democratic vice president?

Wait you guys realize that at an ARG Circuit Series, there were other competitor card game tournaments with Dragonball right? Yes, but ARG was not the premiere tournament organizer for those cad games, nor involved with the card game companies. In the case of Dragonball, ARG was a directly working with Bandai hence the Circuit Series main event was DBS. Now with the rise of Argent Saga what will be the main event of a Circuit Series? Do you really think the card game of ARG is going to be put on the back for a card game of their competitor?  Absolutely not! That’s what we saw too! Remember the Origins stream for Dragonball Super? I don’t either because Argent Saga was streamed majority of the time.

It just doesn’t make sense for ARG to be both the premiere TO of Dragonball Super AND Argent Saga, because when tough decisions like what game to stream have to be made, bias will be shown. Hence, I am glad Bandai saw though this and took immediate action instead of letting ARG handle Nationals 2018. We already had a lackluster season, imagine if Nationals sucks…

That being said, I do not want to take away anything from ARG, they are a great TO that run tournaments extremely efficient (Shoutout again to Michael Sency and Vince) unfortunately ARG & Bandai interests do not align. Thanks again to ARG and good luck on your endeavors! 

Bandai Adaptation

Last week I stressed on the importance of a company adapting in order to succeed. Companies like Kodak, Sears were all giants that collapsed because they didn’t adapt. Bandai has repeatedly shown they are willing to adapt. They changed prizing for Nationals when WE made an outcry about it. They made a ban list, and now doing it every set because WE warned about it. Now they are moving from ARG because we all said this season sucked (it does).

 It’s not entirely ARG’s fault though for the decline of Season 2, I blame Bandai as well. However Bandai having the balls to cut off ARG, and go a different direction shows to me that they understand players are not happy, and they are willing to change to try and please the community. As long as Bandai continues to listen and improvise towards the community the game will flourish. 

Who We Gonna Get Now?

There is only a handful of tournament organizers in the scene. Pro-Play Games (PPG), CoreTCG, TAK (Aussie TO), CM (CanadianTO). Not many choices, but all these tournament organizers can step up to fill the void left by ARG. Pro-Play Games has continuously shown interest and care for not only Dragonball Super but Bandai products in general with the inclusion of Chrono Clash in their Pro-Play Tour. Perhaps we can expect some type of Bandai Festival type events which feature many Bandai products like Chrono Clash, Fighter Z, Dokkan Battle etc.. Who knows...One thing is for certain though, whoever steps up will be held to high standards and will be required to deliver better levels than ARG did. 

 Conclusion

The game is far from dead, and it is still in its growth phase. We may have slowed our rate of growth this season, but there is many more seasons to come. With the adjustments Bandai is making, I have no doubt that the game is going to continue to flourish. Right now as players we can only hope for a solid Nationals tournament, then hope Bandai learned from their mistakes and adjust for Season 3. If they continue adjusting the way they are, that is a good sign for the Beginning of The Great Bandai.

Thanks! 

-Markus Kantarci

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