Joeri Hoste: Well, after having been a Decipher Product Champion for years and having done two internships with Decipher I already had a close relationship with the company. At the start of this year a full-time position opened up and when I was approached, I naturally jumped at the chance. I help develop and implement Decipher's marketing and promotion program for Europe for which we work closely together with our distributorpartners. This includes a.o. our Product Champion program, Organised Play, Conventions, Media and Retailersupport etc. Obviously one of my high priorities for Germany and Austria is promoting the German version of the LotR TCG.
STCCG-Turnier: In May and June there will be the first Terretorial Open Championships for both STCCG and LotR. Could you tell how these tournaments work and why these events have substituted the former National and Regional Championships?
Joeri Hoste: These tournaments will be hosted by selected retailers or distributors between May 1st and June 30th. They are the first stage in the DGMA/Decipher Championship circuit 2002. Next to other great prizes the 1st and 2nd placing player will receive a Bye into Day 2 of the European Continenta Championship and the 1st placing player will also receive a Bye into Day 2 of the World Championship during DecipherCon, which will be taking place in Chesapeake, Virginia from the 31st of October until the 3rd of November.
The qualifying structure is quite similar to the one we had last year. We did want to make one big change though, we wanted to give players the opportunity to play more. Each of these events is Open to anyone in the world. There will be 120 Territorials across the world and barring time and money you could play in them all. You could qualify for the European Continental by qualifying through the Texas Territorial Open.
Some of the best tournament experiences I've had in my time as a seasoned player was when I travelled to big tournaments in other countries. We want to give the players that opportunity, to go play their favourite game against completley new opponents, in a completely new and exciting environment with completely different meta-game.
STCCG-Turnier: There will be four Opens in Germany and one in Austria. Who will run these events and where will they take place?
Joeri Hoste: I suggest readers check with www.decipher.com for the most up to date and correct information on Territorial Opens in their area. For Germany it's fairly certain we'll have events in Berlin, Hannover, München and Nürnberg.
Our event in Austria has been completely confirmed and that will be held by Fantasy Games Gebrüder Tremetsberger in Traun.
STCCG-Turnier: Players may qualify for the European Championship. When and where will this event be run?
Joeri Hoste: I'm afraid I don't have final details on the European Continental just yet. I can tell you it will take place in The Netherlands and that our targetdate is the first weekend of August. Information should go up on www.decipher.com quite soon.
STCCG-Turnier: Decipher announced a new system for running tournaments which is based on "judge levels" for tournament directors. Is this system similar to games like MtG? How will it work and when does it start?
Joeri Hoste: The DGMA will be rolling out its Master Judge Program early summer. The program will consist of a series of tests to determine how proficient and experienced a Tournament Director is at organising DGMA/Decipher tournaments. The program is designed to test organisational and directing skills, knowledge of DGMA/Decipher tournament procedures and of course game-specific knowledge and insight. Currently we're planning 4 levels of tests. To ensure the quality of the tournament experience we will be requiring a certain level at Championship Circuit and other high profile events such as the World Cup which will be held at Essen Spiel later this year. Players will also be able to expect a certain level of Judge from Decipher Product Champions.
STCCG-Turnier: At this moment the new STCCG set The Motion Pictures arrives in stores worldwide. Will there be some special scenario tournaments like the Mirror Scenario or the Voyager Only and Voyager Warp Speed Scenario?
Joeri Hoste: We're not currently planning an official scenario series, but players looking for the flavour of a particular Star Trek movie will be over the moon with some of the mechanics in this set. Players will be able to unleash Khan's revenge or seek out God with Sybok. The set was specifically designed to introduce three to four new decktypes, based on the Star Trek movies so scenario-crazed Trek-players should be in CCG-heaven!
More good news in that respect is that over the last couple of months we've been looking at the various scenario-formats developed over the years by either players or for a one-off tournament at DecipherCon. We've been trying to balance those various formats so they could be integrated in our system of sanctioned tournaments and the results are looking good so far.Hopefully we'll be able to add some scenarios to our sanctioned formats in the next couple of months.
STCCG-Turnier: Could you tell us something about the next set after TMP?
Joeri Hoste: Oh we're keen, aren't we! I can't share any information at the moment I'm afraid.
STCCG-Turnier: Do you play the STCCG or any other CCG by yourself? Which one is your favourite game? Do you have other hobbies?
Joeri Hoste: Are you kidding? I play all of Decipher's games. ST CCG is what got me into the industry and the passion hasn't let down a single bit. Over the years I've picked up the other Decipher games and being a longtime Tolkien fan, I've been into LotR TCG from day one. I'll take you on anytime! Please don't force me to choose one game or the other, I'm enough of a gamer to have more than one game dominating my life. Other than that I just completely love movies, going out with friends to bar, club or restaurants. I also make pathetic attempts to stay into shape with visits to the gym and Aikido-classes.
STCCG-Turnier: Thanks for the interview!
Joeri Hoste: You're welcome! I'll be happy to answer anyone's questions at firstname.lastname@example.org