Three months ago, the first Evolution Meet was held at card shop Dragoon Hakata. As one of the first large-scale unofficial tournaments for the Digimon Card Game, the Evolution Meet has been foundational to the TCG’s competitive scene, and its latest incarnation takes the form of a team tournament on September 20th. In partnership with the Evolution tournament series’ host, the tournament management is now organizing an even larger-scale tournament, the D-1 Championship.

Subtitled “~Mid-Autumn Pico Devi’s Fall Battle~” and known informally as the “Pico Devi Cup” (ピコデビ杯) the D-1 is intended to elevate the Digimon TCG to a higher level of competition. The tournament’s name comes from the D-1 Grand Prix, a line of official virtual pet and Hyper Colosseum TCG tournaments Bandai organized between 1996 and 2007. The legacy of the D-1 in Japan is immense, forming a unique part of Japanese Digimon nostalgia. The D-1’s cast of characters, like tournament hosts Digimonkey, Volcano Oota, and Tailmon-Betsu, have both been immortalized as official Digimon and recreated at Japanese fan events. The DIGIMADO fan organization held its own “De-1” tournament in 2013, while Bandai did their own revival of the D-1 as an online tournament for the 20th anniversary virtual pets, and the D-1 CS is likewise made in the Grand Prix’s image.

First place will win a carton of 12 boxes of Booster Set 3: UNION IMPACT. (Value of 57,024 yen, approximately $537.) UNION IMPACT launches October 30th, so the tournament champion will not receive their prize until roughly a month after the D-1 ends.

The 3rd Evolution CS, held on July 31st, used special rules that divided its 19 participants into two teams, each earning points for the collective team’s win rather than for the individual players.

While players can apply to enter the D-1 CS normally, priority is given to the winning team at the 4th Evolution Meet on September 20th, and to the winners of the four D-1 qualifiers held at Dragoon Hakata on August 16th, 23rd, 30th, and September 6th. The winners of these tournaments are not seeded normally into the D-1, but are “super-seeded”—a practice in Japanese tournament procedure where the winner of a previous tournament is entered directly into the top cut bracket, without having to participate in the preliminary rounds. (Super-seeding also occurs in Japanese soccer and the Koushien baseball tournaments.)

The D-1 Championship will take place on September 27th, with a projected tournament size of 48 participants. Every player will be charged a 1500 yen entry fee, which will go towards providing the prizes and paying the host for use of the space. Participants are required to bring their own decks, ballpoint pens, 6-sided die, face masks, and Memory Gauges.

The tournament will commence at noon Japanese time on the 27th, with the first round beginning at 1:00 PM. There will be five 25-minute best-of-one rounds of Swiss pairings, in which players of similar win-loss records are paired against each other, before the finalists are announced at 3:45 PM and put into a tournament bracket. After a brief period to clean and disinfect the store, round 1 of the top cut will take place at 4:30 PM, with grand finals and the match for third place beginning at 6:00. Awards will be given out at 7 PM.

Players will be expected to complete each turn in 2 minutes. If no winner is decided at the time limit for a round, players will roll their die and the highest roller will win. For the tournament finals, time-out will instead allot extra turns to the players to decide the game. The turn player will be “turn 0” and play will continue until three turns have passed; if no player wins within those turns, the one with the most cards remaining in deck will win.

Grand finals and the match to decide third place will be best-of-three games, one hour each. If time is reached during game 2, the winner of game 1 wins; if time runs out in game 3, extra turns are allotted, and if no winner is decided in those turns, the one with the most cards in deck will win the tournament.

The D-1 qualifiers up to now have been won by Akkii with a Blue Omegamon deck, Nagoshi with a Red Omegamon deck, and Rakunin with a Blue Vikemon-Omegamon deck. The fourth qualifier is set to take place in just a few days’ time, on September 6th, with the 4th Evolution Meet on the 20th being the absolute last chance to get a super-seed spot—the winning 3-player team will all qualify.

Akkii’s 1st-place deck
Nagoshi’s 1st-place deck
Rakunin’s 1st-place deck