I have received many messages from a lot of people regarding the DQ, and have been reading them when possible. I was quite confused when it first happens but after a day or so I have finally felt calm enough to explain this situation from my point of view.
Let’s take this chronologically.
After losing to Thien Nyugen in round 12, I decided to change my sleeves. This is because the original ones were worn out from yesterday’s play and I felt that I mulliganed more than usual during that match. It was more of a superstition, but I changed the sleeves using the ones provided by WotC for the tournament.
IN round 14 against Mark Jacobson I was deck checked and the judge said my deck was ok. Therefore I thought my deck had no problems and continued playing rounds 14 and 15.
After the end of round 15 (judge) Riccardo said he would like to confirm something with my deck and I handed it over straight away. He looked it for a bit and returned it saying “ok”.
In round 16 I ID’d with Alexander Hayne. I would make top 8 so I spent the round chatting with other Japanese players. At this point a judge said they wanted to check my deck. I thought they wanted to do a quick check before the top 8 as usual so I handed it over right away.
After 15-20 minutes the judge wanted me to come over to the side. Once I did the head judge displayed my tron lands in a public fashion and “Your tron lands are marked in a pattern that cannot be explained by normal play. As such you will be disqualified from the tournament.”
I did not realise the marked sleeves at all, and could not accept the ruling and provided several points of opinion.
The head judge took on board my opinions and added “I understand, but in reality these cards are marked as you can see it.” I realised that the ruling would not be overturned, and given the condition of the deck I accepted the ruling. This was later announced publicly.
I really did not notice the marked cards and I am not sure how the sleeves ended up like that. I believe that this could have been due to tron lands being searched up and touched more than the other cards in the deck.
Wizards will contact me shortly regarding this incident so I am in a wait and see mode. I am not sure what will happen going forwards but I will make updates when I know. Finally, I apologise deeply for making my supporters uneasy over this incident.
BasakaNZ also added in another tweet that Watanabe will upload pictures of the sleeves etc. on the Cygames blog later.
Interesting all the way around. What are your thoughts on Watanabe’s situation? Cheat or legit?