This is an Android: Netrunner related article. Specifically a report about my journey to Madrid, Spain for the Spanish National Championship on the 17th and 18th of June.
On my way back from Birmingham, which I was visiting for the European Championship of Android: Netrunner (link takes you to the report), I found two Spanish guys and a Polish guy at the airport who were also there for the same reason. We sat down to eat food all together and talk about our favourite game. Little did I know that what Mark, Jonathan and Michal (Vesper) were going to tell me was going to get me on yet another Netrunner-Roller-Coaster ride a couple weeks later.
“Hey Kelf, the Spanish nationals are in Madrid on the 17th, you should visit!”
And so it began…
I would like to begin this report by saying a HUGE thank you to the amazing person that is Adrian Marin (Usagi) who had me as his guest in his house and treated me the best way a host can treat you when you are visiting a foreign country. He made sure I felt comfortable, took me around town, carried my lazy ass to the Nationals on both days and kept me alive from the intense heat. Honestly, I cannot thank you enough my friend and I can only hope I can repay you one day for your extreme amount of kindness.
Also, a huge congratulations has to be given to the new Spanish National Champion, Mark, who expertly got himself on top! Well played and well deserved man!
So, with no further ado, I say we get right down to it. I have to explain though that this is a three parts report.
1st part will be about my first couple of days before the tournament in Spain, explaining all sorts of shenanigans that happened and talking about the people I met.
2nd part will be about deck explanation and the swiss part of the tournament.
3rd part will be about the top 8 cut and a few things that I would like to say about the overall trip and experience.
So, I had to take the plane on a Thursday evening to get to Madrid from Amsterdam, since we had decided with Adrian that we wanted to explore Madrid a bit before the tournament. Knowing how mentally taxing an Android: Netrunner tournament of that competitive level can be, we thought that it would be better if we did the tourism thing the day before, rather after the event. Adrian lived in Logrono (northern Spain) as well as in Sao Paolo and only recently moved to Madrid, meaning he did not have the chance to see the town just yet as a tourist. He spent most of his time working, so me visiting was the perfect chance for him to see it too.
Didn’t even land at the airport yet and things already looked ominous. Spain was going through an intense heat wave (and still is this summer), reaching even 40 degrees Celsius on most days, but despite that, the gods of Spain decided to work against me and therefore brought upon a huge storm with very strong winds that basically forced my plane to land only 40 to 45 minutes after its initially planned landing time. We tried landing the first time, but we were shaken so much that the pilot had to do an emergency lift upwards again to roam around until the winds cool down. Thankfully, we did land in the end, despite the rain and despite the intense winds.
Not long before I got in a bus to roll down to the stop Avenida America where Adrian was waiting for me and I already started feeling like home. I have only visited Spain, once before, but 90% of everything in Spain is exactly the same as in Greece. The bus I was in was blocked by another in front of it and the bus driver decided to step on the bus horn for a good 2 minutes. People started yelling at each other and it was overall such a funny scene that reminded me so much of Greece that I just started laughing.
Pizza was had that night and it was great. After that, me and Adrian spent about 2~3 hours talking about Legend of the 5 Rings and the upcoming reboot by Fantasy Flight Games. Adrian told me about how big the L5R community was in Spain and how most people will be moving to playing that when it comes out. I am not going to lie, I was not very excited about it, despite seeing that the art is just gorgeous on it and the theme is very interesting, but Adrian got me very hyped and I am very much looking forward to it now. A big plus is the fact that pretty much anyone who has told me about the community of the game thus far, has only said the best of things.
Waking up early, we decided to head off with Adrian and go find something nice to drink under some shade. Not long before we got out of the house though, Adrian noticed a 10 euro bill on the street and picked it up. “Free lunch” he said and before he was even able to complete his sentence, a woman poked him from behind and told him “you also dropped this” giving him a 5 euro bill that was apparently close to the 10 one that Adrian found. The woman thought it was his and that he had dropped both after seeing him pick up the first one. “Free lunch!” said Adrian and we both merrily continued our touristic journey.
After seeing a few fancy old buildings and all that kinds of stuff, we ended up in a plaza across a big cinema. We were not really that fussed about what we were going to specifically have for lunch, so as soon as we spotted a Greek place, we just went in and had some really nice gyros. Unfortunately, the guys behind the counter weren’t Greek, since I tried talking to them, but the food they served was undeniably very good and very close to what the real thing tastes like. Extra points to Spain for being awesome on even making food of other cultures that well.
We continued to walk to the big palace of Madrid, took a bunch of pictures, walked up to the hill where an ancient Egyptian temple was and as soon as we got up the endless flights of stairs, we just dropped dead on the vividly green grass of the park around the temple. We stayed there drinking water and just chilling for a good 30 minutes and then we started descending the hill to go towards the river and towards the house of one of Adrian’s friends.
The sun was burning our very life essence and we had to quite frequently make stops when we found shade but once Chris (P3los) found us, we headed up to his place which very conveniently had, not one but TWO, fans in the living room. Soon enough, Borja (Pachinko) also joined us and we continued to have beer, eat all sorts of junk food and practice some Netrunner. I was actually afraid of showing them my decks (and I will explain why in the next page) so I practiced with some pre-made meta decks they had there, such as SYNC, Mooninites, an indexing Smoke and a version of Whizzard. I won a bunch of games as Smoke and as SYNC and then I washed my hands thoroughly to get the stench of NBN off me.
The evening of Friday was planned to be super special though, because the Spanish Netrunner community had booked a place in order to have dinner with about 25 people or so, all from the Netrunner community!
P3los wasted on bad wine. Michal making his classic weird faces. Tre flipping out. Adrian trying to kill P3los. GOOD TIMES!
We arrived after a taxi ride to an open buffet place and as soon as everyone was there, we feasted on all sorts of foods from all sorts of countries (it was a multi-cultural restaurant, if I am saying this right) and it had all sorts of food so it was great for pretty much anyone with any sort of food preferences. At that place, I met Jonathan, Mark and Michal again, and I also got to meet a bunch of new Netrunners from the Spanish community, such as Tre and a few other people that I honestly can’t remember their names right now (and I feel bad about it, but that’s just because there were SO MANY NEW PEOPLE!). After that we went for a couple drinks at a bar and then called it a night.
P3los may not have made top 8 in Spanish Nationals, but is still a freakin’ beast at Time Crisis. Seriously, he just destroys that game…
It was really fun and it was honestly amazing to have all these people talk about all sorts of things the night before the Nationals!
So, the more Netrunner stuff, start on the next page, including a bunch of interesting things about the decks. You will also see how I managed to make the top 8 cut of the Spanish Nationals of 2017!