Netrunner Spanish Nationals 2017 Report

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.

Thursday 15th

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.

Friday 16th

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!

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6 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Hey Kelf! Mark here 

    I’m gonna write this on behalf of the Spanish community: THANK YOU.

    Thank you for coming, for being the nice guy you REALLY are (despite your “online personality”, we had that chat, remember? ;) ), for the nice moments, and, of course, for your kind words here .

    And now, a couple of things regarding your report:

    Jose was playing HB Foodcoats, not CI. Otherwise, I believe he would know hasty at sight .

    And regarding our personal history (hahaha): I know about you pretty well, more after playing in Paris (which, by the way, it was a tie, and although you said I was lucky as runner… I didn’t think so ), so, I know playing against you is MENTALLY EXHAUSTING doing as whizzard. I honestly believe I could win, you tried to trick me as well as many others with the “no, now it’s more a glacier thing” (while I was thinking “YEEAAAH OF COURSE. I DON’T BELIEVE YOU A SINGLE BIT” hahaha), but I will always be extra careful playing against you… and that is something I don’t want to do in a tournament I care a lot like the nats. Basically because it goes against my extremely aggressive playstyle, and would have put me in a hard situation for the rest of the tournament, even if I win (same as Victor, which is as well a player that requires a calm and thoughtful way of play, we discussed that when we ID).

    Just another comment: of course you are legitimate to play whatever you want, and however you want, and you do that very well. The point here is to have fun, always. And I don’t believe anyone thinks otherwise. Just, sometimes, you sound like whoever is not doing that, or playing mainstream competitive decks, is wrong, and that’s why you get some salty comments about it. So, this is for all the Netrunner community: He really doesn’t mean that, Kelf is a very nice guy and everyone should know it .

    Last words… Thank you again for all, specially for not mentioning anything about alcohol :D

    See you soon man!

    • Kelfecil says:

      Thanks for the nice comment Mark! I appreciate all your honest words about me and the whole event. :)

      Also, thanks for the note on Jose, I didn’t realize I made that mistake, I’ll look it up and fix it!

      Regarding our personal history: All you said is true. Maybe I found your runner game lucky, but other than that, all true. ;)

      Yeah it does sound like that sometimes, but that is because it is hard to accept someone really being ok with something like that in a competitive tournament. As I said, there is nothing wrong with either goal or mentality when joining such a tournament and I just wanted to make it clear. I have huge respect for the really good players and I think it had to be made clear that I know my place in competitive tournaments, including how far I can go when I’ve made the top 8 cut against certain decks.

      No need to mention alcohol. ;) Even though it was specifically used for super-fun purposes while I was there! :P

      Take care dude and see you again at some other A:NR tournament soon hopefully!

  2. Vesper says:

    Only our second meeting and I already am looking forward to the third one! Thanks for making the Nationals a slightly more ‘guiri’ event.
    I am amazed you remember so many details about all the games… I guess it takes a properly wired brain to get to that level of analysis, even after a party or two :-)
    Watching you play during my bye was a great lesson in driving the glass tank that Jinteki can be over Runner toes repeatedly ;-)

    “Commando Guiri” FTW! Fins aviat :-) (Catalan for “hasta luego”

    • Kelfecil says:

      I can’t wait for our next meeting as well dude!

      I took a lot of notes in order to remember what happened during some of the games, but other than that, I really like watching Netrunner games, therefore I end up analyzing them and replaying them in my head. Only way to get better at Jinteki tricks! ;) Also, I’m always glad to see more Jinteki fans and players when I go to big tournaments, even if the meta is HB/NBN at that point in time!

      See ya next time Michal!

  3. José says:

    Hi Konstantinos,

    It was very nice having you at nationals. Thank you for your kind words. I really messed up the game against Mark’s CI. I thought I had more time and kept waiting for a Legwork. I should have used Vamadeva and start digging into HQ sooner. Thank you very much for coming!


    • Kelfecil says:

      Hey Jose!

      Thank you for your nice words and yet again, congrats on your 2nd spot at Nationals with Geist / EtF! Next time, you’ll know about CI and you’ll get 1st I’m sure ;)

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