Dragon Ball Super card game scene in Europe: The State of Play in Q1-Q2 2019

Dear DBS Card Game players, Dear DBS fans, Dear All,

Welcome to The Lookout. The Lookout is the first Europe-focused website for DBS card game fans. Our mission is to provide a one-stop-shop for Dragon Ball Super card game information for DBS CG players living in Europe.

What you are currently looking at is our bi-annual report on the “State of play” in Europe. The purpose of this report is to showcase the diversity and motivation of DBS CG players in Europe through the experience of players from a total of 13 European countries! We worked hard to bring you this information and will be collecting even more for future reports. The information was collected during the period of 3 months between January and April 2019. Thank you to all of you who provided us with the information.

As editors of The Lookout, we are proud to be part of a great community (You guys!) and we are committed to bringing to high-quality content in the years to come. Thank you for spreading the word about our initiative.

We hope you will enjoy the report!

Austria

Austria

To be fair, we start alphabetically, with an advanced central European country, Austria. A local player from Klagenfurt, Robin Wadl, was very kind to provide us with a few lines on the state of play in Austria.

“I first heard of the game at the beginning of 2018 through Youtube. I was immediately super hyped about it. However, when I was looking to get some products it was really hard to find them. There was only one shop in Austria selling the products and it was always sold out. So I pre-ordered some stuff and waited until the shop got it. I also told my local gamester about the new game and tried to make them interested, but it took them almost 6 months to get the products! As of now, I know of 3 shops in Austria selling the cards, but only two of them are holding tournaments. Both of them are too far away from me to just casually drive there (2 hours by car) – Vienna and Mödling. My local game store is Hive Games in Klagenfurt. I know that the tournament is weekly held in Mödling and there are about 15 people playing. In my local store, I have heard of 2 people playing occasionally. The biggest thing missing in Austria is the support from the European distributor and the lack of popularity. This is also why I started my youtube channel! But without the resources to get products and friends to play its hard for me to promote the game.”

Another player, Thomas Reismann, a Mödling local and a judge for the weekly tournaments there gave us a bit more background:

Every Saturday we hold a Tournament at Mawo Cards in Mödling. We have between 8 – 15 participants, which makes us one of the largest DBS CG Communities in Austria. We were also the First TCG Shop that offered DBS CG in Austria.

You can connect with players from Austria via their Facebook Group.

Belgium

BelgiumA western European country known for its chocolate and beer specialities has a pretty lively Dragon Ball Super CG scene. As you know, the northern part of Belgium is Flemish-speaking (very similar to Dutch), and the southern part is Wallonian (French-speaking). The Flemish use English cards and deviate towards the Dutch community. The Wallonian players use French cards and deviate more towards France and their tournaments.

One of the Editors of The Lookout – Andrija, lives in Brussels, Belgium but plays in local tournaments in Outpost LGS in Antwerp and smaller shops in Boom and Sint-Niklaas. These are currently the cities/towns in Belgium holding official tournaments and attracting 12 players on average every or every other weekend. There were more in the past but the interest in the game did not bloom as it was expected. Things are expected to change once celebrations events kick-off in April.

You can connect with players from Belgium via the BeNeLux Facebook Group.

Croatia

CroatiaOf all the countries mentioned, Croatia is the least populated but still has DBS CG locals. In its capital, Zagreb, between 8 and 16 players meet every weekend in Carta Magica, a local game store, to face against each other in a local tournament. They receive a promo card upon signing up and receive prizes according to their placement. The scene is modest and players are doing their best to attract new players each month.

Hopefully, this website and the engagement of all of us at The Lookout (all Croatians!) can change that. We are a bunch of childhood friends that met playing Pokemon TCG. We went through the triumph and downfall of VS System TCG and in 2018, the five of us (Andrija, Benci, Filip, Gavran and Ivan), discovered and started playing this great card game, Dragon Ball Super. Andrija lives and plays mostly in Belgium and he had the opportunity to represent Croatia in the DBS CG European Open Championship 2019. Gavran is more introduced to the Danish scene and Benci, Filip and Ivan regularly play in Zagreb, Croatia.

A local game store tournament organiser Mislav Mitrovic, also a childhood friend of ours, provided the Lookout with a few lines about the community and what the Croatian players are actually missing in order to take the gameplay to the next level in Croatia:

“The game arrived in Croatia in June 2018 with Cross Worlds. After about a month, the rest of the core sets were available in our shop + the Tournament of Power. A total of 8 participants showed up to play in the first tournament organised. Since then, we have players coming every month and the community keeps on growing (12 players on average at the moment). What we are now missing are the tournament kits which we did not receive at all and which would give us the opportunity to organise better tournaments more regularly. The second big thing we are missing is the “judge system”. Without it, we can’t organise demo days, judge tournaments, etc. which would greatly enhance DBS CG development in Croatia. My feeling is that the game is going in a very good direction but we require the above mentioned to take it to the next level in Croatia.

You can connect with players from Croatia via their Facebook Group.

Denmark

DenmarkThe country whose people are known to have the highest levels of happiness (not due to DBS card game though) also has a DBS card game scene. In fact, the top 2 ranked player from Euro Nats 2019 is Casper Hersø Hansen who played Broly lineage and broke through all the amazing decks featured there. The 27-year old Casper who started playing in early 2018 (after selling his Yu-gi-oh collection and committing to DBS) said the following about the scene in Denmark:

“The game came to Denmark about the same as most of Europe, starting January 2018. I didn’t play the first 2 months but I attended a local tournament when it arrived and everybody was hyped and the first set was sold out in just 2 hours. We only have one store in Denmark with official support. The store is called Kelz0r and it has stores in two locations. One is in Holbæk and another in Sorø. Our bigger tournaments are held in Sorø. If we take all players from Denmark we have about 50 players but at locals, we are from 8 to 14 players. We need better prize support but also two other cities need official support. Also, our store is the store in Europe with most store points so we would like to have a Bandai supported international event which we have the space for. The community in Denmark is the best I’ve ever seen anywhere in any game. Definitely worth the trip.”

You can connect with players from Denmark via their Facebook Group.

France

FranceOne of the largest countries in Europe also made a breakthrough with their first national championship in 2018. Only cards in French language were allowed. The problem is the lack of certain sets or the latest sets arriving later than to other parts of Europe. But there are communities in France where local tournaments are being held almost every weekend. For more info check the official schedule for France. I had the opportunity to meet some French players in Manchester where they were supposed to play with their French cards but were unfortunately not allowed to. This decision was made 2 min before the tournament started leaving the two players only with participation prizes. Hopefully, the situation will change as it was announced that France and Italy will have national championships in 2019.

You can connect with players from France via their enormous Facebook Group.

Germany

GermanyAs explained by a friend of The Lookout’s founders, Enrico Bonomo (amazing top 50 player at the Euro Nats 2019), not many cities/towns in Germany host DBS CG tournaments. Enrico has been playing the DBS card game since its launch and he connected us with Melvin Hansa, a local player from Munich who explained to us a bit about the state of play in Germany:

“We have about 10-15 passionate players in Munich but we don’t really have much tournament support. We meet up 2-3 times per week to play. In central Germany, I know there is a big group of players too. We are currently discussing with them to visit the players there and play together. We really need more tournament support from Bandai and have the cards released at the same time as the rest of the world. The reception of the Broly movie proved that the players love franchise here in Germany. The card game and the community would explode in Germany if more resources were put into promoting the game on the local level.”

You can connect with players from Germany via their Facebook Group.

Italy

ItalyAs it was said before, Italy prints their own cards as well, and there are tournaments being held in numerous cities and towns. A local player Davide Del Negro and a store assistant for the card shop The King Of Games in Udine shared with us his insight on the state of play in Italy.

“The game arrived in Italy on May 2018 but now in January, we had the first expansion completely in Italian with Miraculous Revival. Right from the start, it had a good chance at success even though it was only in English and since the arrival of Cross Worlds, we have started to hold weekly tournaments. Not only in our city but in almost all of Italy shops started to hold local tournaments and we managed to organize 3 BCC European Championships, which one was also held here in our shop, a few months after the unofficial arrival of the game.

But we must remember that the real year zero for Dragon Ball in Italy was in January with the arrival of BT05 in our language. Now we are working a lot to be able to carve out space between games that are now very successful like Yu-Gi-Oh and Vanguard, but thanks to the excellent work that the organizers of the game are doing and the great success that is having in the conventions we look forward to its expansion.

The first great Dragon Ball Italian tournament in Padova was held at the end of March and for this summer the first Italian Championship is scheduled in Milan. The only problems we are having now concerning the regulations is the transition of the language but they are only temporary and I am confident that they will soon be resolved. Unfortunately, however, the Bandai directives will prevent us from participating with our Italian cards in tournaments outside our country and the same applies to those wishing to play with us with English or French cards.

The hope of our entire community is that cards in all languages are made playable in Europe, doing so you could organize European tournaments accessible to all players of all nations and the game would benefit without a doubt!”

You can connect with players from Italy via their Facebook Group.

Poland

PolandThe DBS CG scene in Poland started growing in early 2018 when the game first arrived in this eastern European country with plenty of experienced card game players (mostly Pokemon / Yu-Gi-Oh).

A dedicated local player from Krakow, Wojtek Mikoś, who also runs the Polish fan-made Facebook page for DBS CG players, told us a little bit about the scene in Poland:

“I am running the fan page with some friends as moderators. I have been playing DB card games since I was 12 and I’m a huge fan of DB. I was playing Score DBZ and was vice-champion of the last Polish national tournament. Later I was playing Panini Z. I was the one who started moving things with the local scene when Bandai announced the release of the DBS Card Game that we now enjoy playing. I help local shops with organizing tournaments and I am the first player in Poland who passed the judge exam. 

It wasn’t easy in the beginning, as local shops struggled with selling various card game products. I have managed to convince the local shop to at least try and since then they are selling more and more DBS card game products. In the beginning, there were maybe 2 to 3 shops that were selling them. Now it’s over 12 local shops (not counting online-only sellers).

The community itself is great!. We have a lot of friendly players and thanks to that, people are switching from Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon and other games to Dragon Ball Super CG. First tournaments started in Kraków and then more cities started organising tournaments on their own. Currently, we have regular local tournaments in Kraków, Gdynia, Gdańsk, Warszawa, Poznań, Wrocław and Katowice. Usually, we have around 8 people in local tournaments but communities usually consist of around 8 – 12 players in most of the cities mentioned above (not everyone is available at the same time so the attendance on tournaments fluctuates plus Wrocław and Gdańsk have smaller communities since they’ve started with tournaments only recently). Altogether, we have close to 50 regular players in the country and we are trying to convince Bandai to support a National Championship for Poland.

As in many other European countries, we are struggling with prize support. Things would improve greatly if we received the same support for example for celebration events, similar to what US players are currently experiencing.”

You can connect with players from Poland via their Facebook Group.

Portugal

PortugalThis overview could never be complete without portraying the game scene in Portugal, where the first ever Euro Nats 2019 Champion is from. Yup, Augusto Gavaia won the Champion title with his Janemba Mill deck, after triumphing in swiss and battling his way through top 16. You can see his deck profile here.

Augusto is part of a team called WYPE, a persistent bunch of young players who switched from Yu-Gi-Oh to Dragon Ball Super CG. One of the content creators at WYPE, Mário Ferreira, provided us with a brief summary of the state of play in Portugal:

“There are official tournaments being held in three Portuguese cities: Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon. Portugal is, of course, way bigger many other communities are being left behind. I live in Porto where my team and I organise tournaments for a small community. In the past, we where about 10 players and now we are almost 20 on average, in a space that we rented specifically for this purpose, as we had a very bad experience with a store where we used to hold tournaments before. It’s hard for us to get access to promo cards and materials so we always have to buy them from abroad and my team is trying their best to make the game grow here without a store in sight able to get what is necessary for the community to grow. As a team and with only a rented space for DBS, it’s hard to get the main European supplier to sell us game materials and from another company, we can only get special editions starter deck and cases, so we organise local tournaments with that. We don’t have a single tournament Pack, no BCC promos, playmats, nor sleeves or power packs to offer so our locals and the all-state of the game in Portugal is like this. We are fighting here just like other players in their cities and basically, here the players make the game and we all do our best to be known. We hope we can travel more and one day make something big here to bring all of you guys here.”

You can connect with players from Portugal via their Facebook Group.

Spain

SpainThe game started off with a bang in Spain as well, where local tournaments are played in Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and other smaller cities and towns across the country. A local player from Seville, Javier Rosal, who started playing when Galactic Battle was released explained to us a bit the DBS CG scene in Spain:

“I am a primary school education teacher who played the last DBS CCG among other card games. I love Dragon ball and card games in general so when DBS announced the new game I knew I would play it because of it being a mix of two of my favourite things.

When Galactic Battle was released, a few friends of mine and I insisted our shop orders the cards as it was already released in the US. We played the other DBS CCG at the time. We started with around 5-8 players and many people bought their first cards because of DBS but not many of them started playing immediately.

We have local tournaments in Seville every Sunday in Empire games, our local game shop. We are usually 12-16 players every Sunday. I know in Madrid there are a lot of people playing but as there are many shops they ‘split’ the community a bit. I went to one BCC European tournament in Madrid (35 players) and it was the first ‘big tournament’ announced in Spain. At first, we missed all the promos but right now we get all the promo material, we are just missing more organised tournaments like regionals, national and even bigger tournaments.

The community in my city is amazing, we have an amazing atmosphere. I know people from other cities and they are very nice and kind so it’s always a pleasure to play in other cities.”

You can connect with players from Spain via their Facebook Group.

Switzerland

SwitzerlandYes, this beautiful mountain country has a small but active Dragon Ball Super CG community in three cities/towns. They were also represented in the Euro Nats 2019. A local player was kind enough to provide us with a quote on the state of play in this beautiful western European country:

“In Switzerland, we have 3 locations where we can play DBS CG. The first one is Kabooom in Zurich, the middle of Switzerland and last time I was there, we were 11 Players altogether. In the Gameplace in Luzern, fun tournaments are organised twice a month. Then it comes to the biggest place, the LGS called Card Tower in a small town Solothurn. There are like 10-20 Players and weekly tournaments there.

The LGS where I play in has been submitting tournament reports and applying for support but they are always rejected which makes us believe Bandai simply does not support the game in Switzerland. I think one big step forward for all Swiss players would be if we can make official BCC tournaments. I have a lot of friends who want to play the game but they don’t want to travel like 1-2 hours for a tournament only for promos. A lot of Pokemon players from our League wanted to play Dragonball but our league is East-Switzerland and we don’t have card shops here.”

You can connect with players from Switzerland via their Facebook Group.

The Netherlands

The NetherlandsThe Dutch community is bigger than the community of its neighbouring countries. They even have the biggest supplier of single DBS cards (in addition to sealed products) living there – Rene Heijnen, owner of TCG Collectibles. He recently gave a great overview of the state of play in Europe during a podcast with one U.S. based DBS CG player and aandroidd YT channel creator, which you can listen to here.

One very dedicated player (and a judge!), a 34-year old Tommy Brouwers, kindly provided us with the state of play in The Netherlands. Tommy is a huge fan of the Dragon Ball franchise who got into the game in November 2017 and haven’t stopped playing ever since. He started out when set 1 was demoed by Corné at Spellen spektakel in November. Just before he left towards the UK for a big Pokémon regional event. But he moved towards Dragon Ball which is the main game he plays today. Here’s what he says:

“Dragon Ball got imported by Corné from Kai of Cards (Bord & kaartspellen) back in July 2017. We had a rough start with the game getting off the ground as no distributor wanted to get into the game yet as Bandai didn’t have contracts for the game in Europe until January 2018. 

Our biggest tournaments are in Veenedaal, where our Monthy clash is held each month. We are running events in different locations each month, Uden is one of these locations. The number of players differs in each tournament, sometimes there are 4 players, sometimes 40+. This differs due to pricing when entering an event. 

Currently, we are missing bigger support from Bandai. We are way behind in tournament support materials from what they get in the USA. I started hosting events in January 2018 in a LGS in Uden. I’m hosting at least 1 event per month ranging from 2 to 20 people. Following this, I was assistant head judge at the Manchester European Open Championships 2019. I aim to work my way up towards being a judge at even higher level tournaments. We started our team Ox-kings to focus on more competitive areas of the game. We had 4 of our teammates make top 64 at Euro’s and 2 of us were judges at the tournament. My plan in the near future is to play and get my invite for the European finals if I am not there as a judge.”

You can connect with players from The Netherlands via the BeNeLux Facebook Group.

United Kingdom

UKWe end the article with the most developed scene in Europe – the one in the United Kingdom. It was this country, actually, from where the game spread to other parts of Europe. There is hardly a player in the rest of Europe who did not trade with a UK player in the last year.

Manchester, in the north of England, even hosted the first DBS CG European Open Championship in February 2019. The Lookout’s Andrija Visic represented Croatia in that championship and described his experience in a report that you will soon be able to access on The Lookout’s Written Reports page. Manchester is also home to a quite active community of local players.

And what’s happening in London? We spoke to the London Players Guild! They are an established community which is organising events for players in the UK. They are dedicated to DBS CG but looking to get their way into different card games. They travel around the UK mostly trying to support bigger tournaments (if they are not running them) as well as making content for YouTube and Twitch, about card games. This is what they said about the state of play in the UK:

“Dragon Ball Super Card Game arrived in the UK in late January 2018, with very limited stock. We were quite limited to who could buy what on the day of release. I think there was like 20+ people on release but we had less than 10 boxes available, 12 starters and 2-3 displays of Special Edition (that was set 1). Tournament Support has not arrived until March, and next wave was May or June. We had a lot of interested players, our locals were spiking in 20 players or so. Unfortunately, due to lack of support, and delays between us and US, we lost a big number of players. Currently, London has about 15 players, but only about 10 play on a regular basis, and not even on the same locals. Throughout the country, the biggest places for DBS are Nottingham and Manchester. Former being known for hosting events for 50+ ppl, and latter having locals for 20 ppl.

In the UK, as much as in every other country in Europe, we are missing premier events, with big prizes and big attendance. We, at LPG, are trying to provide people with events, but without support from Bandai (participation prizes at least), it’s really hard to provide people with some decent incentive to come to our events. We have in works something bigger for Summer, so hopefully we can make it an international thing 🙂
The community is great, everyone is helpful, and working hard to get the game going. The game on its own is brilliant and hopefully, we can fight over this hurdle and get decent official events organised in Europe at some point.”

You can connect with players from the UK via their Facebook Group and specifically with players from Scotland via their Facebook Group.

Conclusions

As the first all European fan site for following Dragon Ball Super CG, we wanted to bring you the latest information on the “State of Play in Europe”. We are very proud of our first report and launch taking place in Q2 of 2019 as it is a crucial time for Europe when the game is growing in many European countries like never before.

We hope you enjoyed it and we would appreciate any feedback you might have.

Good luck out there!

Andrija Visic and The Lookout Editorial Team

 

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