Organized Play in 2023
Dear UniVersus Community,
This past year has been absolutely incredible, but this is just the beginning. We are more excited than ever for what’s to come. Today, we are excited to announce the details surrounding the 2023 Organized Play season. This includes a revamped Organized Play announcements and news structure that will make it easier for everyone to stay up to date with UniVersus. The latest announcements and news can always be found at our new Organized Play homepage.
Transparency with our community is important to us, so a goal of ours is to check in regularly with the community to discuss the happenings, challenges, and exciting things to come for our game. For this reason, we’ve also included an in-depth summary on our view of the state of UniVersus (past, present, and future).
To Our Players
Your overwhelming support for the launch of the My Hero Academia Collectible Card Game has helped us onboard droves of new players to the game that we all love. It’s been heartwarming to witness the growth of local playgroups, where veteran UniVersus players taught this new wave of players our beloved game.
To these veterans, thank you for being the foundation that has allowed this community to blossom. We hear it all the time: We have the friendliest community in all of card games. This is all thanks to our kind-hearted “old heads” who have been so accepting and friendly in welcoming all of our new players. We hear your desire to play with all of the cool cards from older sets and we want you to know that we will continue to support your ability to play those cards.
To the new players who have joined the game in the past year, congratulations – you’re well on your way to being UniVersus veterans yourselves! Now that you have learned the game and started competing, we are counting on you to usher in the next wave of players who will be joining our community over the course of this year.
My Hero Academia is just the first of many chapters we have in store for this new era of UniVersus gaming. Get excited, together we’ll be shaping and exploring new ways to experience “UniVersus” in the months, years, and decades to come!
To Our Retailers
Thank you for being the backbone that makes this all possible. Whether you are a retailer that has been carrying our game since it was known as UFS, or you are just getting started with UniVersus and My Hero Academia – thank you. We want you to know that we are grateful for your dedication and efforts in supporting our game. You have a busy schedule and a business to run, and we want to make sure that we are providing you with all of the tools and resources you need to build a successful UniVersus community at your store.
As you look at our Organized Play programs for 2023, we hope that you take note of the extensive support we have for Local Play and the opportunity for stores to be directly tied into Premier Play as well. We are only getting started on this front. Alongside Organized Play, we are also committed to rolling out a best-in-class demo program to help onboard new players and help grow local play groups. More to come on this program separately.
If you want to contact us, you can reach out to us at LGS@universusgames.com OR if you are attending GAMA this year, please stop by our booth, we would love to meet you in-person too!
A Look Back on 2022 Organized Play
It was such a pleasure to see our veterans and new players competing side-by-side at local game stores everywhere. Seeing pictures from Provisional Store Championship events hosting thousands of players from around the world was truly gratifying — keep sending them our way!
We started 2022 still wrestling with COVID-19 which caused a lot of in-person play to be restricted to webcam play. Undeterred, hundreds of dedicated players showed up week after week to play in Provisional Showdown and Wednesday Webcam Weekly events!
With the return of in-person events, things started to get heated with Regional License Exams kicking off. Players competed to earn points towards a qualification to the Hero League Championship event. With just 32 available spots, the race was on to compete for the cash prize of $250,000!
The Regional License Exams led into the Pro Hero Nationals where the largest event in UniVersus history was hosted in Dallas with over 300 players in attendance!
This all culminated in the Hero League Championship that just drew to a close this past weekend. Thousands of unique viewers tuned in to watch our Twitch stream, making it the most viewed UniVersus event of all time! Congrats to our HLC Champion Kevin Broberg who took it all down – well deserved!
2023 Organized Play
In 2023, UniVersus is set to be bigger and better than ever before. We are kicking off the year with the highly anticipated League of Villains set which launches on March 3rd, 2023, kicking off Season One of our Local and Premier Play events. The structure of our events will follow a similar pattern as 2022, which includes familiar events such as Provisional Store Championships, Regional License Exams, Pro Hero Nationals and Hero League Championship.
One of the major changes we are implementing for 2023 is regarding how qualifications will work. Looking back on 2022, we felt like we could have improved a few things in order to make Provisional and Regional events more meaningful. Only Regionals had a direct qualification into the HLC, but given it was a point system based across the whole of the Regional system, this system favored players who were able to play in many events over those of equal skill level that might not have been able to attend as many events due to budgeting or scheduling constraints. For 2023, the Pro Hero National will be invite-only. To qualify, players will either have to earn a 1st place position at a Provisional Store Championship event OR place in the Top Cut at a Regional event. A Last Chance Qualifier right before the PHN will also grant players entry, but they will also have to Top Cut those events to make it into the main event! We believe that these changes will make the Provisional Store Championship and Regional License Exams much more competitive events and drive players to really compete for those coveted Pro Hero Nationals spots.
Players may only earn one Nationals invite, and if they would earn a second Invite that invite is “passed down” to next eligible player in the standings.
Our LGS retailers are incredibly important to us. A vibrant local scene is critical to community growth and quality player experience. In 2022, we supported local events via Plus Ultra Kits, Pre-Release events, and Provisional Store Championships. In 2023, we are tripling down on Local Play support.
A couple of weeks ago, we announced a new “Sealed Play” event that will be supported by the “Extra Credit” promos. Starting with League of Villains, our newly released “Extra Credit” promos will be available exclusively via “Sealed Play” events at local game stores. Contact our LGS outreach team to learn more!
As previously mentioned, we are making our Provisional Store Championship events more exciting by providing Pro Hero Nationals invites to the winners of our PSC events. This should make these events much more competitive and provide players with a real reason to compete! Players looking to get their Nationals invite will want to try their shot at multiple events, and to help them reach their goals, we are going to be increasing the number of PSC events we are running during each of our OP seasons.
Plus Ultra and Provisional Store Championships will continue to offer mechanically unique promos To ensure strong participation, we want to make sure that the primary way to earn these promos will be through participating in events at Local Game Stores. In 2022, we observed a lot of players redeeming them on our online redemption store instead of participating in events. For this reason, we are doubling down on our efforts to prevent unauthorized sales of Plus Ultra Kits and we are adding a 60-day delay between the release of these promos and their availability on the online redemption store to encourage in-store play.
In-Person Redemption at Premier Events will be unaffected by this change to ensure players have access to mechanically unique promo cards for play.
We are always looking for more ways to support our Local Play experience. We have more plans for in-store events this year that we are not yet ready to announce, so stay tuned!
This year, we are focused on listening to the feedback we have received from 2022, and implementing improvements to address your concerns.
What we heard from you:
- You would like more advanced notice in order to plan your trips to big events.
- You would prefer in-person play to webcam play, especially for big events
- If you are in Oceania and Europe, you would like more OP support and events in your region.
- You would like more side events and prize support outside of the main event after you drop on day 1 or for day 2 (top cuts).
What we are preparing for this year:
- As of today, we have confirmed TOs, dates, locations for ALL Season 1 events through June 30. These events have all been announced on our website, and registration links are going to open in the coming weeks. We are currently confirming Season 2 events and will be announcing those TOs, dates, locations once they are ready.
- We are moving away from webcam Provisionals. All Provisionals will be ran by Local Game Stores starting this year Local Game Stores can choose to run their events in-person or via webcam play. We are also moving all national events to be in-person. We will be keeping two webcam regionals to allow those that prefer webcam play or are unable to make an in-person regional to participate in events.
- We are working with European and Oceanic TOs in order to have regional and nationals events announced well ahead of schedule. As previously mentioned, these will be in-person events.
- We know that our OP promos are in high demand, so we are rebalancing our prizing distribution. Our goal is to make these promos more readily available via “side events” rather than solely through the main event itself. We will also have a variety of side event formats, on-demand pods, and more. The popularity of our first Prize Wall at the HLC has prompted us to bring the Prize Wall back for all future in-person Premier events. These Prize Walls will offer an even larger selection of prizes as well as more opportunities to earn and spend Prize Wall tickets.
We’re excited to move forward with these improvements to our Premier Events and look forward to seeing you at one of our Premier Events this year!
Going into 2023, we wanted to share our current thoughts on UniVersus formats and touch on some of our future plans for them as well — we will not be announcing everything we have planned for the years to come, but want to provide some transparency around how we are thinking about formats going forward.
We will be supporting 4 formats for OP play in 2023 at various levels:
- My Hero Academia Block Constructed
- Standard Constructed
- Sealed Play (Draft and Limited)
Our main format for the competitive year is the MHA Block Constructed format. This format consists of all cards released as part of the MHA IP and any alt-art cards that share the exact mechanics and name as cards within MHA. Yes, this means that starting today, Merciless Rush (Crit, the Origins Promo Card), One With Nature (Capcom Platinum Series) and Sense of Justice (Capcom Platinum Series / Mega Man; Rise of the Masters) are legal for play at all OP events.
Our second format is Standard Constructed, which consists of the last 10 sets released from UniVersus. Standard will feature primarily at side events at Premier level events, and will be able to be played with Plus Ultra kit support at Local Retailers who want to run Standard local events. We are also working with our TOs this year to plan a Premier Standard Tournament towards the end of the year.
Sealed Play is a format supported at Local Game Stores via Extra Credit promos and Pre-Release events. We will also support Sealed Play at Side Events at our Premier Events.
Retro is a format that includes every single set released in the Jasco Games Era of UniVersus. Retro events can be hosted at local events and will be featured at Side Events at select Premier Events. Dedicated Retro Tournaments may be held by select TOs during the year in combination with dedicated Standard Premier Tournaments.
We believe that having a multi-format OP system can keep the player experience fresh and interesting by allowing players to experience the game in different ways. Going into 2024 and beyond, we will keep refining and evolving these formats based on player feedback and the newest set releases.
Any future changes to formats will follow certain principles that we want to make clear:
- We want to support an onboarding experience for new players that is not overwhelming.
- We want to support the ability for all printed cards to see play in one or more formats.
A dynamic formatting structure should help with player engagement, and allow us to proactively create fresh experiences for both new and veteran players alike. Our team is already hard at work charting out the future of UniVersus over the coming years, and we can’t wait to share with you what that future looks like.
You can find more details about our new formats (including a new ban list for Retro) here:
Organized Play Home Page
There is a lot that goes into the planning and execution of a successful OP program, but we are fully committed to creating the best OP program you can find across any card game. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to get there, but you can rest assured that the UniVersus game is in good hands. We have an awesome community and an awesome team that is working tirelessly to bring you the best card game on Earth.
See you all at an event in 2023!