At Gen Con, we caught up with Jasco Games Marketing Manager George Moniz, who explained the company's plans to expand Provisional Showdown events for the My Hero Academia TCG to retail stores.  Jasco had previously announced a Championship Series culminating in an event with a $250,000 prize purse late this year (see "Jasco Announces ‘MHA CCG’ Championship Series").

ICv2:  We understand you're making some announcements about the role that stores could play in future organized play.
George Moniz
:  We have our play program, which, whenever stores participate in locals, we notice that. We know where the large player bases are.  Part of the reward program is for active stores, the ones that get the players into their shops, and the ones that are playing on a week‑by‑week basis.

We introduce them into the organized play program through the Provisional Store Championships.  Our Provisional promos have been promo cards that have been extremely sought‑after, because they are mechanically unique and impact competitive play in a real way.

To be able to expand the access of those cards, we're making it so that these Store Provisionals provide another route to get these mechanically unique promos that people can expand in their decks.

Throughout the entirety of North America, we'll be giving stores the opportunity to run more local, home‑grown Provisional Showdowns, so that players can play in them, participate in them, have a chance at the championship cards, and get their hands on the mechanically unique promos to round out the competitive season.

How have those mechanically unique promos been available in the past?
Typically in our Provisional Showdowns, which are our mid-tier premier events that would happen between three to six times a season (a season spanning about three months).  They're larger events, and there's a lot of players playing in them, but because the cards are mechanically unique, we needed more routes for them to be accessible.

Either you play tournaments, or midway through the season, we have a redemption program, where the more you play, the accumulate play points.  You can redeem those points to get non‑foil versions of those cards.  This is a now a third new avenue that involves the stores and is more widely accessible.

Were those Provisional Showdowns run at stores in the past, or at other places?
Venues, typically, we would partner with stores.  It'd be like a large regional event, but specifically for a mid-tier organized play level.

How many of those took place nationwide in a typical month over the last few months?
Over the past two months, we've had about four dedicated Provisionals.  Something that we've started doing about March through was at every region we have, which is our large premier events that we have about twice a season, we have them as side events as well.  Altogether, we've run about, I'd say, a dozen through the season.

Is there any upper limit on how many of these new in‑store events where these promotional cards can be obtained can be run, or will there just be as many stores as are interested?
We'll be partnering with top stores right now.  I believe it's about 50 stores throughout North America.  Then the program will be expanding as we go into 2023 to include more stores.  There will be a threshold barrier, because naturally, we want to make sure that we have stores that are actually understanding our game and actually have a supporting player base.

What's that based on? Is that based on sales to the store?
Part of it is sales, but it's mostly play.  If you have an organic locals, and you have an ecosystem of players that are consistently supporting the region, we're super open to it.  We're very much prioritizing play and local game stores creating an ecosystem.

How do you know that there is that local interest? Is that from entries on your website?
Yeah, entries on our website.  Every single tournament that's hosted on our platform tracks the number of players, the amount of rounds on the event.  The more we're expanding it, the more we track that data, which is why we keep on pushing stores to get on there, because it gives us that visibility that, "Hey, you're running events. You're running locals."

We want to make sure that we are to provide to those stores that keep on pushing out those events opportunities to be able to expand organized play opportunities.

Where does the product come from for these events?  Hasn't the scarce availability of boosters been a limiting factor so far?
The logistics of it did make it tough for shipping to be able to get there.  For set two, for example, we knew that logistics were going to slow down our shipments of set two, so we air‑freighted some to North America to cover our pre‑releases and the first releases of the game as the second shipments were coming in.

One is that the set was super desirable, and we've really done a big push to be able to make sure that there is product out there.  We're expanding to even more stores, and we're getting to a point where, if you want to carry our product, you can have it, and we'll make sure that there's enough to be able to supply the player base.

Note: The second wave of My Hero Academia: Crimson Rampage is hitting stores now.