2018 Online Riichi Championship
The first weekend of December, the Online Riichi Championship held the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds of this event. The event was organized by Competitive Riichi Hub (a discord channel) and Mahjong.Guide.
While the first round was limited to 32 places, 16 of which were pre-qualified based on Tenhou ranking, the qualifier started with an open roster of 94 registered players from all over the world each playing for the remaining 16 seats. Comparatively the IORMC had 84 individual players this year, but it should be noted that the IORMC also had slightly more restrictive guidelines for entry, allowing four players from each country.
The semi-final and final rounds were hosted this Sunday (December 16) with standings going into the the semi-final representing only three of the sixteen pre-qualified players. In fairness a 2-hanchan cutoff before the semi-final allows luck to have great sway over the outcome but no more than most tournament schemes.
Fourth place was Arthur from Brazil. Third place was 童雋豪 (Juanhao Tong) from Taiwan. Second place, and very well known in Europe, was Mateusz Woźniak of Poland. Curtis Wang of Taiwan took the top place despite coming last in the first game of the final with a massive win in the second game. This should give everyone heart that even when you lose one table, the jig is not up yet!
A representative of Mahjong Guide has expressed the wish to do another tourney next year, possibly massaging the format a bit to ease the huge number of players cut in the qualifiers—an unexpected result of the large number of players that flooded into the open registration.
The Online Riichi Championship is hosted by The Mahjong Guide and the Competitive Riichi Hub. Mahjong Guide is a riichi focused website publishing strategy articles, replays, and guides, while the Competitive Riichi Hub is a chat channel for serious riichi players and discussion hosted on Discord.