Date: May 23rd - 25th, 2014
Report by David Mainwaring
We arrived at the venue in a business park in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) on Friday afternoon.
The competition started on Friday with 168 people. The top 64 world-ranked players were pre-selected to take part in the competition, out of a total of 128. The other 108 had to fight for the remaining 64 places in a pre-qualifying round.
Each person played a single game on four machines: Space Rider, Gilligan's Island, Mousin' Around and Big Buck Hunter Pro. 100 points were given to the top player on each machine, and the points were scaled down for lower scores. The top 64 players went through to Saturday's qualifying round.
The 128 players would begin their fight in four 4-player matches, with points allocated as follows:
The tournament was then reduced to 48 players, who played 11 x 2-player matches - 7 on the Saturday and the remaining 4 on the Sunday. The four players with the most wins would proceed to the finals.
Entries in the Classics Tournament cost €3 and players could enter as many times as they wished. Each entry consisted of playing a choice of three machines out of the seven available.
The Classics machines were:
Unfortunately, the scores were not displayed anywhere so it was pure guesswork as to whether you had done enough to qualify. The top 32 players went through to play head-to-head matches, with the final consisting of 3 games. The winner of each game received 4 points, second place received 2 points, 1 point was for third place and the player in last place got zero points.
The German Pinball Open was a great format event.
One major issue I had personally - and I am sure I am not just speaking for myself - was that the Classics tournament's qualifying times mirror imaged the main competition's times. So if you qualified in the main tournament you found it virtually impossible to play the qualifying for the classics. On Sunday, the classics qualification was extended from 11:00 to 13:00 but it failed to start on time, meaning people who were in the final 48 of the main competition again couldn’t compete.
There was also the general view amongst competitors I spoke to that there were far too many Classic machines in the main tournament, with some players playing more than half their matches on older machines (isn't that what the Classics Tournament is for?) where luck plays a much bigger part in the outcome, especially when these classics were set to only 3 balls. A few players commented that they would think twice about returning for the event next year with that number of classics included, which is a great shame as the format was very well received.
The venue was a modern, well-maintained air conditioned office block. The staff and organisers were very friendly and there were also some pinball parts available to buy in the foyer.
Would I go again next year? Yes I would, and hopefully it will be even bigger and better!
Until then, here's an exclusive Pinball News Ten Minute Tour video of the German Pinball Open 2014 taken during set-up and pre-qualifying on Friday.
© Pinball News 2014