A player-driven meta with card bans and ID selection restrictions based on a point system. Experimentation, surprising combos, and loads of fun.
Now preparing for its second season, after a very successful and entertaining Season One!
Keep reading to learn more about Lockdown - a custom meta online event series for the card game Netrunner, as it is continuously developed by NISEI.
A Bit of History
The Lockdown event series started in March 2020, as a way of keeping myself and the community entertained and engaged before the competitive season that was about to glitch hard into the Net due to a global pandemic.
The inspiration for the format came from my personal affinity for custom metas and the appeal of the Diversified Portfolio format, as formulated by Cpt_nice. I decided to spice it up barely 4 days before the first event, having streamed and commentated on an online event using Diversified Portfolio, organized by Longi and Krasty.
The name came to me during one of my daily "early morning coffee creative brainstorming" rushes (read as: when the first coffee of the day kicked in). Very fittingly due to the nature of the format and the times, it seemed to have garnered decent recognition and humble following, to my absolute pleasure at adding to the tremendous community-driven wonder that the game of Netrunner currently is.
The first four events had the "Iberian" prefix, as Spain and Catalunya (where I resided at the time) were of the first European areas to go into full lockdown. That prefix was eventually dropped as many more countries started introducing similar restrictions (and the series itself started having very international guests from all over the planet).
Just as the event dropped its geographical prefix, it also started becoming a bit more formal, with the foundation of the Lockdown Council - the group of Top 4 players from all previous and future editions.
As of the end of 2020, the first season of the format came to its end, with 2021 offering more games and surprises for fans of the format.
The Lockdown logo
The card pool follows current NISEI Standard format guidelines (this means that rotation and the latest Standard Ban List are in effect), with the following modifications:
Each legal Runner and Corp ID has a score attributed to it. The scores are calculated from the ratings provided by members of the Lockdown Council (all Top 4 players from all previous editions) or from the global meta information, as provided by Know the Meta.
Players are allowed to freely pick any legal Runner and Corp ID to participate with, as long as the sum of their scores (their "ID score") is 10 or less. This includes any IDs the Runner would like to add as part of DJ Fenris' effect, if that card is being used.
There is a pool of banned Runner and Corp cards, as selected by the Top 4 players from the previous edition. Additionally, "Rebirth" is banned by default for Runners.
As an extra incentive to pick less powerful/popular IDs and diversify the field, the combined "ID score" is considered the primary tie breaker for Swiss ranking in this format. For example, if two players both are at 12 tournament points after round four of Swiss, the player with an ID score of 4 would be ranked higher than the player with a an ID score of 9. In case of a tie, Strength of Schedule and Extended SoS will still determine final ranking, as per usual.
Participants of an event may also be asked to vote on a single card they would like to ban for the next event. This "(Un)Popular Card Ban" is then announced for the next event, at the Tournament Organizer's discretion.
The Format: Experimental Approaches
What would Lockdown be without a bit of experimentation on the side? From time to time, new twists to the general formula outlined above are introduced to spice it all up or make it more fun to build decks and tweak the meta.
Event Structure & Participation
Each regular Lockdown event follows a similar structure:
1. Players meet on Discord (around 20 minutes before start of Round 1).
2. Players play regular Swiss matches (as Corp and as Runner) during 4 rounds (65 minutes maximum for each round). There are breaks of 5-10 minutes between each round, at the Tournament Organizer's discretion.
3. The Top 4 Cut (as agreed with the qualifying players after the 4 rounds) is played after a break. The Top 4 Cut is a series of double elimination games (40 minutes maximum for each round). The decklists might be public, depending on the decisions of the Top 4 Cut participants.
4. The games in the Final are not timed.
5. The finalists are invited to a voice chat on stream after the games are over.
Participating in a Lockdown event requires:
A stable internet connection
Access to jinteki.net and an account on that website
Two decks that are Lockdown-compatible (they do not contain any banned cards and their Corp and Runner identities match the format requirements) and ready to be used on jinteki.net
Access to Discord - discordapp.com (with voice communications being optional) - the #lockdown channel (hosted graciously on NISEI's Online Event Hub) is the main communication space during each event
Anyone and everyone is welcome to sign up, as long as you can participate in both the Swiss rounds and the Top Cut games.
Registration takes place through a separate online form that is announced and linked to from the event's Always Be Running page.
Registration usually closes around 24 hours before the start of the event.
Last minute registration might be allowed in case of an uneven number of players.
Lockdown is a series sponsored by the community and there are never any entry fees associated with it.
You can see a list of Lockdown's supporters on the Fans <3 page.
The winner of each event gets immortal glory & a streamed final game with commentary as a bonus.
The physical prize pool depends on the amount in the tip jar. Donations are entirely optional and not required for the event to take place.
Season One Summary
After 10 long sessions full of streaming, jank, fun, and memorable moments, I can only say that I am as happy as I can be and am looking forward to running more Lockdown events in 2021!
A few choice bits of information:
It was the first time I got into streaming Netrunner (and games in general) seriously. I did consider approaching other streamers for coverage, but the concern about time zone differences and "can do (well try!) it myself" attitude made me go for it on my own.
Season One saw 105 people signing up across all 10 events, with an average of 22+ people per event.
Cpt_nice, the originator of Diversified Portfolio (the core source of Lockdown as a format), dominated the field thanks to their supreme meta-reading skills and cool-as-ice plays.
26 people made it into the Top 4, meaning quite a few of them managed to achieve this more than once. They make up the original Lockdown Council (the player group I consult about the format).
The Meta - Runners
Runner meta based on Top 4 results in 10 different events:
Shaper - 3 x 1st, 3 x 2nd, 4 x 3rd, 2 x 4th = 12 placements & 31 prestige points
Anarch - 2 x 1st, 4 x 2nd, 3 x 3rd, 4 x 4th = 13 placements & 30 prestige points
Criminal - 4 x 1st, 2 x 2nd, 2 x 3rd, 2 x 4th = 10 placements & 28 prestige points
Mini-factions - 1 x 1st, 1 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd, 2 x 4th = 5 placements & 11 prestige points
The Meta - Corps
Corp meta based on Top 4 results:
Jinteki - 6 x 1st, 4 x 2nd, 2 x 3rd, 2 x 4th = 13 placements & 42 prestige points
Weyland - 2 x 1st, 5 x 2nd, 6 x 3rd, 2 x 4th = 15 placements & 37 prestige points
Haas-Bioroid - 2 x 1st, 1 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd, 4 x 4th = 8 placements & 17 prestige points
NBN - 2 x 3rd, 1 x 4th = 3 placements & 5 prestige points
Season Two Updates
As 2021 is still a work in progress, please do not consider any of these to be set in neon quartz:
Certain optional requirements for deck building have been introduced to make the format even more restrictive for those who want to go "Maximum Lockdown"
The (sur!)prize support has changed:
Top 4 players will accumulate Lockdown Points (= SoS points, basically) and Lockdown Credits (to be exchanged for prizes at the end of the season).
Players will be voting on prize support during the season, from a pool of “community created coolness”.
At the end of the season, prizes will be acquired based on player preferences, placement, and donation support (donations can also be prizes!)
All prizes will be shipped after Lockdown #20.
While the Lockdown HQ remains for now within the EU, its participants have been logging in from all over the globe, including (in no particular order):
Spain, USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Austria, Sweden, Hungary, Canada, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Norway, France, Finland, Russia, and South Korea. Whoa!