Pokemon TCG Master disqualified from LAIC for playing too slowly

Andres Velez
Tord Reklev playing the Pokemon trading card game sat at a table in Sao Paolo BrazilPokemon

Pokemon TCG legend Tord Reklev has reacted furiously to being disqualified from LAIC 2023 after he failed to meet time controls at the event in Brazil.

World Championship runner-up Tord Reklev was unable to defend the Latin American International Championship trophy that he won in 2022 after he was disqualified on day two of the event in Sao Paolo for slow play.

According to the rules, a player can be sanctioned if they play unreasonably slowly in order to manipulate the time remaining in a match.

Article continues after ad

However,  Reklev has disputed the judgment, arguing that he wasn’t given fair warning and that the floor judges exaggerated his pace when communicating with the head judge.

Why was Tord Reklev disqualified?

Two Pokemon TCG players compete in an official tournamentThe Pokemon Company

Following his disqualification, Reklev explained his version of events in a lengthy post on  X / Twitter. He said he received his first penalty on day one after a lengthy game against one of his friends. “I lost the game, but without any warning, the judge issued me with a match loss for pace of play.”

He also received another match-loss penalty for pace of play after round 11 on the following day. Again, the Latin American Champion said that he didn’t receive a warning.

However, he claims that it was the judges’ exaggeration of the length of his matches that led to a disqualification. 

Article continues after ad

“The floor judges greatly exaggerated when speaking to the head judge,” he said. “This included claims of a thirteen minute turn among other things. Unfortunately, this escalated to a DQ…”

He continued: “There were multiple judges watching me every round throughout the tournament and at the last match they put no less than four judges on the task”

Reklev also claimed that none of his opponents had any issues with the pace of play.

He described the outcome as going against the guidelines… “Just getting match losses and DQs without any indication that my pace was not good enough is against the guidelines for judges,” he said. “The people here in Brazil have been so amazingly kind to me and I’m sad that I will probably not return after this experience. My DQ is one of many questionable decisions made by LAIC over the years.”

Pokemon fans react to Reklev DQ

The decision to disqualify Tord Reklev has divided opinion in the Pokemon TCG community. While some sympathized with Tord’s explanation, others believe that the rules are clear that slow play constitutes unsporting behavior.

Posting on X / Twitter, Steven Lepas said, “Tord has a reputation for slow play… I’ve seen matches where he’s done it on stream to cause a tie.”

Article continues after ad

Replying to Tord’s post, @XytusVortex added: “You shouldn’t of played slow then, mate”. @bergie_jessica said it’s “about time you got punished for slow play”

However, @Jokergeek sided with the Norwegian. “He was definitely targeted. Everyone he played said he was playing fast.”

Pokemon TCG player @whimsicast added: “Slow play is such a loose term. The fact they had four judges on you leads me to believe that this was coordinated and preplanned.” Tord’s disqualification signals that Pokemon TCG judges are not taking the increasingly controversial issue of slow playing in Pokemon tournaments lightly.

Article continues after ad

Related Topics

About The Author

Andrés G. D. Vélez is a Pokémon reporter at Dexerto, covering the Trading Card Game, mainline games, Pokemon Go, and the wider fandom. Before joining the company, Andrés freelanced as a content writer and digital marketer.