US Catan Championship Experience
Written by Scott Scribner, 2015 US Catan Champion:
My experience winning my second US Settlers of Catan Championship at GenCon 2015 was amazing. The journey began in 2014 by winning the CharCon Settlers of Catan feeder tournament for the US Championships. I usually try to make it to CharCon every year, as it is my favorite convention, and I bring a group of friends from Ohio, Chicago, West Virginia and occasionally Washington D.C. We always have a great time. I was able to win the 2014 CharCon tournament and had a seat in the Quarter-Final round of the US Catan Championship tournament.
By winning the tournament, I received three nights at the OMNI Hotel in Indianapolis at GenCon. It is a great older hotel in downtown Indianapolis. I’ve lost count of the number of GenCons that I have attended, but figure I have now attended about ten or so. I’m starting to become familiar with Indianapolis. While at GenCon, I’m usually more concerned with having dinner with friends and having a few drinks afterwards. GenCon, being the largest gaming convention in the country, can sometimes make it difficult to play games and shopping becomes even more problematic. I was able to find a couple of older finds in the Auction store so that was great.
The tournament itself was well run and I had a great time. As I mentioned, this is my second US Catan Championship. I won my first US Championship back in 2006. Having already experienced this pressure, the stress was much easier to bear. I’m much more relaxed and I’m content as long as I play well, no matter the end result. I was able to squeak by the quarter-final rounds and make it to the Semi-Finals. During the Semi-Finals, I was able to get a quick victory to move to the final table; the semi-final round was probably my best played game and it was my most dominant. The final match was the longest and I started to feel a little bit of the pressure that I used to feel prior to 2006. I was the first to 7 points with about 40 minutes left to go in the match (5 settlements and longest road). My opponents were trying to prevent me from overtaking the largest army. I was tied with the current possessor and there were only three cards left. I bought the final card and it was a monopoly card. I also lost longest road in the process. I was able to use the monopoly card to build a city and a settlement. A couple of turns later, I took the longest road back and built a city for 10 points and the game!
Victory felt better this time, probably because I wasn’t as tense in previous tournaments. It just seemed to have more meaning this time. The match was streamed live by an internet station called OOMBA and they stopped me for an interview after the final match, which was kind of fun to talk about the game I had just played. They said my performance was dominant at the final table, but it didn’t feel that way at all while I was playing it or afterwards. It was interesting how they had interpreted the match after watching the video with their play-by play commentary.
I was also approached by a reporter from SBNation for an interview. SBNation is an internet news site that covers more traditional sports, like football, basketball etc. I have since responded to the interviewer’s questions, but I have not received any notice as to when the article will be published. I’ll keep everyone posted.
I would also like to thank CharCon for putting on my favorite convention of the year with the opportunities to participate in these tournaments. Travis and David, you might be running one of the best lesser known gaming conventions in the country.
All the best to CharCon attendees,
2015 US Catan Champion
Scott, great job winning the Catan US Championship! Congratulations from the entire CharCon family! For those who don’t know, Scott also won our Ticket to Ride Tournament at a previous CharCon and placed second at the US Championship. He then went on to play at the World Championship in France. The guy is definitely a player!
We certainly appreciate the kind words for CharCon and coincidentally, we agree that we are one of the best conventions around! We all look forward to seeing you and your friends each year at the convention and like you say, over the years these conventions become places to hang out with old friends and make new ones. We certainly consider you all part of the CharCon family.
There will be a Catan tournament at CharCon 2015 and maybe we can help another CharCon achieve greatness. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us and may your dice always roll well!