The situation is getting complicated...
As far as this policy goes, we are adopting two approaches in Barcelona:
-For Vintage (sanctioned tournaments) we play in Catalan Vintage League (LCV) we are playing a non proxy environment, BUT we do allow CE, ICE and cards printed by WOTC (Worlds decks with Gold border and such).
This new approach was applied for this season after some debate (as we have not permitted proxies since the beginning of the league more than 10 year ago) and we got some new players to the format which is always good news. Then CE/ICE prices skyrocketed and people who purchased their P9 at less than 1k were really happy. I´m commenting on this issue because for me it is the main reason the format is dying. No WOTC person cares about paper Vintage anymore and there is no light at the end of the tunnel to stop speculation. In the end, prices will kill us all.
For this reason, I strongly encourage people to play in our testing nights at the LGS (Maná Infinito) to bring proxies to avoid having to carry 20K decks to work and then to the shop and get back home at night for obvious reasons.
-For Old School (non sanctioned tournaments) LCOS we allow unlimited proxies to be played, although our idea is to encourage people to limit them in the following years (9-15 maybe) if the league keeps being a success and more and more people get into the format.
Back to Vintage, to keep the format alive, I think local leagues and such could still be played at your LGS as long as you keep it unsanctioned. It does not really matter to get all your PW points and such if you are playing Vintage. If you want the points (and not the glory) you are playing the wrong format
It´s better to play it unsanctioned than to not playing it at all, right?
WOTC has its part of reason and I can pretty understand their position on counterfeits (if you call it like that when you are talking about proxied cards used in sanctioned tournaments).
All in all I think the main events in both EU/US should be kept proxy free to keep the spirit of the format alive. Eurochamps/WorldChamps should be naturally played with the real cards as it is also a way to show the format to the world (for whoever wants to be watching).
I feel that in the future, but not sure how long, Vintage will be a player run format and none of this will matter. If Eternal Central can build a framework that puts together 120 people for what is essentially a North American championship for Old School, I see no reason why something can't be done for Vintage.
This would remove all of these concerns about "playtest cards", and an electable Board of Directors of some sort could be elected to maintain the B&R list, so we can't blame Wizards for that stuff either...
Might be 20 years from now, but I see it happening...
Vintage is close to dead in France but about 6 months ago we tried to set up a monthly tournament. The agreement with the shop that is hosting us is very simple :
- unsanctionned event with a very low entrance fee and very little prizes (we don't care, our goal is to play and have fun)
- playtests cards for several reasons : trying to get Legacy players into the format, we don"t want to carry 20k worth of cards and the shop does not want to have to worry about that too.
- playtests can be as nicely done as people want but they must be easily recognized as playtest cards (that is : no fake cards around). By the way a friend of mine has a foil beta P9, just so beautiful !
So far, the results are quite promissing : we manage to play monthly, we are not a lot but people are slowly coming in, and we are having a lot of fun !
Playtest cards in non-sanctioned events = OK
Playtest cards in sanctioned events = not OK
Let's not make this bigger than it is...
Unfortunately this is incorrect outside of the US and has been for some times. Nothing is put in writing and stores won’t say anything directly; but in a choice between keeping their WPN status or running non-sanctioned events with playtest cards..... the event don’t run. It’s a stark choice.