Like everyone else, the NISEI team has been following the rapidly changing global situation with regards to Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, and we would like to take the opportunity to address some of the concerns that many players and organisers rightly have. Netrunner is, at its heart, a social game and while bringing people together is what drives us, our first concern will always be the health and safety of our players.
As a globally distributed volunteer organisation, NISEI could not possibly answer for every country's situation or local meta any better than your local tournament organiser. However, we have some guidelines that we would expect to be followed to reassure players and ensure the safety of all participants.
Only run events that are compliant with your country's health and safety recommendations. These can change rapidly, and scheduled events will need to be reconsidered if circumstances change.
Be mindful and encouraging of increased hygiene standards. This may involve having supplies such as hand sanitiser available at the event, working with your venue to ensure sanitation standards, or even altering venues away from public spaces. Encourage players to refrain from hugs or handshakes and to maintain the strictest handwashing and hygiene standards.
Large events, and those that encourage wider travel, are an increased risk and should be deeply re-considered.
Players should not be attending events if they feel ill, or have any symptoms such as fever or coughs. This should always be the case with the chance of infectious disease, but with the current tensions regarding COVID-19 this should be held to the highest standard.
In addition to the guidelines above, NISEI encourages all organisers and players to go above and beyond the guidelines and standards to ensure the safety and peace of mind of all participants - especially those who may be from vulnerable and at-risk groups. Everyone is strongly encouraged to delay or postpone in-person events until the pandemic subsides. It is not sufficient to wait until there are confirmed cases in your area - the goal of social distancing is to prevent infections before they occur. It is a testament to the Netrunner community that we're already hearing about ways that organisers have adapted their events to suit - many Store Championships are being run online via Jinteki.net, a practice we absolutely encourage where feasible. Most of all, with the diversity of world metas, we encourage you to share your event solutions to the community so that we can learn from and support each other to run better and safer events globally. NISEI will be considering the length of the Store Championship season and the competitive calendar going forward, so be assured that no-one will miss out due to circumstances beyond their control.
The May 24, 2020 deadline to schedule a Store Championship will no longer apply, so please do not let that stop you rescheduling your event. It is far more important to us that events be run safely, whenever that may be.
With regards to the upcoming World Championships in October 2020, be assured that NISEI is closely monitoring the global situation as it progresses and will be releasing further updates as we get closer to the event. We encourage you to keep informed of your local situation and travel advice when booking flights, as some airlines have begun waiving cancellation fees to promote continued purchasing - accommodation at the Toronto Sheraton is refundable without penalty up until the start of October, so that may be booked with confidence.
Netrunner has a history of resilience, and if a publisher purge didn't end it, it'll take more than virus counters.
Always Be Running*
The NISEI Team