If both players speak the same language, then the card goes off without a hitch, but given that Worlds features players from numerous countries around the globe competing against one another with cards printed in their native language, a problem could arise where the attack name is different in another language. Though translators are present to help players who speak different languages to communicate with one another, the semantics of certain attack names can still create a problem.
Before the ban was announced,French player Stéphane Ivanoff— back-to-back winner of the 2018 and 2019 North America International Championships — made note of the issue on social media and gave an example where Blaine’s Quiz Show would cause a big headache at the tournament:
Here’s a simple situation: if I play Blaine’s Quiz Show at Worlds, using a French Pokémon card, should I announce the name of the attack in French or in English?
->If it’s in French: unless my opponent speaks French, they probably can’t guess the Pokémon. Is this an intended effect of the card?
->If it’s in English: What if I don’t know the English name of the attack (since my card is in French)? Also, even if I know the name, what if my opponent doesn’t speak English (say it’s a Japanese player)?
If using translators, there is one major issue: attack names don’t always map one-to-one between languages. Here is an example:
Lillipup (BLW 81) and Gliscor (UNB 99) have the same attack Collect. In French, Lillipup’s Collect was translated to “Collectionner,” and Gliscor’s Collect was translated to “Collecte.”
If I play against a French-speaking player and announce “Collectionner,” they know it can be Lillipup and not Herdier. If I play against an English-speaking player and announce “Collect,” it can be both. This means that doing the exact same game action has different results depending on the language used.
(Also consider the opposite scenario, where the English-speaking player is the one using Blaine’s Quiz Show and announces “Collect.” If the French-speaking player requires a translator, then the translator will have to remove the ambiguity, which seems unfair.)
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It’s worth pointing out that Blaine’s Quiz Show is not considered a competitively viable card and it’d be a surprise if anyone had actually intended on using it. The card was mostly created for fun, but the folks running the competition likely wanted to avoid any issues by banning it from the event altogether. The card is only being banned at Worlds and will still be legal in regular play.Joshua is Senior Features Editor at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him onTwitter @JoshuaYehlandIGN.