Invitational Player Preview - Bill.jr Lion Warlord
Bill.jr is another of the originals . Playing Lion on TTS his initial rounds were 'meh' meaning he entered the Cup as the worst seed in both ELO rating (a horrific 1565) and on Challonge Seeding as well. This meant his first round was against undefeated Hatamoto Kingsley.
Round 1 beat John_Hawk_Haines 
Round 2 nada
Round 3 beat Crane refbot 
Round 4 lost to Dragon Kingsley 
Round 5 lost to Crane LtMechanicus 
Round 6 beat Scorpion? WhiteLiger 
Season1 Cup - Start Rating 1565
But as it known the Season 1 cup saw upsets all over the place and bill's was the biggest by far deserving of a big part in a ratings blogpost on its own Top Cut Ratings
It didn't stop there of course as he then swept two Crane out of the way before falling to LTMechanicus at the last hurdle.
T16 beat Dragon Kingsley 
T8 beat Crane Katai 
T4 beat Crane Chutereve 
T2 lost to Crane LtMechanicus 
Pre-Season - Start Rating 1787
Proving the wins in the cup had not been a fluke Bill continued his winning ways in the pre-season losing only to the deceptively low ranked MindsDestire (who had just entered) but getting the revenge beating on Luke.
wins vs Crab Yageru , Scorpion Shosuro Wild , Lion TheGreatWestie, Crane LtMechanicus 
lost to Dragon MindsDesire 
Season 2 - Start Rating 1850
When the league (as it currently looks) re-started in Season 2 Bill had an uneven start going 3-2 actual (5-2 with drops) getting through to the cup.
Wins vs Dragon TheGreatDantone , Unicorn Shu Guantou , Lion Toreadory 
Losses vs Scorpion SirLargeness , Crab Brendon 
Season 2 Cup
Re-meeting and re-beating Toreadory in the T64 he then fell to Sotomatic in the T32.
T64 beat Lion Toreadory 
T32 lost to Phoenix Sotomatic 
Season 3 - Start Rating 1710
The new season saw Bill back on form (or perhaps mastering the meta) and he went 6-1 actual to win the pod against admittedly low ranked opposition (bar Anemone and Jeremy)
6-1 actual 1st in pod
wins vs Dragon acecase , Scorpion Flaffanutter , Dragon Kevin , Scorpion TheGreatWestie , Dragon Tubazilla  and Scorpion Anemone 
losses vs Crane Jeremy 
Season 3 Cup
Cup results started improving as well as he was only knocked out T16 by the eventual double winner Wydwen. Also noticeable as Bill seems to be the player of the 'repeat' opponents. Season 1 he faced three Cranes on the trot. In Season 3 he now had 3 Scorpions at the height of their dominance..
T64 beat Scorpion Shenful 
T32 beat Scorpion Anemone
T16 lost to Scorpion Wydwen
Season 4 - Start Rating 1794
Since the end of Season 2 Bill had been one of the most consistent players and this continued with a 5-0 actual (7-0 with drops) taking 1st place in the pod again. Another newbie pod though.
5-0 actual 7-0 with drops
Wins vs Dragon Mirumoto Kai , Scorpion Jamie , Lion im_furious , Crane Massashgi , Crab Vari 
Season 4 Cup (as Crab)
He then had a low rated path through the cup that took him one step further to glory sucuming to Crane retread Toreadory in the Top 8 (revenge for all those losses in Season 2?)
T64 beat Crab Damabiah 
T32 beat Crane Kakita Leniel 
T16 beat Scorpion gzoymp 
T8 lost to Crane Toreadory 
Season 5 - Start Rating 1913
The previous results still did wonders for his rating and bill started Season 5 in close range of Candidate Master status. this did not bother him as he went an easy 6-0 on pods (7-0) actual to take his 3rd 1st pod placement (which is impressive in itself)
wins vs Crab Jokingly , Crab sla-dreamer , Crane SirLargeness , Phoenix TheSchmooz , Scorpion Yameneko  and Unicorn Renown 
Season 5 Cup
T64 beat Scorpion WhiteLiger
T32 beat Scorpion gzoymp 
T16 vs Still active in cup
The Last chance qualifier foundered rapidly when bill (as a top seed) was faced with one of the 'new' players who gained entrance via paper tournament success. He was opposed by a double Kotei Scorpion double Hatamoto in Sliski. This went badly (and will artificially depress ratings)
T64 lost to Scorpion Sliski 
Bill.jr gains entrance to the Invitational on his extremely success Cup runs. He is one of the only consistently dangerous Lion players (even though playing Crab during one cup) and is close behind MindsDesire in terms of general consistency.
On to the questionnaire!
Did you play a lot of Original L5R? and if so how long/when
I played a single game of Old5r while visiting some friends who played. I thought it was very interesting and liked the theme.When I heard the news that it was getting re-released I was all over it. I started playing on Tabletop Simulator right away, even though we could barely cobble together legal decks.
Do/have you played other competitive card games at a high level?
I played Magic the Gathering off and on for years, but only casually. It was likely within my range to play competitively, but I did not want to make the time or money investment to do so.
What were your experiences of the Discord League – any highlights ?
The cinderella story of season 1 has to be the biggest highlight. I am happy to have maintained a fair degree of consistency, not only making every cup but getting to at least ro32.
Do you have any advice for the other lower ranked players?
Follow the immortal words of Mindsdesire: "winning is preferable to not winning"
Have you had success in paper tournaments and if so how well have you done?
Unfortunately, no. Following the high of making the first discord cup finals, I went to Worlds and immediately flopped. A combination of a bad deck, bad luck, and poor play. I have not been able to travel to any other live events, but hope to redeem myself at the next Worlds.
What is there that you like/dislike about new L5R and what would you like (or not like) to see moving forward.
I LOVE the game over-all. The fate system when purchasing characters is perhaps the best feature of any card game I have ever seen, played, or heard of.
I dislike that there are effectively only 6 primary clans instead of 7. The untested unicorn nerfs prior to release were awful and it may be years before they are dug out of the hole they are in.
One change that I would love to see is the ability to interact with a dynasty card that flips on an already broken province. They should adjust the rule that allows you to discard the face up card when you break a province to allow you to discard one card on any broken province. This would solve the problem of OP strongholds or charge targets coming up and having zero counterplay against them.
What are your favourite/least favourite matchups?
I think the new Dragon vs Phoenix is one of the most interesting matchups. The crane mirror is by far the worst in the game.
Finally a personal message from Bill
If any of you discordians are in the greater Baltimore area, message me on discord. I'd be happy to get you a beer at the restaurant I manage.