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Digital CATAN World Championship (DCWC)

DCWC logoWe are proud to announce the inaugural Digital CATAN World Championship (DCWC), a new international, online event.

Registration is now open to all through August 16, 2021 (11:59 pm United States Central Time).

The tournament will be hosted on CATAN Universe, the multi-platform adaptation of CATAN for smartphones, tablets, Windows and Mac.

Do you have any further questions about the event? Do not hesitate to consult our FAQs.

When registering, you will be asked to provide your email address. We process your data to administer participation in the DCWC only, which can require us to send email to the address given. Use the links on the form to find details on Privacy Policies on those websites.

After registering, new subscribers to CATAN Studio emails will receive an email with a confirmation link that you must click in order to be added to the mailing list for Registration. Watch your inbox and all spam folders!

Event Schedule Summary



Is this event part of the analog CATAN World Championship program?
No. The Digital CATAN World Championship is completely separate from the regular country-based National Championship events and does not feed into the World Championship.

I signed up during pre-registration but I haven't received any email / I am getting an error when I attempt to register / I haven't received a confirmation email
If you have checked all your spam, junk, and promotion folders for any expected emails, you may not be receiving email from Constant Contact due to a problem with your email subscription.

Please take the following steps:

  1. Check your spam/promotions/junk etc folders for any confirmation emails from Catan Studio and/or Constant Contact. The email will be from via
    If you can locate that email and click the Confirm Subscription link, email and ask us to resend your event confirmation email. If you can’t find it, the next step is:

  2. Go to and scroll to the very bottom of the main page. There’s a newsletter signup form there. Enter your email and look for the same above email. Confirm, then email and ask us to resend your event confirmation email.

  3. If you take both those steps and still aren’t able to find the confirmation email, please email with this exact statement: “I want to receive emails from Catan Studio and am unable to locate my opt-in confirmation email. Please subscribe me.”

How is the DCWC different in format from the CATAN World Championship?
The Ranking Qualifier events for the DCWC are played using the CATAN Universe Auto Match ruleset, which uses ELO Scores to rank a group of players after each plays some number of matches against randomly chosen members of that group. The top player(s) from each group will then advance to a one-day, single-elimination bracket-style Tournament.

What games will be played in the DCWC?
The inaugural DCWC games will consist only of the "First Island" scenario, also known as the base game.

How are players divided into groups for the Ranking Qualifier events?
Players will be divided into groups based on a selected Time Zone. This is to help players find the maximum number of opponents during their prime play times.

How many players will be in each Time Zone Group?
This is largely dependent on sign-up, but no Time Zone Group will have fewer than 100 players. We will announce specific details such as this after Registration closes, before the first Ranking Qualifier events begin.

How many people will play in the Tournament Round?
This is dependent on sign-up and the number of Time Zone Groups that are created. We will announce specific details such as this after Registration closes, before the first Ranking Qualifier events begin.

I don’t speak English, may I still play?
While we are translating the rules into as many languages as possible, and making an effort to have individuals who speak a number of other languages available to help on Discord during the tournament times, the official tournament language is English. You may play but please be aware that it is possible you might have trouble communicating with staff or other players.

What happens if someone loses connection or drops out of a game intentionally?
In the Ranking Qualifier games, which use the Auto Match tournament system, if a player takes too long to take their turn, the AI acts for them, advancing the game so other players may continue to play. There are two timers at play here. One is the active turn timer; when it is your turn, you have 80 seconds to complete all your actions and click the “pass turn” button. The passive turn timer kicks in when, on another player’s turn, you must complete an action. For example, when a 7 is rolled, if you have too many cards, you must discard resources. The passive timer is 20 seconds long.

If a player misses their turn (active or passive) three times during a Ranking Qualifier game, they will be permanently replaced by an AI. This will count as one of their 5-7 games. Tournament staff are not able to set a game to repeat or remove games from a player record.

In Ranking Qualifier games, the human player with the highest victory point total will be ranked first in the finished game, even if the AI actually wins. If multiple players leave a game or lose connection, they will be ranked accordingly: the first person to be replaced by an AI places last, second person places third, etc.

For the Tournament Round, which uses Custom tournament rules, there is no turn timer and no AI replacements. If a player leaves, the game is forfeited. Staff will rule on these situations on a case-by-case basis.

One of my opponents dropped out in the middle of our game and we finished with the AI. Must this game count toward my 5-7 Ranking Qualifier games?
Yes, it must count. It is not possible to remove or reset games in the Ranking Qualifier round. Players that leave games early are penalized with bad karma and a game loss.

What if someone qualifies for the Tournament Round and does not show up on the day of the event?
Tournament staff will ask individuals to be alternates according to ELO Ranking. Alternates should log in to Discord on the day of the Tournament Round and be ready to join a game if someone does not show up to take their seat.

Could you explain ELO? I don’t understand the formula!
ELO score is designed to measure a player’s skill level by comparing them against their competitors. Every player starts the tournament with a score of 1000. You gain ELO points for a win and lose them on a loss. In a 4-player game, what actually happens is that you have three 2-player matchups. If you come in first overall, you beat three people. If you come in second, you beat two people and lost to one. Points gained or lost are calculated using the formula shown in the Tournament Rules, and points gained/lost are added/subtracted from the player’s existing score, creating a new score which is used in their next match.

A key factor to understanding ELO is that the “gap” between player scores is meant to be indicative of their difference in ability/performance. So if a player with a lower score beats a player with a higher score, they performed better than expected, and as such will receive a bigger point boost than if they had beaten someone with a lower score (which is what would be expected to happen).

How is DCWC Tournament ELO different from standard CATAN Universe?
The DCWC uses a modified formula to calculate ELO. We increased the coefficient, or multiplier, from 8 to 20. This change makes each win or loss affect your score more dramatically than a standard game on CATAN Universe.

What happens if there’s a tie in DCWC ELO rankings?
This is very unlikely with the increased coefficient in the ELO formula, but if it happens, we will break ties using the analog tournament system scoring rules. See rule 1.3.4 in the Tournament Rules for more information.

Do I have to pay for the app in order to compete? Is there an entry fee?
No. CATAN Universe is a free download, and you can reach the required player level to participate in the tournament (level 2) by playing a couple of free games against the AI. The tournament is free to play and free to join.

I don’t have a microphone, do I have to use voice chat in order to play in the tournament?
No. Ranking Qualifier matches do not use voice chat, and tournament staff will not be facilitating Discord channels for the Qualifiers. Text-based chat will be available within CATAN Universe. During the Tournament Round, each table will be assigned a voice chat channel. Using voice is not required, but may make trading and table chat easier. If you make it to the Final Table, CATAN Studio is planning to record the game. If you are unable or unwilling to participate in voice chat, or do not want to be recorded, you must let staff know prior to the start of the Final Table.

Where can I find the rules for the tournament?
Rules are available for download on in a number of languages. This document includes specific details about tournament structure, required code of conduct, scoring, and privacy information. The game itself is played using current CATAN rules as implemented by CATAN Universe. The official tournament language is English. We have provided translated rules to make the tournament as accessible as possible. To resolve any conflicts in the translated rules, please refer to the English-language document.

Do I need experience in online play?
In order to participate in the tournament, your account on CATAN Universe must have reached Level 2. You can do this by playing a couple of free matches ahead of your Ranking Qualifier.

How long does a typical online game take in CATAN Universe?
Game length varies, but most games finish in about 45 minutes.

When does registration start?
Pre-registration opens on June 21, 2021. Players who pre-register will receive an email with a link to the registration site when it opens on August 2, 2021.

What happens to my registration and game play data at the end of the event?
Registration data is stored on Constant Contact, an event and mailing list service utilized by CATAN Studio. This list will be used to communicate with players regarding the DCWC. You can read Constant Contact’s privacy policy here:

Tournament Results will be communicated from USM (CATAN Universe) to CATAN Studio and deleted after 30 days. CATAN Universe account information remains on CATAN Universe until deleted. CATAN Universe privacy policy is available here:

Final rankings will be posted by username on at the end of the event.

Can I check the current tournament standings?
During Ranking Qualifier Events, you will be able to access a ranking list on CATAN Universe for your specific event. This list updates but is not automatically refreshed, so be sure to refresh it to see the most current rankings.

Tournament Round standings will be posted and updated as the event progresses on November 13, 2021. We will provide a link to that information prior to the start of the Tournament Round.

How and when will I be informed if I have qualified for the Tournament Round?
Once all Ranking Qualifiers are complete, DCWC staff will compile a list of players who have qualified for the Tournament Round. Rankings will be posted on and an email will be sent to all Qualifier winners between November 1 and November 8, 2021. The Tournament Round takes place on November 13, 2021.

What is the prize for the winner of the DCWC?
The winner of the tournament will receive an in-game “trophy avatar,” as well as a physical trophy shipped to their home.

Is it possible to watch the tournament online?
Ranking Qualifiers will not be livestreamed by DCWC staff, however it’s possible that private individuals will stream their own games during the tournament. We intend to livestream the Final Table on November 13, 2021, time TBD.

I have a question that wasn’t answered here!
Please email us at

Gameplay Rules

Below are downloadable versions of the Tournament Rules in multiple languages. We have made an effort to offer translated rules for as many languages as possible, however, in all instances, if there is any question or conflict in the translated rules, the English version will be the official ruling.

DCWC Tournament Rules (English)

DCWC Tournament Rules (German)
DCWC Tournament Rules (French)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Spanish)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Dutch)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Japanese)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Polish)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Romanian)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Portuguese)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Chinese)
DCWC Tournament Rules (Hebrew)