Impulse and ego triumph over team spirit and camaraderie as the First Selection program kicks off in episode 3 of Blue Lock. We witnessed how ruthless Jinpachi Ego’s pet project, Blue Lock, can be as Yoichi is forced to take out his fellow teammates to become the world’s greatest striker.
Yoichi eliminating Kira in a game of tag right in the first round might have shocked us, but this is just the beginning, as Yoichi and his teammates have to face even greater challenges.
After passing the first round successfully, Jinpachi announced that all 25 teams have been divided into five groups of five teams each, who will participate in the First Selection round.
The First Selection program, better known as Round-Robin Group League Match, is a tournament where all the five teams of each wing of Blue Lock will compete against each other in ten matches. Only the top two teams in each wing will qualify in the next selection round.
However, all hope is not lost if a player’s team loses in the first selection. Jinpachi mentions a player-specific rule for the first selection, which states that the player who is the top scorer of their own team can qualify for the second selection even if their team loses.
The individual rules as well as the team rules of the First Selection present the Blue Lock strikers with a tough choice, forcing them to choose either their team’s victory or their own goals.
First Selection program point system
In Episode 3 of Blue Lock, Jinpachi breaks down the details regarding the first selection program and its point system over a video conference with Team Z.
Similar to every other competitive game, winning is obviously more advantageous for the players in the first selection. Wins award them more points compared to losses and draw.
- Winning a match grants 3 points to the team.
- Losing a match gives no points to the team.
- In case of a draw, both teams will receive one point each.
Besides overall points scored by the team, individual players can also score goals to become the ‘top scorer’ of their team by scoring the maximum number of goals in their own team. But what if two members of the same team score the same number of goals?
To deal with this scenario, Jinpachi introduces the ‘fair point system’ as well. Points of a player are deducted if they get penalties.
- A yellow card deducts one point.
- Two yellow cards (suspension) in a single match deduct three points.
- A red card deducts one point.
- If a player gets a red card after getting a yellow card, a whooping number of 5 points will be deducted.
In case the points of both players remain the same even after using the tie-breaking system, the player whose team is ranked higher will qualify for the next round.
Will Team Z survive the First Selection program?
Thankfully, Team Z survives the First Selection program. Though they lose their first match against Team X due to a lack of coordination between their team, they make up for their losses by winning against Team Y in their second match and Team V in the final match.
Team Z also ends up having a draw with Team W in their match. Though they don’t win against Team W, this match enlightens Yoichi and the rest of Team Z about their own personal weapons, which they use to defeat Team V eventually.
About Blue Lock
Blue Lock is a Japanese manga series written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine since August 2018. Blue Lock won the 45th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2021.
The story begins with Japan’s elimination from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which prompts the Japanese Football Union to start a program scouting high school players who will begin training in preparation for the 2022 Cup.
Isagi Youichi, a forward, receives an invitation to this program soon after his team loses the chance to go to Nationals because he passed to his less-skilled teammate.
Their coach will be Ego Jinpachi, who intends to “destroy Japanese loser football” by introducing a radical new training regimen: isolate 300 young strikers in a prison-like institution called “Blue Lock”.