The team rounds seem somewhat "standard" still as team rounds go but may allow a little more teamwork than last year's. Part 9 has three puzzles split into pieces and, with three people, we will obviously each take one puzzle for the tiled sum/irregular/diagonal. I understand how you'd tile a diagonal sudoku and I guess a tiled irregular is probably just a normal jigsaw-like puzzle (play with the arrangement of pieces until you get a 9x9 square) but I'm curious to see how you tile a sum sudoku. The other team round is a weakest link round with a samurai puzzle but until I see the instructions, its not clear what the "entry" puzzle(s) will be to the team desk. Only three members of our group of four are on the team and the decision of who is on the team has not yet been made. We have a talented squad, so some on-site brainstorming will need to be done to make this decision.
The biggest apparent news in the championship is the presence of two titles for the individuals, with it seeming that without winning both, either title itself is somewhat diminished. This means I have a lot more to shoot for as I defend my title this year. I'm tired of the criticism that the WSC champion is good at variants and not classic puzzles. I won the US championship handily with just classics and I will hopefully do well in Goa as well.
If there is a theme to my championship thinking then, it is that I will be taking it to 11. With that in mind, here is a new Tablecloth Sudoku (the type created at WSC2) of the Spinal Tap variety (11 wide with 9x9 sudoku in the middle). All rows/columns will contain 1-9 and A,B and no digit/letter is repeated in the 3x3 bold regions in the center. The big shapes belong to multiple rows/columns. This is an easy example but it proves the larger size is possible.