By: Patric Williamson
On May 5, Seattle Center hosted a Yu-Gi-Oh card game regional tournament which over 400 people attended in the hopes of being able to qualify for the 2018 Yu-Gi-Oh world championships. Players lined up outside the venue starting approximately an hour before the tournament was set to start, with the line being so long that it caused the event to start nearly an hour later than planned. After waiting another half hour the judges posted the lists of players who were facing off in the first round and all at once every player in the room stood up and shuffled around the event center in a chaotic mess, followed by the sound of hundreds of cards being shuffled simultaneously. Over the next seven hours, players fought in eight three game series against their opponents for a spot in the top bracket of players where they receive “Worlds Points,” which are used to gain an invitation to the world championships, free packs of cards from the latest set released, and a World Championship play mat.
Aside from some dramatic scenes such as players frantically scouting the event floor looking for lost decks and belongings, the event went as expected. Seven of the top eight players had decks which almost everyone expected to have won, the only real surprise came with the first place player who was using a deck called “Zefra” which is an archetype that hasn’t been taken seriously in over a year and never saw mainstream success within the Yu-Gi-Oh community until now.
A few players had less than good luck with regards to their plan for the tournament, one of the people who I attended the event with, Derek Chu, planned on topping the event but after an unfortunate start he ended up only winning three out of eight games and ultimately did the worst in our group. When asked about his experience during the tournament, Chu stated that “The heart of the cards just wasn’t on my side and the hands I drew were just bricks.” Bricking refers to the event where a Yu-Gi-Oh player draws their initial hand to play with and none of the cards in it can be used to make good plays. Similarly, in another tournament Bailey Myers, a former Bellevue College student, barely missed out on entering the top bracket of players attributing his loss to the fact that “Well my opponents are just better players because they drew better cards than I did.”
There is no confirmed date for the next regional qualifier in Seattle. However, the Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2018 is set to take place in Japan between Aug. 4 to 5, and the 200th Yu-Gi-Oh Championship series is taking place between Sept. 22 and 23 with locations including Columbus, Ohio, Mexico City, Mexico and Utrecht, Netherlands.