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SJC History: The Beginning (2004-2005)

April 24th, 2010

With seventy-four SHONEN JUMP Championships in the record books, today we’ll see the final SHONEN JUMP Championship played out here in Edison, New Jersey! In a few days we’ll turn our attention to the ongoing Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, in Virginia 3 weeks from today. But for now, let’s take 1 last look at some of the landmark SHONEN JUMP Championship tournaments of the past 6 yearsa: the Decks, the Duelists, and the memories that have made competitive Dueling truly great.

SHONEN JUMP Championship #1
Location: Anaheim, California
Date: December 3rd, 2004
Competitors: 309
Winner: John Umali
1st Place Deck: Chaos Beatdown
Runner-Up: Miguel Flores
2nd Place Deck: Chaos Beatdown
Prize Card: Cyber-Stein
It all started more than 5 years ago, at the Anaheim Convention Center. In an era defined by cards like Magical Scientist and Black Luster Solder – Envoy of the Beginning, and in a tournament of over 300 Duelists, John Umali defeated Miguel Flores to become the first-ever SHONEN JUMP Champion. His prize? A copy of the never-before-released Champion Prize Card Cyber-Stein, a treasured award that quickly became the most sought-after card in the history of the game.

SHONEN JUMP Championship #2
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: February 8th, 2005
Competitors: 220
Winner: Wilson Luc
1st Place Deck: Chaos / Warrior Return
Runner-Up: Ian Wingrove
2nd Place Deck: Beast Beatdown
Prize Card: Cyber-Stein
Five weeks later, we saw the second SHONEN JUMP Championship play out in Las Vegas, as Wilson Luc took a Warrior Deck with Return from the Different Dimension and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning against Ian Wingrove’s innovative Beast Beatdown Deck. While Luc’s Deck relied on D. D. Warrior Lady, D. D. Assailant, and Blade Knight, Wingrove played Berserk Gorilla, Nimble Momonga, and Enraged Battle Ox all the way to the Finals. A direct attack from Don Zaloog ended the tournament and Luc scored a 2-0 victory to become the second SHONEN JUMP Champion. Luc wasn’t the only one to make a name for himself that weekend, as reigning United States Champion Theeresak Poonsombat scored the first of many Top 8 finishes.

SHONEN JUMP Championship #3
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Date: February 13th, 2005
Competitors: 723
Winner: Patrick Smith
1st Place Deck: Chaos / Warrior Beatdown with Thousand-Eyes Restrict
Runner-Up: Gustavo Reyez
2nd Place Deck: The Creator / Chaos
Prize Card: Cyber-Stein
With the first 2 SHONEN JUMP Championship tournaments seeing a combined attendance of just over 500 Duelists, no one saw Columbus coming! An incredible 723 competitors packed into the Franklin Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, demolishing expectations for attendance. This tournament would cement Thousand-Eyes Restrict as a competitive threat, and Patrick Smith would defeat Gustavo Reyez 2-0 in the Finals, taking a Chaos variant with Thousand-Eyes against Reyez’s unprecedented Chaos Deck with The Creator and The Creator Incarnate.

SHONEN JUMP Championship #4
Location: Orlando, Florida
Date: February 27th, 2005
Competitors: 367
Winner: Andrew Fredella
1st Place Deck: Chaos Beatdown
Runner-Up: John Jensen
2nd Place Deck: Chaos Beatdown
Prize Card: Cyber-Stein
The first SHONEN JUMP Championship in Orlando was filled with excitement. The last big tournament of this period’s Advanced Format would see another Top 8 finish by Theeresak Poonsombat, but once again he would fall short of the Finals. Instead, friends John Jensen and Andrew Fredella faced off in the last round of the main event, and though Fredella was the official winner, both competitors would go on to call each other co-Champions. It was a great day for sportsmanship and friendship in the Dueling world.