YCS First Timers: Philadelphia!

October 9th, 2010

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series is back in Philadelphia, and hundreds of Duelists have gathered here to compete in a championship-level tournament. But for many of the competitors in attendance today, this is the first major Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG event they’ve ever been at! All of these competitors have a shot at making it to the top of the tournament, and they’re all having a blast Dueling against friends and opponents. Take a look at some of the YCS first-timers here today.

Joey Atkin is 13 years old from Arlington, Virginia. He’s running an Absolute Zero Deck with Battle Faders and Mobius the Frost Monarch in it. When I asked him about the tournament, he replied that “it’s huge.” He was surprised by the number of competitors, not expecting the tournament to be so big. Take a look at Atkin, holding up his Elemental Hero Absolute Zero!
Hunter Landis is 16 years old from Boyertown, Pennsylvania. He’s running a Plant Deck with Debris Dragon in it for the tournament. “I think it’s big,” he told me, when I asked him for his first impressions of the tournament. “Really big! Lots of people! I don’t think I’ll make it to Day 2, but I have confidence.” He paused for a second, and then continued, “…not really.” Don’t worry Landis, you’ve got Black Rose Dragon on your side!

Max Roberts is 15 years old from Belle Harbor, New York. He’s running a Gladiator Beast Deck with Elemental Hero Stratos in it. “Prismadiators… I guess that’s what it’s called,” he told me. “The tournament looks a lot nicer than I was told it would look like. It’s in a nice ballroom. I was expecting a warehouse or something.” Roberts expected to see a lot of Duelists and vendors, and that’s exactly what he got. “I wasn’t expecting to see the giant cards though – those are cool.” Take a look at Roberts, dressed like Jaden Yuki and holding up his Gladiator Beast Heraklinos and Duel Academy Duel Disk!


Baasin Kazi is 10 years old from Wayne Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. Kazi is running a Toolbox Deck with Synchro Monsters and Earthbound Immortals. “The tournament hall is really loud,” he said. “And there are really big kids here, so I’m a little nervous.” But Kazi is having a blast anyway. Kazi was so excited for the tournament, he couldn’t sleep the previous night. “He had to wake me up to go to the tournament,” his mother said. “Usually, I have to wake him up.”


Matt Baker is 14 years old from Delaware, and he’s running a Water Deck in the tournament. When I asked him for his impressions of the tournament, he said just one word: “Big.” He was also surprised by how much older a lot of players were, but seemed to enjoy being able to compete against them. He and his mom were thrilled about how helpful the players and judges around him were.


Bryan Hess is a 10-year-old local running a Deck of “random cards that support one another.” When I asked him what he thought of the tournament, he replied, “I think it’s exciting! I didn’t think there would be so many older players – I expected a lot more kids.” But that’s not stopping Hess from enjoying every Duel! Take a look at Hess, holding up one of his favorites, Mechanical Hound.


Tyler Kulp is a 10-year-old local running Buster Blader, his favorite card.  When I asked him about the tournament, he said, “The tournament is gonna be awesome!” Kulp looks pretty excited to be holding up his Buster Blader.


Duelists traveled from all over to attend YCS Philadelphia, and arrived with all different levels of Dueling experience. But anyone can win this weekend, and the YCS First-Timers may score a huge upset!