Home > 2013/04 - San Diego, California, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Welcome to Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series – San Diego, California!

Welcome to Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series – San Diego, California!

April 5th, 2013

Duelists from across the globe have gathered here in San Diego, and tomorrow they’ll duke it out in a truly historic event: the first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series tournament in North America with Sealed Play.

The Yugiverse got its first taste of Sealed competition at YCS Sheffield last year, where two days of  Battle Pack: Epic Dawn action came down to an epic face-off between two former Champions: Spain’s Rodrigo Togores and Austria’s Peter Gross.  In the end, Gross took a 2-0 victory to win out over 572 other Duelists, claiming the title of Champion and winning the first Sealed YCS.

But this weekend, everything’s different.

What’s changed for YCS San Diego?  While YCS Sheffield was pure Sealed, this weekend’s Duelists will be tested in two different ways: Day 1 is Battle Pack Sealed, while Day 2 is Advanced Format Constructed.  That means that to win this event, you have to master two totally different types of competition.

In Day 1 your goal is to build your Deck from ten Battle Packs, then fight through nine rounds and finish with a record of 6-2-1 or better.  That means you can take two losses and one draw on your way to victory, but you have to win six of your nine Matches to make the cut.  Luck won’t be enough: you’ll have to know Battle Pack: Epic Dawn like the back of your hand, and you’ll have to put together a winning 30-card Deck on the spot.  Oh, and you won’t have time to test anything: you’ve only got 30 minutes to build your Deck.  With 220 cards  in Epic Dawn you’ll have to be ready for anything.  You won’t know what cards you’ll open, and you won’t know what cards your opponents might have.

Survive Day 1, and you get to come back on Sunday to play in Day 2.  Usually the second day of a YCS sees competitors play two more Rounds before cutting to Top 32, but this weekend?  It’s basically another tournament.  Hot on the heels of YCS Austin just two weeks ago, we’ll plunge back into the Advanced Format for five more Rounds!  On Sunday it’s going to be Mermails versus Fire Fists versus Dino Rabbit versus… let’s say Wind-Ups, Karakuri, Frog Monarchs, Geargia, HERO, and… well, you get the picture, right?

Almost half of the Top 32 finishers at YCS Austin played Mermails; the Deck that would eventually win the tournament in the hands of Oscar Zelaya.  But it was a strong weekend for Fire Fists, Dino Rabbit, and – surprisingly – HERO strategies as well.  The field remains wide open: we saw nearly ten distinct strategies in the Top 32, so anything could happen here in San Diego this weekend.  Will Mermails continue to reign supreme, fresh off their first YCS win?  That’s one of the biggest questions attendees are asking this weekend.

So what else sets YCS San Diego apart from YCS Sheffield?  How about turnout!  While the 100th YCS in Long Beach, California last year was just awarded the title of Largest TCG Tournament of all time by Guinness World Records, this weekend’s going to be almost as big!  With fire codes and building regulations restricting the main event to 2976 Duelists, 1328 competitors already pre-registered this afternoon.  Here’s what the line looked like wrapping the length of the legendary San Diego Convention Center:


So this tournament is probably going to wind up being five times the size of YCS Sheffield.  What’s it going to look like tomorrow?  Here’s a glimpse of the tournament floor.  This is what 3000 empty seats looks like:

Panorama Center

…imagine that, but with people in it.

In the entire history of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, there’s never been anything like this.  To take home Championship gold this weekend, you essentially have to play through two tournaments back-to-back, in completely different formats.  What impact will Day 1 have on Day 2?  We don’t know for sure, but we can certainly guess: since only the most skilled Duelists make it to Day 2, competition in those Rounds is going to be fierce.  We talked to players today and opinions were split.  While some believed that we’d see more of the popular and proven decks in Day 2, others believe that the unique shape of this tournament gives innovators a special opportunity: the chance to keep your Deck a secret until Day 2, where one good idea could blindside the competition.

Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure: this is completely new territory.  Welcome to a whole new era of tournament competition.

Welcome, to YCS San Diego.