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A Family Of Champions!

June 20th, 2015

The best way to become a better Duelist is to train hard, have fun, and surround yourself with the best Duelists you can find.  For most, that means making friends and assembling a strong playtest group.  But for one family from Guadalajara, that means something else altogether.

Juan Carlos Coronel is 35 years old, and one month ago he won his seat in today’s tournament by capturing the Mexican National Championship.  That’s a tremendous accomplishment, but he wasn’t alone.  His son, thirteen year-old Juan Carlos Coronel became the Mexican Dragon Duel Champion on the same day, and his youngest son Daniel Isai Coronel took second place!  That means that for the first time ever, a country’s National Champion, Dragon Duel Champion, and Dragon Duel Runner-Up are all from one family.

How does that happen?!  That was our first question as we sat down with the Coronels for a short interview before the tournament.  Like many Duelists, their passion for Yu-Gi-Oh! started with the original Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series – Juan Carlos Coronel was a long-time fan and his two sons literally grew up on the show.  That got them interested in actually becoming Duelists themselves, and three years later they’re now Champions.  They even played as a team in Mexico’s National 3 Versus 3 tournament!

What started as a humble beginning at local tournaments blossomed into an incredible success story, and now they’ve set their sights on the ultimate prize – not one, but both of the World Championship titles.  As Juan Carlos explained, playtesting is constant in the Coronel household: “We Duel every day, usually for a couple hours.  We test all sorts of Decks, so we have a very good idea of what works and what doesn’t, and what our match-ups are like.”  With the ability to discuss strategy and new ideas at virtually any time, the Coronels are free to collaborate in ways very few Duelists ever can.  “We’re also very lucky!”  The entire family laughed.

Today the elder Juan Carlos will be playing Qliphorts in the World Championship Qualifier Main Event, while his sons Juan Carlos and Daniel Isai will play Nekroz and Burning Abyss respectively in the Dragon Duel Championship.  It seems each member of the family has their own unique tastes and playstyle.

How will the Coronel family do here today?  We’ll check in with all three of these amazing Duelists to find out!  With a little luck, they could become the biggest story of the weekend.