Home > 2017/08 - Toronto, Canada, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 1 Feature Match: Jesse Kotton vs. Dale Bellido

Round 1 Feature Match: Jesse Kotton vs. Dale Bellido

August 26th, 2017

…Because how could we not?

Jesse Kotton’s run in the 2017 competitive season was one of the biggest stories of the year.  Diving headfirst into the new World Qualifying Points System, Kotton topped Regional Qualifier after Regional Qualifier and traveled all over North America to hustle his way straight to the World Championship.  Grit and determination took him all the way to Japan – an incredible achievement for a 17 year-old.  On one hand, Kotton is already a storied, veteran Duelist.  On the other, he’s just getting started; a breakout star of the new Dueling era.

Kotton may be a modern day hero, but his first opponent today is one of the greatest legends in Dueling’s history!  Dale Bellido became one of the most celebrated star Duelists of all time when he won his first title at SHONEN JUMP CHAMPIONSHIP Chicago in 2005, and after more than a dozen Top Cut showings in twelve more years of competition, he’s back in his hometown of Toronto, taking a run at another tile.

Bellido is playing True Draco Zoodiacs.  Kotton is playing Pure Zoo.

Generation against generation.  A new classic against a beloved legend;  Two Duelists going head-to-head to kick off a new epoch of competition!

Ladies and gentlemen: this is YCS Toronto.

Duel One

Kotton opened with a hand of Torrential Tribute; Fire Formation – Tenki; Zoodiac Combo; Floodgate Trap Hole; and Zoodiac Whiptail.



He searched Zoodiac Thoroughblade with Tenki, Summoned Thoroughblade, and pitched Combo with Thoroughblade’s effect to draw Soul Charge.

He overlaid Zoodiac Thoroughblade for Zoodiac Broadbull, searched Zoodiac Ramram, and overlaid Broadbull for Zoodiac Drident.  He overlaid that for Zoodiac Chakanine, detached Drident, and Special Summoned it back to a Main Monste Zone.  He overlaid for Tigermortar, detached Drident, and overlaid for Zoodiac Hammerkong.  He Set Torrential and Floodgate, then detached Tigermortar in the End Phase for Hammerkong.



Bellido Normal Summoned Zoodiac Ratpier, kicked Zoodiac Combo to his Graveyard, and muttered to himself.“…Walk into a Floodgate…”.  He overlaid Ratpier with Hammerkong and sure enough, Kotton flipped Floodgate Trap Hole to turn Hammerkong face-down.  “Play Tenki…” Bellido activated Fire Formation – Tenki to search his Deck for Zoodiac Ramram, then activated Disciples of the True Dracophoenix to Tribute Disciples and Hammerkong for Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King!  Disciple’s effect kicked in and Bellido targeted Kotton’s Torrential Tribute.  Kotton Chained the Torrential and Drident’s effect, Bellido banished Disciples with Master Peace to destroy Tenki, and the entire field was cleared.

Bellido drew two cards with True Draco Heritage, then activated Dragonic Diagram!  “Wow… wow.”  Kotton activated Zoodiac Combo to reload all of his Xyz Monsters to his Extra Deck.  Bellido destroyed Ramram from his hand with Diagram and searched his Deck for True King’s Return.  He Special Summoned Ratpier back with Ramram’s effect, overlaid it to Xyz Summon Zoodiac Boarbow, and then sent Ratpier to the Graveyard to Special Summon another from his Deck.  He overlaid Boarbow with Zoodiac Chakanine, detached Boarbow to revive Zoodiac Ramram, and overlaid Zoodiac Chakanine with Zoodiac Broadbull.  Bellido then detached Chakanine to fetch Zoodiac Whiptail.

“Four in hand?” asked Bellido.

“Correct,” replied Kotton.  Bellido was holding four cards as well, with a  field of Ratpier, Ramram, and Zoodiac Broadbull.

Bellido overlaid Broadbull with Zoodiac Drident, used his next extra Tribute Summon to Tribute away Ratpier and Heritage, and brought down another Master Peace!  He Set one card to his back row and attacked to knock Kotton down to 5050 Life Points.



Kotton drew, now holding Raigeki, Soul Charge, Zoodiac Ramram, Book of Moon, and Zoodiac Whiptail.  He activated Raigeki to destroy Drident and Ramram, and Bellido revived Drident with Ramram’s effect.  He activated Zoodiac Combo to reload his Zoodiacs and draw.

Kotton continued, Normal Summoning Zoodiac Ramram; Bellido considered a moment, fingering his hand for a second and seemingly considering a hand trap.  “Did you draw Maxx “C” off Heritage?” asked Kotton.

Bellido replied, dropping Maxx “C” with a grin.  Kotton conceded immediately, placing his hand on his face for a moment and laughing.



Bellido couldn’t suppress his grin: “I DID draw it off the Heritage!”  Kotton reeled good naturedly and both Duelists flew into a flurry of dialogue, Bellido clarifying that the Maxx “C” was what he was digging for.  Kotton maligned the sequence of events: “I thought if I could shut down TWO plays like that, I’d be fine!”

A huge Turn 2 showing from Dale Bellido presses him through a fistful of answers with not one, but two copies of Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King, and Maxx “C” locks Jesse Kotton out of Game 1!  Play swiftly moved to the second Duel.

Duel Two

This time Kotton had Zoodiac Ratpier; two Zoodiac Barrage; Enemy Controller, and Pianissimo.  He Summoned Ratpier, sent Zoodiac Ramram to the Graveyard, and overlaid Ratpier to Xyz Summon Zoodiac Boarbow.  He traded it up for Zoodiac Broadbull and detached Boarbow to search another Ramram from his Deck.  Kotton Xyz Summoned Zoodiac Chakanine next, detached Broadbull, and revived Ramram.  He detached Ratpier next to Special Summon his second Ratpier from his Deck; traded in Chakanine and Ratpier for Missus Radiant; and Barraged away his Ramram to Summon Zoodiac Thoroughblade.  “Chain Link 1 Thoroughblade, Chain Link 2 Ramram.”  He revived his Chakanine and dropped his next Ramram, drawing a second Pianissimo!

Kotton’s Thoroughblade was Linked to Missus Radiant, so he overlaid Thoroughblade with Zoodiac Tigermortar.  A string of Summons saw him play Chakanine into Hammerkong and Tigermortar into Drident.  He Set a Pianissimo and detached Chakanine for Hammerkong in his End Phase.



Play was to Bellido.  “Standby, Main Phase?”

“Yup.”  Kotton scratched his chin, waiting for Bellido’s moves.

Bellido Tributed off Kotton’s Zoodiac Drident for Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju, placing it in the Main Monster Zone Drident had occupied, Linked to Missus Radiant!  He activated Disciples of the True Dracophoenix, Tributing it for Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter to destroy Kotton’s Set Pianissimo.  Bellido pressed on, activating Fire Formation – Tenki to search Zoodiac Ratpier.  He Normal Summoned it to send Zoodiac Ramram to his Graveyard, overlaid Ratpier with Zoodiac Boarbow, then detached Ratpier to Special Summon another from his Deck.

He activated True Draco Heritage next, drawing a card with its effect.  Bellido considered his hand a moment before overlaying Boarbow with Zoodiac Chakanine, and detaching Boarbow to revive Ramram.  He overlaid Chakanine with Zoodiac Broadbull, detached Chakanine to search Zoodiac Whiptail, then moved to his Battle Phase.

Bellido attacked Missus Radiant with Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter, destroying it. Kotton took 600 damage, then activated Missus’s effect to take back his Zoodiac Ratpier.  In Main Phase 2 Bellido overlaid his own Zoodiac Hammerkong onto Broadbull, then overlaid that with Zoodiac Drident, and detached Hammerkong to pop Kotton’s Hammerkong with Drident’s ability.  “Go ahead.”

Kotton drew Magic Deflector.  No real help there.  He destroyed his Barrage for its effect, but Bellido Chained Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter’s effect to search his Deck for True Draco Apocalypse.  Kotton Special Summoned Zoodiac Thoroughblade, discarded Zoodiac Ramram, and drew Cosmic Cyclone.  He Normal Summoned Zoodiac Ratpier, activated its effect, and sent Zoodiac Combo from his Deck to his Graveyard.  He overlaid Ratpier with Zoodiac Hammerkong, then overlaid that with Zoodiac Broadbull.

He detached Hammerkong to search Zoodiac Whiptail with Broadbull’s effect.  He was holding Cosmic Cyclone, Pianissimo, Enemy Controller, Whiptail, and Magic Deflector.  He overlaid Broadbull with Chakanine, and Bellido detached to target Chakanine with Drident’s destruction ability.  Kotton Tributed Chakanine on the Chain for Enemy Controller and took Bellido’s Ramram!  He overlaid it with Zoodiac Tigermortar, overlaid that with his own Zoodiac Drident, and sent his Drident to attack Bellido’s Zoodiac Ratpier, destroying it.

Kotton attacked Bellido’s Drident with Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju, and Bellido responded with Zoodiac Whiptail on Drident; Kotton shuffled his hand a moment, considered, shuffled some more, and Kotton responded with Drident, targeting Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter to destroy it.  Bellido targeted Dinomight Knight with True Draco Apocalypse, and Kotton responded with Cosmic Cyclone to blow Apocalypse away!  Kumongous was banished off Whiptail’s effect, and Kotton ended his turn Setting two cards to his Spell and Trap Card Zone.

When play moved to Bellido’s Draw Phase, Kotton used Zoodiac Combo to reload his Extra Deck.  Bellido drew to three cards in hand, with a field of Fire Formation – Tenki and True Draco Heritage.  He Normal Summoned Ramram, overlaid it with another Drident, and seemed to project very little confidence as he activated Drident’s effect, detaching an Xyz Material to destroy Kotton’s Drident. Kotton fired back with his Drident, and both Dridents were destroyed.

Bellido’s expression suddenly came to life as he activated Soul Charge!  He revived Ramram, Whiptail, and both Dridents, dropping to 1300 Life Points.  He overlaid Ramram to Xyz Summon Zoodiac Broadbull, detached Ramram, and searched his Deck for Zoodiac Whiptail.  “Yeah,” acknowledged Kotton, flatly.  Bellido stuck Whiptail to Drident, detached to target his own Heritage, and then used its Graveyard effect to target Kotton’s face-down Magic Deflector, which Kotton Chained.  Time was called, and Bellido overlaid his Broadbull with Chakanine, detaching it and reviving Whiptail.

Bellido Xyz Summoned Tigermortar, attached Ramram to his Drident, tried to detach it, but was reminded he’d already activated the Drident this turn (and couldn’t detach again).  He attached Whiptail from his hand to the other Drident, then detached THAT to destroy Kotton’s Thoroughblade instead, and ended.



Turn 1 in time.  Kotton topdecked Fire Formation – Tenki and activated it. Bellido chained Whiptail, attaching it to the empty Drident.  Kotton searched a Whiptail of his own with Tenki, then Normal Summoned it.  Bellido detached his Whiptail from Drident to draw a bead on Kotton’s Whiptail, destroying it.  Kotton couldn’t do anything but Set his extra Tenki.

Turn 2 in time.  Bellido overlaid Tigermortar with Chakanine, detached Tigermortar to revive Zoodiac Whiptail, and overlaid Chakanine with another Tigermortar.  That stuck a Whiptail to Drident, and he turned his Dridents to attack mode.  The Duel stood at 6400 Life Points to 1300, with Bellido in control but trailing in LP.  He attacked with one Drident, then the next, then Whiptail to reduce Kotton to 3300 LP.  He overlaid Tigermortar with Drident in Main Phase 2.  Now he was pinning Kotton down with three Dridents!

Turn 3 in time.  Kotton drew Torrential Tribute and flipped his Set Fire Formation Tenki, drawing out one of Bellido’s three Drident effects; Tenki was destroyed on the Chain, getting Kotton nothing.  Kotton Normal Summoned Zoodiac Whiptail; Bellido fired at it with a Drident; Kotton Chained Pianissimo; and the third Drident was Chained to destroy the Whiptail!  Kotton Set that Torrential Tribute, his last card.

Bellido drew two cards with Pot of Desires by banishing ten cards. “Dead draw into two Tenkis like I did!” pleaded Kotton, laughing.  Bellido used two Dridents as Link Materials and Link Summoned Missus Radiant with three cards left in hand.  Kotton flipped Torrential Tribute to clear the field.

“Perfect,” said Bellido, flipping True Draco Heritage.  But he forgot to activate Missus’s effect, snapping the Heritage off too fast!  He Tributed off the Heritage for Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior and attacked with Ignis to drop Kotton to 900 Life Points!  Kotton drew Cosmic Cyclone next turn, the final turn in time, and had no way to finish out the Duel.

Jesse Kotton takes Dale Bellido all the way to Turn 4 in time, but it’s just not enough!  The legend takes down the new classic; a rough start to the tournament for Jesse Kotton, but a big beginning for Dale Bellido.



Dale Bellido takes a 2-0 victory in Round 1!