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North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship 2022 First-Timers!

July 16th, 2022

This weekend’s North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship is packed with skilled and experienced competitors who have competed in many invitation-only events in the past, including World Championship Qualifiers. But some of the Duelists competing this weekend were proud to use their hard-earned invitation to register for an event for the very first time! Check out some of the first-timers competing in this year’s North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship!

Henry Garis from Buffalo, New York just qualified for the North America Championship three weeks ago at a Regional Qualifier in Waterloo, Canada, and now he’s here in Chicago competing for a trophy! “I think it’s great. I’ve never been to such a big venue before. There’s a lot of stuff to do and a lot of vendors,” he said. Henry used a Branded Predaplant Deck to qualify for this event, and is looking to repeat his success with the same Deck this weekend. Henry’s favorite card in his Deck is Fallen of Albaz. “He’s the main monster representing the Deck,” Henry explained.

Henry Garis

Dilan Flores from Los Angeles, California earned his invitation to this prestigious event at the San Diego Regional Qualifier about two months ago using his Adventure Tenyi Deck, and is now competing in this weekend’s Territorial Championship. This time, he’s bringing Swordsoul Tenyi into the fray. “I really like the environment here. There are so many people and lots of streamers, vendors, and players. I also really like how organized it is,” he said. “I’m super excited. It was my first time ever on a plane, and first time staying in a hotel.” Dilan’s favorite card is his Swordsoul Grandmaster – Chixiao because of how strong it is in his Deck. “It does everything,” he said. “It negates cards and it searches the Deck. It gets the Deck running.”

Dilan Flores

Harsha Vankayalapati is a local Chicago Duelist who earned his invitation through a Remote Duel Regional using a Branded Despia Deck about three weeks ago. Now he’s in his home city ready to compete for a trophy using that same strategy. “I’ve never been a tournament this big,” he said.
“It’s really great. There are so many different things you can do, and it’s super interesting.” His favorite card in his Deck is Branded Fusion. “I just always like when I see this card. It makes me feel like I’m going to win.”

Harsha Vankayalapati

Justin Baeza from Odessa, Texas earned his invitation by making it to the Top 16 in a Regional Qualifier in Houston, Texas a few months ago using an Adventure Prank-Kids Deck. Now he’s here at the North America Territorial Championship with a Branded Despia Deck. “This is my first National tournament ever! It’s an experience of a lifetime. I drove all the way from Texas – 17 hours – to be here. You don’t see tournaments like this everyday!” Justin’s favorite card from his Deck is Fallen of Albaz. “It can interrupt a lot of stuff in the meta right now,” he explained.

Justin Baeza

Noah Yahney from Bellmore, New York earned his invitation to this weekend’s tournament by making it into the Top 32 at the recent YCS Hartford in May. He used his Branded Eldlich Deck in Hartford, and now he’s back with the same strategy looking to repeat his success. “It’s way bigger than I expected here. I like that there are so many events going on, and it’s great to see so many people from all over the country. It’s great what Konami put together, from the Giant Cards to the Token machines. And I’m super excited for the voice actors, and can’t wait to get my Destiny HERO – Plasma signed,” he said. Noah’s favorite card in his Deck is Aluber the Jester of Despia because it helps him pile Attack Points onto the field so that he can win.

All of the competitors competing in the North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship 2022 are talented Duelists who used luck and skill to earn their spot in this weekend’s tournament. Some of these Duelists have competed in official invitation-only events many times in the past, while others are here experiencing a tournament with this level of prestige for the very first time. Follow the coverage to see how this weekend’s first-timers fare in the Championship!