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The Ultimate Duelist Series Belt Gallery!

July 17th, 2022

Remember the Ultimate Duelist Series? An elite tournament series full of star Duelists and veteran competitors, it was open only to players who qualified. To get your invite you had to earn UDS Points in Tier 2 events like Regional Qualifiers, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, and special UDS Qualifier tournaments.  

The Ultimate Duelist Series was unique, not just because they were smaller tournaments with fierce competition, but because they offered a range of exclusive prizes that were often very different from other tournaments. Extremely rare enamel pins were offered in often tiny quantities to commemorate events, and to celebrate specific tournament finishes. Special lanyards were made to let Duelists display their pins. 

UDS tournaments were the only place you could win official cloth-feel Game Mats, too, featuring fan-favorite characters like Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Exodia the Forbidden One, and Elemental HERO Stratos. Some of the mats even had special features like glow in the dark ink!

UDS Titles on display at the 2022 North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship

But by far, the coolest prize on offer at UDS events were the Ultimate Duelist Series Championship Belts. Any competitor who managed to defeat all comers and capture a 1st Place finish was awarded a pro-wrestling style title belt, custom made for the UDS. The belts were made with real leather straps, chunky metal plates, and intricate engraving and colorization. They looked absolutely spectacular and winning one was a big deal.

And bestr of all? Carrying your belt that you won, to a big event like a Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, or say, the 2022 North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship, gets you VIP status. An Ultimate Duelist is entitled to special seating, priority event coverage, and the incredible perk of two byes to begin the day! Ultimate Duelists get to sleep in and auto-win their first two Rounds, avoiding what can often be some of the most unpredictable matches of Day 1 at any major tournament.

This weekend we had five Ultimate Duelists in competition, and while they competed in Day 1, their UDS Championship Belts were on display at the main stage. Here are all the straps that we saw this weekend!

Ryan Murakami’s Millennium Item Belt

You know all about the Millennium Items, but check out this sweet Millennium Belt! This title was awarded at the second Ultimate Duelist Series tournament, held in Los Angeles in February of 2016! Ryan Murakami won this thing with Kozmos, and it still stands the test of time as one of the best belts the UDS program ever released.

Jeff Jones’s Exodia Belt

Jeff Jones won this Exodia-themed belt at the 8th Ultimate Duelist Series, held in Kissimmee, Florida in September of 2017. Pendulum Magicians landed him this absolute classic; the belt’s got a chocolate brown strap that lets the gold, Exodia-shaped faceplate stand out, and really makes the purple accents pop. 

Cameron Neal’s Orichalcos Belt

Cameron Neal won the 12th Ultimate Duelist Series in Kansas City, in August of 2018, piloting Sky Striker Gouki. One of the most distinct UDS titles of all time, this Seal of Orichalcos design had a super-clean circular face plate, black metal hardware, a black strap, and green UV-responsive accenting that glows a sick neon under blacklight. This thing was rad. 

David Flores’s Elemental HERO Neos Belt

This belt was inspired by Elemental HERO Neos, with metal plates accented to evoke Neos’s monster design, and a red leather strap hinting at the Slifer Dorm of Duel Academy! David Flores won this title at the 16th Ultimate Duelist Series in Indianapolis in 2019, where he claimed victory with Thunder Dragons. 

Jesse Kotton’s Elemental HERO Neos Belt

Two months later in Panama City, Canadian Jess Kotton won the next Neos belt at the 17th Ultimate Duelist Series! Kotton played Danger Lunalight Orcust to capture his title, one of the many Championship victories in his illustrious Dueling career.

The Ultimate Duelist Series ran for 19 events before it was retired, but UDS winners continue to carry their belts to big events all across the globe; a reminder of an exhilarating era of competition. For now this chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! history is over, but the legacy of the Ultimate Duelist Series lives on!