Home > 2023 North America World Championship Qualifier, Championships > Interview with Steven Santoli: Top Worlds Qualifying Points Finisher

Interview with Steven Santoli: Top Worlds Qualifying Points Finisher

July 8th, 2023

Fresh off his win from the most recent Remote Duel YCS two weeks ago, Steven Santoli has made Top Cut of multiple YCS events overall, and now has successfully qualified for the World Championship in Tokyo, Japan on August 5-6! After Dueling through a field of other top contenders, he was kind enough to sit down and discuss this monumental achievement and what it means to him.

How does it feel to be qualified for the 2023 World Championship?

It feels good! It’s somewhat surreal and hasn’t truly hit me yet. I’m just trying to stay focused for the Main Event.

How do you feel about the unique Forbidden & Limited List for the event?

It’s very interesting. I think it’s something I will enjoy immensely, and having a new format to perform well in will be exciting, since there will be so many lesser-known Decks to try, like my Exosister Deck, which can be solid picks.

It’s also different than previous year’s World Championships because there won’t be as much of an established “best Deck” since the restrictions on each Deck are so strong.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Honestly, I’m looking forward to practicing for the event with my group. We all have such different perspectives and ideas on how to approach the game that it will be an exciting experience.

What’s it like playing in the Main Event now, with the pressure of the World Championship qualification behind you?

I don’t think it has changed much. I’ve spent a lot of time getting mentally prepared and focusing on my gameplay, not just the results of tournaments.

Are your Decks from the Main Event and the World Qualifying Points Playoffs different? If so, why?

The Main Deck is the same, but the Side Deck is different. For the Worlds Qualifying Points Playoff, my Side Deck was more focused on a smaller number of expected matchups.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for an aspiring competitor, who wants to hit the pinnacle of competition like the World Championship?

Don’t be results oriented in your thinking, focus on getting better and playing well consistently, if you do that the results will improve. Basically, try to play well and good things will happen, all in time.

Is there anything you’d like to say before you get ready to compete in the Main Event?

I wanted to thank my playtesting group for being so helpful, and my friends for supporting me during this!

Cool, calm, and collected, Santoli is ready to get back into the action!

Extremely humble and endlessly focused, it seems that Santoli is not going to relax any more than normal knowing that he will be competing in the World Championship, and is eager to try to obtain another title, this time as the North America World Championship Qualifier champion! Good luck to him in the Main Event, and in the World Championship as well!