Home > 2024/02 TEAM YCS Las Vegas, NV > The Ultimate Duelist Series Belt Gallery!

The Ultimate Duelist Series Belt Gallery!

February 24th, 2024

Last weekend’s Undisputed UDS Championship has resparked interest in the Ultimate Duelist Series, the star-studded invite-only tournament circuit that ran from late 2015 to early 2020, right up until the start of the global pandemic. And while the Yugiverse is still coming down from the thrill of Jesse Kotton’s massive win, we’ve actually got eight more UDS winners in attendance here this weekend, carrying their UDS Championship belts into competition.

All UDS winners who keep and present their belt at a YCS are granted VIP status, a perk that includes priority seating and a 2-Round bye – automatic wins for Round 1 and Round 2. That means the Duelists who brought their belts today are just entering the tournament now, here in Round 3; a sizable advantage that lets them hit the ground running.

So which Ultimate Duelists are here at TEAM YCS Las Vegas? Let’s find out, belt by belt!

First up, Ryan Murakami is here, whose UDS legacy extends all the way back to the beginning: Murakami won UDS Los Angeles in 2016, the second UDS ever. He piloted Kozmo to take the title, claiming one of the original Millennium Item belts to commemorate his achievement!

But Murakami’s Millennium Item belt isn’t the only one in the room today! Juan Sebastian Andrade won UDS Guayaquil just a few weeks later, also in 2016… and also playing Kozmo. Andrade would go on to win YCS Buenos Aires in 2017, and the Ecuadorian National Championship in 2018; his second time winning Ecuador’s Nationals! Last weekend he fell just short in the finals of the Undisputed UDS, but now he’s back looking for more title gold.

Aaron Furman  won his Blue-Eyes White Dragon Belt at UDS Chicago in 2016, playing Metalfoes. He won YCS Pittsburgh in 2017, competed at the World Championship that year, and has topped countless events while balancing his duties as a commentator on numerous YCS livestreams!

Alejandro “Burger” Garcia is also carrying a Blue-Eyes White Dragon Belt here today, which he won with Zoodiac at UDS Lima in 2017. He’d proceed to go back-to-back, winning another UDS title with SPYRAL at UDS Chaguanas in Trinidad and Tobago in the same year. Garcia won YCS San Jose in 2016 – a solo event that year – and took the Mexican National Championship in 2016 as well. He competed at Worlds in 2017 and 2018, and just last year he topped YCS tournaments in Cancun and Mexico City. With 34 major Top Cut appearances in his Dueling career, Garcia’s looking to make it an even 35 here in Vegas.

Jeff Jones won UDS Kissimmee in 2017 to lay claim to his Exodia the Forbidden One belt, a feat he achieved with Pendulum Magicians! Widely recognized as one of the most creative Duelists in Yu-Gi-Oh history, he’s not just a UDS winner: he’s also a two-time YCS Champion, in the hunt for a third title this weekend.

Tyler Pfeifer’s one of the lesser known names on this list, but he carries one of the most impressive pieces of apparel: The Seal of Orichalcos belt! Pfeifer won it in this very city in 2019, at UDS Las Vegas, where he swept his way to 1st Place with Sky Strikers. Now he’s back, and he could prove to be a huge wildcard here in Sin City.

Shunping Xu is an expert deck builder who won his Elemental HERO Neos belt at UDS Tulsa in 2020. He achieved that feat piloting Dragon Link, and while it’s a widely played strategy that’s topped numerous events in countless hands, there’s no Duelist more synonymous with the strategy than Xu. He won his first Championship at YCS Pasadena in 2018, and he made Top 16 at the last TEAM YCS Las Vegas last year. This time around he could go all the way.

Oscar Alexis Vargas Martinez won his Elemental HERO Neos Belt at UDS Bogota in 2020, the final Ultimate Duelist Series tournament before the program went dormant in 2020. He won his belt with Danger! Lunalight, and went on to win the Remote Duel YCS for Central America in 2021. Like many of these competitors, he’s now got his eyes on a second piece of title gold.

But of course, there’s one more Ultimate Duelist here at YCS Las Vegas: one that upgraded his belt to a ring! Jesse Kotton, the Undisputed UDS Champion is here too, teaming with UDS Champion Aaron Furman and YCS winner Esala Wathuthantrige. With a total of nine Ultimate Duelists in the tournament, this is one of the biggest showings of UDS winners we’ve seen at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series so far.

Good luck today to all of our Ultimate Duelists!