It all comes down to this! Burning Abyss versus Nekroz in the Finals of the format’s first Championship! Marcus Carisse is piloting Nekroz. Gabriel Orosan-Weine is playing Burning Abyss. Which theme would reign supreme? We were about to find out!
Yesterday morning 687 Duelists were in contention at the beginning of Day 1, here at YCS Toronto. Now the field has been winnowed away, and only four competitors remain. Jesse Kotton is a local Torontonian Duelist, while Gabriel Orosan-Weine hails from Ann Arbour Michigan. Both are piloting Burning Abyss this weekend. Weine won the roll and opted to play second.
Jesse Kotton is a Toronto native, and so far he’s only played eight Matches in this tournament. “I was VIP, and I was undefeated in the Swiss Rounds, so I just didn’t play Rounds 9 and 10.” Yes, if you win your V.I.P. Qualifier you too can win your way into the Top 32 of a YCS on just six wins instead of ten. Kotton’s made multiple Top Cut showings over the past year with Burning Abyss, and now he’s back piloting the same strategy.
Here in the Top 16 we’re about to see Chicago’s Uzoukwu Onwunmelu take on Atlanta’s Desmond Johnson! Both competitors are widely recognizable, and both would love to add a YCS title to their lists of accomplishments.
Dale Bellido is 7-1-1 here in Round 10, one win away from his first Top 32 in two years. “To be fair, my last events were last year, and two years ago.”
“When did you start playing again?” asked his opponent, Bradly McLean, also holding a 7-1-1 record. McLean was aware that Bellido was largely retired, only coming back to once a year to compete at YCS Toronto.
“I got back into the game last Thursday,” laughed Bellido. Eight days of testing – apparently enough for Dale Bellido to come within striking distance of the Top 32. A win here would lock the victor in for a seat in the Top Cut, while the loser could be left hoping for strong tiebreakers.
Manav Dawar travelled all the way from Seattle Washington to compete in this weekend’s YCS, while Andrij Rybsky-Shaw is a local, hailing from nearby Mississauga. While Dawar is running a conventional Nekroz deck – no Performages – Shaw is playing Kozmo. These competitors are both 6-2 here in Round 9, so two more wins would clinch a seat in the Top 32. Sitting on the bubble, this Match was crucial for both Duelists. Andrij chose to go second.
David Bui and Eric Dalton are two hugely familiar faces here in Toronto. Bui hails from Peterborough up north, and Dalton made the short trip in from Oshawa, a nearby suburb. Both have been competing in the Toronto scene for years, locally respected but still seeking that international breakthrough performance. With live records here in the last Round of Day 1, still in the hunt for the Top 32, this could be a defining weekend for the winner of this Match.
Dale Bellido is one of the greatest Canadian Duelists of all time! A former YCS winner he has seventeen career tops in YCS and WCQ competitions, spanning 2005 to 2010. Largely retired at that point, he returned to top YCS Toronto in 2011 and 2013, and now that YCS action’s returned to his home town once again, Bellido’s back in the hunt after a long while off.
With Clash of Rebellions and the new Advanced Format both shaking up competitive norms, we’ve seen a lot of big innovations here at YCS Toronto – new choices and techniques that are twisting well-acknowledged match-ups in different directions. Here are some of the standouts we’ve seen so far today, both on and off the Feature Match table.
YCS Toronto marks the debut of a brand new Championship Prize Card – Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn. We’ll have more info on that later, but Minerva’s not the only new prize on offer this weekend. Six game mats are on offer in different kinds of tournaments here at the YCS, including the new Top Cut mat featuring Minerva herself, so this is a great time to give you a sneak peek!