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.
After a long two days of many grueling Rounds YCS Toronto had been reduced to just four competitors out of 687. Two of those are Chase Cunningham and Marcus Carisse. Both of these Duelists are just two Matches away from winning this Championship. Chase Cunningham is running Burning Abyss, the same strategy that took him to the Finals of the NA WCQ this past summer. Marcus Carisse is playing Nekroz, one of the dominant forces over the past few months. The stakes are high, and both Duelists silently prepared their Decks for the Match ahead of them. Carisse won the die roll and opted to go 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.
We’re here in the Top 8 of YCS Toronto with Chris LeBlanc and Gabriel Orosan-Weine. LeBlanc is looking to get his third YCS win this weekend, packing a powerful Performage Nekroz Deck. Orosan-Weine came here with his Burning Abyss Deck and is looking to take LeBlanc out of the tournament. Orosan-Weine won the die roll and went second.
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.
Joe Bogli faces David Bui in the Top Cut, who will move on to the Top 16?
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.
Neither of these competitors are new to the Feature Match table. Jeff Jones brought his Performage Shaddoll Deck and he’s dueling against Thomas Morran with his Nekroz Deck. Both of these Duelists are highly skilled, and the winner of this Match will likely make the Top 32. This is a popular matchup we’re sure to see throughout the Top 32 Single Elimination Rounds and I can’t wait to get started!