Vorab: Ich habe mich bei diesem Artikel dafür entschieden, die Interviews NICHT ins deutsche zu übersetzen, da ich die Antworten authenthisch haben möchte und hier sowieso locker der 1200-Wörter-Rahmen gesprengt wird.
Ich habe 4 Personen aus 4 Ländern Europas [Irland, England, Spanien und Polen] zum „Organized Play“ ihres Landes befragt – das Ergebnis könnt ihr hier in englischer Sprache nachlesen (einzig Richard aus Polen antwortete mir in deutsch, aber das wird für euch sicher keine Hürde darstellen, da bin ich mir sicher!) :
- PJ Tierney – Irland
- Mike Knight – England
- Ismael Fernando – Spain
- Richard Borzymowski – Polen
Martin: Hi there, thx for taking your time. Can you tell our readers your name and where you are from?
PJ: Hi there, I’m PJ Tierney, a Duelist from Limerick in Ireland.
Mike: My name is Mike Knight, i’m from a little town called Ramsey.
Ismael: My name is Ismael. I’m 21 years old, and I’m from Zaragoza, in Spain.
Richard: Hallo, Martin. Ich heiße Richard Borzymowski, in München geboren, lebend in Warschau.
Martin: I see. So, where exactly is that in your country?
PJ: Limerick’s in the south-west of the country, about 150-200 miles west of Dublin, the capital.
Mike: About 20 miles away from the city of Cambridge.
Ismael: Zaragoza is situated in the North-East of Spain, between Madrid and Barcelona.
Richard: Nunja, es ist die Hauptstadt. Liegt ziemlich Central. Etwas weiter östlich. Etwas.
Martin: What can you tell us about the organized play in your country?
Who is your distributor? How do they do their job?
PJ: The OP distributor for the UK and Ireland (Ireland is tied in with the UK because it isn’t big enough to have its own OP distributor) is Gamerz Events Ltd. Duelists learn of new events through the UK page on yugioh-card.com as well as the occasional forum posts by Gamers representatives. Tournament Organisers are also in direct contact with Gamerz through email.
Mike: Our organised play is done through Gamerz events, i personally think they do a great job, but more events could be organised with better publicity.
Ismael: Well, according to the organized play in Spain, I’m sorry but it leaves a lot to be desired. The OP in Spain is mininum. Just the shop’s tournaments in every city each weekend. We only have here the Regionals, between April and May, and the National.
Our distributor is Devir, and about their job, well, I can’t talk about their work to the shops, because I don’t have a shop, but I can say that always playmats arrive late. For example, the last Storm of Ragnarok Playmat arrive our shop with 3 weeks delayed.
But on the other hand, they do and prepare all the regionals, and last year, 2010, they chose a very good hotel in Madrid to play the National. We do a very few things, but the only things we do, are good organized.
Richard: Unser Organised Play hatte ne lange Pause nach dem Epic Konami und UDE Battle. Seit nun.. November? Ja ich denke schon das es November war.. Seit November also haben wir nun wieder eine Firma die für uns zuständig ist. Bis jetzt macht sie ihren Job seriös und geht auch auf die Vorschläge der Community ein. Wen die Nationals jetzt auch noch gut werden bin ich zufrieden.
Martin: Thanks to our distributor in Germany, „Amigo“ we have several support, especially for the national championship of Germany. They do provide us the „State Championships Series „ which supports our national cs. So what about your country? I’m curious to know.
PJ: I actually got to work with Amigo for Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Bochum (I was one of Konami’s writers on the coverage team, along with „Soulwarrior“, who you may know!) and they were a great bunch of guys, I was really impressed by their professionalism. Anyways, back to the question at hand; The YGO scene in Ireland is mainly local, but Gamerz also provide some other Tournament Series on behalf of Konami.
At the end of 2010 we had the Autumn/Winter League, which is similar to the Hobby Leagues that Upper Deck used to run, and for the 2011 pre-Nationals season we have the „Battle of the Kingdoms“. This series consists of 8 qualifiers, one for each major region in the UK and Ireland (London, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland etc.). The top 8 of these then play off in a special invitational event which is similar to a Fortune Tour Finals. Also, the qualifiers from each region represent a team at this final, and their combined scores at the event are compared to the other teams for a team trophy/prizes.
Finally, for Nationals in 2010 the UK and Ireland were combined, with the qualifiers taking place as normal and the finals being held in London. We don’t know what the plan is for 2011 yet but I expect it to be the same.
Mike: Gamerz events are currently holding a „battle of the kingdoms“ event which uses a medival mapping system to seperate the UK into seperate „kingdoms“. Each kingdom holds one tournament where the winners go to a final where they represente the kingdom in which they qualifed to determine a the best kingdom. This has proved so far to be a great sucess as it gives those duelists who like to play at a top level many oppertunities to practise for Nationals.
Ismael: Our distributor sometimes give some playmats to prizes in Ira de los Dioses, a famous regional in Spain, that is celebrated all years in March. This year, it will be this weekend, on 26th March, and around 180-200 duelists will go to Alicante, to play Ira de los Dioses.
Apart from the Ira de los Dioses, Devir only send the booster boxes from the new collection and the playmats. I don’t know anything about Turbo Pack 4 or something like that. That’s shop’s duties.
Richard: Ich weiß noch nichts über so etwas. Das Einzige, was mir schon „Backstage“ gesagt wurde, ist, dass es ein Paar EM Quali Turniere geben soll. Nationals sind ja offen. Ich hatte sie zwar lieber geschlossen aber da bei uns ja wenig spielen ist es so besser.
Martin: That sounds great.. Richard, i feel sorry for your situation.
Nevertheless, there are always more events than the nationals.
How is the OP the rest of the year going?
PJ: From now until Nationals it’s mainly local tournaments; the BotK qualifier for Ireland was in February, and we’re just waiting on an announcement on where/when the finals will be. Once Nationals is done Gamers will likely announce what’s happeneing for the rest of the year, though Konami’s recent announcement about year-round Regionals in Europe will help spice things up a little.
Mike: Besides the rest of the battle of the kingdom qualifiers and final, nationals/euros/worlds and YCS, i personally think that between euros/worlds and YCS, there is not enough smaller events between summer and winter. After all, not all players will be able to afford to go to YCS’s etc so smaller more local events would be desirable.
Ismael: As I said in the previous question: Bad. We do only the shop’s tournaments in every shop in Spain. And 26th March 2011, we have the only huge tournament in Spain, playing around 180-200 duelists in Alicante. I will record some videos and I have some of them from the previous years in my YouTube Account. Last year, the tournament was recorded and uploaded to the Internet On-Live, you everybody can know On-Live what was happend in the tournament.
Richard: Kann ich schlecht sagen da wir ja erst seit November “Back in business” sind. Turniere gibt’s immer welche, und man merkt auch, dass an ihnen immer mehr neue Gesichter auftauchen. Auch im Internet spürt man das. Threads „Wieso Spielt niemand BEWD?“ werden immer häufiger. Versteht mich nicht falsch! Diese Thread zeigen das es Junge Leute interessiert. Und von denen lebt YGO.
Martin: Another Question: Private tournament organisators do organize several tournaments in Germany,(I know that sounds stupid, can’t help it…) like the „Herz der Karten“ Tournament, which took place at the start of the year in Berlin. So do you also have those guys around, organizing great private events?
PJ: Yeah, every year or so Dublin’s Tournament Organiser hosts „The Yu-Gi-Oh! Irish Open“ (google it) which is held in the capital. This year we had 70 players, with about 15 of those travelling from the UK and Holland to attend. There’s also a TO in the UK who does the same thing, with the UkayPro Chjampionship being held in a few weeks‘ time. Finally, there’s the usual bunch of conventions around the country during the year and local TOs usually put on YGO events at these.
Mike: Following on from my previous answer, although we do have some OP throught the year, alot of private tournament organisers to put on events, such as „win an electronic device“ such as an ipod or xbox. These events are very popular and create a competitve scene which keeps alot of players happy. Also the largest UK based forum UKAYPRO.co.uk are holding the 3rd UKAPRO Championship in April this year in the city of Sheffield which from previous UKAYPRO Championships is looking to bring in over 200 players from all over Europe which will provide valuable testing ahead of Nationals. Overall, alot of private large tournaments are great sucesses (UKAYPRO Championship), and some can, unfortunalty, have dissapointing turnouts (i.e. The Irish Open 2011). Yet alot of these big tournaments are based in the mid/northern area of England and i feel this is killing what player base there is, in the southern parts of England, which i hope gets a great improvement one day.
Ismael: No, we don’t have none of private events here. What’s a private event? *ironically*. Seriously, we only have the Ira de los Dioses and it’s like a Regional, the top 32 more or less will be classified to Spanish European 2011. That’s all.
Richard: Wir hatten mal ne Turnier Serie die dann durch den Krach Ude vs. Konami eingebrochen ist. Eigentlich weiß ich gar nicht wieso aber naja.
Martin: I see, well thank you.
I have some other questions which I’d like to ask, like.
What do you and your people think about the new banned list. And what is your metagame like?
PJ: My local meta (in Limerick) is mainly casual decks since the kid/late teen split is about 50/50. I usually tend to run „Tier 1“ decks like Plants/Sabers while a few others try to do the same. As people don’t spend much money on cards in Ireland you usually see cheaper decks like Machina and Blackwings showing up, though the recent hit on kalut might make this lean more towards Machina. As for the list I personally like any change in the game as it prevents things from getting boring, but a few people have expressed concern about Book of Moon being at 1, Goyo being banned and Chaos Sorcerer going to 3.
Mike: I love this ban list! And i feel alot of people agree it is a very good list. It has evened out the meta with no real deck currently standing out due to restriction of cards such as Book of Moon & Gateway of the Six, and the banning of Cold Wave & Goyo Guardian. At the time of writing this it is still early March and people are still adjusting to the new ban list, yet alot of X-Sabers, Gladiator Beasts, Lightsworns & Six Samuria are popular choices, and people are currently testing different varieties of Chaos decks, Karakuri/plants, blackwings, and Dragunity’s due to the very recent release of the Dragunity Legion structure deck. By the time UKAYPRO 3 Championship, Battle of the Kingdom’s Final & Nationals come around i’m expecting a rather unique meta to be formed. This is due to USA getting T.G. Hyper Librarian and Elemental Hero The Shining via the Shonen Jump magazine over the coming weeks, and the illegality of these over in Europe will see an independant and unique meta i hope.
Ismael: Well. I like this new banlist. Because it lets to duelists to play a lot of decks: X-Sabers, Dracunity, Six Samurai, Formula Monarch, Machines, Junk Doppel Synchro, Plants Synchro, Gravekeeper, etc… Only I’m a bit sad about the Book of Moon’s limitation and Cold Wave banned. Now every deck has to play 2 Mystical Space Typhoon because only a Giant Trunade is not enough to break the S/T and some decks now are playing Enemy Controller to stop attacks and something like that. And one more thing, I think that Blackwing is finished. Only 1 kalut now? Bye Bye. I think that Dracunity Deck are the new Blackwing Deck. They are so quick! In 1 turn, Stardust Dragon to the field! Awesome!
Richard: “Meine Leute” sind.. zweigeteilt. Die einen Heulen rum das Samurai/GK/Saber immer noch mit dabei sind, andere Heulen rum das Gladi nun T1 wird (hat jemand gemerkt das nach JEDER Liste Gladi als t1 eingestuft wird?) oder das Monster Reborn geblieben ist. Meine Meinung existiert noch nicht. Obwohl ich so langsam sagen kann das man das fehlen von Book ständig merkt anhand vom Crap den die Leute in ihre Decks packen um die beiden BoM zu rekompensieren.
Das Metagame ist soweit ich sagen kann gleich wie sonst wo. Mit dem Unterschied das es bei uns viel viel weniger „Teure Decks“ gibt. Und es muss gesagt werden das es überdurchschnittlich viele DD (Different Dimension) Decks gibt wegen einem Spieler des es erfunden hat. Dies ist aber eine längere Geschichte.
Martin: How much stores do you have in the whole country and how often are tournaments available?
PJ: As far as I’m aware there’s local tournaments in Limerick, Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Bangor and Belfast, which makes 6 stores, and Duelists in Cork try to get together for events as well despite having no store support down there. Most of these events are weekly or fortnightly with entry fees of between €5 and €10
Mike: There are numerous stores based around the UK, mainly in the cities, there are very few places that do not have access to a store. Tournments are mainly every week, with some larger events being held monthly. Alot of hobby shops also hold unoffical tournaments during the rest of the week to provide a relexed playing atmosphere and a great deck testing/trading oppertunity.
Ismael: Stores? About 60 more or less in Spain, including the Canary Islands and Baleares Islands. I suppose they do tournament’s every weekend, because the purpose of the shops are earning money, isn’t it? xDD But this tournaments aren’t special, just normal tournaments with the friends or with the people of the same city is not funny, you always know what they are playing or their strategies.
Richard: Turniere ca. 1 pro 2 Wochen. In jeder Gegend halt. Treffen gibts, Duelist League.. Wie viele Shops? Keine Ahnung, sorry.
Martin: Are there cities, towns or areas in your country, where a great amount of players is concentrated? How much players does your country have, counting the ones in stores and tournaments?
PJ: In the past there used to be, but nowadays there’s an even spread. Most venues get 15-20 players, with I’d say a total ot 70 consistent players around the country at events, and about 100-150 overall.
Mike: The main player base is in the midlands/north area of England, mainly in the areas around Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle. As for player numbers, it is defienetly around the 1000 player mark, this is taking into account kids who buy the odd pack to play with friends, all the way upto people who travel up and down the country and Europe to prove themselves as the best of the best.
Ismael: Sure it is! Madrid and Barcelona are the biggest cities with more duelists concentrated. Valencia is the third I think, more or less. I can’t count how many duelists are there, because you can imagine that there are the pro duelists as always, new duelists, and the random children. Impossible to know. But the biggest, without doubt, is Madrid. We do always National in Madrid, except 2008, that were in Barcelona, with less people.
Richard: Warschau, Danzig, und Umgebungen von Breslau (die Turniere finden in Brzeg stat) sind immer gut besucht. Wie viele Spieler kann ich nicht sagen.
Martin: What is the image of Yu-Gi-Oh! in your country and how do the players handle that?
PJ: It largely depends on how old you are, if you’re in high school you tend to hide the fact that you play YGO but as you grow older you’re not so worried about these things. I know many people who go to university and don’t hide the fact they play YGO at all, which is a good thing.
Mike: The game i think is seen by those who do not play/understand it as a pointless money wasting thing, a very narrow minded veiw in my opinion. Due to this alot of players keep their interest in the game away from people who do not play as they are embarresed about it, especially the older players. Yet some players openly embrace their love and passion for the game, which i would like to see more of, as it can only be good for the game and hopefully get more people interested in it.
Ismael: Some people think that Yu-Gi-Oh! is a bussiness and they forget the friendship. I think this is a game, of course, and if you can earn some euros with that, it’s ok. But you shouldn’t forget that this is a game, and that’s for having fun with friends. I don’t understand some people that say: „If there are not cards between us, you are not my friend“. I mean, he want to cheat the another boy for the prices of the cards. If you haven’t got expensive to cheat, I don’t want to talk with you. Some people believes that. I’m sorry for them.
Richard: Ich mache kein Geheimnis draus und die meisten auch nicht. Magic, WoW, und Warhammer Battle, LotR etc, werden auch sehr sehr oft gespielt und deswegen macht es beispielsweise dem schönen Geschlecht keinen Unterschied ob man nun auf Rache in Mirrodin aus ist, Ulthan zerstören will oder aus einer Blumenzwiebel und einem grinsendem Flaum einen Rennwagen zusammenschraubt.
Martin: A last question, will you and your people go, visit Paris, the city of love, for the YCS?
How many of your people will go over there? What do you think?
PJ: I’m hoping to work with Konami again on coverage for the YCS as I really enjoyed working with them in Bochum and Milan. if that doesn’t happen I’ll try my best to head there to play anyways, though flights are expensive from Ireland (about €200). I expect Paris to break 1000 players, as for many it’s the only big event they’ve got before Nationals.
Mike: I’m actually going to be on the Judge team for the event! (I have previously judged sevreal large events), which although playing at such a big event would be an experience, I much more prefer judging, I just wish some players would be more respecting to judges at times! As for the UK player base, I really am hoping for a big turnout seeing as the tournament is the Easter holidays, which at the same time could put off people going due to the high price. Overall though, I cannot wait for this event and hoping for the biggest turnout yet to a YCS.
Ismael: Well. I will go to YCS Paris, because Konami has chosen me as a Judge again for another YCS. (I judged in YCS Bochum Germany too and European Championship Birmingham 2010). But I don’t think a lot of Spanish people will go, because the trip is very very expensive. I only have spent 200 € with the flight. No, I don’t think a lot of Spanish go. Very very few. 5? 10? No more I think. Because you have to remind that in June we have the National (this year is Open!!!) and the Spanish European Championship in July, and people is saving a lot of money for that 2 tournaments. That’s because I think not a lot of Spanish people won’t go to Paris. I’m sorry about that.
Richard: Ich persönlich gehe nicht, da ich verhindert bin. Ein paar Leute planen was aber Paris ist ziemlich weit von Polen entfernt. Eine zehnköpfige Truppe war in Bochum und wir würden uns über jegliche YCS’s in Deutschland freuen!
Martin: Thanks for your help, I wish you good luck and a nice weekend.
PJ: Thanks for chatting! If you like you can take a look at my blog, The Irish Duelist (google it) to read up more on the game in Ireland and in general.
Mike: It’s been a pleasure, i wish you and your readers a nice weekend and hope to see you and plently more in Paris!
Ismael: Thank you very much for the inverview. And don’t hesitate, I will have a very very nice weekend. I have to fly to Alicante to play Ira de los Dioses tournament xDD. It’s a casuality. And if you let me, I will write my YouTube Account here. I’m sponsored by one Spanish On-Line Shops, and I record videos about advertising their products. On the other hand, I have a lot of videos from my trips (Nationals, European, YCS Bochum, YCS Milan…) and reports from Meta Decks in Spanish, that won a tournament. That’s all in Spanish for now, but in a future, I’m thinking about recording some videos in English. Perhaps, who knows? xD Thanks a lot for reading me and take care of yourselves.
Richard: Danke auch, ich hoffe ich konnte ein paar interessante Eindrücke in die polnische Szene gewähren. Cya!