27 February 2013

YCS Bochum - The Experience of a first YCS

(warning - long text, don't mind if you go tl,dr)

Day 1 - Friday

I left on Friday morning with my friend (Carl) for Bochum. After a smooth trip we ended up at the hotel in Dortmund (Ibis Budget Hotel Dortmund West). Since neither of us have a credit card, we waited until the reception opened, so we could pay with cash. To kill some time, we took a trip in the local area and we looked around for some nice restaurants to eat and visited the German Lidl and Aldi store.

When we drove back, we passed the well-camouflaged hotel (seriously, it was hidden behind a car-wash) and drove 15 minutes in the wrong direction (lol, fail). In the end, we got back to the hotel, checked in (and paid) for everybody in our group and went off to the event place in Bochum.

At the event place, Carl started looking around for a third Fire Fist - Bear, so he could play Fire Fists instead of his usual deck (Geargia). While he was busy trying to get a good price for the bear (read as: preventing to get ripped off), I registered with my Prophecy deck and received both a YCS token and a chip to get 5 boosters the next day.

After acquiring his third Bear, Carl made his decklist and we did a LOT of trades with the people present. My Diamond Dire Wolf, my Ultra Book of Moon, Ultra Mind Crush and my Abyssgaios were the most frequently requested cards and were gone in a matter of minutes. In return, I received another Lightning Chidori, and Abyss Dweller, a Grandsoil and Moulinglacia, etc. I think I got nearly everything from my wants list this weekend (truly amazing).

When the event closed for the day, we went back to the hotel, only to run into more Yu-Gi-Oh players (the hotel was filled with them). We played and traded some more, until our Belgian friends arrived (somewhere between 10 and 11). Due to some communication error, one of them ended up at the wrong number in the street (*facepalm*), while the other arrived at the wrong hotel (okay, I admit, it’s quite confusing if 3 different hotels are named “Ibis Hotel Dortmund West”). But in the end, they arrived at the correct place. They all paid back the correct price for the hotel (went better than expected) and I told them the hours of registering for the main event (8-10 o’clock). Then we went to our rooms (I could say we went to bed, but honestly, we joked around in the hallway for another while).

Day 2- Saturday (Event day 1)

We got up, got dressed and went to the event place. It took some time before the first round started, so I got myself a coffee and a sandwich with cheese (and plastic for some reason, eew) and we met up with some of the other Belgian players.

After the big line was gone at the booster stand, we tried to get our packs, only to hear that the English ones were already gone. German Cosmo Blazer it is, then (meh). Got me a German Heart-Earth, but nothing else noteworthy.

Around 11 the competition started (an hour late) with the notion that there were 1439 players (later edited to 1455), making it the biggest European event ever held (cool).

Unless otherwise requested, I'll spare you the details of the matches

Round 1: Opponent was a German dude with an Evol deck. Result was OXO (win). Deck was well built and I beat him in time (Spellbook Magician poke FTW).

Round 2: Opponent was an American with a Fire Fist deck. Really cool guy, but he didn't like Prophecies. Thank god I already played a lot against Fire Fists. I knew how to tackle them and won OO.

Round 3: Opponent was a Swiss with a Merlantean deck. I fought at my best, but he had outs to my side-deck. Result: XOX.

Round 4: Opponent was a French rulesharking douchebag named L. Lancelot. I admit, I made an error in the first game, but the way he handled it, made me seriously dislike the guy. At the end of my first turn, he instantly called the judge, trying to give me a game loss, without telling me what I did wrong. When he explained the judge what I did wrong (Activated Spellbook of the master without controlling a Spellcaster), I realized my mistake and told the judge I deserved a warning for my error. The judge told us to roll back (easy) and gave me a minor warning. You had to see the disappointed look on my opponents face. I instantly hated him. I tried to beat him, but due to my error, it was hard for me to come back (a common thing for Prophecy decks) and in the second game, my opening hand was so horrible, I couldn't do a thing. Result: XX.

I told Carl (who got a second loss as well) and we both were pissed. He lost to prophecies... because the opponent constantly used Spellbook of the Master/Fate without controlling spellcasters (he didn't knew that requirement). He also told me, Mr. Ruleshark should've received a warning, because he allowed the activation of a card and only called a judge afterwards. Wish I knew that in advance. I was kind of disgusted at this point, but tried to give it one more shot (though I kind of wanted to drop to the side-events).

Round 5: Another German. Cool guy who was in the same situation as me (kind of wanting to drop). we played our best, but when the match got into time, we resulted into topdecking. I couldn't draw a monster and he did, taking the necessary life to get his win. Result: XOX

3 Losses. The point where I drop. Went to the front desk and I let my name get scratched. I looked around for my teammates and I noticed that everybody dropped at this point, Even Carl (who is better than me at this game).

Jeroen and Drago went for a Regional (the Prophecy mat!), but they didn't make it. I went for a Win-A-Mat (originally wanted something else, but win-a-mat was the only one still available, because it was already getting late). I also didn't make it.

At the Konami booth, I bought an English Hanzo tin (20€? Can't find them this cheap anymore) and 3 of the Fire Structure Decks (same, cheaper than in the stores).

Carl and I couldn't find the others, so we left to get a bite. We went to a small Turkish restaurant (Pizza-Pitta place) and got a pizza dürüm (really good). After that we went to the hotel to watch some movies (only to realize that Carl forgot his external HD (lol). We then tried to watch some youtube clips, only to realize Germany has apparantly a strict youtube policy (it sucks). So, in last resort, we exchanged some music tips via Spotify (at least that went without trouble). when the others arrived, we talked some more and had some fun before we went to bed.

Day 3 – Sunday (Event Day 2)

Since none of us participated in the main event anymore, we slept a little longer. Drago asked the receptionist some directions to the nearest bank. And when we got there, we found a bakery as well, resulting in a decent breakfast (really good for a very decent price, way cheaper than at the event place).

At the event place, we wondered what we were going to do. We spotted the Evilswarm Oroborous giant card and decided in group we would enter that event with 3 of the guys. Miguel lost in round 1, I lost in round 2 (I deserved it, made some horribly stupid moves), and Carl went and won the event (hurrah, good for him). He was quite disappointed that both the Garunix and Oroborous cards were gone. He got to choose between “Attack the Moon” and “Heart-Earth Dragon”, going for the latter one. And look, he got a short post on the event coverage as well: This is it!. This also gave him an entry ticket for the Super Rare Digvorzak event (cool).

I didn’t participate in more events, but I played with Drago and gave him tips and tricks on how to play with Prophecies. Later we were joined by Haku (another Belgian player, usually a judge but this time as a player). He gave both of us tips and tricks on prophecies (many things even I didn't know. As programmers would say: Haku++). When asked on how he did it in the event, he dropped when he was at 7-3. In his last game, he faced a cheater. And when he called the judge, he sided with the cheating player. When appealing for the head judge (he got Martina instead, sigh), Haku ended up with a rulesharking warning instead. He couldn't believe what happened and dropped out of disgust.

This turned out to become an often repeated story, as many of the Belgian/Dutch players got warnings or rulings because of bad German judges. This resulted in the often-repeated phrase/yell: “WE NEED MORE BELGIAN JUDGES!”. While there were many present in the event place, they were all playing instead of judging (lol).

At first, I thought the judges all ruled in favor of Germans, but I've read on the No-Names blog that even the German players were often offended by the horrible level of judging as well, so I guess it was a general issue over the course of the weekend.

We said goodbye to Miguel and his girlfriend, since they had to leave early (he had to work on Monday). We dueled and had some more fun.

Near the end of the evening, Carl participated in the Digvorzhak event, but he got cheated during the few seconds a judge wasn't watching (he activated a Solemn Judgment he just set earlier the same turn), thus resulting in a judge conversation of near half an hour on how to deal with this situation. Since nobody could prove whether or not the opponent set the card before, they judged in favor of the cheater (disgusting Carl), so the other guy got the Digvorzhak.

In the meantime, on the other side of the hall, the final went on between Stefano Memoli (rumored to be an annoying ruleshark), versus Alpay Engin (who ended up revealing himself to be an annoying ruleshark as well, lol), thus turning the game very… “exciting”. I clearly remember one half of the viewers were cheering, while the other half was booing (Germans versus Italians). Some even claimed the Italians were very close to a fight with the Germans after the Wind-up Shark incident was ruled in favor of Engin (let alone when the duel ended). Yeah, Yu-Gi-Oh is a children’s card game with very serious fans… Report of the duel (and the incident itself) can be read here.

After Carl ended his duel (which was after the award ceremony, the judge call took this long), we walked to the hallway. We wanted to trade a bit more before we left, but the security of the event place pushed everybody out of the place (guess they wanted to go home, huh…).

We went back to the hotel and got some Chinese food (less than 500 m from the hotel). We ate it at the hotel, while the others joined us. We played some games, got joined by the few other Yu-Gi-Oh players still at the hotel and had some more fun.

Day 4 – Monday

We got up and packed our stuff. We went to the same baker as on Sunday and had a good breakfast. Then we went back home.

My experience

Even though nobody of our team topped and the judging was plain awful over the course of the event, we still had a lot of fun. This was my first YCS and it was a very fun experience. All of my opponents during the entire weekend were fun and cool, safe the rulesharking douchebag and a Karakuri player whom I still suspect of cheating during the win-a-mat event.

The only thing I was really disappointed about, was the side-events. Vexacus showed a few new mats on his channel (the Kite mat for Win-A-Mat event and the Fire King mat for the Structure Deck event), but we got neither (aaaawwwww). There was nothing on the Star Pack either, though it would've been a perfect place for the premiere of the pack (the card list just got revealed. It sucks donkey balls). The win-a-mat mats were either the Battle Pack mat, or the Yuma mat. The only good mats to win were the qualifier mats (Prophecies on Saturday, Fire Fists on Sunday).

So you could understand, the side-events weren't that exciting. Even the YCS trial was a laugh (free stay & travel to the next European YCS? Lol, it's a 40-minute drive from our home. Why would we even register for it?).

Next up this week, I’ll give an analysis of the YCS itself.

Until then, V out.


  1. Great writeup on your experience! Hope i get a chance to attend YCS one day myself

  2. Good stuff. Im thinking about playing in Lile, but the flight costs too much in my opinion ... maybe I will find something else or you got any ideas?

  3. Thanks for the feedback.
    @RouRaito eRu: Hope you get that chance as well ;-)

    @Ventus: Well, if the plane tickets are too expensive, there's always the car option. But I guess that depends on how long it takes to drive to Lille? Another option would be the train, but that might take a whole day to get there :-S

  4. Great experience . I will definitely try to attend a ycs myself one day

  5. the amount of sharking going on is unreal

    i hadn't had such an experience w/ the 2 north american ycs events i've been to thus far, but yea, wow