Last weekend was YCS London, linked together with London MCM Comic-con. And my friend and I went there for a lengthened weekend (Thursday-Monday). We enjoyed London as tourists and then had more fun at the comic-con.
Thursday - Acting like total tourists
Not much to say about this. We walked... walked a lot. Visited the Forbidden Planet megastore (you should visit it too if you're an anime/toons/etc fan. Amazing store. Finally got myself the novel variant of Battle Royale (cool).
We visited some more tourist stuff and ended up at the hotel, deadly tired. We had a drink at the lounge bar, teched out and finalized our decks and went to bed.
Friday - YCS pre-registration and Day 1 of Comic-con
After visiting Greenwich and eating at KFC for the first time (yeah, Belgium doesn't have KFC's), we went to the Excel for the Comic-con and the YCS event.
At Canning town (underground station), we noticed the sign saying that the DLR did not go to the venue on Saturday and Sunday due to engineering works (seriously? Talk about bad timing), but this day we were still able to hop onto the train.
At the venue, we were able to skip the gigantic waiting queue, since we came for the YCS, and walked to the very short waiting line for the YCS (lol). We filled in our decklist, had it checked, got our white, temporary wristband and were able to attend everything in the main hall of the Comic-Con and the YCS.
And I have to admit it, Konami really ensured people would enjoy it. There were many side-events happening, like Numbers bingo, a Giant Card duel, a specific Blue-Eyes SD duel (for a rubber variant of the SD playmat), etc.
We got a card where we could collect stamps to get more free goodies (random battle pack 2 boosters, or boosters from Cosmo Blazer and Judgment of the Light).
And after we got a bit tired of the Yugioh stuff, we were able to freely enter the main hall of the Comic-Con (the vendors) and walk through it all with only a medium crowd.
At the end of the day we were able to see most of the main hall and returned to the hotel quite pleased.
Saturday - YCS London Day 1
We got to Canning Town and noticed a gigantic mass of people walking to the Comic-Con. Most people were waiting for the replacement buss, but we wisely walked to the venue (only a 15-minute walk anyway).
Once inside, the waiting game began. We got there around 9.30 AM. And while the event should've started at 10, it only started at noon. And the waiting got so boring, people actually started to applaud when they announced the start of the YCS (seriously, people were that annoyed). In the meantime, we noticed many of the staff running around with tables and chairs because there were more people than they expected. All chairs at the coverage duel screen were removed because they were needed elsewhere. It was quite chaotic.
And if you thought the waiting was over, guess again. Round 2 started at 2 PM, with even more chaos. The pairing were missing all people whose last name started with U-Z. Yeah, this little V could not find his name on the list either.
Several of the players went to complain with the head judge (who was clearly annoyed by the situation) and after 5-10 minutes they finally found the rest of the pairings... or so we thought.
We looked at the pairings for "U-Z" and noticed that they hung out the pairings for round 1 (seriously?). So back to the judges we went (while the time started already). Eventually everybody was able to get to their table, but you can bet a lot of people were seated wrong and a lot of people got a game loss because they didn't get there in time. Even I faced the wrong opponent (which wasn't really obvious because our real opponent's both didn't show up.
After this chaos, both me and my friend were kind of fed up with the YCS already. I got some food in the main hall of the Comic-Con and noticed I didn't actually care if I would make it back in time or not. I got back in time for round 3 (which started at 4 PM), but I really wanted to drop already.
I probably played one of my worst games with my deck as to date because I just didn't feel like it. Facing Evilswarm (the worst match-up for my prophecy deck) didn't really help either. I lost and decided to drop. My friend Carl did the same. We were so sick and tired of the YCS we wanted to leave already and see the rest of the comic-con.
A bit later, one of the Antwerp players then took us to a shop he wanted to show us (really nice one), so we left the Comic-con completely. Back on the subway we were calculating how long the event would take, if they continued the current trend of 2 hours per round. We realized that the event would end around midnight (ugh).
We arrived quite late at the event, because we didn't really care anymore at that point and did another walk for touristy stuff. We saw the rest of the Comic-Con and ended up being too late for our free sealed Win-A-Mat tourney (they were out of product), which was not that fun.
We heard that day 1 ended around 11:30 PM and thus could easily spot the players that were qualified for day 2... They were the most tired people at the venue (lol).
And then we heard someone boasting he got into top-32... while mentioning quite subtle that more than half of his opponents in swiss were no-shows... Yeah, basically if you topped YCS London, that's not a top you should be proud of.
So what did we do? We traded, did some more of the free events, finished the rest of comic-con and went back to the hotel.
Monday - the storm of the decade
I woke due to the noise of the storm that was raging over the UK.
At the breakfast table in the hotel, we suddenly noticed the storm caused debris to fall from the roof. We saw one of the hotel employees outside got crushed by it. Not cool. There's no mention of his death on the news, so I guess he survived, but I don't think he's going to return to his job anywhere soon.
We got in time for the Eurostar back home, even with a lot of delays on the underground and got back home.
Pros and cons for the event
- Combining the YCS and the Comic-Con. Double the fun for the same price!
- Skipping the waiting line for the comic-con, both on Friday and Saturday.
- Lots of side-events, more than on a usual YCS. The bingo was hilarious and the judges hosting the side-event were really entertaining.
- The free side-events granted you random free boosters (always good).
- Another new record for an European YCS. 1466 players (20 or so more than YCS Bochum I think).
- Due to the comic-con LOTS of different food available.
- Cosplayers: Everybody heard of the High Priestess cosplay, but I also noticed a few more, including a Zombie Dark Magician Girl (really cool).
- Lots of people means lots of trading. Did some very good trades throughout the weekend.
- The chaos on Saturday. one round takes 2 hours and the whole seating-not-available got really tiring.
- Most people got here just for the comic-con, meaning a lot of no-shows after round 1. This actually caused many people to make day 2 (or even top) while facing hardly any (noteworthy) opponents.
- They ran out of win-a-mat products waaaay too fast.
So, was the trip worth it? Hell yes. This is one experience I won't forget soon (due to multiple reasons, though).
I enjoyed last weekend, I hope you did as well. V out.