Evan Vargas’s thread on cheating-
I'm currently in my hotel room,
waiting for Shonen Jump Minneapolis to start. I have
been getting an unruly amount of feedback for my
last two articles (thanks for the e-mails guys, I’ll
try to answer them all after this weekend!)
regarding cheating. I wanted to talk about what
inspired me to write this article.
I’ve always been supportive of the
concept of the “celebrity” Yu-Gi-Oh! player. The
reasons for this are quite simple actually. Because
of the lack of money in competitive YGO play, any
amount of success found in the game can only be
measured through intangibles. Nebulous concepts such
as celebrity, renown, respect from the community,
respect from peers, and the ability to feel like one
of the best in a competitive circuit are far more
important to me than money.
Propping up certain “star players,”
while exposing them to the public, can only create
good for the community. It creates a buzz, generates
viewer interest, leads to more people wanting to
become great at the game, and can potentially
increase sales of the product itself (which never
manifests itself in prize support, but hopefully one
day it will).
While many deride me as having a big
ego, it’s just a natural product of the
circumstances I’m in. Writing for a large website,
while trying to maintain a confident tone and a
stark realization of the assets I bring to the
community (look at the other writers), leads to both
love mail and hate mail alike. However, I want to
talk about what my goals were a few years ago.
Most of my work involved “shilling”
(although I don’t view it as such), in a sense, of
some of the top players in Yu-Gi-Oh! This is before
Metagame caught the bandwagon, ruthless stripping
and stealing numerous ideas, terms, and concepts
from me (a writer), after forcing me to sell out to
a seedy company handbook of proper terms and usage.
I focused on writing numerous team battles with
insightful coverage, player profiles, and reviews of
unofficial events between the star members of Team
Odyssey and Team Savage.
Many of the dueling world’s first
introductions to established stars today, such as
Sang Bui, Team Superfriends, and online sensations
came through the articles that were posted on
Pojo.com. The concept of the star player was pretty
much born on Pojo.com, and has now ballooned out of
Seedy Players Begin to Emerge,
Hoping to Shore Up Their Pathetic Insecurities
Of course, the natural result of much
of the dueling community has been to grow jealous
and lustful for the success afforded to these newly
crowned stars. Now jealousy is a natural human vice,
as is cheating under certain situations to gain an
edge. However, the cheaters and thieves are
definitely ruining the game.
Back in the day, a Shonen Jump
Championship top eight performance meant something.
Now, through cheating and shady players, the
achievement has been diluted to the point of
meaninglessness. Certain players are not even able
to keep track of their SJC day two’s any more.
Cheating leads to complacency, which leads to a lack
of appreciation for accomplishments.
Many players, even a year ago, would
become a hometown hero for placing in the top eight.
I saw this in Arizona, I saw this in Northern
California, and I saw this in Southern California.
Placing in the top eight with a cookie-cutter deck
led to immense respect, while placing with a unique
and innovative deck led to immortality (this is why
Team Savage never played CC).
Lately, the players who have stormed
the field are almost all illegitimate. Every player
I have ever suspected of cheating (due to their
consistency), has turned out to be a fraud. When
players step out and place in the top eight of four
SJC events in a row, they are cheating (especially
back then before the top sixteen). Yes, any name you
are thinking of probably did.
Now many players have grown smart and
have stopped cheating (this is confirmed on their
end). After all, they already have the credentials
and SJC wins, why risk all that? There is a
diminishing returns placed on Yu-Gi-Oh credentials.
Why cheat after achieving fame and respect?
Unfortunately, many hungry grinders
and certain established players continue to cheat,
especially at huge events such as Nationals. I
boldly predict at least one big-name player will
be caught cheating at Nats (the stakes are too
high). Enter Sandtrap Vargas.
A True Hero of the Yu-Gi-Oh
Evan “Sandtrap” Vargas is the first
celebrity player in the game. Many have forgotten,
but the true fans of YGO have not. If you don’t
believe me about being the first superstar, look at
the very first SJC Gencon. Who got the profile?
Evan has always been an original stud
who played decks like Fairies (he calls them angels,
sorry Evan they’re Fairies) to regional top eights,
invented King Tiger Wanghu tech, and pioneered Soul
He has stopped playing competitively
(undoubtedly disgusted by the cheating), but created
a thread that inspired me to rid the game of
cheaters. It is required reading for any player who
plans to attend a Premier event. It is also free,
due to it being on Pojo’s forums!
Visit this link!
Thank you, Evan, for being a hero and
inspiration to us all.
Jae Kim is a creative contributor
to Pojo.com. You may contact him (every e-mail will
be answered) at JAELOVE@gmail.com. He can also be
found contributing to the Message Boards and the
Card of the Day.