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DeathJester's Dojo
Back from Nationals:
Lessons Learned and Hope Renewed.

Bryan Camareno a.k.a. DeathJester
July 8, 2005

Hey everyone. It’s been a little while since I last wrote. Today’s article will showcase my thoughts on my trip to Nationals. I’ll be letting out most of the juicy details and my thoughts on my experience. Without further delay, here we go!

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you; the National Tournament was a complete bomb. Not only was the event poorly organized, but the majority of the judges (excluding Dave Brent, Kevin Tewart, and John something from N.J.) did not know the proper rulings to even the simplest of situations. Plus, the overabundance of spectators was appalling. These circumstances led to many instances of cheating, minimal room for walking and well…spectating. I was under the assumption that spectating was not allowed in major tournaments. Perhaps I’m mistaken…

Roy St. Clair’s Dilemma

Another issue was brought to my attention Sunday morning at breakfast. While I was in line to get some food at the food court I spotted Roy St. Clair. My teammate K.C. told me that he did not play at Nationals and neither did his brother. This piqued my interest since I knew that Roy is not only a high ranked player in the YuGiOh TCG, but he is currently the top player in V.S. System Constructed; it seemed like nonsense that Roy would opt not to compete in YuGiOh Nationals. After that chain of thoughts, I approached Roy and introduced myself. I asked him why he didn’t compete in the National Tournament on Saturday. I asked if it was the format or perhaps some other issue. He told me the format was a load of crap (not surprising), but that wasn’t the reason why he did not compete. He told me he was banned from UDE events for 3 months the day before Nationals.

After he told me that…I asked myself “What on Earth did this guy do to get banned?” His side of the story was this: He had just finished his Top 8 match in a V.S. System 10K tournament the day before Nats. His friend was in a separate event; a V.S. System PCQ. When Roy finished he was walking by the table his friend was at, not looking at the game, and asked his friend “Hey what are you doing?” Simply an innocent question as to what he will be doing later. This caused quite a misunderstanding leading his friend’s opponent to believe that his friend was cheating using Roy’s help. Apparently, Roy’s friend was making a critical move in the game and he was messing it up, but Roy had no idea…he was just walking by casually. His opponent knew Roy’s friend was messing up and immediately took offense to this random word from a passerby.

The opponent called a judge over to remedy the situation…the judge knew who Roy was and told him something along the lines of this “Roy, since we know you are a high-ranking player in YuGiOh and the #1 player in V.S. System we are going to make an example out of you. You are banned from all UDE events for 3 months and we are revoking your UDE number.” Now…because of this, Roy lost his spot in the Top 4 of the 10K event and loses $2000 in the process. Not only that, he was not able to compete in the YuGiOh National Tournament the next day. Can anyone tell me if that is fair? How is Roy supposed to know what is going on in his friend’s match when he’s in a separate event? You tell me. If you’ve got any opinions or concerns about this incident, spread the word as I will be getting in contact again with Roy soon. Roy and his team, Team Hunger Force, would appreciate any opinions or possible solutions to this matter.  

The Team Experience 

The team that showed the most impressive teamwork was Team Overdose. Those guys work extremely hard to be the best they can at this game and their work paid off by putting 3 of their members in the Top 8 at Nats and 2 of them into the Top 4. Congratulations to Team Overdose for their stellar performance, especially Bryan Coronel, Jerry Wang, and Rhymus Lizo. I can truthfully say that no other team present at the event showed more team work and support then they did; not even my own team. If I’ve learned anything about team work that weekend, I’ve learned that no team can succeed without direction. In other words a team needs a leader…someone who can make decisions and lead the team in the proper direction. Teams without an authority figure are risky and can lead to the formation of factions of members if the team is large enough. Why do you think Team Comic Odyssey and Team Overdose do so well at large scale events? Because there isn’t any B.S., no power struggles, and most certainly not any issues of trust. They work together and support each other in YuGiOh and in real life. Achieving that sense of solid team work and trust is no easy task, but it cannot be done without any direction. Making that connection between each member of the team is vital to a team’s survival. That should be any team’s primary goal…only then can they achieve any real success. 

Sunday Morning Dueling 

Sunday morning was by far the best day of my trip to Ohio. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Roy St. Clair and members of his team to play about 10 games or so with Roy. He taught me a lot about his view on the game, his take on certain cards, and how he plays certain cards. That was an experience, because he certainly knows his stuff and whipped me pretty badly in some games…without the Trinity (Pot, Graceful, Delinquent). With that said, he’s on a level above mine…weird how even the most unexpected situations can teach you SO much about anything. Playing with Roy definitely brought about some hope for this game and the current format. Originality can win and having proper knowledge of card advantage can go a LONG way in this game. Thanks for the a$$-whipping Roy, see you at the top! 

After meeting Roy at breakfast, I had the pleasure of meeting all of the pros in the game. I got to talk to fellow Pojo.com writer JAELOVE a.k.a. Jae Kim and ask him about his deck choice and what cards are good now. Expect more articles from Jae and expect an interview with him on my column. He sat down and played a couple matches with my brother Kevin and they did their fair share of a$$-kicking, but I think Jae won over him in the end. I was also able to talk to some of the other members of Team Savage. I played a match with Nate Nielbeck, and it was close…but he won 2-1. Royal Decree main-decked is a major pain and that broke the game both times. I was also fortunate to play Wilson Luc at a table where my teammates were at. Mr. Shonen Jump had a line of people ready to play him…hilarious. So what was the result of that match? 2-1, I lost. The match-up was Goat Control vs. Mono-Zombies. All 3 games were extremely close, but in the end, his last card in his hand, BLS, sealed the deal. That was a great match and one of the best games I’ve ever played. I guess the both of us were trying to prove something…who knows? I’ll tell you one thing, he’s got a face like a brick wall…he doesn’t budge. 

After playing a couple friendly matches, I got up and did what I do best…walk around the floor and talk to everyone. As everyone probably knows by now, I’m kind of a social butterfly. I’m hopping from person to person just having a conversation about anything. Meeting all of the famous players from the season and getting their signatures on my Regional mat was worth the trip out to Ohio. How noobish does that sound? *Laughs* Email me about it.

Besides meeting the pros from every other state, I got to meet the pros from Florida for the billionth time and play a couple matches with those guys. The pros from Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale are all awesome guys and I chill with them at all the Florida events.  

My Thoughts and My Performance 

For those of you who are curious…I went 4-4 drop. I was 3-1 going into the 5th round and well…luck can do some horrible things. When I look back at my experience at the National Tournament this year, I’ve learned that there’s nothing significant you can do about your opponent’s luck. If they top-deck or get the Trinity draw, you just have to suck it up and move on…sh*t happens. Playing your cards correctly is one of the most important factors to a successful game. Also, proper knowledge of card advantage and how it works is ABSOLUTELY essential to your success.  

Patience is a HUGE factor in a successful game. There are times when your deck can just stall out…and you won’t draw what you need. It pays to be patient…every time! Your mental game is just as important as your physical game. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in playing this game is that focusing on winning the game is probably the most detrimental things to your success. Focusing on the work it takes to actually win the game is more beneficial than focusing on the actual victory over your opponent. Does that make any sense to you? If not, email me.  

Well, that’s it for me everyone. Expect a new article every week from me and interviews every other week. My new set of interviews will feature members of Team Savage, more of Team Overdose, and Team Comic Odyssey. Keep up to date and email me at deathjester86@gmail.com with any questions or comments. Until next time, remember to stay focused, be patient, and most importantly…have fun!  


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