SJC New Jersey is over! Ryan Hayakawa wins his second SJC Championship by taking the main event in a heated match against Comic Odyssey teammate and fellow SJC Champ Wilson Luc! Augusto Mota wins the second Cyber-Stein of the day for the team in the side events, narrowly edging out Team Avalanche’s Matt Ellenberg in the side event finals! Just as exciting, though? The performances from East Coast teams!
The hot new Team Overdose placed two competitors into the main event’s Top 8, an impressive feat only trumped by Comic Odyssey’s placing three players into Day 2. Team Revolution and Team Scrubs gave impressive showings as well, bringins several innovations to the field and making a big impact on the final results of the main event. After a string of West Coast and Midwest SJC’s over the past few months, an array of talented duelists stepped up to rep the East Side!
This was it. Comic Odyssey had clinched both spots in the finals, creating another windfall victory for the team. But this was also the first SJC Series Champion versus Champion match—someone would be walking away from this table a double-Championship winner!
Hayakawa opened game one and did so with Pot of Greed before setting a card in each of his zones. Luc summoned Sangan, played Nobleman of Crossout to deprive Hayakawa of his, attacked directly, set a spell or trap and passed.
The semifinals had to be re-paired, bringing an East versus West matchup at each table as two members of Team Overdose took on two members of Comic Odyssey. Both teams were ready to prove their supremacy, and after a little bit of joking back and forth about scooping to god hands, Rhymus and Ryan got down to business. Ryan won the die roll and opted to go first.
The semifinals came down to two pairings of Team Overdose versus Team Comic Odyssey—the final throwdown was here! Overdose was facing down two SJC Champions. Their work would be cut out for them.
Coronel won the coin flip and opted to go first, opening with a face down card in each of his zones. Luc summoned Sangan on his first turn and attacked with it, crashing into Spirit Reaper. An end phase Mystical Space Typhoon took out Luc's face down Mystical Space Typhoon, and both players spent a turn passing, only setting an additional spell or trap. Luc broke the lull by playing Delinquent Duo, hitting Jinzo, and play moved to Coronel after he set another monster. Coronel set a second monster as well as another spell or trap.
As the quarterfinals began, it was clear that both players were taking the duels very seriously. They spent the first few turns building up their field to pull ahead. Roberto eventually outpaced Rhymus by summoning Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys, prompting him to do everything in his power to get it off the field and keep it off the field. Rhymus managed to send it to the graveyard, then activated Snatch Steal, targeting Roberto's Apprentice Magician, but was stymied by Roberto's Enemy Controller. Rhymus set a spell or trap and ended his turn.
Roberto brought back Phoenix on his next turn, and Rhymus responded with Bottomless Trap Hole, eliminating it from the duel, followed by a Book of Moon to flip his own D. D. Assailant face down. Roberto then continued his turn by summoning Reflect Bounder and attacking Rhymus's Sangan. Rhymus chose Cannon Soldier with Sangan's effect, and Roberto ended his turn.
Play began slowly with Clavelli opening. Both players spent two turns setting cards, and Clavelli was the first to blink, flipping a face down Magician of Faith. Luc made him pay for it though, flipping Torrential Tribute.
Clavvelli turned it into a positive, using the destroyed monsters to summon Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning. He used Heavy Storm to clear out Luc's one face down, looking to press his advantage, but Luc chained Scapegoat. The Black Luster Soldier ate two of them.
There's always tech at a big event. Sometimes you need to dig for it, but those individual cards unique to the metagame are always there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. When they are found and identified as special little morsels of playability, they can form the environment of the following months just as frequently as they can fizzle out entirely. Great cards have fallen by the wayside in the past, but such cards are also sometimes latched onto and used by thousands of duelists at a time. With US Nationals just around the corner, we're most definitely aiming for the latter.
Here are four offbeat cards that had the biggest impact on Shonen Jump Championship New Jersey.
Check out bios of the Top 8 players from SJC New Jersey here!
Check out the Top 8 decklists from SJC New Jersey here!
We've put a lot of focus on teams in this event, but we can't let the coverage go by without one more team interview. Team Revolution didn't arrive in matching shirts, but they made a definite mark in the top-level finishers. Two members went 9-1 and earned a spot in the Top 8, while the remaining members finished at 8-2. As the tournament passed the midnight hour after the end of round 10, team spokesman Kris Perovic sat down to give me some more information about his group.
It's a small to medium-sized group—there are nine official members, along with a number of “honorary” members. The team consists of Kris Perovic, Anthony Alvarado, Rhymus Lizo (Top 8), Bryan Coronel (Top 8), Mike Pianka, Harry Deodharry, Jonathan Hallock, Nate Rodriguez, and Marco Sedrak. All of the members have qualified for Nationals, and several have consistent Top 8 records for Nationals. That's an impressive background for a developing team.