Anish John is from Team Revolution, one of the newest teams in the North American scene and a team that saw quite a bit of success today. Rhymus Lizo is from Team Overdose, another relatively new team that absolutely tore up the event today. At the beginning of round 10, they had four members in contention for the Top 8, and one contending in side events for the side event Cyber-Stein.
As the day wears on, interest always focuses on the top tables. Who is going to make it to top 8? Who will slip, make a mistake, and move to the lower tables? I'd just finished a deck profile on one of the players at the top tables (Ramon Ciriano), and decided that table 3 was a perfect candidate for some match coverage.
Ramon Ciriano is fifteen and is a local from New Jersey, and Nicolas Walker is sixteen and traveled all the way from Louisiana. The trip seems to have paid off so far—sitting at table 3 in the next-to-last round of an event with more than 500 players is a serious accomplishment.
New decks pop up at each new Shonen Jump, but we can always count on seeing some tried and true favorites. Beastdown has been a strong choice at past events, and Ramon Ciriano has made a noteworthy run at the Top 8 with his version here in New Jersey. With a 7-1 record after round 8, he's obviously making the most of a reliable archetype.
The list looks quite straightforward, with the traditional big beasts combined with control type monsters, set off with metagame-favored spell and trap cards for an all-around versatile and effective deck. Let's take a look at his list.
Robert Sorensen is a recognizable name from Magic, and this was only his third sanctioned Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. With a 7-1 record for the day, the eighteen year-old from Herndon, Virginia was quickly proving himself to be a serious contender for the Top 8.
Poonsombat is, well, T. The current US national champion, he's one of the veteran members of team Comic Odyssey, the undisputed number-one force in the game at present.
It's about time the Northeast teams got a bit of exposure. I took some time after round 6 to sit down with Mike Montero, spokesman for Team Revolution. I'd already met one of the team members in round 3 while doing feature match coverage, and I was looking forward to hearing some more.
Team Revolution is a compact organization, formed mainly of players in the Virginia-Maryland area. There are currently seven members on the team, five of whom were present at today's event. The ages of team members range from 14-20, and their current membership roster consists of Mike Montero, Ameen Bahar, Richard, Darby, Bobby, Mohammed Zaiem Ahmad, and Anish John.
For being only three guys, Team Scrubs has made a big impact. With great showings into the later rounds of the tournament, they're also running some very coverage-worthy decks, and arguably the most important deck of the tournament is being used by Walter Chan and Ervin So. Here's Walter Chan's build of Thousand-Eyes Restrict Lock.
Calvin Tsang, an eighteen-year-old student from Toronto, is one of three members of Team Scrubs. With an amazing round 5 showing in which the group had incurred only a single loss, he was a prime candidate for an interview.
Now the thing you have to understand about Calvin is that he's part of a long-standing Canadian tradition. Don Cherry, Ed the Sock, Pierre Elliot Trudeau are all verbose Canadians that have left a mark on the nation's society. While most Canadians are reserved and quiet, we occasionally make up for it as a country with individuals who overcompensate and return the balance. Calvin Tsang is easy to find in a tournament—just look for the table with the random screaming.
Walter Chan is a member of Team Scrubs, along with Calvin Tsang. This team has been making a lot of buzz with their spectacular performances that dominated the field with non-Chaos decks
His opponent was Stephan Laikin, a duelist with a gift for core theory understandings. He was running a Chaos Warrior deck with some neat tech. He flashed me a Big Shield Gardna before the match: “He's the best opening drop. There's nothing more important in a game than the opening.” A man after my own heart.
By round 3, it was definitely time for some feature matches. Table 10 looked like a good place to begin, so I packed Ameen and Charles off to a feature match table and let them do their stuff. Both players have been doing well so far—each has a 2-0 record. They were also happy to relocate to a cooler, less hectic part of the room and get a little bit of press coverage. After all, what's wrong with fifteen minutes of fame?
I'm a big fan of decks with alternate win conditions. They're just fun to play. I mean, honestly, have you ever flopped down all five pieces of Exodia and seen the look on your opponent's face? Or watched them squirm as Final Countdown gets closer and closer to its culmination, slowly grinding towards a “huzzah for you” victory? It's irresistible.
Ben McCrae takes that premise to the ultimate degree by combining every alternate win condition I can think of into one deck. Exodia? Check. Final Countdown? Ben's got it covered. Last Turn? Yup. He's running everything but Destiny Board. The kicker? He's winning. Check it out.