2005 is the Year of the Team. Team this, team that, everywhere you look teams are springing up all over. Some have definite star power, some are out for a good time, and some are hoping for Metagame.com coverage. I was glad to finally get the chance to cover some guys who are actually the first team I’ve ever encountered—these guys were a team back in the Mall tour days. If you’re a regular in Pennsylvania area events, you probably know who I’m talking about. It’s the good old nYo, New Yu-Gi-Oh! Order.
The team has undergone some changes over the past three and half years. There are six members nowadays—Timmy Hartman, Tony Basselgia, Devan Schieb, Matt Herring, Larry Rine, and Jake Newman—with an age range that spans from 15 (Timmy) to 36 (Larry). Devan and Matt are playing in Nationals today, but Timmy and Tony didn’t make it through the last-chance qualifiers, so they’re hanging about offering support and doing interviews.
I’ve known Timmy since he was younger, shorter and a patron of the mall tours. “We’re not really into all the owning the event and getting sponsorship and all that. Some of the guys are really into getting qualified and stuff, but I do more of the interacting with people, handing out the promo cards we make, and that sort of thing. We don’t really need or want sponsors, cause I run the website and make the shirts, Larry drives the car, and we all share cards so we’ve got everything we need. We just want people to go to an event where we are and say ‘Hey, its nYo, cool!’ ‘cause we’re nice guys. We don’t want to be in the position that Comic Odyssey is, where they’re on top and everyone else is watching waiting to be able to say ‘They used to be good, but then they started sucking.’”
Public relations and support for each other is the team’s primary goal, and it has been ever since they got started. “We split transportation costs, gas money and stuff, so that makes it easier to get to more events. We share cards and ideas too.” What happens if everyone wants to play the same thing? The team members looked at one another.
“Well, in that case, the cards would go to the person who wanted to do it first,” Timmy said. “Like, I loaned Matt the Brain Control I pulled in the Previews cause he needed to use it.” They help build decks and generally keep everyone pulled together for each event. Their approach might be casual, but Timmy has definite opinions on teams in general. “I’m sick of groups of 3-5 people deciding they’re going to be a team because everyone else has a team, so they get together and they’re Team Eric or whatever the main guy’s name is, and they get a shirt and run around at events and act like they’re going to win everything just because they’re a team. The really good, notable teams are all players who were good and then decided to make a team.”
Having been a member of his team for over three years, he’s got a fair amount of justification for what he says. True, if you step out and look over the event floor today, you’ll see a lot of matching shirts. Many players are quick to offer their team affiliation during interviews or deck profiles. Some are definitely there to own the event, others are there to promote themselves and have a bit of fun. Timmy presented Kevin Tewart with some of the nYo’s custom Goat Token cards, and remarked “Yeah, this is pretty much what I do in the team.” Players are certainly more team-conscious these days, but teaming up is certainly as old as the game itself.
This article was originally written by Metagame.com, what was formerly the official website for large Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament coverage. It has been preserved by GoatFormat.com so that players can learn from this historical tournament coverage.