Monday, 10 September 2012

[Aftermath] Road to Worlds

Hi people, it's been too long since I made my last post and now here I go with a humongous ton of info that I have been so very eager to share and yet too lazy to do so. It had to be done some time and since work is starting tomorrow its pretty much now or never. The following is an overview of my Worlds experience in Tokyo.

8th August, Wed
Met up with the team and a few others at the airport for some dueling before meeting up with DSummon from DuelingDays(mentioned as DS for the rest of the post) to take our flight to Tokyo which was set to leave at 11.55pm. Nothing much else happened since it was midnight and everyone was tired, thus sleeping through the flight.

9th August, Thurs
We arrived at Narita airport in the morning and proceeded to our hotel in Shinagawa where we met up with SungLee(Msia rep), Joshua Schmidt(Euro rep), Angel Matas(Euro rep) and Michel Gruner. DS being the only one who knew the area, became our Tour Guide from the Other Land, and brought us around. Visited some streets, a shrine, and proceeded to Akihabara. To put it simply, it was where SungLee and I unloaded most of our money buying cards, as they were relatively cheaper than that which you can get back home. Walked around for the rest of the day there, before leaving with everyone visibly tired. Went out again at night for some extremely delicious ramen before going back to the hotel to meet the other reps, mostly from the USA.

10th August, Fri
Started the day with a Japanese buffet breakfast, before going back to Akihabara for more card hunting. DS had to leave early for the hotel for a staff meeting of sorts, thus leaving SungLee and I to our own devices. Upon mentioning that we we reps for Worlds to be held the following day, the staff at one of the card shops gave us vip treatment and showered us with a gigantic card pool of foils which were so damn cheap. Spent a good amount of time and money hoarding much cards to bring back home. In the evening we had our welcome dinner, where we were formally introduced to all the reps and received our welcome gifts which included 2 exclusives playmats, 4 japanese booster boxes, 2 tcg tins, SD23, deck box, token, a giant No.39 card and some brochures. Managed to buy a few sets of the japanese boxes off the tcg reps for cheap as they were trying to get rid of them asap. The night time was full of activity. Many reps were in the lobby either contemplating deck choices, trading or simply hanging out. Spent most of the time trading with the japanese there and talking to Gruner and Irwin(Phillipines rep), while witnessing the hilarious moments which involved Jarel "Pro" Winston(USA rep) trying to buy duel calculators off a japanese, and subsequently having the exodia head which i bought during shopping snatch stealed by Jarel. We all know why. Got to sleep at only around 1am, which was not really sleep at all given that I was pretty damn excited for the day that would follow.

11th August, Sat
The morning of the 1st day of tournament happened in a flash. Woke up a little later than I would have liked and had a rushed breakfast before making my way to the bus which brought us to the tournament venue at Tokyo Midtown. The place itself was really huge however we were located a few halls within the building for our event. After all the reps were being escorted into the waiting room, we were given a briefing on procedures that we had to follow, rules, and even had a rehearsal for how we should go on stage. Everything said and done, we proceeded to the actual thing that we all came here for, it was Time to Duel!

After everyone was introduced on stage, round 1 pairings were announced. The following is a brief run down of my route through swiss. (managed to save some of my life point totals by asking a staff member to collect the lp sheets for me throughout the day lol, so most of the facts are accurate)

Round 1: vs Santi Phromduangsri(Thai rep, Chaos Dragons)
Game 1: He opened double veiler which halted my attempts to search with Centipede. Even so, he was unable to destroy it as it was back by Mantis and multiple backrow. He finally brought out a Pulsar successfully to destroy it however i flipped Coth and proceeded to shenenigan all over him with Gorz only delaying his death.
Game 2: He begun with Future Fusion and Pulsar + REDMD setup. attempted to stall into combo pieces but the appearance of both BLS and DAD in the following turns made it impossible, so I died.
Game 3: Lp totals show that i was way ahead going into time, with me being at 8000 to his 800. He brought out a BLS which almost turned the tide however i got rid of it and stalled with a zenmaines before eventually preventing him from even touching my life further with swift scarecrow, which unfortunately had to end the match in such a  fashion.

Round 2: vs Michael Steinman(USA rep, Gravekeepers)
Game 1: I never once resolved Damsel or Centipede this game, but used a combination of both Ladybug and Hornet to pick a way at his backrows which helped alot as they were both BTH. He couldnt keep a monster on board for longer than a turn and when Necrovalley was finally up I think my card advantage was too great for it to matter.
Game 2: We both had 4 backrow set before he flipped a suprising heavy storm to wipe both our boards and took control with Malefic Stardust + Necrovalley. Somehow managed to play out of that situation as he did not have a skilldrain up, therefore was able to slowly grind away the game by constantly searching hornet with my centipede, and protecting it. He got skilldrain up fairly late in the game which managed to stymy me for abit, though i drew and dualitied into an mst on the following turn and won from there.

Round 3: vs Saito Akikazu(Japanese rep, Mirror)
Game 2: (game 1 was non existent as i got a game loss for my Book of Moon being sleeved upside down.....)
We both exploded out of the gates with inzektor effects resolving here and there, however I opened with the better hand and was able to maintain advantage by sitting on floaters while most of the stuff which I popped on his side were genuine. Searched out a Mantis and stormed myself to otk.
Game 3: It was his turn to sit on floaters, having trooper and sangan pressure me with hits early on. Fought back with  inzektor stunts but left him with one lone backrow as he had a zenmaines out that needed taking care off. To my suprise he had not sided out his CotH which proceeded to shit all over me as I did not have a veiler in hand, and got destroyed on that very turn due to otk.

Round 4: vs Jonathan Ritzau(Oceania rep, Mirror)
Game 1: I had double mst, dragonfly hornet mantis and irrelevant card. He had no veiler. Done.
Game 2: He had BLS and Bounzer out with a searched inzektor in hand to my scarecrow and next topdeck. Done.
Game 3: Early game was just sets from both sides till I dualitied into heavy storm. Stormed the following turn and chained my backrow( i think compulse or PWWB) before otk-ing him. He drew horrible with DAD and mantis stuck in hand.

Round 5: vs Norihama Takeru aka Chiami(Japanese Rep, Mirror)
Game 1: Very fast paced game, he exploded right out of the gates while I opened subpar.
Game 2: Cannot really remember what happened but I know it went very quickly too, albeit in my favour.
Game 3: It sucks that I had no veiler in the entire match as he opened with Damsel + Ladybug and was visibly concerned if the play would go through, probably because he opened full monster hand. He pumped out 3 rank 5 xyz over the next three turns but tiras and ninja were both met with compulse. Regardless, his monster hand consisted of enough veilers to make it unable for me to mount a comeback.

So I ended up 3-2 at the end of day 1, well it was technically 3-1-? but we will never know. Top 8 begun to be announced and I was immediately spared from my agony as 8th position was announced with my name resounding from the commentators lips. Didnt think I could have been happier as I let out a shout of delight. I was followed by Jarel, Joshua and Stefano Memoli(euro rep), and the top 4 places going to team Japan. Based on pairings, it would seem that the following day of top 8 would be Team Japan vs the World, or what the four of us remaining affectionately termed as Team "Not Japan". It was exciting to say the least, heck our little Taiwan rep made it into top 4 of the Dragon Duels too so thats a double for our asian group. Went back to the hotel and proceeded to have dinner and an early night in preparation for the next day.

12th August, Sun
Once again breakfast in a hurry and was out of the hotel by like 8am+. Those of us that made top 8 had to be present earlier, while the other reps were scheduled to arrive later for challenge the champion event. Pairings were announced, and true enough it was Team "not Japan" vs Team Japan for the top 8. The four of us wished each other luck, as this round couldnt be more crucial. securing the win here immediately meant that we would secure the exclusive trophey and prize card.

Top 8: vs Yohei Arimura(Japanese rep, Malefic Skill Drain Necrovalley Antinzektorwtf1234trapdek)
Game 1: On the contrary to how most would think this would be a bad matchup for me, I was so damn happy that I didnt have to fight an inzektor mirror because alot of luck was involved. Went in with the game plan of eliminating his monsters with priority over his backrow(which I'd like to mention was endless). It helped that I had access to both my torentials early in the game. Midgame he had 2 set and a barbaros on field, in which i crashed a trooper and drew storm. set storm and passed. He set one more. On my turn i flipped the massive heavy storm and won from there as I had easily 3 more cards than him.
Game 2: Sided all my monster hatred in. Attempted to crash my trooper into his barbaros but was met with skill drain, though still drew one off trooper. dualitied for trap stun which made him visibly worried. He managed though to snipe the stun out of my three backrow with mst, however he left me with a prison and torrential which i used to relieve him of monsters. Proceeded to beat the shit out of his life with a hornet for five turns in a row. He summoned a monster to kill my hornet and I booked it. Tried to make No.17 and got warninged. He misplayed here by not first flipping his set monster, but instead summoned a barbaros from hand to which I torrentialed and he chained bribe. If he had flipped his set monster I might have activated the torrential already. Dark hole on both his monsters and summoned a topdecked sangan to hit him twice down to 500. At any point if he drew one of his three remaining malefic cyber end we would go to game 3, however he was not able to, and ended the match by special summoning bottomless traphole in attack mode(lol), and with that the hand shake.

Overjoyed~ was the only reaction I had. Guaranteeing myself the prize card and trophy at this point was the main thing on my mind, and it only got even better as both Memoli and Joshua had secured their places in the top 4 too. We waited for ages for Jarel to finish his drawn out and "Jadge!" filled match, which sadly had to end with him losing. Top 4 matches were immediately announced and I was paired up with Memoli.

Top 4: vs Stefano Memoli(euro rep, Mirror)
Game 1: I drew 3 centipede 1 damsel 2 mst. yea. no veiler drawn the whole game
Game 2: I drew many many traps, but no monsters. He had double mst and proceeded to rape the shit out of me and didnt fall for a single trick I tried when i finally drew inzektors. No veiler drawn the whole game.

It did suck to end my Worlds trip on such a note, however I feel I did my best and lost to good players overal. Will not make much mention of the third and fourth place match as its all over youtube, life streaming was actually a really cool feature, given that is was the 10th World Championships and much special preparations were made. Watched the Dragon Duel final after and boy did the Taiwan kid destroy the Japanese kid. Watched the Finals after and it was a really good match from both players, sad though that Memoli lost as we were all rooting for him.

Went out for a fun night of eating with the rest of the asian reps and staff, ate so much till I wanted to explode. Sukiyaki all the way~.

13th August, Monday
Our flight was at night, so DS and I had the luxury to go shopping for more stuff. Most of the other reps had earlier flights so they all left along our shopping route. Bought alot of Japanese biscuits at the airport before we departed back to the motherland.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the whole experience was amazing. Be it the place, people, or event itself, everything was largely new to me and trading such an experience for something else would never cross my mind. The journey from qualifiers to international level competition was long, and definitely hard, but it has been a pleasure to be able to represent Singapore in this game of Yugioh. Once again would like to give a shout out to everyone who has supported me both at home and also friends whom I have made abroad. I may not have been the ideal person for such an honour in everyone's eyes but I do believe that I have done my pretty damn best.

 Thanks for the patience to read through the lengthy post, next post will be about the new format and my new love deck aka Wind-Up!


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