Tuesday, September 11, 2012

End of an Era; Start of Anew

No, this isn't a "I'm quitting YGO for Magic" post lol. On the contrary, I'm personally liking the format a lot - my only gripe is Gateway, and I can't talk about Wind-Ups because no one has "wind-up'd" me yet. I think the deck is just starting to get some recognition around here...yea, shows what our meta is like. Samurai makes up a reasonable chunk of our local meta, and like I've went on about before, any idiot can go Gateway derp-derp win. I find it intriguing that most of the Chaos Dragon players simply went to Samurai, from one sack deck to another.

What I'd like to talk about in this post is the death of competitive YGO for the Spokane area, and where we, both in terms of the team, and the area, go from here. The issue has been lingering I'd say ever since Link, Danny and I topped Seattle regionals a few months ago. We all knew the game was in an unhealthy state, people were getting Future Fusion'd and hand-looped left and right, every deck you made had to deal with the question "how would this do against Inzektors?" and "what can I do against Laggia + 3 backrow?" I didn't enjoy it, and after regionals, the game didn't seem to matter due to the unenjoyable-ness of the format and since the ban list was coming up anyway. I got more of a kick out of playing our fake-traditional format than anything else at the time, similar to how the rest of the YGO community seemed to be playing Goat Control. All of the rest of the team members didn't play as well, so this was the team's "downtime" and theoretically when people could come out of the woodwork to play in tournaments where we weren't around. I had told people that we were all taking a break but once the new format started up again we'd be back in full force. The Northtown tournaments seemed to be increasing in number week after week, hitting unprecedented levels (for our area), and I made it a mission that that tournament would be ours when we started up again.

When the new list came out, I was very excited and started researching what decks would be good. The transition was a little awkward where I went one direction and basically turned right around to start from the beginning, but the matches I played between the list-reveal to now have been mostly fun. Sure there are OTKs and some derpiness, but I've come to accept that that will always exist in this game.

Fast forward to last Sunday, which was supposed to be the box tournament at Gamer's Haven. I had been telling people that if people didn't show up by 12:30, I would go to Northtown (so I could at least play in a tourney) and furthermore be done with trying to coordinate box tourneys in general. In the back of my mind I knew that directly competing with Northtown's tourney wouldn't bode well, but I did not expect quite the sheer poor turnout that occurred. Basically it was just Danny and me, and people that we had agreed would be joining the team on this day anyway. The Yakima crew couldn't come for what ever reason, but a part of me was relieved because I wouldn't have wanted them to drive all this way for there to be like a 10-man tourney. None of the other team members came as well, between work and God knows what. So at this point, Danny announced that there would be no more box tourneys at the Haven, and we welcomed the new team members Junior, Schroeder, Roy, Vampire, and put Shiggs back on. We have always said, what's the point in having a team of players that never play; our presence had become minimal, motivation stagnant, and nothing was going on even in this brand new format. It was finally time to expand our horizons and take the team in a new direction to adapt to what our area had become.

On this day marked the end of competitive YGO for our area, in which the old mindset of "playing to be the best" was no longer. I posted this on the Facebook page for Gamer's Haven:

"This is the difference between the old generation and the new - back in the day if you wanted to get better, you had to grind it out for weeks/months to improve. Lord knows I've had my share of ass-whoopin's in this game. Rather than get frustrated and say "I can't win I'm just gonna quit", I put in more time and more effort to improving. I watched those that were better than me to see how they played or their plays in general. Nowadays people want things handed to them or just get the easy FuFu/Gateway/Card Destruction type of wins. Peoples' attitudes nowadays are "well there are too many good players at this tourney, let's go somewhere easier" instead of "hey there are a lot of good people here, maybe I can learn how to get better.""

People not showing up for the box tourney to instead go to the "little kid" local only cemented my thought process for me. I don't blame people for wanting to get that easier prize support, hell we all do, but what kind of satisfaction comes from that. Where does improvement occur, and how do you grow as a player? Those are the things that come to my mind, but perhaps it's true that this generation no longer cares about that kind of stuff. I know there are others that share my thinking and all, but that is my "in general" observation. Some people think "well I know I have no shot so what's the point of spending my $10", which blows my mind. So if people go to a YCS where Alistar, Billy, Jeff, Dale, Lazaro, and Frazier are all at, they should just be like "pfffft what the fuck's the point all these guys are here" ? No, I don't believe in that. That attitude does not get you anywhere, in several different aspects. I would love to get my ass kicked by Jeff Jones or any of those guys, because I know there are things I would learn about what I'm lacking and what they have. If I beat them, well hey I get bragging rights right? :) All kidding aside, that is how true improvement occurs: play against people better than you, take a piece of humble pie, and eat it. Don't just eat it, understand what you're eating and why. It doesn't happen by playing against little kid/random Timmy Johnson and stomping his ass week after week. This is my ideology, the old way of thinking. The competitive way of thinking. For our area, the death of competitive thinking. 

So what happens now, for the "old dog" in the "new playground". How does the new "pack" function and what does the new playground bring about? For this old dog, it means integration but keeping my way of thinking. I view every game as a final match and I know I have what it takes to beat you. If it's not my day and you win, well hey I guess it just wasn't my day. If my side was crap, I'll fix it. Like I've told people, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Have no issues takin' their prize support." I guess my worst habit is splitting for first more often than I should. I always have. As a married man on a leash, sometimes I really do just need to gtfo. While I am competitive, I am economical and logical moreso. I understand the sackiness of this game in which any random can get the literal nuts and win out, and some people construe that how they want, as fear or what have you. I don't fear anyone in this game and at this point I don't feel I have to prove anything. I just want my cut because economically I can do more by ensuring I get my share, rather than gambling it and losing out because my opponent opened Gateway/FuFu/insert other sack card here. 

As for the pack, the team; it is the time for change, acceptance, and adaptability. Having the 1992 Olympic Dream Team for a roster doesn't mean shit if no one on it plays. I can accept that Alan will still probably only get to get his "once a month" in and that's about it. I feel your pain lol. I can accept that people have girlfriends, jobs, and life stuff to deal with in general and sometimes YuGiOh just isn't a priority anymore. People move on to bigger and better things. I can also accept that we all don't need to be at the level of "the best" - the genuine passion and motivation to become better, and helping those around you is what should be admired. With the right state of mind, getting better is easy. I've witnessed it, and coached people to go from local random to regional topper. Those that are hungry, will eat. The hard part is finding those people with that state of mind. The team will always be composed of only those people - those with the right attitude, the drive to always become better, and play to the best of their ability. We are the hungry- those with the insatiable appetite to become better than we were the day before.


  1. I hope that all of the team reads this

  2. You wouldn't believe how competitive the den has gotten since you left us :(. Theres an average of about 8 players that travel to regionals and such, the tourneys are still relatively small(about 25-35 usually) but hey i'll take a small difficult tourney over a big easy one any day. Also, the regional that we had 2 weeks ago was terrible. It was nothing but sack samurai and just sacky decks in general. No heroes like i thought, no agents, just wind-ups, samurais, and yes even still chaos dragons even though its more like ls dragons now since they run triple jd. But this was a great article that more people need to see. Keep up the good work.