“Through the Eyes of a Yugioh Pro” Pt.2

Hello Yugioh Community! I am back for the second part of my article discussing the existence of the Pro Player and what it means to be on that level. First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who responded to PT.1! I welcome all feedback and love hearing what you guys think about my articles! Today I am going to discuss what it means to be a Pro Yugioh Player and look at what it means to some well known players out there! I hope this article will help gives players a better understanding of how the thought process of consistently successful players works.

Why use the name Yugioh Pro?

I wanted to touch base on this really quick before I dove into the heart of this article. The term “Pro” has been around for awhile and I do not see any reason why it should go away or be changed. It is a title that is hard to earn and only few have it with the respect that it deserves. if you were to just google the definition of the word “Professional” you would see this
4. Having or showing great skill; expert:

Through the Eyes of a Pro

Austin Kulman on what it takes to be a Yugioh Pro

“Yugioh is like a game of chess. It is not always about making the first or fastest move, but putting yourself in a position to win turns in advance, you always have to be steps ahead of your opponent.”

Many players out there may know Austin Kulman for being the youngest National Champion for the US, but he also has topped 4 SJC/YCS tournaments! That is a pretty impressive resume!

These are words from a wise man. There are many things that can be taken from what he said! The most important idea I want to draw out is the fact you do not always have to make the first move! I remember back very early days of Tele-dad, SJC Tulsa time period; it was pretty obvious whoever went for the big push first without killing your opponent would usually end up on the losing side, thanks Goyo Guardian! This idea still can hold true in today’s format. With Black Rose Dragon and Dark Hole around every corner, players have to be careful in planning their big push and how they do it. You want to make sure you put yourself in a position to where your opponent cannot come back if you cannot finish them off. It is very easy to “herp derp” all of your monsters on to the field and hope your opponent cannot come back, but the great player will have a calculated plan of how to take over field presence and give their opponent no hope of coming back. The most often and biggest mistake I see players do is attack into a Gorz that will end up costing them the game even though they had everything under control! As Austin said, if you want to be a Yugioh Pro you must take every out that your opponent might have and be able to stop it. Why make a play that could possibly work in favor for your opponent? Through the eyes of a pro, every move that is made is calculated and attempts to leave the player in the best position possible.

Jeff Jones on what goes on through the mind of a Yugioh Pro

“When I play Yugioh, the cards are like pieces of a puzzle. When I look at them they just fit together and I know what I should do. Very rarely do I have to sit and contemplate my plays. That usually only happens when I am in bad shape or trying to figure out my opponent’s cards.”

For those of you who don’t know Jeff he is also a writer for Alter Reality Games. He is a two-time Shonen Jump Champion (winner of the biggest Yugioh tournament ever, beating me in the top 4!) and also has 6 SJC/YCS tops! He is quite the duelist!
I like what Jeff has to say in his quote. He talks about playing as if he is putting together a puzzle. This idea can be very true and is the way a lot of good players might view the game without putting it into words. There is a finite number of cards and plays, and once you get on the top level it can become fairly simple to see all the right moves at the right times. Most Yugioh Pros have dedicated a large amount of time to this game at some point in their life and I believe that there is also a natural card game playing ability that certain people have that help maximize the most out of this time. While this may come easier to a few more than others, hard work and practice can bring people close to the same level. In order to become a Top notch player, you want to have the game come naturally to you as Jeff suggest. The pro player can develop a thought process that will help guarantee that the right play is made every turn to put them in the best position possible to win the duel. This will take time and lots of playtesting, but it is possible. He also goes on to discuss that no matter how good you may be, there will always be times when you have to think about the situation that you are in. This can happen when you are playing against a player of an equal level who is simply trying to outsmart you, or a novice player who is making crazy moves that can confusion even the most seasoned vet. In the end, it is obvious that in order to become a pro player you must be able to look at the game and put the puzzle together correctly or it could all come crashing down fairly easily

Dale Bellido on what a Yugioh Pro is

“Someone who has been consistent through the years, an obvious threat regardless of what tournament they enter, and foremost holds the respect for every aspect of the game (Peers,Judges, etc.). They play the game on a different level that only there equals can understand.”

Dale Bellido is one of the most season yugioh players I know. He is a Shonen Jump Champion with a whopping 16 SJC/YCS tops! Only 3 other players in the world have topped as many events as this guy!
I like what Dale has to say hear. He talks about what it means to him to be a pro player. Consistency is a huge factor in what it means to be one of the best in this game! There are hundreds and hundreds of players who have made the top cut at YCS’s or SJC’s, but once you look at who has topped three or four times, that list becomes quite smaller. It takes a good players to pilot multiple decks and have success with them at many different events! Respect is something that is very hard to get from many people. When you hear lots of people talking about how good a player is or how helpful he might be, you know he has done something to earn the respect of his peers. Respect is a key concept in being a Pro Yugioh player. When Dale talks about “being a threat”, I believe he means it in the sense that if there are over 1000 players at a tournament and people can name about 10 or so players who have a good chance to win it, that would make them an obvious threat. This statement holds true for most Pro Players out there. Finally, the level that Dale is referring to can probably be related to the first two quotes I looked from Jeff Jones and Austin Kulman. It is obvious that the players that can do consistently well have a different way of thinking about the game, and while it may be hard to put into words, there are specific things other players can work on improving to try and reach that top level of play. This idea of being on a higher level as a player is something I believe to be very true.
Many people have asked “How did all the Pro Player’s become friends with each other?” While it is partially because we may all go to a lot of events and see a lot of each other, I believe it is almost like a mutual respect and we are almost drawn towards each other because of the level of play that many consistent players are on. In conclusion, I think they main point that Dale is trying to make is that The “Pro Players” work hard to make sure that they are on the top level, they do what they can to earn the respect from other players and even tournament officials. There is a level that can be achieved to where you are performing to the best of your abilities and the Pro has achieved this status.

Paul Levitin on how to become a Yugioh Pro

“It means to be more like Paul Levitin and less like Billy Brake”

Paul is a Two-Time Shonen Jump Champion with 12 YCS/SJC tops. He has been successful on the tournament scene for quite some time.

I went ahead and wanted to talk about this quote to divulge into the fact that while there may be Yugioh Pro Players they are still people too. Paul and I are good friends and he is actually one of the funniest guys I know. While his sense of humor may seem like talking down to someone, he can be quite the jest. His quote is a good reminder to remember that this is a game. While the tournament scene can be quite competitive, there is nothing wrong with a little burn from one friend to another! This quote is a good reminder to remember to have fun when you are playing this game!
Conclusion: In this article I wanted to show that it is healthy for this game to have a top level or players or Yugioh Pros. They do exist and if you give them a chance can be quite helpful in making yourself a better overall yugioh player! It is always important to remember this is a card game and can be fun to joke around with your friends at times ( as Paul helped remind us!). There are Yugioh Pros, but that does not mean that you could not become one someday! It takes a lot of hard work, but if you have the right mind set and the right tools, it can be done!
Thank you for reading! Do not forget to answer the question of the article!

Question of the Article: Which quote was the most helpful for you?