Hey, guys! This is my first article on this site. I am incredibly excited and I would firstly like to give some background on myself: I’m from Cape Town, South Africa and majority of the readers won’t know who I am because South Africa doesn’t host any premier events outside of Nationals. I won our National Championship in 2009, never went to our Nationals in 2010 and placed in the top 8 of 2011. I have been playing the game for 3 years now and am extremely keen on travelling to either Europe or North America for a YCS! Enough about me, let’s get to the article:
Today’s article revolves around the players that you find at your local event and how you should behave at a certain event. Now etiquette can fall into many categories: how you behave as a duelist, how you behave as a fellow duelist in your Yugioh community towards helping some other duelist and teaching others how to play the game. Etiquette can even fall underneath the sub-categories of hygiene, punctuality and how presentable you and your cards look on the day.
The first example in the aforementioned paragraph is you as a duelist and how you may and may not behave. I see many players behaving over confident, and not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the boundary that you cross is when your confidence breaks-down someone else’s confidence. An example would be if player A stepped into the event and entered and would have to wait a while, and while player A is walking around he sees some other player duelling another player and laughing on the side lines and telling this player that he/she is “stupid” and walks-off. That’s showing that you are a confident person and player, but it shows this in an arrogant manner. Let’s take that example again, but play the scenario out differently: a confident duelist would walk-up to the table, watch the duelist and not say “stupid,” but would tell that duelist what he/she did incorrectly and would tell them how to improve their game. With this example not only did you show that you are a helpful person, but you demonstrated your confidence in a manner which is acceptable. But then again, there’s another extreme: being that “ghost” duelist. Now what could I possibly mean by that? A ghost player refers to a player who just sits and waits for their next opponent. Their skill level can be substantial or not. Now playing against such a player is what makes this game dull. Sitting and doing nothing but playing without commentary defeats the purpose of the game; yes, everyone wants to win or top an event, but everyone wants to have fun too. Don’t be that duelist who seems like he/she doesn’t like duelling, because then you don’t belong in the game.
Leading from that point and associating yourself with other players means you have to have good sportsmanship before, during and after a duel. I’ve seen many players when they lose say, “He got lucky and I opened badly all three games etc.” Yes, that happens, and that’s Yugioh. But don’t carry that burden on your shoulders for too long. There’s nothing wrong with feeling undone when your opponent gets lucky or you got unlucky and going home and shaking it off, because how else would you lose the taste of that defeat? Beating that duelist won’t make that one loss against him/her disappear. Now the reason this is brought in comes into the fact that you might not ever like that duelist again because he/she knocked you out of the tournament and it doesn’t matter how many times you beat that player again, you will never forget that one experience. Now I’ve seen many players look disheartened after the duel and feel that “Yugioh anger” against that person and they end-up not shaking hands with the person; that’s poor sportsmanship. This not only shows that you are a sore loser, but it shows that you don’t respect the next person and this could reflect the type of person that you are. Now there’s another type of hand shaking that one does during the duration of the tournament: this is to shake the opposing player’s hand before the duel actually begins, it doesn’t matter if it’s the final or the first round. Wishing your opponent good luck always makes them feel better about themselves and it makes them feel less intimidated by you. It’s not always good to see an intimidating player play against you yet alone have them not wish you luck. I remember when I was a younger player and how I detested playing against some other player whom I knew was much better than what I was. But then again, you cannot be that player who snidely says good luck but knows in the back of their mind that you didn’t mean it or you even say that out loudly.
Helping-out other players is the one way that you as a duelist can increase the player base. I remember when I was younger and was more of an inexperienced player, I would have enjoyed it thoroughly if a player with more experience told me how to obtain better cards or how to duel better than what I currently was at the time. That’s why I think it’s of such importance that in order to improve the game state, you have experienced players helping-out the more inexperienced players, but instead I see these very players just attempting to get their best cards from them. Yes, I understand that this is a game of trading cards, but don’t give them ridiculous offers, because that degrades the game and that is detrimental to the rest of the Yugioh player base. An example would be if you saw a younger player with a Secret Rare Dark Armed Dragon and you only have a Super Rare one. The point is that if you want to get their Dark Armed Dragon, you trade appropriately for it. Don’t give them your $1 and your Dark Armed Dragon for theirs, because you know that’s daylight robbery. And then tell them that they do the same thing and that rarity doesn’t matter. Now you as an experienced player just misled that inexperienced player and right off the bat they got the wrong end of how to trade.
The final point which I would like to introduce is your personal life: I don’t mean your schoolwork, family or anything like that, but yourself and how you act before you get to the local event. The first point being that of hygiene: Pitching-up at a local event and seeing a countless amount of players sweat is normal, but when they have a certain odour, that makes other players want to leave the event or have an unhappy time. Imagine having to go up against someone who scratches their head constantly or scratching their body the entire time and having to shake their hand after the game. There is no reason to not have a shower before an event, and if it is due to time constrictions, you just wake-up earlier. Players slouching at an event is almost as terrible – they’re invulnerable in-terms of trading and having a conversation with as they’re too tired and too hungry. It’s off-putting for the other players who intend to have a fun time at their local when someone else isn’t having one. I’m not saying climb into the bed at 9pm, but I’m saying that duelists should never bring their physical problems with to the event. Complaining that you are hungry and not getting anything to eat makes other players surrounding that player feel down as well – for a matter of fact, any negative mood from another player does and this leads into another aspect: I cannot express how important being punctual is. I’ve been to my local tournament at least a hundred times, and each time, a duelist is not there and the entire local event has to wait for him/her. If the tournament begins at a certain time, you should be pitching-up at that time, or you can expect a game or match loss. It creates problems for the rest of the players as they have to all go home later or have to take later lunch breaks etc. Referring back to hygiene is another important aspect: how you look on the day and what your deck looks like and how you handle someone else’s deck. Don’t go to the tournament wearing a t-shirt which you’ve been wearing for three days or underwear, because that’s just unreasonable and once again the rest of the players at the event have to suffer. I’m not saying that you should look as if you’re going on a date, but being presentable helps your chances by making you feel more confident. I cannot express how important the next point is enough. You cannot manhandle someone else’s deck, tokens, sleeves, or even mat. If your opponent is playing an expensive deck, for example Plant Synchro where the deck is over $1000 and you damage their Tour Guide, while you playing an Agent deck; there’s no place for you to actually replace that Tour Guide. It’s unnecessary you may think. It actually is, considering you could’ve evaded that problem if you took time in shuffling or handling their cards with care.
To wrap things up; when arriving at a tournament there are a few things you should have done at home, currently have in your backpack, and have in your head. Showering would be something which you do at home, as well as allowing yourself to become presentable. You should have the following in your backpack: a calculator, dice, tokens if you’re playing a deck that’s centred around producing tokens, binders if you have cards for trade, your deck, and a mat if you have one. It’s important to remember what your head should have: a good night’s rest and to never allow yourself to get hungry or dehydrated.
Until next time,
Cape Town, South Africa
Wizards Books and Games