A New Way to Yugioh – 3 vs 3 YCS – What is it All About?

Hello Yugioh Community! I want to start off this week by making a couple of obvious statements. Yugioh is a lot of fun especially when you are playing with friends. There is a lot of luck that can sometimes trump skill in this game and can be quite frustrating for players of all levels. Most duelist out there would agree with these remarks I have made and I believe there is a way we can incorporate these facts and take competitive Yugioh to the next level! Many of you know at YCS events there is a public event that is held on Sunday called the 3v3 and over the past year it has become quite popular, at YCS Seattle they had around 20 teams enter it even and there have been ones in the past with even more entries. I want to propose the idea that Konami should hold a 3v3 Team Yugioh Championship Series. It is my opinion that introducing this new way of holding a major event would not only be exciting to participate in, but will help the game grow and become more dynamic.

Question of the Article – Would you participate in a 3v3 YCS?

Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!

-What is a 3v3-

Let me begin by explaining exactly how a 3v3 tournament works since it isn’t exactly common knowledge unless you have previously participated in one. The tournament runs just like any regular 1v1 Tournament with 40 minute rounds, a specific number of swiss rounds with a top cut dependent on the amount of teams that enter, same end of match procedure, same match slip process, basically same everything, but instead of your match determining a winner and a loser, it will be dependent on how your team did as a whole against the other team.

Each team will consist of 3 players, Player A, Player B, and Player C. The letter you are will determine who you face on the opposing team. For example, let’s say Team AlteReality consists of myself as Player A. Jeff Jones as Player B, and Frazier Smith as Player C. We are facing Team Bubbles consisting of Joe Giorlando as Player A, Paul Clarke as Player B, and Patrick Hoban as Player C. When we sit down to play for the round I would face Joe Giorlando (Player A vs. Player A), Jeff Jones would face Paul Clarke (Player B vs. Player B), and Frazier Smith would face Patrick Hoban (Player C vs. Player C). We would all play a normal match, best two out of three games, and a winning team would be determined once two players from one team have defeated two players from the other. So if Joe Giorlando manages to defeat me two out of three games, but Jeff Jones and Frazier Smith defeated their opponent’s, Team AlteReality would get the win for the round despite the fact that I lost my match. We would sign the match slip like a normal tournament and wait for the next round to begin.

Be sure you know what position you want to be in because once you decided you are going to be Player A, you are stuck in that spot for the rest of the tournament.

At the five different 3v3 public events I have played in there has been one rule that has been different almost every time I have played pending on the rule of the head judge. The rule I am talking about would be whether it is allowed for team mates to talk to each other about their matches and give advice to one another. It is my understanding that each player plays as an individual and giving help or advice to one another should not be allowed.

-Common Misconceptions-

Shortly after updating my Facebook status upon my return from YCS Seattle expressing my desire for a 3v3 YCS, it quickly became evident that there was a decent amount of duelist out there who had the wrong idea about how it would work. Hopefully my brief synopsis of how a round would play out helped, but I want to take some time and debunk some of these false ideas.

For some reason when people here 3v3 they instantly think of a team tournament and then somehow directly relate that to a tag team duel. This is not what a 3v3 is as you can see from my description above; it is just like a normal match in any regular tournament. Each player plays as an individual; there are no shared lifepoints, no shared fields, no shared graves, each player will play their own independent games and have fairly limited interactions with their teammates outside of needing them to win their match to advance.

The truth is actually quite the opposite. Rounds will still be timed to 40 minutes (Even though I think it would be a good idea to give players 45 minutes since the number of rounds played will more than likely be reduced) so there is no reason to believe each round would take long on average. The number of participating teams will also be far less than the number of participating individuals at a normal YCS which results in more rounds normally. The number of rounds of swiss played at a YCS is directly determined by the number of participants. For example, if a YCS has 1025-2048 players then that would result in an 11 round tournament, but if you take the same number of participants at a 3v3 YCS you would be diving the total number of entrants by 3 since each team will count as 1 participant made up of 3 players. If there were 1026 players attending the 3v3 YCS that would mean 342 teams would participate in the tournament and there would be nine rounds of swiss on day 1 followed by a top cut to 16 to be played out in the morning. They could even alter it to where there are only seven rounds of swiss in day 1 followed by the last two in the following morning to help balance out the time spent on both days. A 3v3 YCS would be faster, efficient, and a whole lot of fun.

-What is the Point of All of This?-
From personal experience, 3v3 tournaments take a good percentage out of the luck factor that so many duelists complain about in this game and they are insanely fun. It is not an odd sight for a duelist to be in a bad position, and for all intents and purposes should lose the game, but top decks a certain card (Black Luster Soldier/Monster Reborn) and they make a sack-tastic comeback and when the game, leaving the other player feeling like he was robbed. This can still happen, but in a 3v3 there is a buffer system and the odds are much lower that it will happen to two players on your team in the same round. So even if you get unlucky and lose you still have your teammates to count on and overcome your bad fortune. 3v3 are also just really fun to play in. Nothing beats cheering on your teammates and having to count on them to help you advance and move on through the tournament. You get to play Yugioh all day sitting next to your friends, not much can beat that.

If 3v3 YCS are implemented and it becomes a stable format that players want to have success in there is also some secondary effects that can be really healthy for the game. I honestly believe that once players decided who they are going to play with they will test play and work harder together to make sure everyone is on a level in which they can compete and have a chance to win. This inspires team work and trust me three heads are better than one. Players will bounce ideas off one another and share their thoughts and that is how great decks are created. The first time I got 2nd place I used an X-Saber deck that after spending a week at my friends house in Chicago with a few of my friends such as Ryan Spicer, Agustin Herrera, and Austin Kulman. We all had different ideas and figured out what build we felt was the best and took it to the event. Our collaboration and testing proved to be effective and we all topped the event. Sadly, Ryan ended up playing Agustin in top 16 and I played the winner of the two in top 8, so we had to eliminate each other. I have been playing this game a long time and have a decent amount of major event tops under my belt and outside of my first few tops they were probably all with decks that had resulted from collaboration with my friends. Even to this day I still discuss ideas with some close friends and I can’t count the number of great ideas that have resulted from this.

Conclusion: Yugioh has had the same advanced format for all of its American major events for quite some time and I think it is time to try something new and introduce a 3v3 YCS. Not only would this be fun, there are many reasons to why it could prove to reward more skillful plays and cut back on the sack factor that has plagued this game for so long. It will promote friendships in the game and raise the bar for players everywhere. Once everyone can understand how this sort of tournament will work I have no doubt that it will take off and become very popular. Anytime you can inspire players to work harder, train more, and even something as simple as throwing ideas around as a group, I guarantee the quality of decks and play in general will increase. While I do not know if this dream will ever come to fruition, I believe with all of my heart this would be an amazing step for the game in the right direction.

Thanks for Reading! If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or simply just want to answer the question of the article, feel free to do so in the comments down below!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion