2012 in Review

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YCS Barcelona is the last premier event of 2012 and what a year it has been! We’ve had a number of memorable events during the past 12 months and provided Duelists with a lot of reasons to check back to our coverage page regularly. Join me in looking back at one the most successful years of Dueling in Europe.
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We kicked things off way back in February, when the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series stopped for a second time in Germany.
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YCS Leipzig

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Dino Rabbit was the deck to beat 9 months ago, as indicated by our Deck and Duelist Breakdown for YCS Leipzig. While there were a number of other contenders in the field, most notably the Inzektors that made a surprise comeback less than a month ago in Seattle, the majority of the players tried their luck with the deck that could make the most of [rabbit]'[s] effect.
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1140 showed up, but only 2 could make it to the finals!

1140 showed up for YCS Leipzig!

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Stephan Sluis added a second title to his resume as he was able to overcome Fabian Renner’s Inzektor deck in the finals! He had already won YCS Paris a few months earlier and came close in Brighton again, making it to the round of the final 8, but this time no one could stop him.
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We then surprised quite a few followers of our coverage as we already returned in March, presenting you a live look at the action of YCS #100 in Long Beach, CA!
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YCS Long Beach

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Wytze Kluitenberg was one of the Europeans that made the trip to Long Beach, representing the old continent with pride. He had all reason to; after all, he won the special edition of the “Win a Trip” Public Event in Leipzig, so Konami sorted out his travel arrangements for him!
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Wytze Kluitenberg got a great reward for his Win a Trip success in Leipzig!

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In the end, the sheer numbers of the American Duelists proved a little too much for most of the European contenders. However, one came extremely close: Simon He. Players from all over the world started referring to him as “The man who tops everything” shortly after as it was only one of the many events where the veteran Duelist from the UK made it to the knock out portion. Will he be able to go all the way for the first time this weekend? We’ll see soon! But first, let’s look back at…
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YCS Toulouse

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The second stop of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series in France brought us to Toulouse, where the Inzektors finally caught up with the Dino Rabbit deck as is apparent in our Deck and Duelist Breakdown. It was one of the smaller events of 2012, but nonetheless, many experienced Duelists came out on top of the field and battled it out in the Top 32!
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Here's the most successful Duelist of this weekend: Peter Groß, your YCS Toulouse Winner!

Peter Groß starting his winning streak at YCS Toulouse!

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The Austrian veteran Peter Groß came out on top, beating Sweden’s most successful player Jack Bruun in the finals. A honorable mention should be given to Jake Quinsee, who added yet another strong finish to his resume – just like Simon He, he’s one of the players to look out for when it comes to predicting the players that will make out the Top 32.
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The European Championship 2012

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Next, we stopped in Italy for the European Championship 2012. Milan’s own Stefano Memoli had tasted glory before, but his win at the World Championship Qualifier this past year introduced him to an even larger audience!
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The European Champion 2012: Stefano Memoli from Milan!

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Together with Joshua Schmidt from Germany, Angel Matas from Spain and Michail Paraschos from Greece, they represented Europe at the World Championship in Tokyo, Japan. Stefano came close there, but couldn’t bring back the title with him. Maybe the European Duelists will be able to accomplish this again in the new year?
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Sealed Showdown in Sheffield

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The second to last European event of the year went down in Sheffield and if you haven’t been there, you really missed out! The Sealed format attracted a lot of returning players that hadn’t been in touch with the game for several years and they had lots of fun trying to build the best possible decks out of the cards they had been dealt prior to the start of the tournament!
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Stolen Monkey

Sheffield brought back old Duelists, classic cards and fond memories!

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The event was an overwhelming success and all the Duelists that weren’t too sure if the veterans would have an edge over less experienced players were silenced by Rodrigo Togores’ and Peter Gross’ presence in the finals. Could Togores win yet another title after he already won a YCS and a European Championship? Or could Gross win back to back YCS and become the first ever Sealed Champion? If you don’t remember, check out our Feature Match of the Finals again (and skip the next paragraph for the time being)
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Gross mastered the daunting task, moving up in the ranks as one of the few Duelists that won back to back events! If we’d be handing out a player of the year award, he’d also be a hot competitor, but let’s first wait and see what happens this weekend.
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That concludes our recap of 2012. We’ll follow it up with Quick Questions as we would also like to hear from our attendees this weekend what’s been their personal highlight of the year. What about you, what was your favorite moment of the passing year?
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