Duelist Diary YCS Barcelona #1

[p]It’s been a while since we last provided you with the Duelist Diaries. This weekend, we wanted to look over the shoulders of Jarel Winston, Mathijs Schuurman and Eduard Alvarez. Head inside to see how they got here and what they expect to see this weekend!
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Jarel Winston came all the way from the US to participate today!
Jarel Winston came all the way from the US to participate today!

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One of the current household names in Yu-Gi-Oh! is definitely Jarel Winston. The young Duelist from the Bronx, New York, had to overcome a 7 hour trip to make it to Barcelona. Asked about it, he only had good things to say: “It was really smooth sailing! The food was great and I even saw some snowy mountains, which was also nice.”
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It’s the first time in Europe for Jarel, who has already seen parts of Japan as he represented the US there with pride (– so much pride, in fact, that he even sported a matching haircut).
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[b]Jarel:[/b] It’s overwhelming. Everyone’s coming up for signatures; I can’t really go anywhere without being noticed. I’m tired, which is a pretty new experience for me; usually, I’m all prepared for the events and well rested.
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I’m very hopeful that I can do well in the event, but I have to take it one game at a time.
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I also asked Jarel about his deck choice. He explained he’d opted to go with Geargias as he topped with them at YCS Indianapolis after he came back from Worlds. One of his friends from Rhode Island also played the deck and won the whole thing. That wasn’t enough reason to convince Jarel, but he added some more interesting information:
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[b]Jarel:[/b] I’m very attached to the deck. It takes a lot of skill and you have a very hard match-up against the Water or Wind-Up Decks, but you can beat them if you don’t make mistakes.
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The biggest challenge for Jarel this weekend will be adapting to the European way of Dueling. He’s curious to find out how that will go.
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Last time we saw Mathijs Schuurman was at YCS Brighton!
Last time we saw Mathijs Schuurman was at YCS Brighton!

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Last time we saw Mathijs Schuurman was at YCS Brighton, almost a full year ago! A lot has happened since as he lost his bag with most of his cards back in the UK. Fortunately, his friends provided him with a Karakuri deck so he could still continue playing.
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Mathijs then took a short break from playing and started judging more. It was a very interesting experience for him:
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[b]Mathijs:[/b] In the Netherlands, there’s a whole new generation of players growing up and they’re just starting to understand how you build the best decks and do well in the larger events. So far, they only have experience with local events. I provided guidance for them and it was a very rewarding experience to see them grow!
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I also wanted to know if he’s playing Karakuris this weekend and that’s when he told me all about his little “journey” that left him with the deck he’s playing this weekend. He switched to Chaos Dragons after he got a little tired of the Karakuris. However, after Future Fusion was added to the list of forbidden cards, he didn’t feel like sticking with the deck and then chose to run Geargias. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite make the deck work – it just didn’t fit his personal playstyle.
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That’s when a friend told him about the Mermails. While he wasn’t too impressed at first, the deck quickly grew on him after he saw it in action a couple of times. He got his hands on the most important cards and tried them at a local tournament. Even though he made a lot of mistakes, he had a blast piloting this new archetype!
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He’s trained hard since and feels confident that he can make a strong showing this weekend!
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Asked about his goals, he told me his first goal was to not lose his bag. His second goal is to meet a lot of friends and his third and least important goal is to do well! Let’s wish him some good luck for that!
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Eduard Alvarez Carrera is our local player this weekend!
Eduard Alvarez Carrera is our local player this weekend!

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Eduard is our local players this weekend, he definitely had the shortest way out of the three as he came here with the Metro.
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I asked him what he thought about the event and this is what he had to say:
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It’s the first time the YCS comes to Spain and all the players from Barcelona were overly happy that Konami picked our city for it! I was a little busy the last month because of my exams, but as soon as I was done, I hit the store as many times as I could to get some games in and prepare for the event.[br]
On top of that, I also made sure to invite some friends over to prepare together and have some dinner after. Those were definitely some fun evenings!
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I also asked Eduard about his deck choice. He told me that he wanted to play “something different” this time and that’s why he opted to stick with Chain Burn this weekend. According to him, it’s a funny deck and can catch opponents off-guard. It also has reasonable match-ups against Mermails, Wind-Up and Dino Rabbit Decks and this really helps it do well in this field.
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This is how he did so far:
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I lost the first round, but bounced back the second round and am hopefully well on track now. It (Chain Burn) is probably not the best deck to reach the tops, but since I didn’t have to pay a lot of Euros to come here, I thought why not play something more funny when the event’s coming to my backyard?!
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I’m mostly here to have fun and meet friends from all over Europe, but if I do well with the deck, I won’t complain!
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Alright, that’s it from our Diary Duelists for the time being. We’ll revisit them after round 3 to see how they’ve been faring!
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