Far from Home Talk: Jesse Kotton from CANADA

Despite Australia being so far from the rest of the world, players still make the trek all the way down under to play. It takes a certain kind of competitive player to make the journey, and one of the most competitive players in the world is none other than Jesse Kotton. Last year he only decided he would be coming to this event just 4 days before the event itself, but this year he came earlier to be able to soak in the Australian culture and interact with the wildlife here. In terms of the game, Jesse has competed at the World Championship 3 times, won 2 YCS, won a UDS, and has made top cut in every continent of the TCG territory. Last YCS Sydney, Jesse impressively remained undefeated throughout the tournament all the way until he unfortunately lost in the finals and this year he is back to claim the title he just missed out on. He has happily agreed to sit down and chat with us about his experiences coming down.

Jesse Far from home


Hey Jesse, how are you feeling about this weekend?

I’m feeling good. Had a good stay while I was here and did a lot to get in touch with Australian culture and wildlife and now I’m ready to play.


How long did it take you to get here?

It took 14 hours. My family went on a cruise around Mexico over the holiday period so I flew here from LA. If I flew from Toronto it would have taken a lot longer.


What deck are you playing?

I am playing Sky Striker Orcust. It is by far the most powerful deck!


When did you decide on this deck and what other decks did you consider?

I decided on this deck about a month ago after YCS Pasadena and I also considered Danger Thunder Dragon because it is my favorite deck and likely the deck I would have the most fun with. In the end I decided to go with what I believe was the stronger option.


How do you approach big events and what is your goal?

My goal at events is firstly make it to top cut and then secondly to win. I approach big events by putting a lot of thoughts into my decks and my plays but most of all going with my gut instinct.


How do you stay on top of your game through the long day?

I have a strict diet leading up to the event. This usually involves curry once a day and hamburgers with just meat and barbecue sauce on the side. I think this gives me the energy to play on the day as there is little time to eat on the day. You do need to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated to be able to think clearly.


How long have played this game and how did you improve to get where you are today?

I have played this game since I was 5 so for about 15 years now and slowly wanting to get better and better and getting to the next level. You see a lot of growth over time even though it might be hard to see at first. My weekends as a kid involved going to Wendy’s with my dad and then playing racing cars before heading to locals.


What would be one piece of advice you would give to aspiring players?

Never give up! A game isn’t lost until the final life point is depleted or there are no cards left to draw. I see too many people giving up but the heart of the cards is alive and well! A lot of players actually concede games that are not lost but they give up faith in themselves and their deck.


Which locals do you play at and what is it like?

I play at GameNation in Toronto, Ontario. It’s super cool. They have a lot of stock available and a lot of good players to practice against.


How was the World Championship?

The trip was amazing but the tournament itself could have gone a lot better. I don’t think I did well as I could have and intend to make up for it this year if I get there.


Any shoutouts or final words?

Shout out to Luke Campisi for hosting and driving me around Sydney. Shout out to Nishad and Esala for holding my hand all the way through the tournament.

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