National Champion Profiles – Part 1

We have 785 players in competition today. Some of those players have already been very successful this year, by becoming a National Champion. In several articles we will present you these skilled Duelists. Here are the first five National Champions – a round of applause, please!

[abstand]
Long Dao[abstand]
[quote]
[b]Name: [/b] Long Dao
[b]Age: [/b] 21
[b]Country: [/b] Austria, winner of Czech Nationals

[b]What Deck did win your Nationals with and what Deck are you playing today? [/b]
I won Czech Nationals with Shaddolls, but I chose different deck for this event. I don’t want to give information on the deck yet since it’s something special and I want to rely on the surprise factor. Thank you for your understanding.

[b]Who was your toughest opponent at your National Championship? [/b]
That was in the finals, where I had to play Ritual Beasts. I wasn’t really familiar with the deck and struggled beating it. I’m glad I won in the end. It got me a free trip here to Dublin.

[b]Have you gained any more recognition because of your National Championship win? [/b]
Since I already won a few premier events before including the National Championship in Austria nothing really has changed.

[b]How did you prepare for this event?? [/b]
I spent a whole week playtesting with Peter Gross in Korfu. We flew there to visit his mother and had a good time. I hope all the effort will pay off in the end.

[b]Finally, have you had a chance to explore Dublin yet? [/b]
I arrived here yesterday and we had some time to walk through the city. In the evening we went to a club and enjoyed ourselves.
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Luke Smythe
[quote]
[b]Name: [/b] Luke Smythe
[b]Age: [/b] 26
[b]Country: [/b] UK, won Irish Nationals

[b]What Deck did win your Nationals with and what Deck are you playing today? [/b]
Nekroz, it is the most powerful and most consistent deck in the game at the moment. It is so much more powerful than any other deck and there wasn’t anything else to play. I’m still running my Nekroz build. I made a couple of changes of changes but basically it’s still the same deck.

[b]Who was your toughest opponent at your National Championship? [/b]
It was in the Semifinals: I misjudged overtime procedure since there are only 3 turns. So I lost Game 2 in overtime and we had to go to Game 3 in time. My opponent started the Game with five set [zf]. Luckily my opening hand consisted of [denko] so I could lock down his whole backrow and I won the match.

[b]Have you gained any more recognition because of your National Championship win? [/b]
It’s pretty much the same as before since the Irish community is so intimate. We all know each other.

[b]How did you prepare for this event?? [/b]
I have some friends I’m regularly playtesting with. Basically it’s the same group as for nationals. We agree on basic version of a deck and playtest from there on. I made some last minute changes to my deck since Ritual Beast seems to be factor in the metagame right now. All three of my friends ended up in the Top 8 finishing 1st, 2nd and 5th.

[b]Finally, have you had a chance to explore Dublin yet? [/b]
We arrived here on Friday evening and had to look for a place to eat. Since I’m from around here I know Dublin quite well.
[/quote][abstand]

Sebastian Moser
[quote]
[b]Name: [/b] Sebastian Moser
[b]Age: [/b] 22
[b]Country: [/b] Austria, Villach

[b]What Deck did win your Nationals with and what Deck are you playing today? [/b]
I won with Yosenju. Basically, it was the only deck that I had at my disposal at that time. Originally I wanted to play Nekroz but couldn’t get the cards in time.

[b]Who was your toughest opponent at your National Championship? [/b]
That was in the final. It was a very close game. I had to play Qliphort, which is one of my toughest Match-Ups anyway. The match went back and forth until I finally managed to pull off the victory.

[b]Have you gained any more recognition because of your National Championship win? [/b]
I feel like I’m a little more popular than before. What I did notice is that players seem to be more motivated playing against me. Obviously it’s a bigger challenge playing the recent National Champion.

[b]How did you prepare for this event?? [/b]
I playtested a lot with some friends of mine. We tested all the possible Match-Ups there are in order to tweak my deck.

[b]Finally, have you had a chance to explore Dublin yet? [/b]
I arrived late this afternoon and didn’t have time to explore the city yet. But I will on Sunday evening *smiles*
[/quote][abstand]
Marvin Schmidt
[quote]
[b]Name: [/b] Marvin Schmidt
[b]Age: [/b] 20
[b]Country: [/b] Germany, won Belgian Nationals

[b]What Deck did win your Nationals with and what Deck are you playing today? [/b]
I was piloting Burning Abyss. I decided to run the deck because I think that the Nekroz Match-Up was pretty good. This has changed now, because they are playing the [nz sorc] version. Nekroz is prepared for the Match-Up so had to make some changes accordingly.

[b]Who was your toughest opponent at your National Championship? [/b]
That was Merlin Schumacher in Top 16 for sure. He was playing Nekroz and the match went into overtime. In the end I won the game but it was very close.

[b]Have you gained any more recognition because of your National Championship win? [/b]
Probably yes, but I didn’t notice a lot of changes. Now as I think about it I would say that I do have more international contacts and recognition since my win.

[b]How did you prepare for this event?? [/b]
I playtested a lot with my friends. We sit down and talk about card choices but I stick to my own decisions. I have my own point of view on card choices and so far it served me well.

[b]Finally, have you had a chance to explore Dublin yet? [/b]
I arrived today and didn’t find time yet. I leave on Monday evening so I will have spare time for sightseeing.
[/quote][abstand]
Last but nor least we present the Bulgarian National Champion – Viktor Kieu!
[quote]
[b]Name: [/b] Viktor Kieu
[b]Age: [/b] 27
[b]Country: [/b] Bulgaria, Sofia

[b]What Deck did win your Nationals with and what Deck are you playing today? [/b]
I won with Nekroz. I think it’s the most consistent deck in the current metagame. I’m running it for this event as well as I’m still feeling very confident with the deck. Had I known that [wavering] was already tournament legal for this event, I might have switched to Qliphort change. The card makes the deck so much stronger.

[b]Who was your toughest opponent at your National Championship? [/b]
In the Quarterfinals I had to play one of our previous National Champions. It was a mirror match and we went through almost all of our options in our decks. It was a really intense match and I won in the end. I want to mention that we did not go to time *smiles*

[b]Have you gained any more recognition because of your National Championship win? [/b]
Actually as this is the second time I won the Bulgarian National Championship players already knew me.

[b]How did you prepare for this event?? [/b]
I prepared in every kind of way possible. I went through different sources of information on the internet. I did a lot of playtesting with my friends in order be prepared for all kinds of Match-Ups.

[b]Finally, have you had a chance to explore Dublin yet? [/b]
I arrived on Thursday we had time to check out the city. I like it a lot. We’ve met a lot of nice people.
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