Players to look out for
16.07.2010 | 11:00
More than 200 duelists are expected to make the journey to the WCQ: European Championship this upcoming weekend. We would like to introduce some of the favored players to you prior to the tournament, so you won’t lose track of them in the large field. All of these champions were able to make a name for themselves in the worldwide Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG community. Oh, and don’t worry if you’re missing some of this year’s National Champions. They’ll all be interviewed throughout the weekend and have their say then!
Vittorio Wiktor is the current European Champion and one of the world’s most successful players. He wants to defend his title and set up a new streak. He’s very well versed in this regard, having made 5 (!) consecutive Top 8 finishes at German National Championships. Vittorio is always good for a title, having won a German National Championship as well as several other major Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG events and as already mentioned last year’s European Championship.
French powerhouse Terence Figueiredo has participated in events up to the World Championship level and claimed his fair share of top finishes. This year, he crowned his good performances at past French Championships and took home the title, so he obviously has what it takes to stand the pressure of participating in a final. His great experience and self confidence thanks to the win of the prestigious French title are his main assets and he’ll put them to work this weekend, trying to claim a spot in the knock out portion of the tournament.
Along with Jamie Stafford, Dan Nelson is a Duelist you’ll often see at the top tables of the UK’s biggest tournaments. He’s finished in the Top 8 of the UK National Championship twice, in 2008 and 2009, and narrowly missed out on a third successive result this year, finishing in 9th place. His aggressive and confident style of play has seen him gain many followers in the United Kingdom, and now that the European Championship has come to his home town of Birmingham he’s ready to show the world he’s got what it takes to go all the way.
Rodrigo Togores and Eduard Alvarez Carberra
Rodrigo Togores is one of the few European players who were able to claim a Shonen Jump win and rise to international fame in the process. He was one of the first Blackwing players to feature Black Whirlwind as well as Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor, long before they became popular in many Blackwing Duelist’s arsenal. 4 consecutive top 4 finishes at Spanish Nationals as well as a title win is further proof for his outstanding abilities. On top of that, he’s also a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Video Games where he qualified for the World Championship 2009. He’ll be accompanied by last year’s European Championship runner up, Eduard Alvarez Carberra, and they’ll both try to show the rest of Europe that they should have the Spanish community on the radar when it comes to predicting the winner of this years WCQ: European Championship.
Sébastien is another player that made our watch list. The reigning Belgian Champion already claimed the title back in 2008, proving that he can adapt to a changing metagame and competition. Last year, he made an impressive showing at the European Championship, reaching the semi finals. This year, he wants to go all the way and stay on track for the most successful year of his career.
Jamie Stafford is arguably the UK’s most successful Duelist, having won every major title possible in his home country. He’s already won big international Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG events in the past and more recently took Infernities all the way to become the 2010 UK National Champion. He’s also been a World Championship competitor before, taking 3rd place in last year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Video Game World Championship in Tokyo. Can he make it 2 World Championship appearances in a row? With home advantage on his side expect to see him go a long way this weekend.
Stefano Memoli and Alessandro Sabbadin
Stefano Memoli and Alessandro Sabbadin finished 2nd and 3rd at this year’s Italian Nationals. The result wasn’t a big surprise as both prepared for the event together with this year’s Italian National Champion, Fabio Minicozzi, who came up with the deck that allowed the 3 of them to take the tournament by storm. It will be interesting to see which deck they come up with for the WCQ: European Championship and if they can make it to the knock out rounds.
Thanks to his “French Twilight” deck that was not only featured at the SHONEN JUMP Championship in Columbus, but allowed Vincent Ralambomiadana to go on and win the event, this French champion is another European player that is well-known in the international Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG community. We’re curious to see some more unique deck ideas in action this upcoming weekend. Maybe some card choices will allow creative deck builders like Vincent to make a huge impact and make it to the knock out stage of the tournament.
Austrian duelist Claudio Kirchmair takes a very strategic approach when it comes to deckbuilding. Together with his good friend Michel Grüner from Germany, he spends days to prepare for tournaments and tweaks his deck of choice until it performs exactly the way he wants. This way of meticulous preparation allowed him to advance to the semi finals of 2008’s European Championship and steal a spot for the World Championship. He also made the semi finals of 2008’s World Championship and ever since, you can expect him to make it to the knock out stages of the tournaments he’s attending, like he did at the SHONEN JUMP Championship in Los Angeles earlier this year. Oh, and did I mention he won the Austrian National Championship in 2009?
You won’t find a lot of duelists that worked harder than Michel Grüner to become as successful as he now is. After he reached the top 16 at the German Nationals back in 2005, many of his competitors thought of his good result as a fluke. Michel proved them wrong, spending most of the following year preparing for the next Nationals and eventually winning the title. He gained a lot of momentum and started an impressive streak of respectable finishes at the following tournaments. He won two more major titles in the TCG and also picked up the Yu-Gi-Oh! Video Game, only to win the title of National Champion, giving him the opportunity to fulfill his biggest dream: Attending the World Championship. That was all back in 2008. In the past 2 years, he scored some more good finishes and even attended SHONEN JUMP Championships where he made day 2. He’ll give his all to gain another spot at the most prestigious tournament and seeks to reach the semi finals of this year’s WCQ: European Championship.
Flying the flag for The Netherlands will be Sven Schuurhuis, one of Holland’s most recognisable Duelists. He was very successful in 2009 and crowned his great season by winning the National Championship in his country. He has also proven himself to be a strong Duelist outside of The Netherlands as well, finishing in the Top 8 of several tournaments in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom as well.