Pro-Talk: Interview with Florian Gönner
28.10.2017 | 13:02
We met here in London right before the start of Round 1 with Florian Gönner. He’s helaind from Linz, Austria and he’s a YCS regular. Out of almost 30 people he finished in the Top 4 of the LLDS final which took place yesterday here in London as well.
Hi Florian, thank you for taking your time to talk to us. Please tell us how did you come to play Yu-Gi-Oh!?
I’ve been playing since the Kaiba and Yugi Starter Decks were released in Austria. I guess that was almost 15 years ago. My mother bought me the cards and a friend of mine also had a Deck. WE started to play against each other and got hooked. Eventually, I read about a tournament close to where I live in a local newspaper. We went there and had a lot of fun. That’s when it all started. I got in touch with the competitive players and now I’m a vital part of the Austrian community.
I stuck to the game, because it is very fast. It changes a lot and there is a new Deck almost every event. New Decks and new cards bring variety and innovation. There is always room for innovation in Yu-Gi-Oh! and even if it is only a few cards that make the different. I feel like it is very important to tweak your Deck to your personal preferences. The competitive aspect is very important to me as well. I like to duel a see what I can do. I also like to travel and see other countries. That’s what keeps me with the game. Having fun and hanging out with my friends.
Please tell us something about your local community in Austria?
Back then, when I started playing competitive, there were a few Duelists that I always looked up to. They were really skillful players and my goal was to beat them one time. That encouraged me to get better. Now most of them quit and I took their spot. I’m one of the “old” guys now that younger players look up. I feel like the whole community is very much separated now. It was different. We are not as close as we are used to be.
Austria is a small country but we had a good community. All the exchange and testing was very important for us. Back then there was no online testing and real live playtesting was crucial. The best players of Austria got together and formed a team United Gosus. They were very successful and attracted even more good players. That’s how it works, but after the important guys quit the team fell apart. We are trying to rebuild this community and … you’ll see at YCS Prague.
You finished fourth at the LLDS yesterday. How do feel about the event?
Competition is one of the major reasons for me playing Yu-Gi-Oh!. The LLDS is very welcome change to the current tournament structure. In order to take part in the finals you had to qualify via points which wasn’t easy. Hence, there were only good players at the event. I’m a competitive person and I can push myself very hard, as soon as I know that my opponent is at least on the same Level as I am. That makes victory the sweetest. I also feel like representing my country made me very proud.
Other than that, I have to say that the prize support was really great. I earned a paid invite and as a bonus a I can attend YCS London as well. The only downside to the format is that people are allowed to acquire points in other countries as well. The system encourages travelling, but what do Duelists do that are not able to travel a lot? The Mega LLDS in Rimini counted as well and the amount of points awarded was too high. I feel like that is unfair.
Do you have any advice for Duelists who want to attend a LLDS Final?
Don’t do it like I did. I qualified with 14 points and in the end, it was really close. A good friend of mine almost tied my score, because points weren’t updated frequently. Should you want to qualify you will need to play as many events as possible with a large number of attendees. Travel to other countries where there are big events. That’s how you get points. Be aware of the rankings and check points frequently. And last but not least: Stay on Top!
Tell us about your tournament experience?
I feel like the current format rewards good players. Drone allows you to check the top cards of my opponent’s Deck. I have perfect information of his next draws and I will stack the worst card on top. I tried to resolve it as often as possible and I was able to manipulate the Deck. It is very big advantage.
In the first three rounds I faced only Invoked Decks. During Game 1 I played against the Swiss guy. I had Drone and Super Agent in hand. I special Summon Super Agent and normal Drone. He tried to negate the effect of Drone using his Invoked Mechaba and I Chained Drone to pump my Super Agent to attack over his monster. I feel like it was a very good play on my side.
During Swiss I also faced the winner of the LLDS Erikos Bek. He was my only loss in Swiss. He really knew his Deck inside out and knew what he was doing. It was the most interesting game of the whole day. It felt like a huge challenge and I had to play my best Yu-Gi-Oh!. I just love to play against good players.
How do you feel about the current metagame?
I feel like a metagame is good when good player get rewarded. When you know how to build a Deck that can go first or second you should get rewarded. I also feel like that currently there is a lot of room for innovation and tech cards. Even though the SPYRAL engine is very dominant and seems to be the best Deck, it is only 20 cards and the rest is arbitrary. You can change all kind of things and I really like my current Deck. I don’t like is formats that contain cards that can decide a game on its own. During Zoo format that was Maxx "C", for example. Cards that are limited like Imperial Order can decide the game on its own. I don’t like that at all.
Do you have and final words?
Shoutouts to all the Austrian Players in particular to the Linzer guys and my oncoming team, Calvin Tahan (the man of the people), Elias Kasper for his company this weekend and Gamestore Linz which is our local store. I’m very thankful that they support us the way they do. They always have enough cards in stock for us to play competitive.