Pro-Talk: Interview with LLDS Winner Erikos Bek
28.10.2017 | 16:55
Erikos Bek is no stranger to big events. He topped Nationals as well as Euros and won the LLDS on Friday. We sat down with him and spoke about his Yu-Gi-Oh! career and how he feels about the current format.
Hi Erikos, how do feel about the LLDS?
I really like the LLDS events. We don’t have many events in first half of the year in Greece, so it is a very welcome addition to the current tournament structure. I like the idea to create a small event where there are only good players taking part. But the system feels a bit unfair to me. It favors Duelists from Central Europe, because they have more chances to get to big events in order to gain points. I guess it might be a good idea to change the system so that player can only obtain points from their home country.
I was lucky to win the Mega LLDS in Rimini, so I was ahead of my competitors. That made me change my mind and I decided to try and become first in Greece. I appreciate that travel and accommodation is paid by Konami. The event itself was a lot of fun. I had some tough games, but I took a lot of time to prepare with my friends and in the end it paid off.
How is your community in Greece?
I’m from Athens which is the capital city of Greece. We have the biggest community in Greece by far. There are a lot of locals where you can meet and play with your friends. At our nationals we had around 200 players that’s quite a lot! We have a group of friends that playtest a lot. We meet online, talk on Skype and develop our Decks. The Greek community is very competitive and we are also very successful. The latest YCS Winner is on our group. We also have two European Champions from 2008 and 2013. In 2005 a Greek on the World Championship and since Rimini we have YCS winner as well. I’m proud to have added the LLDS title to the Greek record. Basically, everyone wants to get better in the game and improve. There is a lot of support within in this group.
How do you prepare for an event?
I start with my friends to see what my cards do. I play a lot of mirror matches, because I tend to learn a lot out of these games. I invest a lot of time and see how my Decks perform against average players as well. Because in the early rounds of a YCS you are going to meet these guys as well. When I’m dealing with a new format I start from starch and try to figure out what’s best. When the format is solved I try to play the best list and change it to suit my style of play.
How do you feel about the current metagame?
I was already bored of Zoo, so was glad about the current changes. I feel like they were desperately necessary. In the current situation, I feel like the better player wins more often, especially when it comes to SPYRAL mirror matches. The die roll doesn’t matter that much anymore making the game far more interesting. The game is versatile enough to figure out a build that wants to be going second all the time. There are enough handtraps available to interact with my opponents plays. The perfect number is between 7 – 10. I tend to run a higher number, because I want to see them in my opening 5 regularly. You can play more if you want to, but it is impossible to play without them.
What are your future goals?
Personally, I want to achieve my first YCS top. I already topped Nationals and Euros, but a YCS top is still missing. After that I would really love to go to Worlds once, but my chances got worse due to the new points system. I have to finish 1st or 2nd at Euros in order to earn my invite. That’s tough.
Do you have advice for new players?
My biggest advice is: learn from better players at locals. It is also helpful to watch streams and coverages from big events as you get so see what’s going on. Playtesting is very important as well. Most important is to learn from better players. Accept mistakes and don’t blame bad luck. After every event I sit down and reflect about my outcome. I analyze my plays and try to figure out what happened to improve.
How did you start playing Yu-Gi-Oh!?
I started playing many years ago. I think it was the time when the E-Hero fusions came out. I went to my locals and started to get involved in the competitive scene in 2012 when I topped my first Nationals. That was the time when I started traveling to international events. I love to get around a see different countries.
You get to know a lot people that share the same passion as you. Traveling is very vital part of the whole YCS experience. You have a lot stories to share. Every time something happened. Last time we missed the bus, hopped on the wrong one and had to go back again. We were really tired and messed up, but in the end it also turned out to be very funny. In Prague we locked ourselves out of our apartment. We are always having a great time.
How do you feel about Link format?
I like changes in general, because the game starts to get more interesting again. Usually, the better players have an edge in mastering the new mechanics. Before Link format combos were crazy especially with Zoo. There had to be a change in the pace of the game.
Talking about changes: I think that a Mulligan would be a good addition to the game. Sometimes your opening hand is just not good enough to get into the game. Mulligan can solve this issue.
Shoutouts to my friends Themis Gkyzis, we usually build our Decks together, Vrellos, Rodios, Argyris, Vitsentsatos, Vastardis, Markantonakis, Chatziioannou, Anestakis, Xanidis, Mourikis, Tektonidis. We playtest together and talk about our Decks.