Pro-Talk: Interview with Marcello Barberi

27.08.2017 | 14:10 |
Marcello Barberi is doing commentary this weekend for our Live Stream. He’s considered as one of the best players in the current format and was the most successful TCG players at Worlds. That’s what we are going to talk about: his experience at Worlds!


Marcello Barberi Winner


Tell us how you qualified for World?
I was the only player in the World who qualified twice for the event. I was qualified by points and by winning the European Championship in Utrecht, though my spot was passed on to the second best. Going to Worlds has always been a big goal of mine. I worked hard the whole year long to make it to Japan. I even travelled to the United States to participate in a Regional for the points. All the effort payed of and I made it there!
How do you prepare for such an event?
Me and Joshua Schmidt prepared together. He came to my house and we spent a few weeks together to prepare for this event. We took a very serious approach. In a way, we could estimate the Forbidden & Limited List, since it always was a combination of the OCG and the TCG lists. In the end we came up with two possible Decks: either Dino oder True Draco. Both Decks were viable options, but we didn’t make a final decision until we were on site. We spoke to our competitoers and OCG players until we made our final decision. We expected to see a lot of Dino Decks and ended up going with True Draco, mainly because we didn’t want to play too many mirror matches. I think it worked out very well. In the end, my loss in the Semifinal was very unlucky. I only lost due to time. If it wasn't for time, I'm pretty sure I that I would have won 2:0.
How does it feel playing at Worlds?
The stage is completely different. Especially Round 1 was full of emotion, but I managed to keep my focus and determination. Overall, what I enjoyed most was playing people from different continents. I think that OCG players are a lot more aggressive when it comes to playstyle. They tend to go all in whenever possible and even when it comes to Deckbuilding decisions. TCG players seems to be a little bit more rational in their approach. My guess that it has to do with the local tournament structure. In Asia they have a lot less large events. Worlds is pretty much the only big event they have whereas Europe and the United States have live streams all year long.
How was your trip to Japan in general?
I love Japan! It is such a unique country. It was my 4th time in Japan and I actually even speak some Japanese. I even have some friends there. It is such a great place to be: what I like most is the combination of advanced technology and unique history and culture. On the one hand, it feels like it’s the complete opposite, on the other hand it is a very unique mixture. I stayed until Sunday and returned on Tuesday this week.
Are you satisfied with your result?
It was a bitter sweet ending: I’m proud that I was the most successful TCG player in the event, but I wanted to win so bad that coming in 3rd is not the result I hoped for. I will come back next year and do better! During the course of the event I came to play Shunsuke twice. Once during Swiss and in Top 8. He’s a two times World Champion and I was glad to get the chance to duel him. I even called him out on Twitter that I was coming for his title. In the end, I knocked him out of the tournament.
Would you make any changes? Anything you regret?
I think the Deck was pretty good overall. Maindecking Lose 1 Turn was a very good decision. It did what it was supposed to do and won me a lot of games. The only thing I was missing was Maxx "C". At first, I didn’t want to play it at all, but I really should have tried to find space in the Side Deck for it.
Why did you switch to doing commentary?
It is the second time I’m doing this for the full event. I like to share my insight and knowledge about the game. I did Italian Nationals as well. Since I returned only briefly before the event I didn’t have time to prepare for the event, so I decided to be here. I think I can bring almost ten years of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! experience. I think that I don’t have prejudice about any Decks and see mistakes and good plays. I usually foresee possible plays and the best play available. That’s what I’m trying to contribute to coverage.
What do you like more?
I’m a player and I will always stay a player. I’m glad for this opportunity and enjoy being part of the team. But my big goal is to go and win Worlds once. For the rest of the season I will focus on that.
What are your next goals?
As I said, I will focus on going to go to Worlds again. This time I want to win the whole thing. That’s one of my biggest goals. But I’m not going to retire when I achieve this goal. My close friend Stefano Memoli, who also came close to winning Worlds – he finished 2nd in 2012 once told me: “A champion should never quit as a champion. He should give other players the opportunity to take his throne.” I tend to support his opinion and live by it.
Any tips for newcomers on how to become good players?
Try as much as possible, go to locals and ask for advice for anyone that is willing to give it to you. I still do it as well, even though, I’m regarded as one of the best players in the world. I tend to catch a lot of plays and opportunities, but there is always a something I might miss and friends are seeing it. That’s why constant exchange between my friends and me is the key to my success.