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Pro-Talk: Joshua Schmidt on Worlds and Link Format

26.08.2017 | 12:56 |

Joshua Schmidt is one of the most successful Duelists in recent [ygo] history. For our new article series “Pro-Talk” we asked him for an interview on his experience at Worlds and how he prepared for this very special event. Read on to find out what his remaining goals in [ygo] are and what the game means to him.

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Joshua Schmidt
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[b] Hi Joshua, thanks for your time and talking to us. For this interview, we would like to focus on preparation for Worlds. How did you prepare for this unique format? [/b]
[quote] I was really happy to see that Marcello Barberi also qualified for Worlds. We took our time and prepared together. As soon as I knew I would go to Worlds I started to analyze the format by checking all the current decklists in Europe, the United States and Asia. It is possible to estimate the Forbidden & Limited List for the format even before the list is released. It always has been a fusion of TCG and OCG list and it was the same for this year. So, we didn’t have to wait for the list to be revealed. We started our preparation by checking all the current lists and thinking them through. We even went so far as to consider older decks like Mermails and talk about how the list would affect them. After some playtesting, we ended up with the conclusion that it had to be either Dino or True Draco for Worlds. Until Japan, none of us had decided which deck to run. We had prepared decent lists and decided on site. We made our decision dependent on our expectations for the event. If there are a lot of Dinos we would run True Draco and the other way round. After all, we both came to the conclusion that Dino would be the deck to beat and decided to run an almost identical True Draco list.[/quote]

[b] How did the event go for you? [/b]
[quote]Our deck was good, Marcello’s success proved that. My tournament history was not. I ended up finishing 3:2 only because I didn’t play Dinos in the early rounds. I met all True Draco in the first rounds and my deck was not prepared for the mirror match at all, so I ended up losing very unlucky. In hindsight, considering my match-ups, I should have played Dinos. Other than that, I played very well and I’m satisfied with my performance. And from experience I have already learned that sometimes you get unlucky and meet the wrong opponents. [/quote]
[b] How do feel about Worlds and the qualification system? [/b]
[quote]When I started playing on a competitive level, my goal was to go to Worlds one time. I already achieved that goal once in 2012, even though I was rather lucky back then. I achieved my goal and enjoyed the time there a lot. I was more in it for the experience and the fun than for the title. That changed in 2017. I wanted to go there and I wanted to win the event. I worked the whole year towards reaching that goal and wanted to crown my year with the World Championship title. As you all know it didn’t work out this time, but I will get another chance. It is the most prestigious event of [ygo]. Format-wise it is not that important, but it is the hardest event to qualify for. The points system is a step into the right direction. The system seems fair to me as it rewards good players and there should only be the best of the best at this event. There are still 2 spots open for the finalists of the European Championship. What I found rather confusing was how the points were distributed: Nationals and Regionals are rewarded too high and YCS too low. The YCS represents the highest level of Dueling and should rewarded accordingly. [/quote]
[b] What does [ygo] mean to you? [/b]
[quote]It all started out as a hobby during my youth. I feel very much connected to game. I’m in it since I was a child and it only gave me good memories. I also like to play competitive in a face-to-face situation. I set my goals and try to achieve them. That’s what strikes me most. Of all the other Trading Card Games I tried it, [ygo] was the most rewarding game. It’s the better player that wins more often. Even when you are playing the same deck, card by card, it is the better player that usually wins. So, it pays off to invest time and energy to improve.[/quote]
[b] What is your opinion on the Link format? [/b]
[quote]I must start by saying that in general I like the changes a lot. It makes the game more interesting and players must adapt to these changes. It also shows who is able to adapt the fastest and who understands the game the most. It is usually the skillful players who set the pace of the game and are able to develop meta-defining decks. Currently, the Link monsters are not a threat. They seem like a nice addition to the game, but right now they are too weak to be competitive. I also appreciate the new rulings on Extra Deck monsters. It seemed like Konami finally tried to slow the game down a bit. It took me some time to adapt to the new field, but after the dust had settle I feel like it was healthy for the game. [/quote]
[b] You are playing for Complexity Card Gaming. Why did you join the team?[/b]
[quote]We founded the team with the goal of improving our game. We wanted to find a group of people to playtest and learn from each other. Out of my experience two brains are better than one. We tried to fiend players that are good or have potential to grow and have a thorough understanding of the game. It also turned out that some of us grew close friends and we are having a lot of fun hanging out at events.[/quote]
[b] Do you have any advice for new players? [/b]
[quote]If you start from scratch you have a long way to go. There is a lot to learn to reach the level of a good player. You can’t expect to win the next YCS and you should not be disappointed. I’ve been playing the game for 13 years and success didn’t come over night. You don’t need to get frustrated should you not win your first event. Another advice I want give is: stay close to the game. [ygotcg] is constantly changing and evolving. You have to stay in touch with all those changes to stay competitive. In order to do that you also have to be aware that you have to invest a lot of time to get there. When I was still at school I used to attend my locals at least once a week and spent a few hour per day on [ygo].[/quote]
[b] Do you have any final words: [/b]
[quote]Shoutouts to my team, my family and my girlfriend. We are here together for the first time and had a great time so far! [/quote]