Thieves & Heroes – A Yu-Gi-Oh! Story

This past weekend I went to a Regional Qualifier for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. Over 300 people showed up for the main event. This was my third time at a competition of this level, and I thought I knew what to expect going in…

Boy, was I wrong.

The actual competition went about how it usually did for me. There were some extremely Meta decks and some off-the-wall Rogue decks to beat. The vendors were overpriced, as always, and about half of the contenders dropped out of the main competition, partway through, to play side events. What threw me for a loop though was what happened around the Sixth round: a friend of mine had her $400 deck stolen.

We knew this was something that can happen at these large events. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it was still kind of baffling that it could happen only a foot away from people who would have strangled the culprit if they’d caught them. Then something amazing happened: The judges told the victim that she could keep playing in the tournament if she could rebuild her deck card-for-card before the next round. It was a small charity to be sure (who carries around the cards to do something like that?), but it was a generous offer given the circumstances.

Within minutes, a swarm of people started pitching in cards for her to borrow for the remainder of the tournament. I’m sure it took less than ten minutes to completely rebuild the deck with all of the volunteers. Two people even outright dropped out of the competition so that they could dismantle their own decks to help. It was a sight to behold. I wish I’d had the forethought to pull out my phone and record it.

But the incredible didn’t stop there. While she was off playing the last several rounds of the tournament, myself and others were attempting to properly replace the deck. People were so keen to help. Some people, who had already told me that I had nothing to trade that they wanted, were taking my unwanted collectibles in exchange for much more expensive cards. They didn’t hesitate to take a bad deal to help someone replace stolen merchandise. By the end of the night we had completely replaced all but Five cards in the original deck.

There are some really devious people in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community (just like any community.) Those few will screw you over and steal your things. They will do anything to make a quick buck or win a tournament. But if recent experiences have shown me anything, it’s that there are far more people willing to help than to hurt. Say what you want about the “toxic” Yu-Gi-Oh! community, but right now I’m glad to be a part of it.

How about you? What kinds of things have you seen at large tournaments? Let us know in the comments below.


All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!

Michael Allan

Michael is an Independent Author, known best for his debut novel "The Brothers of Blue Fire". He is also head of the Graphic Design group "Full Circle Endeavors", which provides book covers for Independent Authors at reasonable prices. And, of course, he blogs about the subjects.

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