Looking back over 2011
2011 has been another great year for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and with the year about to end here's a brief look back at what's happened in the past 12 months.
The year kicked off with the third edition of the Irish Open, an unofficial event which can be best described as a "mini YCS". Duelists from Ireland, the UK, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands descended on Dublin for 2 days of Dueling action before Northern Irish Duelist Daniel McCourt defeated Claudio Kirchmair in the finals with Plant Synchro.
February's biggest story was the release of Storm of Ragnarok, with the boosted Six Samurai Decktype taking down YCS Dallas in style. Konami also announced their plans for 2011's European events, from Regionals and other WCQ events to upcoming YCS tournaments.
The new Forbidden & Limited Cards list for "Nationals Season" was released and it helped continue to make the game diverse at the highest level, as evidenced by YCS Charlotte and UkayPro Championship 3. In the OCG, the basic rulings for Xyz Monsters began to surface as TCG Duelists looked to see what sort of impact they'd have on the game in the future.
YCS Paris was the big event on April 2011, and I headed off to France to help Konami out with covering the tournament. The event was a big success, with 800 Duelists competing in Europe's first major tournament of the year before Holland's Stephan Sluis won out with X-Sabers. Hidden Arsenal 4 came out and the TCG was introduced to one of the year's best cards in Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier.
"Nationals Season" kicked off in May with several countries hosting their WCQ events. Greece was the first, followed by France and several others. YCS Orlando also took place and Extreme Victory was released.
June saw more National Championships, the introduction of the Lost Sanctuary Structure Deck and a redesign of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG logo. I headed off to the UK to compete in the UK/Irish National Championship, as well as the Battle of the Kingdoms the day before. On a local level, Conclave took place in Limerick.
Nationals Season reached its climax as we headed into the major WCQ events. The European Championship and North American WCQ took place on the same weekend as the World Championship roster began to fill up. We also got our first look at Problem-Solving Card Text, which changed the way that card effects were written, to make them easier to understand.
The highlight of the Dueling year is the World Championship, which took place in Amsterdam in August. I've always wanted to go to Worlds, and it was a great experience to cover the event with Konami Europe and enjoy the entire spectacle. The format ended with Ireland's unofficial National Championship, where I finished 2nd out of roughly 80 Duelists.
September started with a new Forbidden & Limited Cards List, and update to the game's Rulebook and a call for more writers to join the Konami Strategy Site. YCS Toronto and YCS Ecuador kicked off the format and The Irish Duelist was redesigned. A Dragon Duel World Championship was announced for 2012 as well.
October was primarily about product announcements/releases, from Samurai Assault and the Six Samurai Card Sleeves to the newest Structure Deck and Collectible Tins. Germany/Austria got an exclusive Adventskalender and I posted a bunch of handy links to sites that every Duelist should be keeping tabs on. We also had another YCS title for Billy Brake and the announcement of the next European equivalent event.
Photon Shockwave made its long-awaited appearance, Hidden Arsenal 5 was announced, and we got some info about the 100th YCS. YCS Kansas took place with a surprise victory for Chaos and the OCG got a new Structure Deck.
2011 ended with Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Brighton, as over 700 Duelists competed in the 2 day event before Dino Rabbit took all 3 (main event) Prize Cards home. After that I rounded out the year by counting down the 10 best cards of 2011.
See you all in 2012!