Your guide to this year's Irish National Championship | The Irish Duelist

Your guide to this year's Irish National Championship

Yu-Gi-Oh! Irish National Championship takes place in just over 3 weeks time. Here's a brief guide on everything you need to know about the event, from getting there to what you can do over the course of the weekend.

The Event

Date: Saturday, June 2, 2012

Location: Astra Hall, UCD Students Centre, Belfield Campus, University College Dublin, Dublin 8

Entry Fee: €15 (Dragon Duel: €5)

Registration Opens: 09.00

If you've played in Ireland's previous large events you'll know that this year's Nationals is taking place at the same location as those before, the Students Centre at UCD. Previous events have had around 70 Duelists attend but with this event being official (and a Nationals at that) expect 100+. Unlike previous National Championships, this year's event is "open invitational", which means that any Irish resident can take part; there's no qualifiers needed for this event.

For those who are unfamiliar with the WCQ format, Ireland's National Championship is a 1 Day event which aims to crown a new National Champion. This winner will then go on to represent the country at the 2012 WCQ: European Championship, which takes place in Milan in July. In addition to this, the top ranked players will also receive invites to compete in the European Championship, the exact number depending on how many Duelists attend Nationals Overall.

There will also be a Regional Qualifier on the Sunday (June 3rd), which will also hand out invites for Milan.

Getting to the Venue

Getting to UCD is relatively easy, and depending on where you are located within the country, you can take the travel in stages.

From O'Connell Street:
Head to stop "OQ" and take the 46A to UCD. The overall journey takes around 15 minutes.

From Busáras (or Connolly Station)
Walk from the station down either Talbot or Abbey Street until you hit O'Connell Street, and from there take the 46A mentioned above.

From Heuston Station
There's a LUAS tram stop right outside the station, take that to Abbey Street and then get the 46A.

From outside of Dublin
Take a bus or train to Dublin and you'll end up at either Heuston, Busáras or Connolly Station, and simply follow the directions above. Bus routes can be found here, and trains here.

Staying in Dublin City

If you're travelling to Dublin from the other side of the country you'll most likely want to stay overnight by heading up on the Friday, and leaving on Sunday/Monday. There's all sorts of accommodation options you could go for, but here's the 3 I recommend:

Jacob's Inn is located right across the road from Busáras and is my default location when I'm staying in the capital. Hostel rooms are relatively cheap at around €15 a night, and the lobby area's quite spacious and provides free wifi. If you're travelling to Nationals with a group of players, it would be a good idea to reserve an entire room of beds to yourselves when you book.

Isaac's Hostel is the sister location to Jacob's Inn and again located right beside Busáras. I've stayed here many times in the past and it's a decent hotel for Duelists, with many of the same facilities as Jacob's Inn for roughly the same price. The lobby's quite interesting too, as it has an underground section that's perfect for getting test sessions in, as it's fairly quiet. Free wifi as well.

Generator Hostel is a livelier place than the above, but a little further out from the city centre. It's in Smithfield, which is in between O' Connell Street and Heuston Station. Fortunately the LUAS line stops right outside the place and it's still only a 15 minute walk from the city centre at most. Their lobby area is huge but they tend to play loud music a lot of the time. Again there's free wifi, and room rates are similar to the above.

Final Note:

One last thing to note is that there's a street racing event taking place on the Sunday which will take up most of the city centre. This will obviously affect your travel and accommodation plans, so my advice is if you're staying overnight, to book as soon as possible, and consider travelling home on the Monday. The good news is that the event's free to the public, so if you want to trade Formula Synchrons for Formula One, then that option's there if you're interested.