2022 was going to start in style with two YCS events, one in Europe and one in North America. Alas, travel restrictions and more importantly health concerns resulted in the cancellation of both events. While YCS Pasadena was rescheduled to transform into a Remote YCS, YCS Utrecht on the other hand was cancelled without an immediate remote dueling replacement.
Sadly, it does not stop at this. A lot of Regionals will be held via remote dueling as well, and many local shops around the world announced their intent to conduct even locals this way. Of course, everyone was hoping not to go back to such means. Although we never wanted this period to return, every Yu-Gi-Oh! player knows one has to deal with the hand one has been dealt. Instead of dwelling on the negative, let's look at some aspects that we might consider benefits of the situation, and what we players can do to help the community in these difficult times.
Yes, traveling and meeting friends are very important aspects of the game and its tournament culture. This is how local communities and long-lasting friendships are created. However, preparing for and attending major events is now sometimes cheaper. You do not have to spend money on traveling, booking accommodation, or other activities that one would do just because of the presence in a certain country/city.
Of course, if such events are taking place in your hometown, then it doesn't really apply here. I mainly refer to regional or YCS events in other cities/countries. The money you save can now go into improving your deck. Good news in case you're missing some cards that you would have liked to add but had no budget for. If you are a high-rarity enthusiast, you can upgrade the rarity of some of your cards instead. Maybe you can even afford an entirely new deck now. Think of it as a tradeoff between being outdoors and staying indoors … which honestly is never a nice comparison.
The fact that Regionals are still ongoing—whether they are remote or in-person events—may give us hope that Nationals, European Championship, and similar championships all over the world can still happen, albeit as remote events. It would be interesting to see these high-tier events turned into remote affairs. Who knows, maybe Worlds might end up held remote as well with all the travel restrictions in place.
In general, this is a good indication that events will not be banished to the shadow realm forever. Things may slowly going back to a norm, even if it's not the norm we are used to.
The highly-anticipated Master Duel is set to be released sometime this winter. (Fingers crossed!) Once live, you can focus on exploring the official online game and turn your attention to the digital aspect of Yu-Gi-Oh! for a bit, either for a change or as a side interest. Some players might even like to make Master Duel their main focus for the moment since it should be more economical than purchasing real cards, at least in theory.
Konami recently revealed five new formats. We have an entire article on the topic in which my colleague Eric Ortega Quintana discusses these formats. Basically, since there are five new ones to play, we can choose whichever format is of interest to us and start building decks suitable for them. Of course, lots of formats mean we need a lot of new cards! And, come to think of it, old cards. This is especially true for the Time Wizard format, which revisits many eras and the game's most iconic formats. We will have to stock up on the most relevant decks in the history of the game to be prepared.
Many retailers, and local stores in particular, suffered during the pandemic. Sadly some did not survive and had to shut down. Now that remote dueling is back in force and everyone needs those physical cards, you should consider purchasing some from your local shop as a way to support its business. Maybe you need something for one of the new formats? Maybe you can invest some of the money you're saving on travel and accomodation? Maybe update your deck for high-level remote duel tournaments? Participating in remote locals also helps support these stores and keeps them afloat in these difficult times.
In fact, many stores sell their singles and other product right here on Cardmarket. If you're reading this and represent such a business, leave a comment below and tell us where you're located! This way, everyone else can click on your user name and be linked straight to your Cardmarket inventory.
Overall, nothing is all bad and we should stay positive regardless. We just need to do the best we can to get through this period until things hopefully return to normal. If, God forbid, things do not go back to normal in the recent future, at least we have a solution for playing the game while staying safe and healthy.
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