Hello, I am Shafeeq, and today I will share my experience as a participant at the Yu-Gi-Oh Adilsons League (YAL). For duelists planning to start participating in the YAL as a team or individually, here is how a YAL day usually goes.
As the sun rises at dawn, so do the duelists preparing themselves for the day. Some may wake up earlier, others a little bit later, but they all have one common goal in mind: To have fun with their friends. Anas Ramjaun, one of the people responsible for managing the tournaments, opens the gates to the duelling area at around 8:30 a.m, and sweeps the floor and arranges the tables and chairs. While waiting for the tournament to start at 10 a.m, the participants chat, play video games on their mobile phones, or duel another participant for fun or for practice, or both.
Meanwhile, the Judge, Jason Tse, verifies the participants’ decks to check the number of cards in the Main, Extra and Side Decks, while also making sure that all cards are legal to be played, and are played at equal or less than their legal number of copies. More and more duelists come in and they wait for the match-ups to be displayed on Anas’ laptop. An entry fee of Rs 150 is paid if the duelists desire to record their scores on the individual YAL ranking for the year, and moreover, they are rewarded later in the day with a booster pack of their choice available at the store. The room is usually filled with around 20 duelists ready for the day, and once the match-ups are displayed, they all go take a seat and start duelling their designated opponents.
Different matches have their own different atmospheres. Some play for fun, while others play seriously to win, all the while enjoying the match. The most common decks at Adilson vary from time to time, but some duelists rather keep improving their one powerful deck and keep playing with that same deck. Salamangreat, Subterror, Lost World Dino, Masked HERO, Pendulum. Those are among the many decks that keep on appearing at YAL. While the duelists focus on their matches, Jason supervises some of the ongoing matches and walks around to answer any queries asked by duelists. Those who finish their matches earlier than the 40 minute time mark get to spectate other matches going around them, rooting for their friends and team members. It is forbidden as a spectator to give directions and suggestions to a duelist currently in a match, so giving moral support is the best thing to do in these situations. The duelists who finished their matches tell the outcome of the match to whoever one of these persons closest to the laptop: Anas, Jason, Oomar Hingun, or Irfan Joomun (the two latter people are also among those managing YAL tournaments).
There are five matches/rounds per YAL tournament, and a well-deserved break is needed between each round. Anas, while he’s not duelling, prepares the famous and delicious Panini that regular duelists love to eat. To combo off with such tasty food, a variety of drinks, mainly water and soft drinks, are on sale at the store. After placing orders for Panini, Anas prepares and delivers them to the clients, and they either finish their duels to pay for the food, or they pay on the spot if they are not currently in an official YAL duel. It is recommended to be in top shape while duelling, so be sure to eat well.
Once the five rounds are over, duelists who registered their score gather around Anas’ laptop and check their scores for the day. YAL tournaments usually finish at 4 p.m, so duelists who live far from Port Louis have to zoom out and catch their bus when a tournament is finished for that day. Others can stay for a while and go on friendly duels, or simply relax. At the end of the day, duelists return home with smiles on their faces, waiting for the next tournament to keep their pace or improve their results.
I hope this article has encouraged you, newcomers, to start participating or even keep on going to Adilson. Many duelists can help you enhance your skills, strategies, or even deck builds, so be sure to stay in contact with our WhatsApp group! This has been Shafeeq, signing off!