Twenty-two élite Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG players representing the top Duelists from all over the world competed this past weekend in Orlando, Fla. at the prestigious 2016 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Championship. Each of these talented players were vying for the coveted title of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Champion. Additionally, 12 players competed for the title of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Dragon Duel World Champion, for those born 2003 or later, during the 2016 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Dragon Duel World Championship. Joining the reigning Champions, all of these determined Duelists had already competed and won at their region’s respective World Championship Qualifiers, beating thousands from North America, Latin America, Japan, Europe, Oceania and Asia, for the right to represent their region in Orlando.
The tournament hall was buzzing for two days as intense Duels were completed throughout the weekend. By Sunday afternoon only two players remained, reigning World Champion Shunsuke Hiyama from Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa, Japan and North American Champion Erik Christensen from Oakland Park, Fla. Showing his impressive strategy Hiyama played a powerful Blue-Eyes Deck keeping an eye on the grand prize at all times. Christensen was just as determined, facing off against Hiyama playing his own Blue-Eyes Deck, ready for a Duel of a lifetime. Both players remained laser-focused and intent during the demanding match but it was Hiyama who persevered to become the 2016 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Champion.
In addition to Christensen, representing the Americas in Orlando were five other North American players who each earned their spot by topping at the North American World Championship Qualifier held last month in Pittsburgh, Penn. This event rounded out a busy tournament season, which saw a legion of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG players participate in qualifying tournaments across the Americas. Central American Champion Brandon Aguilar from Pachuca, Mexico, South American Champion Joaquin Rinaldi from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mijail Flores from Peru completed the list of competitors from the Americas.
The 12 Top Dragon Duelists from across the world reinforced the fact that they were a force to be reckoned with in the tournament hall during the 2016 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Dragon Duel World Championship. This exciting group of talented players included North American Dragon Duel Champion Aidan Tiemann from Austin, Texas, John Wilkin, who placed second in Pittsburgh and third place winner Ian Parish. Joining them to show off their Dueling talent and perfected strategies were, among others, Central American Dragon Duel Champion Ronaldo Sierra from Monterrey, Mexico and representing South America, Dragon Duelist Christian Suarez from Quito, Ecuador. After two days of skilled play and impressive Dueling Po-Hsiang Peng from Taipei, Taiwan beat his fellow Dragon Duelists including runner-up, and North American Dragon Duel Champion Aidan Tiemann from Austin, Texas to claim the trophy and title of Dragon Duel World Champion.
In addition to the title of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Champion and Dragon Duel World Champion, Hiyama and Peng, respectively, also took home a World Championship trophy and a 2016 Platinum Secret World Championship Prize Card plus they automatically received an invitation to compete in the 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Championship to defend their coveted titles.
Rounding out the World Championship experience was a host of several fun things for everyone to enjoy – a LIVE DUEL with voice actors Dan Green and Eric Stuart, the original voices of Yugi and Kaiba respectively from the Yu-Gi-Oh! animated TV series was performed; amusement games provided hours of fun and even a voice-over contest for the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions Movie was held!
Duelists eager to play at the tournament level and trying to earn a place at the 2017 World Championship can participate at various qualifying events. For more information visit www.yugioh-card.com/en/events. For more information on KONAMI or the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, please visit www.yugioh-card.com or call 310-220-8630 to speak directly with a Yu-Gi-Oh! customer support team member.