All set to go at the Yu-Gi-Oh championships
Two Orange teenagers have their eyes set on the world stage and this June Long Weekend will be facing our countries best Yu-Gi-Oh! players for a shot at the playing in the World Titles.
For those unaware of the popular trading game, Yu-Gi-Oh! pits players against each other in a one-on-one duel using specially curated decks of cards each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The object of the game is to remove your opponent’s 8000 ‘life points’ but the gameplay encompasses practically limitless variables.
Jackson Rolfe and Caleb Buerckner have both been players for more than seven years and active competitors for the past four, travelling to tournaments in Sydney, Melbourne and further afield.
Like many Yu-Gi-Oh! players Caleb discovered the game through the animated television series from which it originated, while for Jackson it was the cards themselves that first took his interest.
“I'm a very competitive person,” said Caleb. “I enjoy the competition and meeting new people”
“For me,” said Jackson. “I'm a very calculating person, I enjoy running numbers on things and this gives me an outlet to do that a lot.”
This June Long Weekend, Jackson and Caleb will travel to the Nationals in Brisbane, with Caleb playing for a spot at the invite only Oceanic Championships on the Monday.
“I'm already on the invited list,” said Jackson, “so I'm using the Nationals to test and experiment. Then we'll be playing in the Oceanics to get Worlds invites.”
Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournaments can involve thousands of players, with matches being played from 8am right through to the evening.
“It all comes down to preparation,” said Jackson. “Knowledge of what you are playing, knowledge of what you might play against, so you can recognise and deal with issues early. And a lot of it is also not making stupid slip ups from being tired playing for ten hours straight on one day and coming in on the second day.”
“It takes hours and hours of playing over and over again until every detail is figured out, really, until you can’t do wrong,” added Caleb.
“We've been testing for a month and a half to two months now,” said Jackson. “It comes down to play testing so you know every possible situation and all the little intricacies that may come up… it is about testing enough that you don’t get surprised by it and just lose off not knowing what to do in a situation. It is about making sure that luck is as little a factor as possible.”