7443-Player TCG Tournament Breaks Guiness World Records!

Card art for Tenpai Dragon Chundra
Credit: Konami

Card art for Tenpai Dragon Chundra
Credit: Konami

The somewhat recent Covid-19 epidemic that plagued the world had a devastating impact on the Trading Card Game market. It may be an aspect that many forget, but playing games on paper has a strong social element. After all, the vast majority of TCGs need other players to engage with to play a game. Because Covid made it so difficult for people to get together, especially for something like a card tournament with strangers, the TCG industry as a whole took a massive hit and things will never quite be the same.

Take Magic: The Gathering, for example. Pre-covid, one of the most popular tournament series for this game were massive Grand Prix events that were open to everyone. While there is still some semblance of this style of event, they are far fewer in quantity and are still quite different from the world of pre-Covid. Magic, as a whole, is still recovering its tournament scene from its status before the world shut down.

That said, things seem to be going differently for Yu-Gi-Oh! Don’t get me wrong, this card game also suffered from its inability to have in-person paper events, but Konami’s trading card game’s tournament scene seems to not only have bounced back but exceeded expectations. A recent Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournament actually demolished the recent world record for an event, hosting 7443 players!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Breaks Guinness World Record

This past weekend, a Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, or YCS, tournament was held in Tokyo, Japan that broke, or set, the world record for the largest amount of attendees at a trading card game tournament. The number of attendees at this event was 7443! To be clear, at least compared to Magic: the Gathering, this is an absolutely massive event. 2000-player events have been heard of in that game, but asking for a 4000-player event for the biggest trading card game in the world is unrealistic. Almost 8000 players is ridiculous in comparison.

Believe it or not, the 7443 players who attended this event had to get into it through a raffle. Over 40,000 players wanted to attend the Tokyo YCS, and a surprisingly small number of people were able to attend.

As you may imagine, running a 7443-player tournament is also far from normal procedure. According to Yugituber Joshua Schmidt, in order for this tournament to properly conclude in a reasonable time frame, the decision was made to run this tournament in a best-of-one format. This isn’t how current Yu-Gi-Oh! is intended to be played, so there were some really lopsided results. Tenpai, in particular, heavily overperformed because of how powerful the archetype is in a best-of-one format. That said, Voiceless Voice ended up being the archetype that took down the biggest TCG tournament ever.

Best-of-one formats both make variance even heavier and eliminate the sideboard as an extra layer of depth to the games played. This means decks that need the sideboard to stop them will perform incredibly well within the event. Eight rounds of Swiss were played in the event with a top 256 cut.

Obviously, the TCG industry as a whole is not used to running tournaments as largely as this. Best of one Yu-Gi-Oh! is a very different beast from what competitive players are used to. As a result, it's difficult to take results from this event to try and innovate for future events. That said, anyone who can win a gigantic event like this probably had some powerful things going on. Either way, this is a monumental moment for the TCG industry, and hints that the effects of the pandemic may finally be over for TCG tournaments.

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