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 Joshua Schmidt on Game Psychology – “Taking your Hobby to a Competitive Level”

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PostSubject: Joshua Schmidt on Game Psychology – “Taking your Hobby to a Competitive Level”   Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:07 am

In this article I want to talk about the competitive approach on Yu-Gi-Oh and why everyone should or might want to take their hobby a bit more serious.

I often see or read about people only playing online or in local card stores, using fun decks and never even attending bigger tournaments like Nationals, Euros or a YCS.
While playing Yu-Gi-Oh casually and having fun with it is great, there is a lot more to it when playing the game at a competitive level, which is what I am going to touch in this article.

So why take your hobby to a competitive level?
While playing the game just for the fun is cool, there is a lot more to it when taking it to a competitive level. It starts with a different mind-set. When you are entering a big tournament, you are competing against hundreds, maybe even thousands of other players, every one of them trying their best to win.

It is very thrilling to attend a big tournament like that aiming for the top spot. But there are many factors determining who tops or wins an event.

The very first and most obvious one is having a good understanding of the game itself. This part really trains your strategical and logical thinking, trying to figure out the best deck to play at a tournament and always trying to make the right move. 

While it is very challenging, it is a great feeling when you start to get an edge over other players, maybe winning a few games with a cool tech card you came up with by yourself or simply making a very complicated move to win a game out of a very tricky situation. There are many decisions to be made throughout the whole process of preparing and playing an event.

What deck is the best one?
How does the perfect build look like?
What do I have to put in my Side Deck?
Which move is the best one right now?
Am I going first or second in this match-up?

And the list goes on and on. Every single one of these questions challenges your basic understanding of the game, logical thinking and will determine how successfull you will be in the end. There is definetely a lot of depth to it, more than I can accurately describe in this article.

It can definetely be a time-consuming process to become better at the game, but you are spending the time playing the card game you love, just a little bit more serious. I personally like challenging my mind and I am convinced that playing Yu-Gi-Oh helped me a lot to better my logical thinking in general.




Another very big aspect of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh, is the different mind-set, which is also the one I think is the one that helps you most to grow as a person. Competing against other players means aiming for success, which is something you should do in life as well. It is definetely a healthy attitude trying to get better at something, let it be a card game or in school or anything else. Competition is what drives us to improve ourselves. But it is not only that, it is also very  challenging mentally to attend these long tournaments. Over the course of several events, one does learn to stay focussed for a longer period of time, which is also something very helpful in life, maybe being able to handle stressful situations a little bit better. All in all, the mind-set is what really makes the difference between the competitive player and the casual. Both are playing the same game, but at different levels. As I stated, I think the competitive level is quite a bit more challenging and helps you grow as a person. But thats still not all to it.




Travelling to big events means a lot of fun too. Visiting other cities, meeting old friends and completely new faces is one of the best things about Yu-Gi-Oh. I have been playing this game now for several years and I have visited a large portion of Europe and have even been to Japan! I love travelling and without my hobby I probably would not have been able to see as many places as I did the past few years. I also made tons of friends playing the game and every event I make new ones. Every event is different as we go out with different people in different cities, which makes it very diverse.

And last but not least, taking the game seriously can be very rewarding. For me personally, there have been many great moments in this game. All of these moments have been milestones for myself on my way to the Yu-Gi-Oh player I am today. 

Starting way back with winning my first locals, winning my first Non-Premier Event, topping my first YCS all the way to qualifiyng for Worlds and finally winning my first YCS this year in Madrid. Looking back at all these steps in my “Yu-Gi-Oh career” makes me very happy that I started playing the game competitively way back then. I think its important for everyone to accomplish something, being able to reach for goals you have set for yourself. Yu-Gi-Oh can offer that possiblity.

All in all, competitive Yu-Gi-Oh has given me a lot and all I can do is give you the advice to try it out for yourself, it might be the start of a great journey!

This should wrap up my article for this time, hope you liked it and got a glance of why I am playing Yu-Gi-Oh competitively and inspired some to get a little bit more into it as well, maybe see you at the next YCS or the Complexity Card Gaming Championship Series Major Stop in Hannover  in January!
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Joshua Schmidt on Game Psychology – “Taking your Hobby to a Competitive Level”

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