Posts Tagged YCS
I found myself wondering what to do while riding the train from Ancona to Rimini and ended up deciding that it would be cool to write a tournament report of sorts. After all, it’s been ages since I last did something like that. Before I delve right into it, I would like to take a moment and thank the sponsors of this article, namely NoWiFionTrains Ltd. and LifeIsBetterWithoutInternet.com.
Preparation is Key
My preparation for the event started a lot earlier than usual; while I was in the process of rearranging my closet yesterday (on Thursday), I figured there would be no harm in preparing my bag for the journey already. The fact that this would lead to a few more precious minutes of sleep in the morning further encouraged me to throw a bunch of shirts in a bag and so I ended up feeling ready at around 8 pm on Thursday.
Journey to Rimini
I got up at 6:30 am, with my alarm clock ruthlessly dragging me out of the dream and into the real world. While the details escaped me quickly, I held on to the thought that it had been a “good dream” and left it at that.
After spending way more time shaving compared to what could be considered reasonable for the “beard” I’m sporting, I fired up Google maps, printed out a map of Rimini and took a couple notes how to get from Ancona airport to Rimini. I certainly don’t encourage this behavior; there is preparing things last minute and then there’s preparing things when it’s too late. This felt a lot like “too late”, but after years of traveling, you eventually develop a deep trust in the belief that there’s no problem that can’t be solved if you only throw enough money at it.
Anyway, I left the house at around the time I wanted to leave (07:20), stopped at the newspaper shop next door to pick up a parcel, hoping it would be 2 new 8 GB RAM blocks that I ordered because “they were cheap” and there’s a 5% chance that they would further speed up my system (this MacBook is quite fast since I swapped the original hard disk drive for a SSD), but I instead found a parcel from my tax accountant. I let out a silent curse, headed back home to throw it into a corner and left for the airport.
I checked in my bags and the person at the counter mumbled something that I interpreted as “we’ll route your luggage to Ancona” (I would stop in Munich). I didn’t feel like asking her again, just to make sure, and I would regret this decision for the next 3 hours…
The flight was on time, just what I came to expect from Lufthansa. Nothing noteworthy happened in Munich except me walking from gate 40 to gate 8, only to then find out that they changed the gate to 69 and walking all the way back and then it was off to Ancona.
There was a free WiFi at the airport and I connected to it in hopes of finding a better suggestion for the journey from Ancona to Rimini. Google maps continued to insist that I had to take a cab from the airport to the nearest train station, but since I had so much time on my hands, I decided to try and make sense of the information available at the airport. Thanksfully, Ancona’s airport is so small that you can’t really get confused; it seemed like there was only ONE bus that connected the airport with the rest of the world and it stopped where I was supposed to board the train. So I bought a ticket, loaded the Google map again just to make sure (even if you’re no longer connected to the internet, GPS will continue to work and tell you where you are) and headed off to Falconara.
Minutes later, I found myself at the train station, continuing my adventure by making sense of the ticket machine. Once you changed the language, it would speak to you in the language you selected and the German sounded so ridiculous, I immediately regretted not having selected English or any other language for that matter. My credit card didn’t get accepted the first time, so I tried again, this time changing the language to English and I learned that this didn’t really improve things; the machine was still making very little sense.
I recorded another video of the weather situation so it would be easier to rub it into the faces of guys like Ben that continued to whine about the fact that they couldn’t make the trip to Rimini, did some breathing exercises and then boarded the train. I spent the next 10 minutes wondering whether I accidentally sat down in the first class section and prepared my arguments for the conversation with the train staff in case they felt like arguing with me (I would kick things off with a weaker line like “this really doesn’t look like a first class section” so I could bring the real punches later).
That’s basically how we ended up right at this point in the article where I feel like I should now talk about the process of doing coverage so we finally got something in here that makes you feel like “it paid out reading all of this mumbling as he’ll finally educate me on something”!
The psychology of setting goals
Providing the folks that decided to stay at home (there are various reasons for that, especially lack of money, lack of ambition and lack of skill) with live updates over the course of the weekend is a very rewarding task when done right. Once you got familiar with the challenges the job provides, you’ll be able to have a great time working as part of a larger team and earn a few bucks at the same time. It’s as close to a win-win as you can get at an event if you ask me.
The first “skill” you need to have is a strong desire to do so. Over the course of the past few days, I picked up another book that talks about “zen entrepreneurship” and that’s trying to educate the reader about his “inner self” and how to live in harmony. It’s an interesting and different take on psychology, a field I’m rather interested in. Since I also had a number of conversations with friends that either admired me for the life I’m living (or secretly cursing me, but as the famous poet Drake once told us, “jealousy is just love and hate at the same time”), I want to share a thought with you that occurred to me the other day:
The most common misconception / lie that people are telling themselves is “I could do that too”.
I’m not saying this to discourage you and improve my chances to continue doing this for a lot longer (since fewer people will “challenge me” for my position), I’m saying this to instead motivate you to pick the fights you’re fighting. Let me elaborate.
Half the time when people are watching TV, they come across some reality TV show with some “starlet” that’s making a bunch of money looking pretty and entertaining an audience (most people stop at “looking pretty” when describing the role of the person on the screen). If it’s a pretty girl, other girls will say “I could do that too.”
And that’s simply not true. In some cases, they don’t have a friend they can count on that will then tell them that they aren’t all that pretty, but in most cases, the biggest part of the problem is that they are way too comfortable living their life. While they might be feeling like “something” is missing, they are not feeling unhappy enough to letting everything go and pursue a career in modeling / “acting” (if you can call this reality TV garbage that) and focusing exclusively on this one occupation.
You can say what you want about the girls that keep popping up on the screen (in Germany in recent years, Silvie van der Vaart and Daniela Katzenberger and a couple of years ago Verona Feldbusch, just to give you some examples), but the one thing they did right is focusing on this one occupation and not giving up until they “made it”. When you say something like “I could do that too”, what’s the next thing you’re doing? Are you getting up, taking a sheet of paper and writing down how you’re going to accomplish the goal of becoming a TV personality?
Most likely not.
In the same way, people are reading / watching the coverage and they then think that they could do this too. I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now (which is why it’s so much harder now to make people believe I’m 22) and I’ve seen a lot of writers (and a few guys doing streaming commentary) come and go. Quite a few of them have only been invited to an event 1, 2 or a maximum of 3 times. More often than not because they simply did NOT get it. They were overpromising and underdelivering (I recommend doing the exact opposite if you want to accomplish something in business).
Sure, if you have a good knowledge of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and you’re familiar with the popular decks, how hard can it be to write a couple of articles and highlight some new takes on existing archetypes, explaining how a feature match went down and interviewing a duelist here and there?
It turns out this can be quite daunting if you’re not used to focusing on one task over the course of up to 12 hours. Sure, you might have been playing in a tournament that lasted for 12 hours, but did you play 12 hours straight? Most likely, you were playing your match, then taking a break of sorts in between rounds and you repeated this process over the course of the day.
The challenges of doing Text Coverage
When you’re doing text coverage, you don’t get a lot of breaks. You interview players after they finished their round. When the next round is getting paired, you need to stop doing what you’re doing, pick a feature match and then it might be your turn to write down what’s happening between the two selected duelists
Right after that, you need to insert a number of pictures in this article / edit it, send it to the guy that will publish it and then it’s back to your interview. This can be really stressful; not everyone will be able to pick up their original train of thought and switch between tasks this easily. And this is going on for hours and hours over the course of the day.
You also need to be able to type fast enough so you won’t need forever to churn out an article; if you’ve never written a feature match before and you’re still telling someone with a straight face you could do coverage too, you’ve instantly lost all credibility.
Also, it is really disrespectful in my opinion to not know a thing about something and tell someone how easy it is to do that something.
Video Coverage to the Rescue?
These days, you no longer need to be a fast “typer” to help out in a coverage team. Modern technology allows us to stream from the larger events like a Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, which means you “merely” need to talk instead of type.
The first reality check you should be doing when thinking about becoming a coverage commentator is this: Ask yourself when you were last talking for almost 10 hours straight with only little breaks in between. Chances are, that’s a little while back (like when you were 1 year old and you were practicing to speak while your parents were encouraging you).
I’ve had a number of players that did the post game interview with me and as soon as we went offline, they took down the headset, looked at me and told me something along the lines of “man, I never imagined talking could be this hard.”
Well, it can be. If you’re not supposed to say something stupid and interact with another person while a camera is on your face and a big light is making you feel like you’ve been lying under the Italian sun on the beach of Rimini for a little too long.
Luke did his first “full time coverage” this weekend; we’ve had him on the stream before, but at that event (the European Championship), we had 4 commentators and we were all taking turns, making our job a lot easier as everyone was almost constantly getting a break. He was doing an excellent job in my personal opinion, but in one round, we were missing the decklists of the players. It was extremely obvious that he was a lot less comfortable in this round. Even a small change in procedures like not having a decklist to “hold on to” can feel like a big obstacle that’s hard to overcome. Suddenly, when you no longer know what to talk about, you cannot provide insights into possible Side Decking strategies or Extra Deck choices and this will then throw you off. We still managed to provide entertaining commentary for the match, but you could tell the difference if you knew what to look out for.
Let’s say you’ve come up with a plan on how to best provide quality commentary and suddenly you need to adapt as things are not going the way you were expecting them to. Can you adapt fast enough or will you instead be forced to “fold”?
I hope I was able to share a couple of thoughts with you that will help you set better goals for yourself. If you decided to become a helper for our coverage team, that’s cool and I’d love to one day work with you. At least if you have actually done some reality checks and you’re willing to take the necessary steps to accomplish your goal.
If I further managed to entertain you a little (instead of just looking fab like those above-mentioned starlets), then that’s great, too.
There’s a good chance I’ll be publishing another piece that’s loosely connected to Rimini since a lot has happened this weekend (these last few paragraphs have been written on the train journey from Rimini to Ancona, so the weekend took place “in between” the paragraphs of this article). Let me know what you think so I feel a little more motivated to stick with the writing.
I’m sorry, but it took me forever to find the time to write a status update in the first place. Unfortunately, I did not feel like translating it into English as well. So feel free to try your luck with Google Translate.
Last weekend, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series came to Germany for the 2nd time. YCS Leipzig (or to be more specific: YCS Schkeuditz) attracted more than 1100 players and just as expected, we had quite a blast!
For the 8th time now, I’ve been able to do coverage for Konami’s official site. I was able to beat my own expectations and wrote 26 articles over the course of 2 days. I think that having shorter breaks between events (YCS Brighton took place just 2 months ago) helps tremendously to get into the art of doing coverage a lot faster after the event’s started. I now know how to make the most of my time and optimize my workflow and the result looks quite appealing. At least that’s what everybody who followed the coverage was saying.
The next stop of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series in Europe has already been announced; in a little less than 2 months, YCS Toulouse will take place and take us all back to France where Stephan Sluis, the winner of YCS Paris AND YCS Leipzig, started his incredible run. I’ve already received a confirmation that I’ll be serving as part of the coverage team again, so I’m looking forward to it and I’m eager to find out if I can beat my own record.
As always, feedback regarding the coverage is much appreciated, so drop me a message if you have anything to say about it.
WoW TCG – DMF Cannes
Alright, so much for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. There are also some news regarding the other TCG I like to follow up: The World of Warcraft TCG. The weekend before YCS Leipzig, the WoW TCG premier event series, the Darkmoon Faire, stopped for the first time in Europe this year. Darkmoon Faire Cannes was a Sealed Event and if you’ve been following my past performances, you’ll know that I tend to do rather well in these events.
Lady luck was on my side once again and I made it all the way to the semi finals. Just like in Rotterdam before, I got paired against Duncan and unfortunately, I made a slight mistake which cost me the game. I had lethal damage on board twice and got decked out the turn before I could attack for game, so it was a rather weird way to get eliminated from the tournament. You can read all about it in the Feature Match, so go and check it out!
Jörg also reached the Top 16 and as you might expect already, we brought home a few prizes with us. All of them are up for sale, so get in touch with me if you would like a brand new iPod Touch 32 GB White 4G. I also got a couple of iPod Nanos in various colors. Oh, and if you’re looking for some loot cards, head over to BootcampLE.de/Store and check out all of our offers!
There’s more happening at the moment as I’m also starting to get into a third TCG. If you’re running your own website that’s somehow related to TCGs, I recommend checking back tomorrow. I’ve got some exciting news for you and you don’t want to miss this opportunity!
The past weekend, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series stopped in Brighton. Here’s a link to the coverage in case you’re interested.
After everything was said and done and the dust had settled, the whole community started to complain about the seemingly unbeatable Dino Rabbit decks that rocked the tournament. Are they really that broken and is it really a problem that a new deck claims the top spots? I’m trying to answer these questions in Unter den Hut geschaut: Rabbit Season.
Wow, it’s Friday already. The last week certainly flashed by in a hurry. I was constantly busy and worked 10+ hour days on 4 of the 5 days this week. Plus, there’s a coverage just around the corner, so no rest for me this weekend. But let’s start from scratch.
At the beginning of the week, I kickstarted my new project TCG Source. It’s a new website where I try to collect all the important news about the Yu-Gi-Oh! and the WoW TCG – the two trading card games that are most dear to me. I already published an article there, trying to explain what the site is about. Basically, you simply need to visit it once a day and you’ll (soon) know exactly what’s going on in Yu-Gi-Oh! and WoW world. It’s as simple as that! One great example is the info page about the YCS Brighton. After you’ve read over it, you won’t have any questions and you’ll know exactly how to get there, how much it costs and where you can spend the nights.
The site’s still in Beta mode, though. I need more staff to update it regularly and there are also some more sections that are supposed to go live in the upcoming week. Until then, you may want to already become a fan on Facebook or follow its Twitter feed!
Then there’s yet another weekly column which went live just a few minutes ago on eTCG.de: The Plus Community. In it, I’m trying to draw a few connections between card prices and some weird ways in which the Yu-Gi-Oh! community is acting.
I also spent all Wednesday trying to break down Yu-Gi-Oh! into as few words as possible. So if you don’t know what the whole buzz about this exciting game is about, check out this article on GameHead.com: Beginner’s Guide: Yu-Gi-Oh! (I just realized the good people running the site were so happy with the article it made it all the way into the featured slider on the main page. Guess it paid out to invest so much time in it).
Still, tomorrow’s gonna be the busiest day of the week (that’s a Spanish proverb, by the way), as I’ll be doing coverage of the “Battle of Cards” in Hamburg. It’s a gigantic 2 day tournament and thank’s to some prizes sponsored by tcgmarket.eu, it will draw in quite a few players. You can follow all the action on eTCG.de: Coverage Battle of Cards Hamburg.
Did I mention I have to finish another article for a website that’s gonna be relaunched in a few days? Well, that concludes this blog post, hope you guys will enjoy your weekend!
Although I was mighty busy producing a number of articles for the Official Coverage of the YCS Paris, I still found the time to take some videos during breaks. If you wanna watch them one after another, go and check out my Playlist of the YCS Paris.
Alternatively, here’s a full list:
- YCS Paris – taking a look at the venue prior to the start of the tournament
- YCS Paris – Master Player Lists are up!
- YCS Paris – Opening Announcements / Player Briefing
- YCS Paris – End of Round 1
- YCS Paris – Prior to the beginning of Round 2
- YCS Paris – Oli macht Pause (deutsch)
- YCS Paris – Taking a look at the YCS Trial on Day 2
- YCS Paris – The Top 32 come to a close!
- YCS Paris – Award Ceremony
- YCS Paris – Introduction to the Finals!
Let me know what you think and leave a comment!
In this week’s article, I wanted to put the focus on the volunteers; the great guys that help to make a huge event like the YCS possible in the first place. The question I asked is rather simple: What does a typical day prior to the major event look like?