YCS Toronto Boycott
I never thought I would write an article about something like this but alas here I am just a mere month before YCS Toronto with an endless stream of thoughts and emotions. For those of you who are not aware, and there very well may be readers out there who are not, there will be a YCS held in Toronto at the end of this month. It was officially listed on the premier event page of the Yu-Gi-Oh website a few days ago, along with the YCS in San Mateo. It has caused quite a significant uproar in the Yu-Gi-Oh community for an array of different issues, and today I feel as though it is time for us as a community to put our foot down and make a statement.
Before I get too far into the topic at hand, I need to make something absolutely clear. This article has no relation to the recent development between Konami and Alter Reality Games. While I may in fact be a weekly writer for ARG, the sentiments I am about to express are not necessarily that of ARG. The fact that ARG is no longer an affiliated Konami store, and the controversy surrounding the ARG Opens, was not the motivation for writing this article. I had intended on writing this article if YCS Toronto was announced weeks before the boiling point in the Konami negotiations. It just happens to be a coincidence.
I honestly try to sit down each and every week and produce articles which are beneficial to the Yu-Gi-Oh community in a wide variety of manners. Sometimes we talk about individual cards, analyze successful decks, or even on a lucky day end up discussing some of the advanced concepts that are prevalent in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh. This article does not follow that line of thinking. Though that not is to say that what I am about to write is not beneficial to our community. This may be the most important articles I have ever written for the community, or it could simply fizzle out. But I really do hope what I am about to say can pick up steam amongst our community because if there was ever a time to make a statement about the health of the Yu-Gi-Oh card game, today is that day.
So with that being said, I am writing the community today to call a boycott of YCS Toronto 2013. Konami has continued to manipulate the Yu-Gi-Oh community, and failed to address the wholesome complaints of its customers for too many years. It is beyond ludicrous to think that a professionally run trading card game can sit down and believe they have the ability to announce competitive events in the way in which Konami has just. With less than four weeks before round one of YCS Toronto Konami honestly believes that their player based will be able to find an affordable and appropriate means of travel to the event. Unfortunately we do not live in the fantasy world where last minute travel arrangements produce the prices that Konami must think. By scheduling an event with this short of notice, the bulk of players are unable to find the same priced hotels and transportation in which they would have been able to obtain had Konami appropriately announced their event months in advance. Beyond that, seeing as how they decided to announce an event out of the United States at such a last minute, players who would have originally enjoyed the opportunity to travel outside of the United States to play must already have a passport - or otherwise be forced to pay an increased sum of money for an express produced passport. It is beyond unprofessional for a company with the revenue and experience in organized play to believe they even have the right to abuse their players in this manner. Companies who openly appreciate their players, such as Wizards of the Coast, give their players more than adequate time to plan their trips in accordance with what is affordable and fit appropriately in their lives. It is almost as though Konami lives in their own world and ignores the fact that their player base actually have jobs and cannot simply drop what is going on in their lives in order to book a last minute flight and take time off of work. At most establishments of employment, a weekend off to Toronto would have already needed to be requested. So not only are we as players expected to pay more on travel expenses, we are supposed to obtain an express passport, ask for time off of work at what very well may be too short of time, and not know what format we are about to play in.
That is right. Konami has officially announced an event where there will be a fundamental change in the Forbidden and Limited List when the players amass for Day 2. With this glaring issue, a professional company such as Wizards of the Coast would give their players an idea what they are about to invest their hard earned money in going to. Seeing as how we are dealing with an unprofessional company like Konami, they have failed to officially declare what type of tournament their player base would even go to. So now not only are all of the limitations discussed previously an issue in attending the event, you could very well show up to an event where you would have had no intentionally of originally playing. Who knows, maybe Day 1 is Battle Pack 2 sealed. Maybe it is the March 1, 2013 Forbidden and Limited List. Another tournament for Dragon Ruler and Prophecy. I know I personally have no intention of ever playing that format again, and I bet I am not the only one who believes that. So why in the world would you want to invest your money in going to play another competitive tournament under that list? What if it is the September 1st, 2013 list? That would be exciting. How difficult if it to list what format the event is being held under? Such as simplistic decision which any properly run company would have been made months ago. But nope, not Konami. That is far too logical for a company like Konami. They leave you in the dark, no communication with their player base, no care for what are our concerns.
I heard rumors about this event months ago. Months ago. It was even listed on the Toronto Convention Centre website. That is right. This event has been in the works for a handful of months. Let that sink in. Konami had the intentions of having this event back when hotels were cheaper, flights were a fraction of the price and when you could have appropriately requested work off. That is the way in which Konami has decided to treat our players. Are we seriously going to stand here and allow that to be the norm? Are you freaking kidding me? What does it take to list a YCS event the moment it has officially been negotiated with the venue? As a professional company with a player base that relies on organized play (and I use the word organized loosely), there must be consistent communication. In this case there was no communication whatsoever. An absolute atrocity across the board.
So what are we going to do about it? We could all individually believe that we should not attend. I know I feel that way. I am sick of this treatment, and as a player who has missed only two American YCS events since 2010, I am not attending. I could ask for work off, I could afford the trip - but I am staying home. I simply cannot concede to the this treatment. And we as a community should stand up and say no. That is the only way in which Konami will ever listen to our requests. Hit their wallet. Hit it hard. It costs Konami a lot of money to hold these events. Let them look over their field of players in shock. They deserve it. They deserve to tank tens of thousands of dollars. I know this article, Facebook group or YouTube video will not be able to hold the attendance to zero. But we can damn sure try. We can try to #OccupyYGO, and if we fail - we can make noise. We can make a lot of noise. How many people have historically attended YCS Toronto? What if we can put up an attendance under 100? How about a venue filled with players but no one entering the event? or side events? A Yu-Gi-Oh blackout. Tell Konami how you feel about their event, and how they have decided to treat their player base.
Now I know, for a lot of people this is not something you want to consider. There are a lot of players who travel to each and every event. I am one of them. I am one of the people on the circuit. I schedule my year around each and every event. But the benefit of keeping yourself, and your friends at home is far beyond what showing up is worth. If we want there to be change in our game, we must be willing to make the sacrifice of this statement. Life goes on, there are more events. We can sit one out. Trust me, this is yet another event to give you the chance of finally winning a YCS or getting that first top. I know both of those feelings, one of which I live in to this day. But sometimes there are other things in life beyond that. What do we want as players? Better coverage. Live streams. Real rankings. Cash prizes. Better feature matches. Deck techs. New tournaments. Yu-Gi-Oh World Cup. Yu-Gi-Oh Players Championship. Real commentary. We want change. Let's make the sacrifice, and state what we want profoundly. It is just one event. Life continues after.
Spread the message, share this article, invite people to the Facebook group and link people to the corresponding YouTube video on my account (YGOTrader101). It is our time to #OccupyYGO. Be sure to follow me on Twitter too: @ARG_JoeG
I have mixed opinions on this, and I never expected this to have come from the person it came from (which imo means this is a big fucking deal). It's apparently kinda a thing now and I thought I'd bring it to DNF's attention.