It’s show time.
The greatest prize pot of all time has drawn a record-breaking number of competitors to this, the 50th tournament in the prestigious Shonen Jump Championships series. Doomcaliber Knight, exclusive playmats for all, and a full set of previous championship prize cards have drawn 950 duelists and counting, and the line certainly isn’t getting shorter.
It seems like every big name in dueling is here. Matt Peddle, Chris Flores, Jerry Wang, Fili Luna, Jake McNeely, Dale Bellido, Cedric Sequerra, and almost every other Shonen Jump Championship regular are here, along with some surprise return appearances. After retiring from the game earlier this year, Kris Perovic bought a ticket for a flight less than 45 minutes before it left to get here late last night. In fact, it’s practically an Overdose reunion; the newly-married Anthony Alvarado, out of SJC action since last October, is back. Much to his surprise, he’s found that he’s running the same deck with the same key tech card as Michael Gruner.
Yes, Michael Gruner is here. So are England’s James Pennicott, Joe Whitaker, and a battalion of European stars from countries like Germany, Belgium, and Italy. The Canadians are here in full force, with Superfriends recently acquiring repeated Top 8’er James Neumann thanks to the implosion of Team Face2Face. The stakes are incredibly high here in Costa Mesa, and the result is a truly international event with players hailing from across the globe. It’s really an awesome sight.
The field is an interesting split between duelists wary of taking risks in this setting and those who are more than eager to do so. Hoping to outplay Dark Armed Dragon, competitors like Paul Levitin, Chris Moosman, Lance Leonhardt, and dozens more have pulled out all the stops to bring earthshaking new strategies to Day 1, and the result is some surprising choices often guided by bold metagame predictions. Even for those who have chosen a more mainstream deck choice, customization and tech is the order of the day. We’ve seen everything from D.D. Crow and Pulling the Rug to Monster Reincarnation and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror played in multiples, main decked. With so many rounds of competition this weekend, no one is looking to rely solely on a higher level of skill in the mirror matches.
The minutes are ticking down and the registration line is clear, so it looks as if the tournament is about to begin with a whopping 1,055 duelists. Get ready for some of the coolest decks, most intense feature matches, and awesome interviews you’ve ever read.
Welcome to the biggest Shonen Jump Championship of all time. Welcome to Shonen Jump Championship Costa Mesa!