The Fate of a Pro Player – Part 1

On March 29, 2013 by Soner Güngör


To be a pro player you really have to integrate yourself in every match and watch carefully how your opponent is playing. Of course, if your opponent has the nuts, then they have the nuts.

Hello and Happy Easter. Today, I will write my first article for our website and I really had to think for a long time about my first topic. There are a lot of things I would like to discuss, but after some pondering, the topic which stuck out the most was the fate of a pro player.

First, what is a pro player? In my opinion, to be a pro player in Yu-Gi-Oh!, there are several competencies which you must have possess. It is not enough to just play well and memorize all cards and rulings. A pro player also has to contemporaneously make great reads and excellent bluffs. You need great risk management and the ability to constantly be decreasing the outs of your opponent. As Claudio mentioned his last article, many games you probably lose are because of small mistakes. However, those small mistakes can change the whole score of the event. Who knows if you did not make that mistake the match before, if you would have went on to play against other opponents and perhaps come to tops or even win the whole tournament? So being concentrated is also very important. Furthermore, you have to be able gauge how experienced your opponent is. This is harder than it sounds.

For example, when you go to a big tournament, you will often play against opponents which you are unfamiliar with. It is like a puzzle. You have to be concentrated on his/her behavior and his/her moves during the whole match. You must be able to change your playstyle during a duel once you know how experienced your opponent is. This is not done all by watching which or how cards your opponent plays. It is also good to start little conversations to get to know your opponent better and gain some free information. The answers to simple questions like “How are you? Where are you from? How long have you been playing?,” and so on give you a lot of insight and help to make the puzzle more complete.

There was a game at YCS Barcelona, I cannot remember which round it was, but in the middle of the match, I realized that my opponent may not have been so experienced. This is because he sometimes really greedy. He was playing Karakuri. On the second turn, I summoned “Mermail Abyssmegalo” searched “Abyss-sphere” and revealed it to his field of 3 big Synchros. I had several cards in hand to clear the field with “Deep Sea Diva” and “Monster Reborn” combos but I decided to change my playstyle instead. I just set one backrow, Mirror Force, wanting him to think it was the Sphere I had just searched. Then I shook my head to reinforce his read. (You may be thinking it would have been safer to set more backrows, but he did not have any facedowns and I had “Gorz the Emissary of Darkness” as a contingency plan.) Can you guess what he did next? He summoned more monsters and rushed all of them into my Mirror Force! After the match, he showed me the “Mystical Space Typhoon” he had in hand, but he never wanted to waste on my preserved Sphere. This might be not of the best example, but it shows how helpful it is to change your playstyle after you have gauged how experienced your opponent is.

To be a pro player you really have to integrate yourself in every match and watch carefully how your opponent is playing. Of course, if your opponent has the nuts, then they have the nuts. However, when it comes to the grind game, it is helpful to have studied your opponent. Every time I am playing in an important tournament, my opponent is the only thing that my attention is on. I feel like I am in a parallel universe, isolated from all around and completely concentrated on the opponent in front of me. You may be thinking, “Wow, what a freak!” This is just true if you take it seriously. There are more components to being a real pro, but, in my opinion, this ability to change your playstyle by studying your opponent and handling risk management is the most important. I really believe this is the reason why in most tournaments the same people get in tops.

Now, as you may have noticed in the headline, this is only the first part of my article. As an introduction, I just wanted to describe to you what a pro player means to me and which abilities he/she has to have. In the next part I will show you the real fate of a pro player. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to…


Soner Güngör is an Office Manager in Finance from Germany. Soner is a founding member of United Gosus, and has served as a member of the Player roster since August 2006. To learn more about Soner, please visit his member profile.