Player Recognition 2015

On January 5, 2016 by Jack Ran

Player Recognitio 2015

Hello Readers!

My name is Jack Ran, and I have been playing this game for over 3 years now. When I was first introduced into the competitive scene it completely captivated me as I’m sure many of you can relate to. I was 15, naive, and overly confident, I also didn’t do too well at my first Yugioh Championship Series (YCS) in Toronto 2012 or any of the regionals following that. It was only when I first started studying the game’s history did I gain a deeper appreciation for Yu-Gi-Oh!. On duelistgroundz there used to be a list of tops for all premier events, and I remember studying it for hours on end. Adam Corn has been at the top of the list for many years, and he managed to top 11 events in 2008. The list motivated me as a player, I wanted to be on it, I wanted to climb up its ranks, I wanted to get my first top, and then my second, and then eventually my 24th. It was because of this list that I decided to write this article; I want to create something that can be analyzed yearly and also motivate players as that list has motivated me. Adam only topped 11 events because there were 18 SJCs that year, something that is likely to never happen again. Barrett Keys on the other hand had topped 7 YCSes in 2015 out of the 13 (YCS Toronto and Rimini occurred at the same time) that he could have attended.

I’d like to start off by saying I really love working with data through Excel to turn raw data into something that can be easily analyzed. I also really enjoyed what Sam Pedigo originally did in 2013, although I disagree with certain events he chose to include and how he elected to determine ties amongst players with equivalent points, I did really enjoy his point system and opted to use that in my calculations and ranking system. Again I disagree with what he constituted as premier so I opted to exclude the 15 ARG events and only include Konami events. Of which there were 14 YCSes, 5 WCQs, and 1 World Championship. I can only imagine after a few years of making these annual recap & recognitions, we can analyze player performance past a year by year basis and actually extend that further into multiple years. We can begin to see year by year trends from different demographics and for example see how many Europeans take up the top 15 player list and how this changes as time goes by. The options are limitless as we accumulate more data, and I can only hope this list continues to be an annual tradition created by people who share a love for this game as much as I do.

Here are the links to the previous recap and recognition years:
2013: Alter Reality Games by Samuel Pedigo
2014: Duelistgroundz by James Kim

Without further ado I present the 2015 Champions, congratulations to each and every one of them:

North American YCS
YCS Charleston: Jonathan Gomez
YCS Tacoma: Barret Keys
YCS Chicago: Stephen De Lara
YCS Columbus: TJ Kinsley
YCS Toronto: Gabriel Orosan-Weine
YCS Dallas: Erik Christensen
YCS San Jose: Jessy Samek

European YCS
YCS Prague: Valens Leteurtre
YCS Bochum: Luca Chetoni
YCS Rimini: Lorenzo Santoni

Latin & South American YCS
YCS Guatemala: Erik Priego
YCS Bogota: Barret Keys
YCS Mexico: Alan Daniel Santacruz Guzman
YCS Sao Paulo: Alejandro Vivaldo Reyes Suarez

World Championship Events
North American WCQ: Noah Greene
Central American WCQ: Galileo De Obaldia
South American WCQ: Gerardo Portilla
European WCQ: Ido Rephael Marcus
Oceanic WCQ: Oliver Parle
World Championship: Hiyama Shunsuke

Top 15 Best Players of 2015
The calculation method I used to determine the top 15 best players of 2015 is identical to the one used in 2014 and similar to Samuel Pedigos in 2013. 2-points are given for each top at a premier event, 1-point for each win during the single elimination rounds and an additional prestige point for each win or Worlds appearance. If two players had the same amount of points they will simply be tied in the rankings because any additional factors such as European/American player or the prestige of the top would be too subjective. The point of data collection and representation is to display facts and allow the viewers to draw their own conclusions.

1st: Barrett Keys
YCS Tacoma Champion
Top 16 YCS Guatemala
Top 2 YCS Chicago
YCS Colombia Champion
Top 32 YCS Columbus
Top 32 YCS Toronto
Top 16 YCS Mexico

2nd: Chase Cunningham
Top 4 Worlds
Top 4 YCS Toronto
Top 16 YCS Dallas
Top 32 YCS San Jose

3rd: Galileo De Obaldia
Top 2 YCS Colombia
Central WCQ Champion
Top 2 Worlds

Jonathon Gomez
YCS Charleston Champion
Top 16 YCS Toronto
Top 8 YCS Dallas
Top 8 YCS San Jose

5th: Elvis Vu
Top 4 YCS Charleston
Top 16 YCS Tacoma
Top 4 YCS Chicago
Top 16 NAWCQ
Top 32 YCS Toronto

6th: Omar Daoudi
Top 4 YCS Tacoma
Top 16 YCS Columbus
Top 64 NAWCQ
Top 32 YCS Dallas
Top 16 YCS San Jose

7th: Steven De Lara
Top 2 YCS Tacoma
YCS Chicago Champion

8th: Erik Priego
YCS Guatemala Champion
Top 32 Central WCQ
Top 8 YCS Mexico

Piran Asci
Top 8 YCS Prague
Top 32 YCS Bochum
Top 16 EUWCQ
Top 16 YCS Rimini

10th: Alejandro Vivaldo Reyes Suarez
Top 64 Central WCQ
Top 8 YCS Mexico
YCS Brazil Champion

Jonhathan Vazquez
Top 4 YCS Guatemala
Top 4 Central WCQ
Top 16 YCS Mexico

Patrick Hoban
Top 2 YCS Charleston
Top 8 YCS Chicago
Top 32 YCS Dallas

13th: Benedikt Junk
Top 8 YCS Bochum
Top 4 YCS Columbus
Top 64 EUWCQ

14th: Denny Yu
Top 16 YCS Chicago
Top 4 YCS Columbus
Top 32 YCS Dallas

Edward Apaipong
Top 16 YCS Tacoma
Top 32 NAWCQ
Top 8 YCS Dallas

Special mentions to Desmond Johnson, Jose Osores, Tyree Tinsley, Joshua Schmidt and Patrick James, all of which had topped 3 events this year but unfortunately did not make the list based on this point system. It is interesting to note that only 2 players are on both the 2014 and 2015 list; those being Barret Keys and Patrick Hoban. Barret had 3 tops last year ranking 11th place and now is leading the list with 7 tops and 2 wins this year. Patrick fell from 1st place last year with 5 tops and 2 wins to a three-way tie for 10th place at 3 tops.

An interesting event to note is that, for the first time in Yugioh history the finals of two back-to-back American YCSs were the same two players. This was YCS Tacoma and YCS Chicago where Steven De Lara and Barrett Keys played.

Another interesting trend that I witnessed while writing this was how the list of champions changed after Konami elected to discontinue drafting in top 16. I think we can all agree that despite all the drawbacks of having draft, it led to a far more competitive top cut with extremely accomplished players in all of the finals.

In the regular constructed format of top cut, we see an incredible amount of players who are essentially “one-hit wonders”, players who win the first event they top and to my knowledge have not topped again. This goes from TJ in Columbus, to Noah at the NAWCQ, Gabe in Toronto, and finally Erik (Infernoid guy) in Dallas. Of course this is by no means an attack on these players individually, I know none of them personally and for all I know they can be just like Frazier or any other accomplished player who wins on their first top. It’s just interesting to see trends develop as a result of Konami’s decisions.

Once again congratulations to everyone who has had a successful year, and may you continue to do so in 2016!