The Pitfalls of Overconfidence

On October 12, 2012 by Lukas Prinz
Photo Credit: Ute Kahle

Hello and welcome to the first article on our very own website. My name is Lukas Prinz, and today, I’m going to talk about a problem that most competitive players in the community, including myself, have faced, at least once, during their career. That problem is overconfidence.

To start off, I will tell you a story:

It is YCS Paris 2011 and I had just managed to finish 16th in Swiss with an 8-2 record. My opponent in the Top 32 was Adrian Madaj – who was, and still is, without a doubt, one of the best players in Europe. I was sure I would be going home after the match, but, to my own surprise, I managed to beat him and moved on to the Top 16. My next opponent was Michael Ciplak, another one of Europe’s best. He was playing Gravekeepers to my Zombies, a bad matchup for my end, but I managed to get the win.

Following my Top 8 interview, I checked to see who else was left in the Top 8. There were some big names like Soner Güngör, Stephan Sluis, Vincent Ralambomiadana and Yohann Descamps. And then there was me, and my opponent, Tudor Mitchell. Here is where the problem arises, I had just overcame two of Europe’s best and was now facing an opponent whose name I had never heard before. In my head, there was not a single chance I could lose.

This is where my winning streak ended. Long story short, I was overconfident. I was so sure of myself that I started to focus less on playing correctly and I didn’t realize a huge misplay that cost me my spot in the Top 4. The lesson I drew from this event was simple: Never be too overconfident to forget that there is always a chance you can lose.

Remember that time you faced a twelve-year-old, lost to his TeleDaD deck and though, “This kid just got lucky and had his autopilot-deck paid for by his parents, how could I lose to him?” Even though luck might have been an issue, there is also the possibility that you lost simply because he was the better player. Is it impossible to be good at Yu-Gi-Oh! just because you’re too young, too old, unknown, etc.? I tell you, it is not, so if you want to win an event, you have to take every opponent as a serious competitor. Do not let your focus slip because you think you have the upper hand before even playing.

This is especially important after you had a huge success at an event. I often talk to people after their first big record and I feel that the larger part turns out to be arrogant and overconfident. Do not be like that; keep your feet to the ground. Just because you topped once, it does not mean that you are guaranteed to top all your future events. Actually, most people who top once are never heard of again. Do not cut down your practice or regular visit to your locals, you need it to stay on the top of your game. If you keep respecting every opponent and keep practicing you have a good chance of repeating your success – and I know you want that.

Lukas Prinz is a Computer Science student from Bremen, Germany. Prinz has been a member of United Gosus since 2012, as an Intern of our Player roster and formerly as an Intern of Recruitment and Alumni Relations. To learn more about Lukas, please visit his member profile.