1. As you are a long playing Yu-Gi-Oh! player and tournament organizer, how do you compare its beginnings to Dragonball Super’s in Croatia?
Anytime a new TCG is released it takes time to develop itself. You have to have a quality franchise, gameplay, players, distributors and an overall plan of how to do it. Yu-Gi-Oh! started the same way at the beginning of this millennia (2002 to be exact) and after 17 years have passed the game is now as it is. Each year Yu-Gi-Oh! is having more and more players attending higher ranking tournaments. That includes YCS, National, European and World Championship. The first European Championship was held in the Netherlands in 2006 after 4 years have already passed since the release of the game and it had only 240 entrants. The last one was in Berlin (2018) and it had 1624 players listed on the main event. Dragonball Super, on the other hand, was released in Europe in 2018 and in 2019 is already having its own European Championship. That’s a pace on a whole new level.
When the game was announced for the first time I was extremely excited. I immediately contacted the store owner and asked him if we could order the product. The problem was that the game was made for the American market, and only after the whole year passed Europe was getting their own slice of cake. In the end, so did we, but only after it was partly gobbled by the other bigger countries.
2. After the initial interest in the card game, how was it received from the perspective of the store Carta Magica and the consumers?
The first set that our store was able to order was Cross Worlds and the starter deck Dark Invasion. I cannot tell you the exact number of boxes and decks that arrived at the store, but what I can tell you is that they were sold out in less than a week. The store is now ordering even more products, and they all are selling in great numbers. Overall satisfaction is almost over 9000!!!!!!!
3. What can you say about the prices of the products, comparing it to the various standards of living in the European countries?
Currently, our prices of the product are on equal ground comparing to the other ones in Europe. The issue is, we have lower overall money standing in general when comparing to the other countries. We are ordering products from one branch of Asmodee UK, so the price is set to those standards and luckily the Brexit didn’t influence the ordering cost. We are trying to get some tournament kits so we can hold higher-ranking events in the near future. The thing is, that even larger countries such as Germany cannot easily obtain them and especially the new ones. We would be thrilled if we could get our hands even on the old ones.
4. What is your opinion on our Croatian community of players, looking at the potential of so-called toxicity and the healthier approach of maintaining a consistent player base?
In general the more players you have the better, but if a larger percentage of the player base is corrupt the game will fall apart. For starters, you have to have a healthy casual all knowing friendly community and make it grow to a competitive one. We have that! Everyone is on a higher level of play now in our community but sadly, we also have the Money Money Profit Types of players. The MMPTs are in small numbers so it’s ok for now. Hopefully, they won’t become a toxic problem in the future that we have to solve.
5. Do we have a chance of having large scale tournaments like regionals or nationals?
I sincerely hope so, if something is changed on the Bandai player/judge site because currently none of us can register there. Many events either require Tournament Kits or registered judges and some even need both. We already held the BCC Tournaments and are now waiting for the opportunity to order the TK and to hold higher tier events. Hopefully in the near future, maybe already in August.
6. What are the potential hurdles in organizing bigger tournaments?
Well apparently, they cannot print enough TK. Unavailable judge tests are also an issue. Fixing those two things would definitely clear out the stunning effect of solar stare cast on the smaller countries and give them the opportunity they need.
7. What can you say about the future of DBS in Croatia, the mobility of attending tournaments in other countries and how can you compare the potential of a competitive play looking at other card games we have around in our store?
I wish and expect the bright future for any player in DBS without the need of turning the sky black. The whole game is new and it’s been in our country for less than a year. In that time frame, we have built a reasonable constant community. Many players from other games are starting to join our DBS family and I expect even more to come.
Currently, the only higher level of competitive games in Croatia are Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh!. I cannot speak for Magic, but Yu-Gi-Oh! players, me included, started attending higher ranking tournaments in other countries almost 4 years after the game came to Croatia. Nowadays, we go to neighbouring countries to attend higher ranking tournaments as well as some countries that are even further away. In the old days, it wasn’t so easy to travel and navigate, but things have changed. I believe we will attend tournaments in other countries even sooner if compared to the other TCG-s.
Currently, we are holding DBS tournaments in our capital, but we aspire to change that. We want to make a community grow and for that, we need to attract even more players, especially the younger ones. To do so, we have to show other people how the game works and the only way to do it is with different promotional events and gatherings. Our community consists of older knowledgeable players with the intent of teaching others how to play the game, but the issue we have is our limited time and of course, the finances. With limited resources and time itself, one of the ways to share the knowledge and experience is through the internet. The Lookout is one of these places, built from scratch by honest, knowledgeable and genuine guys with the great desire to let anyone enjoy this game even further. Supporting sites like this one can surely help the DBS community in every country, including ours.
If you like the game and you enjoy playing it, share it with the world. As you know sharing its positive energy with others will grant you/someone enough power to make a glowy round sphere so that you don’t have to find some round objects to save the world. Or something like that…