Eight of the game’s best players came together to face off in the second annual Top Cut Invitational, and the result was one great tournament! When World Champions, National Champions, and legends of the game clash, the outcome is going to be unpredictable. Here’s a rundown of how the event played out.
David Cohen (Darkrai/Mewtwo): 2-0
Tsuguyoshi Yamato (Darkrai/Mewtwo/Weavile): 2-1
Tom Dolezal (Darkrai): 1-2
Sami Sekkoum (Darkrai): 0-2
Yuta Komatsuda (Darkrai/Mewtwo): 2-0
John Roberts II (Klinklang): 2-1
Esa Juntunen (Mew/Accelgor/Chandelure): 1-2
Jason Klaczynski (Mismagius/Darkrai/Vileplume): 0-2
Right off the bat, we had shocking results with our two Finalists last year going 0-2. Still, it’s not too surprising given the level of competition that this tournament provided. Even though a lot of people overlooked David Cohen and John Roberts II, both of them advanced to the Top 4, proving to everyone that they are not just one hit wonders. As for the other two players who advanced, you can’t be too surprised to see Yuta Komatsuda and Tsuguyoshi Yamato; they are some of the most incredible players in the history of the game.
For the Top 4, we had two incredible matches that were able to play out to the fullest thanks to the 90 minute time limit. In the first match, we had Tsuguyoshi Yamato against Yuta Komatsuda in a Darkrai/Mewtwo mirror match that went down to the wire, with Yamato narrowly pulling out a victory. In another close series, we had an unlikely showdown between John Roberts II and David Cohen. Ultimately, John’s Klinklang deck was unable to take down David’s Darkrai/Mewtwo, and our Finals would be a rematch of the second round match between David Cohen and Tsuguyoshi Yamato.
Even though the Finals was a mirror match, the two decks had many things that separated them. On Yamato’s end, he did not play any Switch, Skyarrow Bridge, or PlusPower; however, he did have a 2-2 Weavile line. For David, he had a few tech cards like Potion that would help his mirror match a lot. After an extremely close win for David in the first game, Yamato was able to get a turn 2 win in the second game, and we would have an epic finish between the 2004 World Champion and the 2011 World Champion.
The third game was everything we could have ever hoped for. The match was extremely close, with both players trading blows and making incredible plays. At one point in the match, Yamato had made a mistake by attaching an Energy to the wrong Pokémon and wasn’t able to attack for the turn. In an amazing show of sportsmanship, David told him to attach it to the correct Pokémon, earning a lot of respect from players and spectators alike. In the end, David had a shot to win the game if he drew a Shaymin and Catcher from his Professor Juniper, but he was unable to draw everything he needed. As he searched his deck with Ultra Ball, we discovered that the next card was the game winning Pokémon Catcher; he was one card short of winning the tournament. In an unusual ending, Yamato was able to capitalize by discarding David’s last Shaymin with Weavile’s Claw Snag, making his victory inevitable. As David drew the last card of his deck, he realized he had no options to win the game, and he extended his hand to congratulate Yamato. Without a doubt, the final match was a display of incredible sportsmanship, skill, and spirit of the game.
All of the players had great showings, but congratulations to Tsuguyoshi Yamato, your 2012 Top Cut Invitational champion! Thank you to everyone who made the event possible and donated prizes; we’re very grateful to all who contributed. Also, thank you to the guys from Cardleaders for helping us record the matches we weren’t able to get. Be sure to check out their site and follow their work, too! Videos of the event will be up as soon as possible.
In the future, we hope to run more events like these. It serves as a great way to display great competition while also bringing the community closer together. The Top Cut is very appreciate of all of the support we’ve received, and we hope to work together with everyone to make the game bigger and better than ever before. We are making progress.
Thank you to Doug Morisoli, Ben Sauk, and Ben Potter for helping to judge the event. Credit for the photos goes to Melvin Shaw. You can find his entire album from the event here. Thanks to everyone who donated prizes and anyone else who helped out. Here’s to next year!