The biggest-ever European tournament for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game was won by a British pro for the second year running - as well as crowning the game’s first female European champion.
The European Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Qualifier was held in the Dutch city of Utrecht from June 30th to July 2nd, the finale to the European Yu-Gi-Oh! National Championships series of events held across the continent.
9,935 players participated in 20 national tournaments during the championships, setting a new attendance record for the TCG’s competitive scene in Europe.
The finals were ultimately won by UK player Jessica Robinson, who piloted her Rikka Sunavalon Therion deck to victory against Germany’s Christian Thomas, using the Kashtira deck. Kashtira was the most popular deck of the tournament, with almost a third of the Top 64 and three of the Top 8 using the build; Thomas had previously used it to best British duelist Oliver Newton in the semi-finals.
Robinson, meanwhile, saw off Thomas’ fellow German player and 2019 World Championship competitor Jonas Koschel during the quarter finals, before seeing off the Labrynth deck of another German hopeful, Joo Ho Ahn, in the semis.
Robinson’s victory earned her a place at this year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championships, which will be held in the card game’s home of Japan next month. Robinson and Thomas will be joined by Newton, Koschel, Ahn, France’s Gabriel Soussi and Germany’s Dinh-Kha Bui, along with another 25 top-ranking duelists in qualifying for the world tournament.
Robinson became the second Brit in a row to claim victory at the European Nationals, following the 2022 success of Marcus Patel using his unbeaten Sunavalon Rikka deck. The win also makes her the first woman to win the European tournament, as well as one of very few female duelists to top a major Yu-Gi-Oh! championship.
“I'm thrilled to be able to compete at the World Championships,” Robinson told Dicebreaker. “It's something I've only dreamt about and I’m honoured to be able to provide representation at such a prestigious event.
“It feels really good to have won this year and had the baton passed from Marcus as we both worked together alongside our group on the list for both European Championship wins.”
This year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship will be its first held since 2019, the result of multiple cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be held in Tokyo’s International Exhibition Center from August 5th to 6th, with the physical Trading Card Game’s tournament joined by those for digital games Duel Links and Master Duel.