How to Handle Yourself in a Major Tournament

One mistake that people make going into a Major Tournament setting is believing that it will be much like their local tournaments except in a larger, more diverse environment. This is not at all the case, however, as it is much more competitive. This will be even truer for Bushiroad tournaments, as there are very few opportunities for players to qualify, meaning that players will be extremely cutthroat. What I’ll be talking about here is how you can take advantage of some things in major tournaments, as well as the best way to handle yourself to throw your opponent off their game.

1. Do not be afraid to take advantage of your opponents mistakes

This means pretty much what it sounds like. While in locals it is considered just good etiquette to allow your opponent to take back something they just did, or to remind them about certain details, this is not the case in major tournaments. For example, if your opponent has played a card and then moved on, but wishes to take that card back, you are under no obligation to allow him to do that. Another example is Dark Cat, as it’s actually an optional effect. If you play Dark Cat, make sure you declare you are using it’s effect. After that, unless your opponent asks what the effect is or asks to read the card, you have no obligation to tell him anything. You don’t need to ask him whether he wishes to draw from the card or anything like that, that’s his mistake to make. If he wants to take your cards attack with a crit on it because he forgot it had a crit, that’s his mistake to make, you have no obligation to allow him to take back his move and guard it.

Remember that this should only really be done in a major tournament setting. If you remain cutthroat in a local tournament setting, you may need to step back and take a deep breath, as these locals are meant to be enjoyable and casual. Many stores have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behaviour, as new players will not enjoy that type of enviroment, and even seasoned players may become tired of that type of atmosphere. Never allow yourself to lose sight that this game is meant to be fun. While you need to get into a competitive mindset in Major Tournaments, allow yourself to have fun in local settings.

2. Never allow yourself to become visibly flustered or desperate

This tactic has helped me win time and time again. If you always look cool and confident while playing, even while you’re on the losing end, your opponent will begin to wonder why you are not visibly worried, making him start to make decisions that may end up allowing you to come back from a losing position. At the same time, if your opponent seems completely calm and collected, don’t change your game plan. He may have something in the background, but if you shift it up you could end up giving him the game. Just remain on target and continue to play as normal.

3. Good Sportsmanship

Never jeer or cheer at an opponents misplays or their misfortune. This is something that is extremely disgusting on the part of players that I have seen at times. Continuing the game as normal is the most respectful thing you can do, rather then drawing attention to the issues that happened. Another thing to do to remain a good sport is to allow the losing player to be the first one to offer a handshake. If they are upset about their lose, they may take your handshake or “good game” comment as mocking or condescending. Allowing your opponent to offer the handshake allows them to feel better about their lose, as well as making sure not to cause any issues after a game.

This is a pretty good guideline to how to act in a major tournament setting, although it all comes down to using common sense. Make sure to not allow yourself to be trapped by your opponent, don’t allow yourself to feel remorse for your opponent, as they most likely won’t have any for you. Through all that however, keep your cool and remain calm, and always make sure to remain a good sport. Things happen in this game that neither player can control and there is no reason to blame your opponent for it, or to rub it in his face. Remain competitive, but remain a decent human being at the same time, it will make the tournament more enjoyable for you, and anyone you face.


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