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First-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championship crowns its winners

Eight teams landed in Tokyo for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championship, but only one trio is leaving the home of franchise as winners.

Professional picture of team snipehunters playing at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championships

With the return of in-person Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments, the first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championship is live in Tokyo, alongside the TCG and Duel Links formats. Better yet, we’re live on the ground covering all the latest. Eight teams qualified earlier this year through rigorous competition. Now the final is over, the winners have their glorious trophy – complete with a Millenium Puzzle on top – and can spend the next 12 months lording over the rest of the competition as the debut Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Champions.

Unlike the TCG and Duel Links formats, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel tournament consisted of eight teams of three from across the globe, with conferring between the teams encouraged to offer the tactical nuance of three brains instead of one. It’s a first for the format and the World Championship, providing something a little different from the traditional Yu-Gi-Oh! format many of us know so well.

As anticipated, Tearlements and Spright decks were in heavy rotation throughout the Swiss rounds. Still, there was plenty of room for variation, with Naturia Runick, Spright, Sky Striker, and Exosister sets all making appearances. Of course, we also saw plenty of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Maxx “C” plays, often with game-changing consequences. That’s some classic Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel right there.

The semi-finals matched up Latin America’s PRRJ versus North America’s Team 7, while Japan’s To the future faced off against Europe’s snipehunters, with Yu-Gi-Oh! veteran Josh Schmidt leading the latter to victory. I say leading – Josh didn’t even need to finish his final game, with teammate QuantalThink delivering the decisive victory to make it 5-3. That nail-biting win means snipehunters turned to face Team 7, with the North Americans overcoming PRRJ in their semi-final face-off.

The grand finale offered all the fireworks we were anticipating going into the debut Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championship best-of-five showdown. The first round went 2-1 to snipehunters, with QuantalThink and Emre providing the wins to counteract Team 7’s Raye completely shutting down Josh’s deck. In the second round, Josh redeemed himself by earning a point for the team, but it still ended 3-3, with Emre falling short and QuantalThink losing a mirror match to the experienced Jesse Kotton.

So, at three points per team, it all came down to a third and final round to decide on the winners. After some intense dueling and plenty of ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ reactions from the crowd to staple hand traps in pivotal moments, snipehunters emerged victorious thanks to game-winning rounds from Emre and QuantalThink. It was seriously close, though, with both teams providing Konami with a perfect advert for the competitive possibilities of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel going forward.

If you want to catch up on all the action, check out the stream link below with highlights from the Swiss rounds into the semi-finals action. For the grand final, get yourself over to the official Yu-Gi-Oh! Youtube channel and see the full stream from Sunday’s event, including the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links final, too.

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With that, you’re up to date with the highlights from the inaugural Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel World Championship, with snipehunters leaving as the King of Games trio. For more digital card game goodness, check out what happened in the final of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links World Championship with our highlights.