While 779 teams started today with high hopes, only two teams could close out the day unscathed.
At table 1 sat the powerhouse team of Ken Yukuhiro, Hiroaki Kitahara, and Kentaro Yamamoto. The three friends and long time teammates started off quickly at 8-0. Only one more team stood in their way from a perfect 9-0 record: Yuuichi Matsubara, Naoto Fukuoka, and Taiga Ikushima.
(left to right) Ken Yukuhiro, Hiroaki Kitahara, and Kentaro Yamamoto
In the feature match area sat the other pair of undefeated teams. Shunsuke Yao, Masahiro Kuroda, and Kojiro Omonishi felt pretty good about their chances going into this round having just dispatched Lee Shi Tian, Katsuhiro Mori and Tomoharu Saito in round 8. Their opponents, Shogo Watanabe, Jotaro Kobayashi, and Atsushi Kabeya, had something to say about that, though, entering the final round of the day with a 7-0-1 record
(left to right) Kojiro Omonishi, Masahiro Kuroda, and Shunsuke Yao
On table 1 the first match finished in a flash: Kitahara took a quick match over Fukuoka putting his team up 1-0.
Shortly thereafter, Yamamoto defeated Ikushima. With both players playing blue-red decks, Yamamoto was able to get out a pair of Rattlechains in the second game and win the round for his team before Yukuhiro finished his second game.
(left to right) Kentaro Yamamoto, Ken Yukuhiro, and Hiroaki Kitahara
Meanwhile, in the feature match area, Yao was the first to win over Watanabe. Knowing the rest was out of his hands, Yao looked on towards his teammates and offered the occasional piece of advice. Before long, the Kabeya beat out Omonishi in a White on White mirror match to tie things up at one match a piece.
With everything on the veterans shoulder, Masahiro Kuroda started his third game off with a Thermo-Alchemist on the second turn. If Kuroda was going to win the match for his team he was going to do it one point at a time. A number of turns and a flurry of instants later, Kuroda clinched the win for his team and propelled them into day two with a 9-0 record.
Congratulations to your two undefeated teams Ken Yukuhiro, Hiroaki Kitahara, and Kentaro Yamamoto; and Shunsuke Yao, Masahiro Kuroda, and Kojiro Omonishi!