Albuquerque will soon be on the map again. This time, for hosting a Regional Level Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Nov. 16. 

No other "Yu-Gi-Oh!" event of this caliber has been hosted in Albuquerque since 2008.

Many who grew up in the early 2000s remember an anime series called “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and its numerous sequel series’. What is less known is that the card game played in this shows still thrives with an international competitive community.

On the south side of Central Avenue, across from the University of New Mexico, sits local game studio, Lunar. Lunar not only sells card game products but hosts many "Yu-Gi-Oh!" tournaments for duelists to meet and compete. It is one of two stores in the entire state that hosts such events.

For the past two years, the store has been growing and getting access to host more types of events. This includes popular sneak peeks of upcoming card sets.

The community at Lunar has grown to be diverse. The duelists and shop are welcoming of any new players who would like to play the game — all that is needed is good sportsmanship and good hygiene. 

Thanks to the efforts of the store’s owner, Leo Anaya, the Albuquerque Convention Center will now host the tournament. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the tournament starts at 10 a.m.

This tournament has space for up to 300 duelists to participate. The stakes are high as up to 48 duelists can earn invitations to the 2020 World Championship Qualifiers. There will additionally be vendors at the location and a few side tournaments for extra prizes.

Ever since the announcement of the regional tournament, local duelists have been giving it their all creating and testing decks that can compete with the best on a regular basis. 

There are a few main strategies that players are trying to prepare for the most. 

There is the “Orcust” themed deck which builds up mighty machines that are difficult to get rid of. A deck of “Thunder Dragons” who prevent their opponents from performing combos that need cards to be added to their hands. The fiery “Salamangreat” decks are able to outlast other strategies in longer games. 

They also take into consideration numerous other powerful strategies.

Anaya believes strongly in the benefits of playing a game like Yu-Gi-Oh!

“For the kids, the developmental skills that are learned in a competitive card environment could help them on the right paths in anything they want to do,” Anaya said. 

There are many players who travel to other states to participate in regional tournaments. Anaya hopes that these players will help create traffic for many local businesses that they wouldn’t see otherwise.

With the date approaching quickly, local duelists are becoming more anxious to get practice in. Many are gathering daily to make sure that they can give this tournament their all. 

Victor “Sal” Mangiacapra is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @VSMangia