Konami Digital Entertainment VP Yumi Hoashi told ICv2 that participation in the company’s Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG organized play events has been growing rapidly.  “Regional Qualifier numbers are up 30% over the 2009 numbers,” she said.  “Hobby stores say their biggest complaint is that they’re getting so many people that they don’t know how to deal with it.”   


Shonen Jump events have also been drawing bigger numbers.  Nearly 900 people attended the company’s first Shonen Jump Championship in Anaheim last April.  This January, when Konami hosted another Shonen Jump Championship in the Los Angeles metro area (this one at the LA Convention Center) over 1,600 Duelists showed up, nearly doubling the year-ago attendance. 


Hoashi attributes the growth in organized play participation to the nature of Konami’s organized play program, along with general excitement for the brand.   “We’re talking a lot more with the official tournament stores; we expect them to treat our players how we would treat our players,” Hoashi said.  “We see them as an extension of our family.  We’re trying to cultivate the new players, the lapsed players as well.”