Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS)
3047 W Henrietta Rd.
Just as April showers bring May flowers, it also brings us the April 2018 Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS), Millennium Games. This game store has a long history; it has been in the same plaza for over 35 years! Originally known as Crazy Igor’s in the 80’s, a change of ownership in 1983 saw it transform to Millennium Games. It has been the featured game store in the Rochester, New York area for over 20 years. In 2010, a former manager named Travis Severance decided to invest in the community gem and became one of its new owners.
The new ownership, along with long time manager, Michael Bauman, and their dedicated staff, have worked endlessly to develop an “event structure that is designed to help players grow into strong Duelists quickly,” explained Michael. Furthermore, he said, “since we are located between three colleges, our playerbase tends to be an older crowd than most stores. Therefore, we focus our efforts on competition and camaraderie. We host two different events each week. The first event, Novice Thursdays, is where we encourage our regulars to play Decks that are friendlier to new players. This gives them time to learn the format, as well as polish their play skills.” The more experienced players will often bring multiple Decks that they will allow the newer players to borrow while they hone their Decks and skills. Additionally, Michael said that they “help players by offering Deck techs, where players will come to the employees and get personalized advice on how to upgrade their Decks. Players often see dramatic improvement from our upgrades, even when they are constrained by how many cards they have access to. We also offer a large assortment of cards for only $0.10 each, meaning many players can switch Decks to one of the more recent archetypes quickly and efficiently.” Once the more casual player improves their game, they usually become comfortable enough to play with the more experienced players on Sunday nights. Many of Millennium Games’ more competitive players compete at the more elite Tier 2-level events.
"Grow your customers’ knowledge of the game. It is usually more than just the product that they are looking for."
- Michael Bauman, manager,
The advantage of being surrounded by colleges is that it provides Millennium Games with many opportunities to run several new player acquisition activities. “Each year,” said Michael, “we go around to the local colleges and recruit new players. Each college has a local gaming club, and we send a representative to their club meeting once a semester to help promote our store, as well as inform players about major events like Sneak Peeks; coordinating these meetings with larger in-store events, so that we have a big reason to show up and pull players into the store.” While college age students make up a good chunk of their playerbase, younger players still show up to try their hand at the game.
A few of those younger players even bring in their dads that play with them. “We encourage parents to learn along with their children. We inform them of the value of the cards, how to find card values for the ones children open out of booster packs, and provide them extra space to sit and watch the event. We also encourage parents to bring their kids to the Duel Day events so we can teach them how to play as well,” explained Michael.
When asked what he felt was important as an OTS, Michael said that you should “have a plan for your customers. Grow your customers’ knowledge of the game. It is usually more than just the product that they are looking for – develop the player, educate them and keep them engaged and wanting to improve their skills.” Millennium Games has over 16 years of experience with tournament play, a large space, and dedicated staff to meet the needs of their community. By popular demand they even invested in the equipment to launch their own Twitch Channel. By any definition, Millennium Games is an exemplary example of an outstanding Featured OTS. We congratulate you on being selected as the April 2018 Featured OTS!