Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS)
20564 Hall Road
In the midst of this record-setting hot summer, the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME (TCG) has just celebrated its annual World Championship; and while Regional Qualifiers are on a break, the action is still on at our Official Tournament Stores. This month, our Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS) is Gamer's Gauntlet in Clinton Township, Michigan!
Realizing that for gaming and comic book enthusiasts the area was underserved, they opened up for business in October 2011. "We've always loved games", exclaimed owner Dan Cato, since they have played many trading card games over the years, including the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. The community that plays at Gamer's Gauntlet is a varied player base that includes both competitive players that frequent Regional Qualifiers and Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series events, and casual players that stay local. "Everyone's friendly; no one has a bad attitude. It's a great environment. If being competitive isn't their desire, the other players won't bring it to them," said Dan.
Getting new players to the store is important for any community to thrive. To do that, Gamer's Gauntlet reaches out to local schools, coordinating with teachers in organizing tournaments during the summer and winter breaks. There's also a comic book club that meets in the store once a month. At the end of the school year, Gamer's Gauntlet donates from their comic book collection to the club. This type of advertising has proven to be an effective strategy to attract new players to the store.
"If a store hasn't been (actively) involved with the OTS program, they might not entirely know what is available to them"
- Dan Cato, owner
Any time your community includes a number of younger players, generally speaking, it has an involvement from parents. This holds true for Gamer's Gauntlet. "There's a couple of father/son duos that come in together. There's also basically a whole family – Mom, Dad, Son and Nephews - that come down," expressed Dan. But even the newer players that do not have family members that play are given plenty of support; they are, supplemented by the older, and more experienced players of the Yu-Gi-Oh! community. "There's a core group of players that go to Regionals and YCS that are really great and welcoming to other players. They're working with the other players to make sure they're at the top of their game," said Dan. Gamer's Gauntlet certainly has a devoted Yu-Gi-Oh! community. Some "people drive 30 minutes to an hour on our regular play night to play and trade," said Sunee Her, the Store Manager.
One of the ways that Gamer's Gauntlet appreciates its loyal community is by hosting an in-store championship series. Players accumulate points that get totaled at the end of each quarter. Top points earners get additional prizes and a special dinner. As they say, loyalty has its benefits!
When asked about what advice they have for other Official Tournament Stores, Dan said "If a store hasn't been (actively) involved with the OTS program, they might not entirely know what is available to them. The OTS packs are amazing. We give them out every week. Also, consistency throughout the years is important; like starting the tournament at the same time every week. Setting and meeting that expectation is what brings players back." Players have something to look forward to.We're glad to present Gamer's Gauntlet as the Featured Official Tournament Store for August 2018!