The game is on for top gamer


From New Zealand to Ja­pan, Timmy Chiew has taken out the top spot at an in­ter­na­tional gam­ing tour­na­ment.

The Yu-Gi-Oh duel links world cham­pion win­ner has been play­ing card games and video games since he was 12.

Now 25, Chiew beat 10 of the best Yu-Gi-Oh play­ers at the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion – in a New Zealand first.

The tour­na­ment was played on a Yu-Gi-Oh app with iPads. Orig­i­nally, it was a card game, but the app was launched in the past year, Chiew said.

On­line gam­ing and cards have taken Chiew from his na­tive Palmer­ston North and new home in Auck­land to Amer­ica, Aus­tralia and Asia, where he’s won tens of thou­sands of dol­lars.

Chiew, co-founder of Auck­land-based food de­liv­ery app Gob­bleUP!, said he mostly plays for leisure but could make a liv­ing off it if he wanted to.

He couldn’t count how many tour­na­ments he’d won, but he said he usu­ally came out on top about ev­ery third com­pe­ti­tion.

There were times where Chiew spent four hours a day prac­tis­ing be­fore tour­na­ments, but that was noth­ing com­pared with some peo­ple who spent up to 12 hours train­ing, he said.

It is like any sport. To be good at soc­cer, peo­ple had to prac­tice, just as he had with card games for many years.

Hob­byco di­rec­tor James White, who runs na­tional Yu-Gi-Oh tour­na­ments, said it was a long road get­ting to an in­ter­na­tion­ally-com­pet­i­tive level.

Chiew had to win re­gion­als, na­tion­als and then the Oceanic cham­pi­onship, and from there only two peo­ple made it to the in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment, White said. ‘‘It re­ally is hard. It’s a very big hon­our.’’ It was the first time any­one from New Zealand had won that com­pe­ti­tion, White said.

As well as the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and friend­ships cre­ated dur­ing big tour­na­ments, Yu-Gi-Oh taught skills such as strat­egy and ba­sic math­e­mat­ics.

‘‘From a strat­egy point of view you have to use a lot of brain power, White said.


Gamer Timmy Chiew is tak­ing on the world’s best and win­ning.

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