Kevin (left) and Tyler Winther will try to beat 84 of the best Kaijudo players in North America this weekend in Seattle.

Prince Rupert brothers off to Kaijudo championships

Prince Rupert's Winther brothers will board a plane heading for Seattle and hope the contents luggage will bring the city a championship.

On Thursday, Prince Rupert’s Winther brothers will board a plane heading for Seattle and they’ll hope the contents of their carry-on luggage will bring the city a North American championship.

The name of the game is Kaijudo and Kevin’s and Tyler’s card decks, kept hidden firmly under wraps to everyone except fellow Rupertite teammates, will be tested against the very best in North America, even if some of them aren’t your traditional competitors.

“There’s a few oddballs, but mainly it’s the same characters that you get to see [at every championship] that are active in the [Kaijudo] community,” said Tyler Winther (18) last weekend.

The brothers have secured two of only 86 spots that are to duel for 2014’s Kaijudo throne and they did it by succeeding in Prince Rupert’s KMC, or Kaijudo Master Challenge, an entry-level tournament that decides who gets free air-fare to compete against the very best.

Kaijudo, the two-year-old trading card game created by toy company Hasbro and collectible card game gurus and creators of Magic the Gathering, Wizards of the Coast, is Prince Rupert’s most popular card game and it’s not even a close contest.

“We do host the largest tournaments in North America right now,” said Tyler, adding that approximately 111 participants came to the newest set premiere two weeks ago hosted by Good Times Games.

It’s popularity can be attributed to its ease of accessibility to new players, said Kevin Winther (14).

“It’s a simple game that can get very competitive if you want it to be. It’s simple math, addition and subtraction, so a lot strategy,” he said.

Another large part of the craze that has swept card shops everywhere is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere that owner Rob Gruber creates for his customers and friends.

“Rob has a group of kids that show up everyday to play and it’s just something for them to do. Instead of video-games, they come and play cards together or action figure games or whatever, so it has a lot to do with the community. It just grows,” said Tyler.

Kevin originally got his older brother into the game after he came home with some cards years ago. Tyler had originally played a now-defunct similar game by the same creators called Duel Masters when he was 10.

The brothers’ first order of business is helping their Seattle-bound entourage acquire spots in the final 86 along with them in Last-Chance Qualifiers (LCQs), a tournament before the finals that players can enter.

“Rob, Ryan Last, Alex and his girlfriend Molly, Joey and Olivia, and then us three [Kevin, Tyler and their mother, Susan] are competing,” said Tyler.

They’ll test their decks out against each other in the days leading up to the championships and then hope for the best in the finals.

“We act as a team so we all know each other, what we’re playing, and then we’re able to tweak on that and help each other out and have a pool of cards so nobody’s shorted,” he added.

The games typically take 10 to 15 minutes each to play and sometimes, like in Kevin’s case, longer.

“For my deck that I played with the tournament, it would take half an hour to an hour [to play three rounds] because I wouldn’t actually swing for the win until I knew I had the game,” he said.

Just Posted

Kurka keeps thing official

The longtime hockey referee has been on the ice in Prince Rupert for more than 30 years

Rampaging towards the playoffs

The Prince Rupert Rampage beat the Terrace River Kings 8-5 on Jan. 20

Sweet tradition returns: Sugar Shack 2018

The 2018 Sugar Shack festival celebrates Francophone culture in Prince Rupert Jan. 24-27

Joie de vivre

Finding those “awe” moments with family, friends and food

Christians unite for one service in Rupert

Father Terry Brock is hoping to unite all of Prince Rupert’s Christians under one roof for one night

VIDEO: New whale rescue equipment comes to Rupert

Fisheries officers took to the water to practice saving stranded whales

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read