Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS)
228 W Main St
Welcome to the second quarter of 2019! Spring is in full swing, the weather is warming up, and so is the action at Konami Official Tournament Stores (OTS) across the country, as we quickly approach the World Championship Qualifier (WCQ) during the weekend of June 21-23, 2019! From Decatur, Illinois, please allow us to introduce Board Knight, this month's Featured OTS!
Decatur, along with other cities throughout the country, was hit hard by the mid-2000 recession, and many businesses closed down, including the local game store. It left the city without a game store, and a gaming community without a place to play. Krystle Callerman, at that time, was in college and taking courses with a strong business focus. Her college experience along with her entrepreneurial drive led her to open up an antique store, and eventually to open Board Knight! Board Knight was able to fill the void left behind by the former game store and cater to a wide variety of board games, tabletop games and trading card games (TCGs.)
Decatur's economy is primarily industrial based. Like many other industrial towns, relocation is a constant challenge for a gaming store as they see players moving out of the community. "Recently, we lost players to other regions. Across a lot of games, players move on. We have a lot of industrial work, so as people move up the ladder, they move to different cities", said Krystle. New player initiatives are an important part of many OTS' business strategy but are even more crucial in a community like Decatur. Board Knight reaches out to youth in the area through programs with local grade schools and colleges. The true payoff for the new player focus comes when those players get to visit Board Knight and see the player-friendly environment and a likeminded community enjoying gaming. "The player community is welcoming, and experienced players are ready to teach newer players," explained Krystle.
"The player community is welcoming, and experienced players are ready to teach newer players."
- Krystle Callarman, owner
Board Knight's initiatives have richly paid off, and, in at least one case, in more ways than just growing the player base. One of their public school outreach programs brought in a group of teens from a local foster group-home that enjoyed playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. Krystle shared with us a particularly heart-warming story: "a few of [the foster home teens] became active in our Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG community. One of the kids began to cultivate a relationship with another of our players. After several months of playing games, including the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, [the older player] applied for and was approved to be a foster parent of that young man." It goes to show how the bonds of friendship and comradery that are formed in our gaming community can be instrumental as the foundation for something greater. As part of the overall Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG community, we all need to remember to celebrate the wonderful things our players bring to our local communities.
When asked what advice she has for other OTS, Krystle said "Listen to your player base. Know how you can help out your players. At the end of the day, they're the ones playing the game, so we help them with whatever they need."Congratulations to our Featured OTS for April 2019, Board Knight!