Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS)
The Time Vault
2020 has certainly been bizarre in many ways: raging wildfires, COVID-19, toilet paper shortages, locust plague, etc., and now firenadoes? Even with the situation being what it is, the game must go on; and with in-person Organized Play still being suspended, Remote Duels are currently the best way for Duelists to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME (TCG). Official Tournament Stores (OTS) holding Remote Duel events are still able to engage with their players, especially if they can't safely gather in the store; giving the community the chance to enjoy the game, even if it is not quite "as usual." One OTS that has eagerly embraced the challenge is The Time Vault; this month's Featured OTS.
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, The Time Vault had humble beginnings. In 2016, the owner, Joah Moat, worked his brother's table at a local flea market. "My brother had bought the booth but seemed to lose interest, so I started managing it for him. Eventually it became full-time every weekend, and he left it for me to take care of," explained Joah. The comradery was what he enjoyed the most – the community got along well with each other, and Joah, being a friendly people person, had people naturally gravitating towards his booth looking for and finding space on the floor nearby to play and trade together.
Clearly, the flea market booth by itself didn't have enough space for Dueling; therefore, Joah acquired the 8x12 space right next to the existing booth. "So, we created an additional booth next to ours and called it the Blue-Eyes Event Lounge. We put 2 tables together and promoted game play during the weekend. The kids got me into Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and they were very patient with me while I learned to play," Joah remembered fondly. But as the community grew, The Time Vault needed to grow along with it. "Our booth was the best in the whole flea market, but we were confined by the constraints of the warehouse building itself. In order to be more recognized, we needed to get a permanent space for the community. My wife, Annette, and I knew that we were taking a risk, but we also knew that we had a bunch of support. With that knowledge, I felt confident that we could make a go of it together. For me it was about establishing our community; having a place for our guys to chill, be cool about everything, and socialize together," said Joah. One of his mantras for the community is: "No matter the direction we need to go, we get there together; playing and collecting cards but also being kind to each other," he reassured.
"No matter the direction we need to go, we get there together; playing and collecting cards but also being kind to each other."
- Joah Moat, owner
Joah has a Zen-like quality in his approach to life. "Each day is precious. We need to do with our time the best that we can. Today is what we have," he stated. So it's no wonder that in dealing with the current situation, The Time Vault has embraced the challenge of keeping its community engaged, but above all, safe. The Time Vault, acclimating to a world where a global pandemic rules, requires masks to be worn by everyone in the store, and sanitizing is a priority. But for game play, Remote Duel is the safest route. "Once you get into Remote Duel, you gotta get used to the headphones and the video layout of Discord, but this is what is getting our regulars back. Even if COVID stops tomorrow, I'd still let this be part of our community since people who couldn't necessarily be present, can still be here," Joah asserted. That is understandable when your OTS is getting players from over 100 miles away, like Nova Scotia, at their Remote Duel events!
When asked what advice he has for other OTS, Joah said, "run your store as a platform for the community. When you open the door, you're opening the door for people to feel comfortable and feel accepted for who and what they are. Embrace change and work with it. It is about the people and how you connect with them. Brick and mortar stores are not exempt from this. Work toward development. We should have a comfortable platform where people can gather."
We'd like to congratulate our August's Featured Official Tournament Store, The Time Vault!