|6222 S Congress Ave #E2|
Lake Worth, FL 33462
We hope you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe. As circumstances continue to evolve regarding COVID-19, please remain up-to-date on any new restrictions that may be imposed on mask mandates or social distancing guidelines in your region. We want to prioritize the safety and well-being of our communities, and encourage Duelists to contact their OTS about hours and safety policies. Please remember to follow all local and store guidelines.
Ryan Gnieski grew up playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME (TCG) in Palm Beach County, Florida, since he was just 6 years old, and always lamented that his community had no proper game store. He was determined to remedy this by opening his very own card store and bringing his dedication and passion for card games into it. So, nearly two decades after he first began playing, when he was 25 years old, he proudly opened the doors to the only card shop in Palm Beach County where Duelists can gather and play. Now, we are proud to recognize Ryan’s store – Prodigy Games – as our Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS) of the Quarter!
Ryan spent his childhood and teenage years Dueling. His passion for Yu-Gi-Oh! kept him Dueling late into the night, and he wanted to make sure that his local community that shared his passion for the game could do the same. “Opening a store was never about money or getting rich,” Ryan said. “It was about having a place to play.”
In March of 2018, Ryan achieved his goal and opened Prodigy Games. It was an immediate hit. He was quickly able to host Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG tournaments that attracted as many as 40 Duelists from the local community. However, once the COVID-19 pandemic required him to close his doors to the public in 2020, he was forced to change the dynamic of his store. Drifting away from in-person tournament play, he shifted his energy toward building a website and online sales. “The worst part was that we couldn’t see our friends,” he said. However, fortunately for Ryan, the COVID-19 pandemic also aligned with an explosion in the collectibles industry. “COVID-19 caused a big trading card boom that gave our business a shot in the arm and brought us even further ahead. It was a springboard for us to bounce off of,” he said. Even while tournament play halted, sales exploded, and his business thrived. “Yu-Gi-Oh! is our #1 brand,” he said. Eventually, players were invited back for tournaments. Prodigy Games immediately regained its original Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG player base and then some!
“We’re here for the community. That’s not just the trading card game community, but local charities as well. Players are happy to spend money on our charity events because it’s all for a good cause.”
– Ryan Gnieski, owner
As a Duelist himself, Ryan is always cognizant about the Dueling community’s sentiments. He attributes a lot of his success to his connection with his Duelists. He recommends that other OTS owners do the same. “Listen to your players,” he said. “What do your players want to do? Which booster sets do they want you to have in stock? The players know best. They’ll be able to help you the most.” He also says it’s important to keep your community safe, happy, and friendly so that players keep coming back. “Yu-Gi-Oh! is special because its players want to play endlessly,” he explained. “You don’t see that for other games.” Ryan wants to make sure that Prodigy Games is able to accommodate those players who have endless passion for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG.
Facebook marketing and local advertising has allowed Prodigy Games to steadily grow its customer base. Ryan advertises at local schools and coordinates with the card club at Florida Atlantic University, where he also runs Regional Qualifier events. Although Ryan’s marketing efforts have been successful, Ryan attributes a lot of his store’s growth in Yu-Gi-Oh! sales to the release of Yu-Gi-Oh! MASTER DUEL (MASTER DUEL). “MASTER DUEL has brought a huge influx of new players to us,” Ryan explained. “Players come to the store after playing MASTER DUEL and then want to know how to get into the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG.”
Ryan takes the greatest pride in the charity events that he runs. “We’re here for the community,” he explained. “That’s not just the trading card game community, but local charities as well.” Most recently, Prodigy Games raised over three thousand dollars raffling off booster boxes at a Regional Qualifier event that it hosted. The money went to a charity that helps to find homes for stray pets. Ryan also runs tournaments where players can donate any amount of money that they want for entry, and all the money raised goes to charity. Prodigy Games provides the prizing. “Players are happy to spend money on our charity events because it’s all for a good cause,” Ryan said. The charities receive donations, and the players get packs for their donations, so it’s a win-win for everyone!
Not only does he have an outstanding player community, but his staff cannot be beat! “I think I have the best staff on the planet,” he said. “The love our employees have for the community is unmatched.” Ryan is focused on paying them back for it by doing the best he can for his employees. He offers full benefits to his employees, as well as a 401(k), and he aspires to offer them even more opportunities in the future.
Prodigy Games is a store built for its community, and Ryan Gnieski’s philosophy for opening the store has allowed it to flourish. Ryan is proud to have built a loving community around the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. The positivity in his community keeps its players Dueling and allows them to improve their skills so that they can compete at the highest levels of competition. Prodigy Games used its OTS status to host special events and run promotions that helped foster the Dueling community. For all of these reasons, Prodigy Games is our Featured OTS of the Quarter!