22/07/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Fantasy trading card game fans head to San Francisco for a $1 Million Prize weekend at the 2004 Magic: The Gathering World Championship
The annual MAGIC: THE GATHERING World Championship, the international tournament of trading card game players, will be held in the U.S. this year and is expected to draw players from more than 50 countries, rivaling the most organized, most established sports competitions in the world.
Scheduled to take place September 1-5 at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, the event will draw 300+ individual and team competitors, as well as thousands of fans and casual players participating in side events and checking out the top player action throughout the championship weekend.
A whopping $1 million will be awarded to players competing in the World Championship and concurrent "Player of the Year" race over the course of the weekend.
Many of the competitors at the MAGIC World Championship are winners of national tournaments held in their countries this spring and summer. "The MAGIC World Championship is very much about national pride," commented Chris Galvin, Vice President of Organized Play at Wizards of the Coast, the tournament organizer and game publisher. "This is the 11th annual MAGIC World Championship and the event continues to grow, attracting more countries each year. The MAGIC World Championship has become the premier competition in the trading card game world."
In addition to the pride of taking home the World Champion title, players will be competing for an individual first-place prize of $35,000 (USD) and a team first-place prize of $30,000 (USD), with each player on the three-person team taking home $10,000 (USD). And, a cumulative prize purse of $600,000 (USD) will be paid out among the top 50 players in the Player of the Year race, which also will be held at the World Championship.
MAGIC is a strategy game that combines elements of chess and fantasy baseball or football. Your cards are like chess pieces - except there's an endless array of pieces to choose from to strategize and customize your deck of cards and your game. And like fantasy sports, you're managing a team of players.
"MAGIC players are smart. Unlike other games where you merely have to outthink an opponent within a particular rules system, in MAGIC players must modify the rules themselves, by selection of their deck of cards, to overcome their rivals," explains MAGIC Creator Richard Garfield, who will host the opening ceremony at this year's World Championship.
Comprising Team USA will be: *Craig Krempels, 22, Hackettstown, New Jersey *Bill Stead, 20, Gainesville, Florida *Ben Zoz, 18, Lincoln, Nebraska
Billy Postlethwaite, 18, of Orlando, Florida, who finished 4th at the U.S. National Championship, will serve as an alternate. In the individual competition, expect to see top U.S. pros such as Osyp Lebedowicz of New Jersey and Brian Kibler of Atlanta, Georgia. Top international pro Kai Budde, who has earned more than $300K playing MAGIC, also will be competing. And, reigning World Champion Daniel Zink of Germany is expected to defend his title at this year's championship.
For the fans around the globe who can't travel to San Francisco for the MAGIC: THE GATHERING World Championship, the event will be webcast live on http://www.magicthegathering.com/. The live webcast will feature play-by-play action, daily updates, commentary and analysis and will capture the MAGIC event.
MAGIC: THE GATHERING spawned a new genre of games when it was introduced in 1993 and continues to be the gold standard of trading card games, with many other popular trading card game titles based on MAGIC's game-play style. Today, it is played by an estimated six million players worldwide in 70+ countries, with approximately 140,000 officially sanctioned tournaments each year.
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