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The Biggest ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Tournaments In The World

The Biggest 'Magic: The Gathering' Tournaments In The World

Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game that was created in 1993 by Richard Garfield. As of 2011 there were roughly 12 million players of the game. The game can be played by two or more people. The players can either use a deck of real cards or virtual cards found online.

The Biggest 'Magic: The Gathering' Tournaments In The World


Magic: The Gathering tournaments occur on a regular basis in stores and various other venues that sell games. The Duelists’ Convocation International (DCI) is the official sanctioning body for Magic: The Gathering competitive play. The DCI provides the operating procedures for the tournaments, game rules, and other materials to private tournament players and organizers. It oversees a judge certification program that promotes fair play and provides consistent enforcement of the rules.

National Championships

The first step to competing in a Magic: The Gathering World Championship is to do well in your country’s National Championship. Tournaments are held in countries all around the world. Each tournament offers cash prizes and invitations to larger tournaments to the players who finish in the top positions.

Grand Prix

Grand Prix is the name used for professional Magic: The Gathering tournaments. These tournaments offer prizes consisting of invitations to Pro Tours, Pro Points and cash prizes. These are the biggest tournaments and they are open to all players. The first Grand Prix was held in Amsterdam in 1997. There have been over 250 Grand Prix since then. The largest one so far was held in 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There were 4,490 players giving it the distinction of being the largest trading card tournament of all time.

World Championship

The World Championships for Magic: The Gathering have been held on an annual basis from 1994 to 2011. This is considered to be the most important Magic: The Gathering tournament. The winner receives a cash prize of $45,000. The world championships have always been an invitation only event, except for the first time the tournament was held. The players who get invited to the World Championships are high level professional players, the top ranked players of the DCI and the top finishers from the National Championships.

The first five World Championships were all held in the United States. After this it was decided that the tournament should be held at different locations every year. It is usually held in Japan or Europe. Along with the actual tournament, there are also many side competitions that are open to all players.

Magic Players Championship

In 2012 the Magic Players Championship replaced the World Championship. The top 16 professional players in the world are invited to participate in the tournament. Various criteria are used to select which players will be invited.

Team World Championship

This tournament consists of teams with three players. Each team represents a different country. In order to be eligible to play in the team world championship, all players are required to finish first, second, or third in the National Championship for their particular country.

World Magic Cup

The Team World Championship became a separate event in 2012. Four-player teams representing different countries make up this national team event. The national champion of each country, along with the three winners of the World Magic Cup qualifiers will make up the four players that are eligible to play on each national team. The national champion is determined by the highest ranked player from that particular country in the rankings from the previous year.


Trevor Dayton writes on a variety of geek topics such as Star Wars conventions, video games, comic books, Card Kingdom Magic the gathering cards, movie trivia and so forth.

Image credit goes to Isma Monfort – Travel Photography.

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