Over 2,000 fans of the phenomenally popular Magic: The Gathering trading card game converged at Manchester’s Event City this bank holiday weekend for a three-day Grand Prix event.
Running from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 May, the Manchester Magic Grand Prix is just one of the many fun and inclusive events for Magic: The Gathering that attracts players from across the globe. 1,697 players participated in the main event, while hundreds more came to play side events, meet artists, and take in the festival atmosphere with friends.
With over 20 million players worldwide, Magic: The Gathering created the trading card game (TCG) phenomena over 20 years ago, combining collectable cards with a strategic gameplay and fantasy flavour. Grand Prix events such as this one, of which there around 50 across the globe each year, allow all levels and kinds of players to meet, compete, and have fun.
The event was also an opportunity for fans to meet the talented artists behind the game’s stunning fantasy artwork: Ryan Yee, Volkan Baga, Nils Hamm were in attendance to sign cards and meet their fans. The family of Wayne England, another prominent Magic artist who sadly passed away earlier this year, were also present to show off his life’s work, and invite fans to sign a book of remembrance and take part in a memorial event.
The overall winner of the weekend’s Grand Prix main event was Raphael Lévy (34) of Toulouse, France, whose Green-White Tokens deck defeated fellow Frenchman Julien Henry’s Bant Company deck in the finals, to take home the top prize of $10,000. This marks a sixth Grand Prix win for Lévy, who is a member of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame. All the Top 8 players earned qualification and a trip to the upcoming Pro Tour Eldritch Moon in Sydney, Australia, which will have a total prize purse of $250,000.
The highest finishing UK player was Matthew Hunt, a 28 year old engineer from Bath – his Blue-Red Ulamog deck took him to a Top 8 finish, though he lost his quarter-final to Oscar Christensen, a 20 year old teacher from Copenhagen, Denmark.