From all corners of the globe, fans of "Magic: the Gathering" will converge upon Chiba, Japan this weekend for the world championship competition. Known simply as "Worlds" by its participants, the event spans five days, and is filled with both pro-level competition and events for the casual fan.
The Worlds tournament is a truly massive event, evidenced by the over 600 player invitations that have been issued, which include players with past Worlds success, national teams, and the top-ranked DCI players for each geographic region. Winning a Worlds title is no simple task, though. In order to compete with the final 8 contenders on the tournament’s last day, players must survive:
• Day 1: Standard Constructed Decks (6 Rounds) – Players will be able to use only the most recent sets of Magic cards to build minimum 60-card decks. If a player advances to the finals on Day 4, they will have to re-use the decks played with during this day.
• Day 2: Booster Draft (2 sets of 3 Rounds) – Players are given 3 Scars of Mirrodin booster packs, from which they will draft cards into their decks. These decks will be used for three rounds, and then a second draft will occur for the final three rounds of the day.
• Day 3: Extended Format (6 Rounds) – For these decks, players are allowed to use cards dating back to the Lorwyn block (late 2007). After this round of competition, rankings will be set for entry into the Top 8.
The prize? $45,000 in cold, hard cash. Top 8 matches are grueling, with play extended into a “best 3 out of 5” format for all pairings. Alternatively, players can compete in team competition, with 4 rounds of play and a $12,000 team prize.
If you’re not already on a flight to Japan, then odds are you won’t be attending the tournament this year, but Wizards of the Coast has got the fans covered. Beginning at 8:45 PM EST, the final rounds of the tournament will be streamed live online. Also, check back here at MTV Geek throughout the week, as we’ll have some updates from the event floor as well as coverage of the unique fan events held for the spectators in attendance.