Major Tournaments Around the World

Posted in Arcana on May 28, 2015

By Michael Yichao

Yichao is a writer of words for plays, television, theme parks, and—most recently—Magic: The Gathering. He loves Cube Draft and corgis.

Magic is played on (almost) all continents, from kitchen tables all the way up to the Pro Tour! Today we take a journey around the world and back through time to look at the first major tournaments held on each continent.


EUROPE: Pro Tour Paris, France—April 1997

The first Pro Tour in Europe happened way back in 1997, at Pro Tour Paris. There, Mike Long defeated Mark Justice in an epic match that has since gone down in Magic legend with one of the most famous bluffs of all time.

You can actually still find the second game of the match online!


ASIA: Grand Prix Tokyo, Japan—May 3–5, 1997

Fujita Kenichi took home the top prize in Asia's first Grand Prix!


NORTH AMERICA: Grand Prix Toronto, Canada—Aug 30–31, 1997

Brian Kibler

This was the first North American tournament outside the United States, and none other than Brian Kibler took home the top prize. Kibler took several years away from Magic starting in 2004, returning in 2009, and winning his first Pro Tour at Pro Tour Austin, 12 years after his Grand Prix trophy in Toronto.


SOUTH AMERICA: Grand Prix Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—Jan 29–Feb1, 1998

Jon Finkel took home the trophy in the first South American Grand Prix. In 2005, he was inducted into Magic's Hall of Fame and is still one of the best players on the Pro Tour today! Coincidentally, or not, Steve O'Mahoney Schwartz, another early inductee in the Hall of Fame, placed second at that same tournament.


AUSTRALIA: Grand Prix Melbourne, Australia—Feb 14–15, 1998

Philip Davey took the top prize in Australia's first large tournament, besting Matt Goodall in the finals. While there were few big names in attendance at this first for Down Under, The Ben Seck did place a respectable 20th. A few years later he would attend another first….


AFRICA: Grand Prix Cape Town, South Africa—October 5–7, 2001

Magic's first, and still only, trip to Africa happened in October of 2001, when both the Magic Invitational and a Grand Prix were held at the same time. Kai Budde won the invitational while the Grand Prix was won by none other than Ben Seck out of Australia.

Peter Klein (left) vs. Ben Seck (right) in the quarterfinals.

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