Grand Prix Kyoto
Pro Tour Tokyo Qualifier
This is the second Grand Prix in Kyoto and the sixth in Japan. The first GP Kyoto was held in January 1999 and was won by Yoshikazu Ishii who will be attending the Magic Invitational next week in Sydney, Australia.
Kyoto is famous for its temples - with a conservative estimate of over 1,000 temples, you can't throw a Lightning Dart without hitting a temple. One temple has a building with second and third floor plated entirely in real gold!
Head Judge for Kyoto will again be Takashi Aida, who was also Head Judge for Grand Prix Sapporo in September.
VIP guests include:
Magic artist Brom who illustrated Mageta, Hatred (!), Oath of Ghouls, Warrior Angel, Greel, Anarchist (a personal favorite), Latulla, the popular Mogg Fanatic, and Bubble Matrix;
Magic artist rk post who illustrated Lin Sivvi, Morphling (!), Unmask, Covetous Dragon and Thorn Elemental as well as Teferi's Moat from Invasion and all five Avatars in Prophecy;
WotC R&D member Tom Wylie who designed MLB Showdown, the new baseball trading card game. MLB was released in North America in April and has just been released here in Japan - sort of. The instructions and playmats are in Japanese, but the cards are still English. Tom used to be known as the physical incarnation of the Magic Rules - for a long period whatever he said became Magic law.
The Japanese are very excited about the upcoming Pro Tour in Tokyo in March. The PTQ season has already begun and there are stories of the winners crying with joy that they'll be able to play in their home country. For once, the rest of the world will be jetlagged!
Magic remains very popular in Japan with 890 people having pre-registered for Kyoto. Unlike most North American events, you *must* pre-register to play in a Japanese Grand Prix. But you don't have to pre-pay to pre-register, you just send in a postcard. Actual attendance is expected to be approximately 750 players - making second day is quite the accomplishment! This help explains why there are over 200 people in the GP Trial - 3 byes will be very valuable!
Japan has two players who have each won two Grand Prix tournaments. Ken'ichi Fujita won GP Tokyo and GP Taipei 1999. Tadayoshi Komiya won GP Taipei 2000 and GP Kyushu. Another two-time Grand Prix winner expected to attend is Alex Shvartsman who won Grand Prix Tours as well as Grand Prix Nagoya in Japan earlier this year. Only one person has ever won three Grand Prix events - 1999 World Champion Kai Budde.
Satoshi Nakamura (98 APAC Champion, 98 Magic Invitational participant, top 32 at Pro Tour London and top 32 at Worlds 2000) is the first Japanese player to be invited to the Masters tournament. He has been invited, based on Pro Tour Points, to play in the upcoming Masters event at PT Chicago and is expected to do well here in Kyoto.