Player Profile: Shuhei Nakamura

Posted in Event Coverage on July 27, 2013

By Wizards of the Coast

Country: Japan
Age: 31
Twitter: @nakashu_

Invitation Source: Top Pro Points, At-Large
Lifetime Pro Points: 530
Lifetime Winnings: $320,525

Professional Magic Accomplishments:

  • Member of the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame
  • Grand Prix St. Louis 2006 champion
  • Grand Prix Hiroshima 2006 champion
  • Grand Prix Stuttgart 2007 champion
  • Grand Prix Costa Rica 2012 champion
  • Grand Prix Philadelphia 2012 champion

Pro Tour Top 8s: 5

  • Columbus 2004: 2nd
  • 2005 World Championships (Yokohama): 7th
  • Prague 2006: 3rd
  • Valencia 2007: 4th
  • Hollywood 2008: 3rd

Grand Prix Top 8s: 22

  • Kobe 2001-02: 2nd
  • Fukuoka 2001-02: 8th
  • Nagoya 2001-02: 2nd (Team)
  • Utsunomiya 2002-03: 2nd
  • Yokohama 2003-04: 6th
  • Seattle 2005: 3rd
  • Matsuyama 2005: 6th
  • Toulouse 2006: 3rd
  • St. Louis 2006: 1st
  • Hiroshima 2006: 1st
  • Stuttgart 2007: 1st
  • Copenhagen 2008: 4tf
  • Rimini 2008: 2nd
  • Rotterdam 2009: 3rd
  • Houston 2010: 5th
  • Florence 2010: 3rd
  • Prague 2011: 3rd
  • Nashville 2012: 8th
  • Costa Rica 2012: 1st
  • Philadelphia 2012: 1st
  • Providence 2013: 4th (Team)
  • Houston 2013: 7th

National Team Appearances: 2

Hall of Famer. Professional tourist. Unofficial Japanese ambassador.

There are many ways to describe Shuhei Nakamura, each applying equally well. One of the longest-tenured professional players, Nakamura has been not only playing Magic but traveling the world for Magic since the game was released in Japan.

As a true world traveler, it is always more of a surprise when Nakamura skips an event on the far side of the globe than shows up at one. It is not uncommon to see him participating in a Japanese Grand Prix one weekend, a North American one the next, and a European one the following week. All of this travel has brought Nakamura friends across the globe and made him one of the most recognizable players in the game.

What's even more insane than the sheer amount of traveling that Nakamura does for the game is the fact that he has been performing at the highest level without a drop-off for the entirety of his career. That's over a decade of consistency, and his recent Grand Prix performances prove that he shows no signs of letting up. The only thing that could prevent Nakamura from having a good year would be if he decided not to play anymore, which seems increasingly less likely with each passing year.

While other Japanese stars have risen over the past decade, they do so based on the foundation built by players like Shuhei Nakamura. Showing the Japanese community what the game can provide you and living a life of exploration, Nakamura has been one of the best ambassadors that Magic could ask for.


Pro Magic Player

What is your favorite Magic card?
Jace, the Mind Sculptor

What is your favorite Magic deck?
Survival of the Fittest

Who is your favorite Magic player to watch?
Kai Budde

What's your favorite format and why?
Limited, especially Booster Draft.

What is your favorite draft format?
Team Rochester. It is really skill testing.

On average, how many hours of Magic do you play each week?
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who taught you how to play Magic?
Myself. No one knew about Magic when I learned.

What was the first Magic deck you built?
Random cards, including Dakkon Blackblade , Dance of Many , and the Elder Dragon legends.

At which local game store have you've played the most Magic?
Adept, a game store in Osaka.

What's your biggest edge going into the World Championship?
The most important edge is my lifestyle.

Who or what is your nemesis?
Yuuya Watanabe.

Where is your favorite place Magic has taken you?
Rome or Athens... and Las Vegas.

What does Magic mean to you?
Life. I hope so.

We're going out for food. What do you want to eat?
I want to eat some special country food.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not playing Magic?
Traveling, reading books, watching movies.

And finally... rock, paper, or scissors?

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