Player Profile: Yuuya Watanabe

Posted in Event Coverage on July 27, 2013

By Wizards of the Coast

Country: Japan
Age: 24

Invitation Source: 2012 Players Championship Winner
Lifetime Pro Points: 334
Lifetime Winnings: $192,850

Professional Magic Accomplishments:

  • 2011-12 Player of the Year
  • 2009 Player of the Year
  • 2007 Rookie of the Year
  • 2012 Players Championship winner
  • Grand Prix Kyoto 2007 champion
  • Grand Prix Melbourne 2009 champion
  • Grand Prix Shanghai 2011 champion
  • Grand Prix Pittsburgh 2011 champion
  • Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2012 champion
  • Grand Prix Manila 2012 champion
  • 2012 Japan National champion
  • 2013 Japan National champion

Pro Tour Top 8s: 2

  • Austin 2009: 6th
  • Return to Ravnica in Seattle 2012: 2nd

Grand Prix Top 8s: 19

  • Kyoto 2007: 1st
  • Kobe 2009: 2nd
  • Bankok 2009: 6th
  • Niigata 2009: 8th
  • Prague 2009: 2nd
  • Melbourne 2009: 1st
  • Kitakyushu 2009: 5th
  • Sendai 2010: 6th
  • Manila 2010: 4th
  • Sydney 2010: 5th
  • Kansas City 2011: 2nd
  • Shanghai 2011: 1st
  • Pittsburgh 2011: 1st
  • Kobe 2012: 7th
  • Kuala Lumpur 2012: 1st
  • Manila 2012: 1st
  • Philadelphia 2012: 8th
  • Taipei 2012: 6th
  • Bangkok 2013: 4th

National Team Appearances: 3

There is very little that Yuuya Watanabe has left to accomplish in his relatively young Magic career.

From his debut as a Rookie of the Year in 2007, he has amassed an incredible number of impressive finishes, including an amazing four Grand Prix titles in an eleven month span and a stretch of five Top 8s across a stretch of six Grand Prix events. He has been a Player of the Year twice. He has represented Japan at the World Championships. He even comes into this event as the defending champion, having taken fellow Japanese countryman Shouta Yasooka out in the finals of last year's Players Championship. The only title that has really eluded him is that of Pro Tour Champion, a mark he narrowly missed as he finished second to Stanislav Cifka at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica earlier this season.

Still, Watanabe is such a strong player that he is always a threat to win any event that he enters. No player is chosen as an early favorite to win an event as much as Watanabe, even in a field as stacked as the one here at the 2013 Magic World Championship. His dominance throughout his career has been nothing short of incredible, racking up an impressive 65% win percentage over the course of his career. He is utterly terrifying to sit across the table from, yet he is also one of the nicest players on the Pro Tour today. Always quick with a massive smile and laugh, Watanabe is a paragon of what Magic players should strive to be, a champion on all fronts.

Machiola, Japan

Magic Pro Player with Team Mini

What is your favorite Magic card?

What is your favorite Magic deck?
Blue-White Delver

Who is your favorite Magic player to watch?
Jon Finkel

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

What is your favorite draft format?
Zendikar. So many Grand Prix Top 8s!

On average, how many hours of Magic do you play each week?
Maybe 4-5 hours.

Who taught you how to play Magic?
I taught myself.

What was the first Magic deck you built?
Blue-White-Red Lightning Angel control.

At which local game store have you've played the most Magic?
JPN Local, Card Tim, and Hobby Station.

What's your biggest edge going into the World Championship?
This tournament is only very strong players! I just want to enjoy the highest level game.

Who or what is your nemesis?
Shuuhei Nakamura

Where is your favorite place Magic has taken you?

What does Magic mean to you?
Eat, sleep, Magic.

We're going out for food. What do you want to eat?

What do you enjoy doing when you're not playing Magic?
Watching Japanese animation.

And finally... rock, paper, or scissors?
Scissors, the victory sign.

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