Play the game, see the world.
It was the slogan that gave birth to Pro Tour aspirations, where players earn the opportunity to play Magic: The Gathering at the highest level for a chance at a huge prize purse while also being able to visit some of the world's finest cities and sights. It's no shock that players and staff alike have taken advantage of some of the great locations for Pro Tours as well as Grand Prix events.
Mexico City, however, is something very special.
While there have been some incredible destinations for Magic events over the last twelve months, Mexico City has an incredibly rich history and a very diverse population, making this one of the finest destinations for Magic globetrotters who are looking for a little more to explore than just the weekend's Limited format.
Mexico City's architecture includes maintained examples of 16th century colonial buildings, as well as examples of Aztec architecture from before the colonization period of Mexico's history.
The venue for this weekend's Grand Prix is within walking distance to many of the historical district's finest buildings and statues, such as the National Palace and the Angel of Independence monument, as well as some of the city's renowned and world-famous museums such as the National Museum of Anthropology.
However, if you're in the region, why not take a bit of a trek out of the main city in order to see some history that dates the colonial period?
That's what a group of judges and staff did on Thursday when they got in. Level 2 judge and Sao Paulo resident Leonardo Martins, artist Lucas Graciano, and a slew of other staff members and members chose to explore, as the group may a trip out to Teotihuacan, one of the most famous pre-colonial cities from the Americas history, dating back to the early AD period.
"I have a friend who's local, so I'll be staying a few days extra," said Martins when I talked to him about his trip. While he has no set itinerary for his extra time in town, he is hoping to sample some of the cuisine from the region.
"The experience was surreal," said Lucas Graciano, who went along with the group of players and staff to check out the Teotihuacan pyramids. Graciano also had a chance to visit the National Museum of Anthropology as well as the Museum of the Great Temple, one of the primary temples of the Aztec capital city before Mexico City became what it is today.
Whether you're a player or a judge, finding the time to see the cities that you visit when competing on the Magic Grand Prix circuit can open your eyes up to some brilliant wonders. Many here, including myself, have barely scratched the surface in what there is to see and do in town, and it gives Magic globetrotters all the more reason to return.