Magic: The Gathering pro player and Hall of Famer Yuuya Watanabe (Japan) has been disqualified from the ongoing Mythic Championship II: London. The tournament staff of judges issued the punishment after spotting unusual markings on Watanabe’s deck sleeves.
Per Wizards of the Coast official statement:
“During a deck check in Round 15 at Mythic Championship II, the judge staff noticed an issue with Yuuya Watanabe’s deck where the sleeves of his Urza’s Power Plants were marked in a specific way. Three Urza’s Mines and one Urza’s Tower had a different marking, and three Urza’s Towers and one Urza’s Mine also had a different marking. No other cards in the deck nor sideboard had any of these marks. The judge staff determined that the odds of this happening by accident were close to nonexistent, and disqualified Watanabe from the event.
This infraction will be further investigated by the MPL, according to Wizards of the Coast representatives.”
These aren’t just random cards that Watanabe’s has allegedly chosen to mark. The Urzatron deck relies on the trio of lands (Mine, Tower and Power Plant) to generate large amounts of mana, cheat the curve, and ramp up powerful threats ahead of their opponent’s tempo. Knowing which exact lands will be drawn next is therefore the most valuable piece of information an Urzatron player can get.
If the Magic Pro League (MPL) board proves Watanabe guilty, this will compromise one of the most illustrious careers in professional MTG. Watanabe is a 2012 world champion, was voted the 2009 player of the year and was inaugurated in the MTG Hall of Fame class of 2016 alongside Owen Turtenwald. He is also one of the 32 invited players to the Magic Pro League — a position which gives him direct invites to all the major MTG events in the game’s $10 million circuit.
Understandably, fans and pros took to Twitter to comment on the incident.
H/T: Epic Stream. Photo by: Wizards