Germany hosts prestigious trading card championship for first time; reigning national team winners get to defend title on home turf

May, 2003 (Renton, Wash.)– In a testament to the global popularity of the Magic: The Gathering® trading card game, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a division of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), players from more than 50 countries will participate in the 2003 Magic: The Gathering World Championship.  For the first time in the event’s 10-year history, the Magic: The Gathering World Championship will be held in Germany, at Berlin’s Estrel Convention Center, August 6-10.  This year’s World Championship also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Magic® game.

More than 300 qualified players – winners of national tournaments held in their countries prior to the World Championship – will compete for individual and team titles and an aggregate prize purse of $400,000* (USD).  In addition, an estimated 1,000+ fans of the Magic® game are expected to turn out for an array of public events happening concurrently with the World Championship. Among the side events open to the public will be tournaments for product prizes as well as informal tournaments, card trading and artist card-signings.

The Magic: The Gathering game celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.   Widely recognized as the premier trading card game, the Magic game is played by an estimated six million players in 52 countries, with more than 100,000 official tournaments sanctioned each year by the DCI® players’ organization.

“The Magic: The Gathering game created a whole new genre of games when it debuted a decade ago,” commented Wizards of the Coast Chief Executive Officer Chuck Huebner.  “The Magic game continues to set the standard for trading card games, with the best game play and the most vigorous schedule of events for players to participate in, including the prestigious Magic Pro Tour and World Championship.  The 10th anniversary makes this year’s World Championship an especially exciting one.”

The World Championship is the culmination of the 2002-2003 Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour season.  The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour is the most established competition in the trading card game world.  Players who have qualified for the World Championship will be competing for an individual first-place prize of $35,000 (USD) and a team first-place prize of  $30,000 (USD), with each player on the three-person team taking home $10,000 (USD).

Reigning World Champion Carlos Romao, a Brazil native and the first Latin American player to capture the World Championship title, is expected to compete in this year’s event, as is top-ranked Kai Budde, a computer science student at the University of Hamburg, who is sure to be the local favorite in Berlin.  Budde and German national teammates Mark Ziegner and Felix Schneiders prevailed at the 2002 World Championship, which was held in Sydney, Australia.  But it’s been four years since Budde won the individual event.  No doubt the field will be packed with the crème de la crème of Magic players, hailing from every corner of the world.

Past Magic World Champions include:


Zak Dolan, United States                        1994 World Championship, Milwaukee, WI USA

Alexander Blumke, Switzerland               1995 World Championship, Seattle, WA USA

Tom Chanpheng, Australia                      1996 World Championship, Seattle, WA USA

Jakub Slemr, Czech Republic                 1997 World Championship, Seattle, WA USA

Brian Selden, United States                    1998 World Championship, Seattle, WA USA

Kai Budde, Germany                              1999 World Championship, Yokohama, Japan

Jon Finkel, United States                        2000 World Championship, Brussels, Belgium

Tom van de Logt, Netherlands                 2001 World Championship, Toronto, Canada

Carlos Romao, Brazil                             2002 World Championship, Sydney, Australia

TBD                                                      2003 World Championship, Berlin, Germany


Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), is the worldwide market share leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories.  A leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products, the company holds an exclusive patent on the play mechanic of trading card games. For more information on the 2003 Magic: The Gathering World Championship, visit www.magicthegathering.com.

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*For a breakdown of prize amounts, visit www.magicworldchampionchip.com.

Magic: The Gathering, Magic and DCI are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. ©2003 Wizards.