Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer Removed From Tournament For Alleged Cheating

Yuuya Watanabe
Yuuya Watanabe Yuuya Watanabe

Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer Yuuya Watanabe was reported to have been disqualified during the Mythic Championship II tournament held in London.

In a statement released by Wizards of the Coast, the company mentioned a judge noticed an issue during the deck check in Round 15. Specifically, the sleeves of Watanabe's Urza’s Power Plants had specific markings. In addition, it was also found out that “[t]hree 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.” Given the no other cards in the deck, including the sideboards, has any similar marks, the judge staff declared “that the odds of this happening by accident were close to nonexistent," and Watanabe was disqualified from the event.

Prior to being disqualified, Watanabe finished in the top eight after Day One.

In a statement released on Twitter, Watanabe explained that after losing a match in round 12, he decided to change sleeves. He added that he typically changes sleeves during tournaments as a matter of personal superstition. For both rounds 14 and 15, his deck was checked and was returned to him with no issues. It was after that round a judge told him that there were marks on his Urzatron lands.

Watanabe said that “I honestly [don't] know how my Urzatron lands became marked, so I don’t know the exact reason things turned out this way.” He argued that it could be “because I tutored for them a lot from my deck. This requires touching the cards more, and the repeated exposure might’ve caused damage to them, giving them distinguishable marks.”

Watanabe and Team Cygames had released photos of the deck.

Photo of marked cards.
Photo of marked cards. Team Cygames

More images of the deck can be viewed here.

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