Yuuya Watanabe

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Yuuya Watanabe
渡辺雄也
Yuuya Watanabe.jpg
Demographics
Nickname beena
Born December 18, 1988
Residence Nakano, Tokyo, Japan
Nationality {JPN} Japanese
Professional Career
Pro Tour debut Pro Tour Yokohama 2007
Winnings $400,525 (as of 2018-08-06)
Pro Tour top 8s 4 (0 wins)
Grand Prix top 8s 28 (7 wins)
Median Pro Tour Finish 66
Pro Tours Played 45
Lifetime Pro Points 624 (as of 2018-08-14)
Awards
Hall of Fame
Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year
World Champion

Yuuya Watanabe (渡辺雄也) is a Japanese professional player. Along with Kai Budde and Owen Turtenwald, he is one of only three players to have more than one Player of the Year title, winning it in 2009 and 2012. He is considered the 2012 World Champion, as he won the inaugural Players Championship event, later renamed the World Championship. He won the 2017 World Magic Cup as a member of the Japanese national team. At the Pro Tour, Watanabe has placed second twice, at PT Return to Ravnica and at PT Amonkhet, as well as two additional top eight finishes. Watanabe also has seven Grand Prix wins, tied for first with Kai Budde and Shuhei Nakamura. In 2016, he was voted into the Hall of Fame.

Professional play[edit | edit source]

Watanabe started playing Magic when Invasion was the current set,[1] and started playing the occasional Grand Prix tournament in 2004. Early on the first day of competition at Grand Prix Kyoto 2007, superstar Kenji Tsumura suggested that the then-unknown Watanabe would win the tournament.[2] Famously, this was exactly what happened; Watanabe piloted a Blue-Red Urzatron deck to victory. This qualified him for his first Pro Tour, PT Yokohama 2007. He didn't do well there, but his performances at the subsequent Pro Tours, including 22nd at PT San Diego alongside teammate Shuhei Nakamura, and 21st individually at PT Valencia. A decent 61st-place finish at the 2007 World Championships earned Watanabe the 2007 Rookie of the Year title. He then stated that he would then go on to attempt to become the Player of the Year.[3]

In 2008, Watanabe finished 3rd at the Japanese National Championships, and as a part of the national team, he finished 4th at the team portion of the 2008 World Championships. However, it was in 2009 that Watanabe really established himself as one of the game's top professional players. He started a string of top eight finishes, starting with the 2009 Japanese National Championship (runner-up), then GP Bangkok (6th), GP Niigata (8th), GP Prague (runner-up), GP Melbourne (champion), and culminated with his first Pro Tour top eight at PT Austin, where he finished 6th. This stretch of results propelled him into 1st-place on the Player of the Year leaderboard, a lead he held onto to claim the 2009 PotY title, making good on his challenge two years earlier.

The next couple of years, Watanabe remained one of the top players on the scene, primarily having success on the Grand Prix scene. He won back-to-back events in 2011: GP Shanghai and then GP Pittsburgh. In 2012, he won another two Grand Prix, GP Kuala Lumpur and GP Manila. Watanabe qualified for the exclusive 16-player 2012 Players Championship, which he ended up winning, taking down Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa in the semifinals and countryman Shōta Yasooka in the finals, earning $40,000. As the tournament was later renamed the World Championship, Watanabe is considered to be the 2012 World Champion. He also became the 2012 Player of the Year by virtue of winning the title, as the title that year went to the winner of the Players Championship. However, even if this had not been the case, Watanabe would have been the Player of the Year, having earned the most Pro Points in 2011–12. He followed up the success with a runner-up finish at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica a couple months later.

Since then, Watanabe was until 2018 the only player to have qualified for the World Championship every year in its current iteration (six times from 2012 to 2017), and he has also been Platinum in the Pro Players Club every year. Additional Pro Tour top eight finishes happened at PT Khans of Tarkir in 2014 and at PT Amonkhet in 2017. His team, Musashi, won the inaugural year of the Magic Pro Tour Team Series, and as a member of the Japanese national team, he won the 2017 World Magic Cup.

In 2016, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Accomplishments[edit | edit source]

Season Event type Location Format Date Rank
2007 Grand Prix Kyoto Standard 17–18 March 2007 1
2008 Nationals Yokohama Standard and Booster Draft 19–21 September 2008 3
2008 Worlds Memphis National team 11–14 December 2008 4
2009 Grand Prix Kobe Extended 18–19 April 2009 2
2009 Nationals Hiroshima Standard and Booster Draft 18–20 July 2009 2
2009 Grand Prix Bangkok Limited 22–23 August 2009 6
2009 Grand Prix Niigata Limited 29–30 August 2009 8
2009 Grand Prix Prague Limited 5–6 September 2009 2
2009 Grand Prix Melbourne Limited 10–11 October 2009 1
2009 Pro Tour Austin Extended and Booster Draft 16–18 October 2009 6
2009 Grand Prix Kitakyushu Limited 31 October–1 November 2009 5
2010 Grand Prix Sendai Standard 5–6 June 2010 6
2010 Grand Prix Manila Standard 12–13 June 2010 4
2010 Grand Prix Sydney Limited 9–10 October 2010 5
2011 Grand Prix Kansas City Limited 18–19 June 2011 2
2011 Grand Prix Shanghai Limited 20–21 August 2011 1
2011 Grand Prix Pittsburgh Standard 27–28 August 2011 1
2012 Grand Prix Kobe Limited 18–19 February 2012 7
2012 Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur Standard 24–25 March 2012 1
2012–13 Grand Prix Manila Standard 16–17 June 2012 1
2012–13 Players Championship Seattle Special 29–31 August 2012 1
2012–13 Pro Tour Seattle Modern and Booster Draft 19–21 October 2012 2
2012–13 Grand Prix Philadelphia Limited 27–28 October 2012 8
2012–13 Grand Prix Taipei Limited 24–25 November 2012 6
2013–14 Grand Prix Bangkok Limited 22–23 June 2013 4
2013–14 Grand Prix Beijing Standard 29–30 March 2014 1
2013–14 Grand Prix Washington, D.C. Limited 28–29 June 2014 2
2014–15 Pro Tour Honolulu Standard and Booster Draft 10–12 October 2014 7
2014–15 Worlds Nice Special 2–7 December 2014 3
2014–15 Grand Prix Cleveland Limited 14–15 March 2015 7
2015–16 Grand Prix Beijing Team Limited 24–25 October 2015 2
2015–16 World Magic Cup Barcelona National team 11–13 December 2015 8
2015–16 Grand Prix Minneapolis Standard 28–29 May 2016 8
2016–17 Grand Prix Chiba Legacy 26–27 November 2016 3
2016–17 Pro Tour Nashville Standard and Booster Draft 12–14 May 2017 2
2016–17 Grand Prix Sydney Team Limited 24–25 June 2017 2
2017–18 Nationals Shizuoka Standard and Booster Draft 9–10 September 2017 3
2017–18 Grand Prix Shizuoka Team Limited 30 September–1 October 2017 3
2017–18 Pro Tour Team Series Boston Team Limited 8 October 2017 1
2017–18 Grand Prix Shanghai Standard 11–12 November 2017 6
2017–18 World Magic Cup Nice National team 1–3 December 2017 1

Source: Wizards.com

Pro Tour Results[edit | edit source]

List of the Pro Tour results and winnings of Yuuya Watanabe
Season Pro Tour Format Finish Winnings
2007 Yokohama Block Constructed 139
2007 San Diego Two-Headed Giant Booster Draft 22 $700
2007 Valencia Extended 21 $2,600
2007 Worlds (New York) Special 61 $430
2008 Kuala Lumpur Booster Draft 145
2008 Hollywood Standard 45 $750
2008 Berlin Extended 164
2008 Worlds (Memphis) Special 35 $1,200
2009 Kyoto Standard and Booster Draft 361
2009 Honolulu Block Constructed and Booster Draft 285
2009 Austin Extended and Booster Draft 6 $10,500
2009 Worlds (Rome) Special 101
2010 San Diego Standard and Booster Draft 66
2010 San Juan Block Constructed and Booster Draft 98
2010 Amsterdam Extended and Booster Draft 28 $1,600
2010 Worlds (Chiba) Special 129
2011 Paris Standard and Booster Draft 53 $620
2011 Nagoya Block Constructed and Booster Draft 197
2011 Philadelphia Modern and Booster Draft 28 $1,600
2011 Worlds (San Francisco) Special 39 $1,000
2012 Dark Ascension in Honolulu Standard and Booster Draft 323
2012 Avacyn Restored in Barcelona Block Constructed and Booster Draft 18 $2,000
2012–13 Return to Ravnica in Seattle Modern and Booster Draft 2 $20,000
2012–13 Gatecrash in Montreal Standard and Booster Draft 62 $1,000
2012–13 Dragon's Maze in San Diego Block Constructed and Booster Draft 141
2013–14 Theros in Dublin Standard and Booster Draft 41 $1,500
2013–14 Born of the Gods in Valencia Modern and Booster Draft 268
2013–14 Journey into Nyx in Atlanta Block Constructed and Booster Draft 31 $1,500
2013–14 Magic 2015 in Portland Standard and Booster Draft 110
2014–15 Khans of Tarkir in Honolulu Standard and Booster Draft 7 $10,000
2014–15 Fate Reforged in Washington, D.C. Modern and Booster Draft 314
2014–15 Dragons of Tarkir in Brussels Standard and Booster Draft 72 $1,000
2014–15 Magic Origins in Vancouver Standard and Booster Draft 306
2015–16 Battle for Zendikar in Milwaukee Standard and Booster Draft 231
2015–16 Oath of the Gatewatch in Atlanta Modern and Booster Draft 46 $1,000
2015–16 Shadows over Innistrad in Madrid Standard and Booster Draft 26 $1,500
2015–16 Eldritch Moon in Sydney Standard and Booster Draft 35 $1,500
2016–17 Kaladesh in Honolulu Standard and Booster Draft 17 $3,000
2016–17 Aether Revolt in Dublin Standard and Booster Draft 142
2016–17 Amonkhet in Nashville Standard and Booster Draft 2 $20,000
2016–17 Hour of Devastation in Kyoto Standard and Booster Draft 262
2017–18 Ixalan in Albuquerque Standard and Booster Draft 289
2017–18 Rivals of Ixalan in Bilbao Modern and Booster Draft 12 $5,000
2017–18 Dominaria in Richmond Standard and Booster Draft 337
2017–18 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis Team Constructed 101

Source: Wizards.com

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. TOP 8 PROFILES. Wizards of the Coast (2017-12-02). Retrieved on 2017-12-18.
  2. Day 1 Blog Archive. Wizards of the Coast (2007-02-17). Retrieved on 2017-12-18.
  3. Stark, Bill (2007-12-09). ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: YUUYA WATANABE. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-12-18.
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