Immortalizing the Game's Best

The Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame

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The day comes when you realize you're not a kid anymore. Many of you have personally experienced this day. For some of you, it's still to come. If you're in this latter group, I'll let you know that it's pretty nice. At first, there's this twinge of anxiety: Am I going to miss anything? What can't I do any more? Will I be able to cut it when nobody is standing by to catch me if I fall? Soon enough, though, you find your confidence. Soon enough, you appreciate the respect. Soon enough, you learn all the benefits.

In February of 1996, the first Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour occurred in New York City. While I wouldn't be joining the Wizards crew now known as the Organized Play department until a few months after that, I knew most of the people who made it happen. I can tell you that nobody knew if would work. A less charitable (but possibly more honest) statement could be that nobody knew for sure what they were doing. I know I didn't. Just like the newly hatched Pro Tour, everyone involved, seemingly, was still a kid.


The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour, then and now.

Next February will be the Pro Tour's 10th birthday. Ten years is a lot of history. Ten years is all grown up. It's time to reflect on our past, to honor the things that made us what we are, and to enjoy a major perk of maturity. As vice president of Wizards of the Coast's Organized Play department, I'm pleased to announce the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame.

What is it?

Our Hall of Fame, like all such institutions, will enshrine the most significant and influential competitors of the game. Membership will be very exclusive – the initial class will be limited to five inductees, with future inductions to be held annually. There will be a permanent online museum dedicated to the Hall of Fame members to launch later this year, and we will determine a way to showcase the members and their accomplishments in a traveling exhibit to be incorporated into our major shows (such as the Magic World Championships).

We hope that the Hall of Fame will be a sought-after capper to an illustrious career. But ultimately the Hall will not make the player. In fact, it will be the players who make the Hall.

While we think membership itself will be the most meaningful honor, there will be certain practical benefits as well. Inductees will receive a ring commemorating their membership. Additionally, at the start of each season Hall of Fame members will immediately receive Level 3 status in the Pro Tour Players Club recently laid out by Randy Buehler. Level 3 benefits include invitations and a $500 appearance fee to all Pro Tours and Worlds for that season.

Who Will Be In The Hall?

Each year starting in 2005, there will be a vote to determine that year's class of inductees. Only certain people will be entitled to vote, and only certain people will be eligible to be voted on.

There are three requirements to be eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot:

  1. A player must have at least 100 lifetime Pro Points.

  2. A player must have made his or her debut in the Magic Pro Tour or World Championships at least 10 seasons ago.

  3. A player must not be currently suspended by the DCI.

For purposes of the second eligibility requirement, only the main events will constitute a debut. Specifically, the Junior Pro Tour, an adjunct to the Pro Tour and precursor of certain events like the Junior Super Series in the United States and Canada, will not count.

The Year One ballot has been finalized, and here are the 28 eligible candidates. Voting shall be based upon the player's performances, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, and contributions to the game in general.


Don't worry, the real Hall of Fame ballot is nothing like an American presidential ballot.

Each year, the ballot will be updated with that year's class when players who meet the eligibility requirements (by virtue of another year of seniority or the accumulation of additional Pro Points) will be added to the list of names eligible from the previous year. In order to keep the ballot a manageable size, a process for dropping names from the ballot may be instituted in the future.

ELIGIBILITY YEARS

2005
David Bachmann
Kurt Burgner
Alan Comer
Robert Dougherty
Jon Finkel
Svend Sparre Geertsen
Thomas Guevin
Brian Hacker
Tommi Hovi
David Humpherys
Scott Johns
Mark Justice
Darwin Kastle
Gary Krakower
Peer Kröger
Peter Leiher
Michael Long
Satoshi Nakamura
Steven O'Mahoney-Schwartz
Chris Pikula
David Price
Michael Pustilnik
Olle Råde
Shawn "Hammer" Regnier
Jakub Slemr
Gabriel Tsang
Terry Tsang
Matthew Vienneau

2006
Trevor Blackwell
Noah Boeken
Sigurd Eskeland
Igor Frayman
Ryan Fuller
Donald Gallitz
Justin Gary
Yann Hamon
Itaru Ishida
Mattias Jorstedt
Benedikt Klauser
André Konstanczer
Janosch Kühn
John Larkin
Mark Le Pine
Raphael Levy
Robert Maher Jr.
Neil Reeves
Kyle Rose
Alex Shvartsman
Bram Snepvangers
Trey Van Cleave
Tomi Walamies
Joseph Gary Wise

2007
Kai Budde
Randy Buehler
Daniel Clegg
Osamu Fujita
Tsuyoshi Fujita
Nicolai Herzog
Tsuyoshi Ikeda
Brian Kibler
Matt Linde
Raffaele Lo Moro
Pierre Malherbaud
Casey McCarrel
Zvi Mowshowitz
Jin Okamoto
Ben Rubin
Brian Selden
Michael Turian
Tom Van de Logt
David Williams

2008
Dirk Baberowski
Chris Benafel
Marco Blume
Franck Canu
William Jensen
Nicolas Labarre
Patrick Mello
Eivind Nitter
Brock Parker
Carlos Romão
Olivier Ruel
Jelger Wiegersma

2009
Jose Barbero
Kamiel Cornelissen
Jeff Cunningham
Brian Davis
Antonino De Rosa
Frank Karsten
Rickard Osterberg
Jeroen Remie
Antoine Ruel
Ben Stark
Jens Thorén

2010
Eugene Harvey
Ken Ho
Anton Jonsson
Katsuhiro Mori
Masahiko Morita
Gabriel Nassif
Jonathan Sonne

2011
Gerard Fabiano
Osyp Lebedowicz

2012
Masashi Oiso

In the chart to the right, you can see a list of all players who have achieved 100 lifetime Pro Points as of June 6, broken down by the first year they will become eligible for induction.

So now that you know who's on the ballot, how do we go from that list of 28 names to a Hall of Fame class? A handpicked committee of voters will determine the first four members of the Hall. Each member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee will be allowed to vote for up to five people on the ballot. A committee member is forbidden to vote for himself or herself.

The top four total vote-getters will earn entrance to the Hall of Fame. If a tie for fourth place exists, it will be broken on the basis of lifetime Pro Points. The final ballots of each Selection Committee member will be made public when we announce the first class August 1.

After the results of the Selection Committee are announced, the final inductee will be determined by the vote of the Players Committee. This group will be made up of all players who have accumulated at least 100 lifetime Pro Points as of August 1, 2005, whether or not they are currently eligible for the Hall. Each member of the Players Committee will receive a single vote, and the top vote-getter will be the final Hall of Fame inductee for the 2005 class. As with the Selection Committee, a member of the Players Committee will not be allowed to vote for himself or herself.

To ensure that all eligible voters are included in the Players Committee voting process, players with at least 100 lifetime Pro Points are encouraged to make sure the DCI has a current email address on file.

The Hall of Fame Selection Committee

So who's in this group, and why? It's a mix of people, each with their own contributions to the history of the Pro Tour. Each of the 69 members will have his or her take on that history and the players involved.

First come certain luminaries of the history of Magic:

  • Richard Garfield, inventor of Magic
  • Skaff Elias, original developer of Magic, inventor of the Pro Tour

Next up are longtime reporters and commentators of the Pro Tour, some of whom are current or former pro players themselves. Included in this list is Brian David-Marshall, our newly dubbed Pro Tour Historian -- an office created specifically to help monitor the Hall of Fame.

  • Monty Ashley
  • Brian David-Marshall
  • Kim Eikefet
  • Mike “Elf” Feuell
  • Mike Flores
  • Ken'ichi Fujita
  • Itaru Ishida
  • Scott Johns
  • Craig Jones
  • Ted Knutson
  • Vicky Korstanje
  • Frank Kusumoto
  • Kouchiro Maki
  • Keita Mori
  • Zvi Mowshowitz
  • Satoshi Nakamura
  • Rui Oliveira
  • Jack Stanton
  • Alex Shvartsman
  • Eric Taylor
  • Matt Vienneau
  • Scott Wills
  • Gary Wise

High-level judges, scorekeepers, and similar tournament officials:

  • Jaap Brouwer
  • Charlie Catino
  • Elaine Chase
  • Carl Crook
  • Gordon Culp
  • Mike Donais
  • Kevin Endo
  • Andrew Finch
  • Mike Guptil
  • Gijsbert Hoogendijk
  • Jason Howlett
  • Collin Jackson
  • Scott Larabee
  • Sheldon Menery
  • Didier Monin
  • Cajus Von Engelmann

Certain administrative officials from the DCI, who have been responsible for the establishment of policy directly pertaining to the Pro Tour:

  • Dale Aitken
  • Andrea Chiarvesio
  • Ron Foster
  • Chris Galvin
  • John Grant
  • Andy Heckt
  • Felix Huybrechts
  • Jerôme Mioso
  • Ilja Rotelli
  • Renee Roub

Other people from inside and outside Wizards of the Coast who have had occasion to directly observe and influence the Pro Tour:

  • Hélène Bergeot
  • Joe Hauck
  • Kyle Murray
  • Bill Rose
  • Mark Rosewater
  • Laura Tomasetti
  • Wendy Wallace

And finally, key Wizards employees with first-hand experience playing on the Pro Tour:

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Whenever I'm at a tournament or convention, I hear players discussing the Hall of Fame and who should be in it. As a fan of the game and its history I'm as excited as everyone else, but as a highly opinionated commentator, I'm just glad I get to pick.

-- Michael Flores

The Hall means the opportunity to capture the essence of the history of the game and recognize those individuals whose distinctive and positive accomplishments have created the professional player legacy. Being honored with being on the Selection Committee means to me having a voice in crafting the vision and spirit of that legacy.

-- Sheldon Menery

  • Randy Buehler
  • Alan Comer
  • Aaron Forsythe
  • Frank Gilson
  • Devin Low
  • Matt Place
  • Brian Schneider
  • Paul Sottosanti
  • Henry Stern
  • Mike Turian
  • Worth Wollpert

The Timetable

Selection Committee members will be receiving their ballots this week. All Selection Committee ballots must be returned by July 22, with the official announcement of the first four inductees coming August 1 when all ballots will be made public.

This is by no means intended to be a secretive process, and committee members are encouraged to make their ballots public before that deadline in whatever forum they choose. If you frequent Magic websites (including this one), be on the lookout for the game's experts discussing and debating who might be part of the first class.

Also on August 1, a new ballot (minus the four people who have already been voted in) will be sent to the Players Committee. Members will have until August 31 to submit their ballots to the DCI, with the final inductee announced in mid-September. There will be an induction ceremony held at the World Championships, which begins on November 30 in Yokohama, Japan. Future selection cycles will resemble the timetables and procedures established here.

Are We There Yet?

Ten years ago, I never imagined I'd write this article -- none of us had the vision of Magic evolving to this point. But here we are.

This initiative represents the next step in a re-imagination of the flagship Magic tournament program. Up until now, this re-imagination has been grounded on a simple understanding: Magic is grown up. Now, through the Hall of Fame, we will take an important step addressing that maturing status. What does the history of the Magic Pro Tour mean? What will it come to stand for? What is its place in history? This summer, those questions will begin to be answered.

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