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Western students will test their will and cunning use of creatures, spells and enchantments at a high stakes tournament. The prize? Ten grand, an invitation to a pro tour and bragging rights. Members of Western’s Magic the Gathering club will be going to Vancouver, Canada to participate in a two-day long Grand Prix Feb. 17 to 19. Magic: the Gathering is a strategy card game in which players construct their own decks and play against each other.  Senior Adam Hockemeyer, president of the club, will be competing in The Grand Prix alongside six club members.   The tournament is no quick round of cards. “These are long tournaments. Eight rounds one day, eight rounds the next day,” Hockemeyer said. “You’ve got to have stamina. You got to figure what you’re doing in between rounds.” Rounds are 50 minutes long, best of three. The first place winner will take home $10,000, second place gets $5,000, and fourth and fifth place get $2,500. The top eight finishers also receive an invitation to the Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour Amonkhet on May 12 to 14. Individual victories will grant players a currency called GK Tix to purchase packs of cards and merchandise throughout the weekend. Freshmen Sam Burnett, one of the club members participating in the tournament, has been playing Magic: the Gathering for about three years. To get prepared for The Grand Prix, Burnett researched what decks are the most effective and what adjustments to make to his current deck. “I’ve been trying to do a lot of practicing and testing with Adam [Hockemeyer]. We’ve been playing a couple decks to get a feel for things,” Burnett said. Burnett competed in The Grand Prix previously and said the atmosphere can vary from casual to serious. “The higher level play it is, the more serious it gets,” Burnett said. Not everyone at The Grand Prix will be competing for the grand prize. Senior Owen Fox, who describes himself as a casual player, will be attending to participate in side events and focus on the Magic: the Gathering community. “I’m really excited to root for Adam [Hockemeyer], root for the team and everyone who’s going up,” Fox said. “We’re hoping to be a league, a magic club as a Western community that goes and does events.” The club meets at 6 p.m. every Thursday in the Viking Union room 462A. During spring quarter, the club will host a tournament series open to students.  


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