Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer and 2012’s player of the year Yuuya Watanabe was recently disqualified from Mythic Championship II. According to a statement released by Wizards of the Coast representatives, he was found to have marked cards during a deck check in round 15. In response to the accusations of cheating, Yuuya Watanabe released a response through the Team Cygames Twitter.
Here is a statement from Yuuya Watanabe about the Mythic Championship London. pic.twitter.com/rHhEpQrfk7
— Team Cygames (@Team_Cygames) April 29, 2019
Watanabe stated that he decided to change his sleeves out after round 12. He had a tough loss and felt that changing his sleeves would improve his luck and make himself feel better. He later claims to have received deck checks in both rounds 14 and 15 with no issues being found in his deck in either instance. It was instead prior to the Top 8 matches that there was a third deck check. It was at this point Watanabe was told by judges that his deck contained marked cards and he was being disqualified. He says he had no idea his cards were marked and proposes that it might have occurred from searching the lands frequently.
Images of the marked cards
For more views of the cards, a gallery has been made available.
The Magic: The Gathering community has been intensely split on the situation. While many condemn Watanabe for cheating, others have been quick to defend him. There are many claiming that he might’ve been set up by either a judge or another player marking his cards. This is not unheard of, and Watanabe has been completely free of allegations of cheating up until this point. However, until more evidence comes out, it’s anyone’s guess on what actually happened.
What do you think about the situation? Should Watanabe be banned from all competition for cheating? Was he caught in the middle of an elaborate setup? Let us know in the comments below!