Tomoharu Saitou

Last updated
Tomoharu Saitou
齋藤 友晴
Tomoharu Saitou.JPG
Born14 December 1983 [1]
Tokyo, Japan [1]
Residence Toshima-ku (Japan)
Nationality Flag of Japan.svg Japanese
Pro Tour debut 2000 Pro Tour Chicago [1]
Winnings$262,092 [2]
Pro Tour wins (Top 8)1 (5) [3]
Grand Prix wins (Top 8)4 (24) [4]
Lifetime Pro Points506 [5]
Planeswalker Level 50 (Archmage)

Tomoharu Saitou(齋藤 友晴,Saitō Tomoharu) is one of the most successful professional Magic: The Gathering players and the owner of Hareruya Store in Tokyo.

<i>Magic: The Gathering</i> Collectible card game

Magic: The Gathering is both a collectible and digital collectible card game created by Richard Garfield. Released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, Magic was the first trading card game and has approximately twenty million players as of 2015, and over twenty billion Magic cards produced in the period from 2008 to 2016, during which time it grew in popularity.

Contents

Career

Saitou debuted at Pro Tour Chicago 2000. [1] An 83rd-place finish meant he fell just short of making money. Later the same season, he made his first standout finish by reaching the top eight of the Asia Pacific Championship. His quarter-final opponent was to have been Peter Chao of Taiwan. However, Chao was not able to attend the final day of competition, and asked Saitou for a prize split. The judges ruled this to be bribery and disqualified Saitou, Chao, and Satoshi Nakamura who had acted as their interpreter. [6]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

After two seasons off tour, Saitou returned the Pro Tour in 2003–04, and to the elimination rounds at the premier level by finishing eighth at Grand Prix Nagoya. In 2005, he made his first Sunday appearance on the Pro Tour. Alongside Tomohiro Kaji, and Kenji Tsumura, he reached the top four of Pro Tour Atlanta. Saitou's team, One Spin, lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions Nova, with Saitou losing to Gabriel Nassif. [7]

The 2003–04 Pro Tour season was the ninth season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. On 23 August 2003 the season began with parallel Grand Prixs in Yokohama and London. It ended on 5 September 2004 with the conclusion of the 2004 World Championship in San Francisco. Beginning with this season Wizards of the Coast moved the Pro Tour schedule farther backwards in the year to synchronize it with the calendar year. The season consisted of 26 Grand Prixs and 7 Pro Tours, held in Boston, New Orleans, Amsterdam, Kobe, San Diego, Seattle, and San Francisco. Also the Master Series tournaments were discontinued and replaced by payout at the end of the year based on the Pro Player of the year standings. At the end of the season Gabriel Nassif was proclaimed Pro Player of the year, the first player after Kai Budde's three-year-domination period, and also the first player to win the title without winning a Pro Tour in the same season.

Grands Prix (GPs) are professional Magic: The Gathering tournaments, awarding cash prizes, Pro Points and invitations to Pro Tours. They are open to all players and are usually the biggest Magic tournaments. The first Grand Prix was held on 22–23 March 1997 in Amsterdam (Netherlands). By the end of 2018, 654 Grand Prix events have been held, the biggest being GP Las Vegas 2015 with 7,551 competitors, making it the biggest trading card game tournament ever held.

Nagoya Designated city in Chūbu, Japan

Nagoya (名古屋) is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is Japan's fourth-largest incorporated city and the third-most-populous urban area. It is located on the Pacific coast on central Honshu. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Kitakyushu. It is also the center of Japan's third-largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō metropolitan area. As of 2015, 2.28 million people lived in the city, part of Chūkyō Metropolitan Area's 10.11 million people. It is also one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world.

In 2006, Saitou won Pro Tour Charleston as a member of Team Kajiharu80, along with Tomohiro Kaji and Shouta Yasooka. [8] At the next Pro Tour, held in Kobe, Saitou made his first individual top eight appearance. He lost in the quarterfinals to Pro Tour first-timer and eventual champion Jan-Moritz Merkel. [9] At the end of the 2006 season, Saitou was dubbed the PoY maker, because in the past two seasons his teammates, Tsumura and Yasooka, had won the Player of the year title. The following year, it would be his turn.

The 2006 Pro Tour season was the eleventh season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. On 18 December 2005 the season began with parallel Grand Prixs in Lille and Charlotte. It ended on 3 December 2006 with the conclusion of the 2006 World Championship in Paris. The season consisted of 22 Grand Prixs and 5 Pro Tours, held in Honolulu, Prague, Charleston, Kobe, and Paris. At the end of the season Shouta Yasooka from Japan was proclaimed Pro Player of the year. At the Worlds in Paris the second class of the Hall of Fame was inducted. The inductees were Bob Maher, Jr., Dave Humpherys, Raphaël Lévy, Gary Wise, and Rob Dougherty.

Shouta Yasooka is a Japanese Magic: The Gathering player. He is best known for his success in the 2006 Pro Tour season, when he won Pro Tour Charleston with Tomohiro Kaji and Tomoharu Saitou, as well as the Player of the Year title. In 2015, Yasooka was elected into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.

Kobe Designated city in Kansai, Japan

Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.

In 2007, Saitou made his fourth Pro Tour top eight that year, in Yokohama, losing to Kazuya Mitamura in the semifinals. [10] He also top eighted Grand Prix Singapore, and won Grand Prix Strasbourg. At the end of the season, he won the Player of the year title, making him the first player to do so without either winning a Pro Tour or reaching the top eight of multiple Pro Tours. [11]

Yokohama Designated city in Kantō, Japan

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population, and the most populous municipality of Japan. It is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Strasbourg Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department.

The 2008 season saw Saitou finishing third at Pro Tour Berlin [12] and making the Top 8 of three Grand Prix, but falling 20 points short of defending his title. [13]

The 2008 Pro Tour season was the thirteenth season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. It began on 15 December 2007, with Grand Prix Stuttgart, and ended on 14 December 2008, with the 2008 World Championship in Memphis. The season consisted of twenty-one Grand Prixs, and four Pro Tours, located in Kuala Lumpur, Hollywood, Berlin, and Memphis. The Grand Prixs from June until August were designated Summer Series Grand Prixs, awarding more prizes and additional Pro Points. At the end of the season, Shuhei Nakamura became the fourth consecutive Japanese player to win Pro Player of the year. Dirk Baberowski, Michael Turian, Jelger Wiegersma, Olivier Ruel, and Ben Rubin were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

In 2009 Saitou won back to back Extended Grand Prix in Singapore and Kobe. The following season, he made the top eight of three more Grand Prix, winning in Columbus. At Pro Tour Amsterdam it was announced that Saitou would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Two weeks before his induction Saitou was disqualified for stalling at Grand Prix Florence. He subsequently received an 18-month suspension from the DCI. [14] One day before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wizards of the Coast announced that Saitou would not be inducted due to his suspension. [15]

Accomplishments

SeasonEvent typeLocation Format Date Rank
2000–01 APAC Region Championship Kuala LumpurSpecial22–24 June 2001DQ 1
2003–04 Grand Prix NagoyaStandard28–29 August 20048
2005 Grand Prix OsakaTeam Limited8–9 January 20054
2005 Pro Tour AtlantaTeam Limited11–13 March 20054
2005 Grand Prix MatsuyamaLimited14–15 May 20057
2005 Grand Prix BeijingExtended26–27 November 20056
2006 Pro Tour Charleston, South CarolinaTeam Constructed16–18 June 20061
2006 Nationals Ōta, TokyoStandard and Booster Draft25–27 August 20068
2006 Grand Prix SydneyLimited7–8 October 20063
2006 Pro Tour KobeLimited20–22 October 20067
2007 Grand Prix SingaporeExtended3–4 March 20078
2007 Pro Tour YokohamaBlock Constructed20–22 April 20074
2007 Grand Prix StrasbourgBlock Constructed19–20 May 20071
2008 Grand Prix ViennaExtended15–16 March 20084
2008 Grand Prix CopenhagenStandard23–24 August 20082
2008 Pro Tour BerlinExtended31 October–2 November 20083
2008 Grand Prix AtlantaLimited15–16 November 20086
2009 Grand Prix SingaporeExtended21–22 March 20091
2009 Grand Prix KobeExtended18–19 April 20091
2009 Grand Prix MelbourneLimited10–11 October 20092
2010 Grand Prix OaklandExtended13–14 February 20108
2010 Grand Prix MadridLegacy27–28 February 20104
2010 Grand Prix Columbus, OhioLegacy31 July–1 August 20101
2012–13 Grand Prix SydneyLimited19–20 January 20133
2013–14 Grand Prix KyotoTeam Limited23–24 November 20134
2013–14 Grand Prix AtlantaLimited24–25 May 20142
2014–15 Grand Prix SydneyLimited23–24 August 20146
2015–16 Grand Prix SantiagoLimited29–30 August 20152
2015–16 Grand Prix LyonLimited30 October–1 November 20153
2015–16 Grand Prix Mexico CityLimited30–31 January 20162
2016-17 Grand Prix RotterdamTeam Limited12–13 November 20163

Last updated: 1 February 2016
Source: Wizards.com

Notes

Other accomplishments:

Suspensions

In 2001 after Grand Prix Kobe, Saitou was suspended for 18 months due to consecutive disqualifications. A prize split was interpreted as being bribery resulting in a disqualification at the Asian Pacific Championships. [6] Following that Saitou was disqualified for inappropriately attempting to get his opponent disqualified. As a result of these disqualifications, the DCI suspended Saitou for 18 months. [16]

In 2010, Saitou was voted into the Hall of Fame. [17] However, two weeks prior to the induction Saitou was disqualified during Grand Prix Florence leading to an 18-month suspension from the game. Wizards announced without further explanation that Saitou would not be part of the Hall of Fame based on the 2010 ballot. [15]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Tomoharu Saito 2007 Pro Player card (from the Magic: The Gathering Time Spiral expansion)
  2. "Top 200 All-Time Money Leaders". Wizards of the Coast. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  3. "Lifetime Pro Tour Top 8s". Wizards of the Coast. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  4. "Lifetime Grand Prix Top 8s". Wizards of the Coast. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  5. "Planeswalker Points". Wizards of the Coast. 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  6. 1 2 3 "Three Players Disqualified". Wizards of the Coast. 2001-06-24. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  7. "Nova Burns Brightest in Atlanta!". Wizards of the Coast. 2005-03-13. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  8. "Kajiharu80 puts the Char in Charleston!". Wizards of the Coast. 2006-06-18. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  9. "Merkel's Time is Now". Wizards of the Coast. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  10. "Wafo-Tapa Tops Them All!". Wizards of the Coast. 2007-04-22. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  11. "2007 Player of the Year Race". Wizards of the Coast. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  12. "LSV + ELVES Equals Champion!". Wizards of the Coast. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  13. "2008 Pro Tour Player of the Year". Wizards of the Coast. 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  14. "Suspended DCI Memberships". Wizards of the Coast . Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  15. 1 2 "Saito removed from Hall of Fame selection". Wizards of the Coast. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  16. http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/print.php%3FArticle%3D20059+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
  17. "Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame 2010 Ballot". Wizards of the Coast . Retrieved 2010-09-05.
Preceded by
Flag of Japan.svg Shouta Yasooka
Pro Player of the Year
2007
Succeeded by
Flag of Japan.svg Shuhei Nakamura