Is it time to bring back the new Hall of Fame yet?


I’m a big fan of Magic’s long and rich history. Between 2005 and 2019, each year the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame would recognize some of the game’s best players. The last person voted in was Reid Duke in 2019. After that, everything was put on hold thanks to the pandemic, but we were promised a return of a new Hall in 2021 

Magic has been going through some organized play changes in the past year, so perhaps this caused a little bit of a delay. It’s now the end of 2022 though, so I thought it would be fun to do a little bit of a Hall of Fame exercise, just in case it comes back next year.  

I haven’t been able to do a full research because Wizards deleted the entire Pro Points history and now old coverage archives are also not accessible anymore, but here is a list of 10 players who I think would have the highest chance to get in if the Hall came back next year. 


Ken Yukuhiro 

Ken is widely regarded as one of the game's best brewers, usually playing decks of his own creation even at the highest level. It is one thing to Top 8 a Pro Tour with the format’s best deck, and another one to do it playing your own brew. At PT Nashville 2017, Ken made the Top 8 while being quite literally the only person in the entire tournament to register the card Bone Picker, which was a full four-of in the main deck of his Golgari Energy brew.  

Ken has four Pro Tour Top 8s, 10 Grand Prix Top 8s (two wins) and was on the verge of getting voted in already before the pandemic started. He added a second place finish at the Players Tour Nagoya 2020 and another Top 8 finish at the 2020 Mythic Invitational.


Javier Dominguez 

In 2017, Javier finished as a runner up in the finals of Worlds in Boston, losing to William “Huey” Jensen in the finals. Determined to improve this amazing achievement, he qualified for the very next Worlds in Vegas 2018, where he outplayed the entire field and eventually beat Grzegorz Kowalski in the finals to become the 2018 Magic World Champion.

Javier has 10 Grand Prix Top 8s (two wins), a Worlds win, a Worlds second place finish, one paper Pro Tour Top 8, one paper Mythic Championship Top 8, first place finish at one of the Arena Mythic Championships, another Top 8 at the Arena Mythic Championship and a third place finish at one of the Online Arena Split Championships. What a diverse resume! 


Marcio Carvalho 

Marcio has always been considered as one of the absolute best Limited players on the Pro Tour, time and time again proving it at the highest level. He has been in the finals of the World Championship twice, but lost both times, once to PVDDR and once to Brian Braun-Duin.He also lost the finals of Pro Tour Dublin to Lucas Esper Berthoud, so he has somewhat of a second place curse.  

Marcio has 15 Grand Prix Top 8s (three wins, all Limited), two second places and another Top 8 at the World Championship events, four individual Pro Tour Top 8s and one other Team Pro Tour Top 4. 


Andrea Mengucci 

Andrea is perhaps most known for winning the first big Magic Esports event, the $1,000,000 Mythic Invitational in Boston in 2019.He is also perhaps the most enthusiastic Magic player in the world, playing Magic seemingly every single day, no matter the format. These days you can always find him creating new content. 

Andrea has one Grand Prix Top 8, three Pro Tour Top 8s, a win at the Mythic Invitational, a win at the World Magic Cup with team Italy, two Arena Mythic Championship Top 4s and a Top 4 at one of the Online Arena Split Championships. 


Brad Nelson 

Brad is probably the most famous Standard player ever. His deck building skill was always his biggest strength, and the one thing he particularly excelled at was always tuning his decks perfectly for the expected metagame. He could read the field better than anyone, whether it was for smaller closed tournaments like the Pro Tours or open field tournaments like the Grand Prixs 

Brad has 20 Grand Prix Top 8s (three wins), three Pro Tour Top 8s, two Arena Mythic Championship second places and a Top 8 at one of the Online Arena Split Championships.


Mike Sigrist 

Siggy is perhaps the best Limited player in the world right now. His biggest strength is breaking Limited formats faster than anyone else, something that was always very valuable at the split paper Pro Tours which always happened two weeks after the release of a new set. Mike was the 2014 Player of the Year, a year in which he also finished as a runner up in Pro Tour Vancouver after infamously mulliganing to three in the finals.   

Siggy has 10 Grand Prix Top 8s (two wins), three Pro Tour Top 8s, a Player of the Year title and an Online Arena Set Championship Top 4.


Gerry Thompson 

Gerry is one of the most famous Magic players of all time, earning himself the vote of the people by often sacrificing his own results for the sake of the community. He is also one of the game’s most popular and accomplished writers. Gerry first built his name on the Grand Prix circuit and the Star City series, but PT success quickly followed, culminating with a win at Pro Tour Nashville in 2017.His biggest strength has always been quickly figuring out constructed metagames and always being one step ahead of the competition. 

Gerry has 12 Grand Prix Top 8s (two wins), a Pro Tour win and two more Pro Tour Top 8s.


Ivan Floch 

Ivan is a member of the Czech Magic House that’s been producing some amazing Magic results, highlighted by his Pro Tour win in Portland in 2014. His career might not have been as flashy as some of the others, but he is widely respected amongst his peers who know how good of a player he is. He also does a lot of work behind the scenes for other friends even when he's not qualified, recently helping Jakub Toth get third at Worlds.  

Ivan has five Grand Prix Top 8s (one win), a Pro Tour win and two more Pro Tour Top 8s, and a win with the Slovakian National Team at Worlds in Chiba 2006.


Shahar Shenhar

Shahar is the only person who managed to win the World Championship twice, doing it in back to back years in 2013 and 2014. He also has a lot of great GP finishes, but despite frequently achieving the equivalent of the old Platinum status, Shahar actually never made the Top 8 of a Pro Tour.  

Shahar has nine GP Top 8s with five wins (an impressive conversion rate), two World Championship wins, another World Championship Top 4, an Arena Mythic Championship Top 8 and a Top 8 at one of the Online Arena Split Championships. 


Chris Pikula 

Chris is one of the game’s early stars, most known for his anti-cheating stance, which wasn’t always something taken for granted at the early days of Magic.In 2000, Chris won the Magic Invitational in Malaysia and got the right to create the card Meddling Mage with his face on it (the original Apocalypse version). 

Chris has five Grand Prix Top 8s, two Pro Tour Top 8s, an old Wolds Top 8 and an Invitational win. 

There are plenty of other players with great resumes. For example Marijn Lybaert, Mark Herberholz, Tsuyoshi Ikeda or Kyle Rose all have four Pro Tour Top 8s and have received votes in the past. My list is definitely not conclusive and it may even be missing a stat here and there thanks to how hard it is to find this information these days.  

 

Non-competitive Magic Personalities

The article listed above mentions that the new Hall of Fame is supposed to recognize not just the competitive players, but everyone from Magic.The game designers, members of the R&D, staff members, judges, coverage reporters. This sounds like a great idea and there are some obvious candidates right off the bat. 

Richard Garfield is perhaps the most obvious one. The creator of Magic: the Gathering and a widely respected game designer should have a guaranteed place in anything that celebrates the game and its history. Simply put, if it wasn’t for Mr. Garfield, there would be no Magic.  

Brian David Marshall (BDM), the game’s historian and a long time coverage reporter is the first person that comes to my mind when I think of Magic’s coverage. The thing I always appreciated the most about BDM is how welcoming he was at the tournaments to all the new players, making everyone feel like they belonged. 

Scott Larabee is the first person I think of when you say tournament staff. Scott is always the person behind the curtains running the tournament and making sure everything goes smoothly. For as long as I remember, Scott was always the Pro Tour manager, involved in all the planning of the organized play systems, structures, levels and everything related to the high level tournaments.  

Christopher Rush is one of the game’s original 25 artists, designing Magic’s most iconic card, Black Lotus, other fan favorites like Lightning Bolt and Brainstorm, but also the Magic card back and its mana symbols.From what I found, Christopher is also the person who came up with the idea that basic lands could be represented by full art, so we can also thank him for all the beautiful full art basic lands we get to play with these days. Unfortunately, Christopher Rush passed away on February 10, 2016.


I only started playing on the train around the year 2009, so I don’t really know much from the early days of Magic, but from what I gathered, Skaff Elias is one of the most important figures. One of the original playtesters and developers who worked on the game before the first set was even released. He later worked as the Brand Manager, the Senior Vice President of R&D and came up with the whole idea of the Pro Tour.  

Well, there you have it. 10 of the games best players and five non-competitive names that could make the new Hall of Fame should it return in this new form anytime soon. What do you think?

Autor: Martin Juza

Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame, Member of Team CFBUltimateGuard

Martin learned to play Magic at a young age after he saw some of his classmates playing it. Once he learned, he built a beginner deck and ever since then, he’s been hooked. Considered one of the top players in the world, his busy travel schedule made him become a real Magic Globetrotter, representing the game worldwide. Learn more about Martin.