Teruya Kakumae Member Statement

Magic is Life

I started playing Magic in 1998, and the first pack I bought was probably Urza’s Saga. I’d originally been playing different card games like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I wanted to try out even more card games, so thought I’d give Magic: The Gathering a shot with some friends from school. I ended up leaving behind the others and just continuing on with Magic. Probably the biggest reason is that there are a lot of different formats that created a lot of depth.

When I first started I played a lot of Steroid (red-green beatdown deck), and Wild Mongrel was one of my favorite cards. That was probably the only card that I used for the entire time that it was playable in Standard.

Once I started working part-time, I didn’t have the time for Magic and took a break. I started getting heavily into slot machines and mah–jongg after that, which led me to a period of soul-searching. I had the realization that no matter how a person lives, on a cosmic scale they can only leave behind the tiniest mark. So I figured I’d put all my energy into what I liked best. After some reflection, I realized that Magic had brought me more joy than anything else up to that point in my life. So I picked up the game again for the first time in a decade with the determination to become the best in the world.

When I started playing again, the world of Magic struck me as a lot more lively than when I left. There are more pro players than ever, and going forward matches will be broadcast on TV. That is to say, the game is going to become more of a household name from here on out. I’m really grateful that I’ve the chance to get to know the game.

Will of a Pro

The moment that I decided to go pro was the moment that I decided to pick up Magic again. I want to leave my name as part of Magic history. I want to be able to hold my own against Kai Budde and Jon Finkel [legendary players from Germany and the United States]. Since I started playing again in 2014, I’ve been to about 15 international tournaments to collect pro points. It’s not like I’ve been pushing myself though; if anything, I’ve just been doing this because I felt like it.

Victory in this spring’s Grand Prix Auckland 2015
Source:Magic: The Gathering

After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that I’d like to help develop the world of Magic, so I decided to join Cygames. The impression I get of Cygames is that they’re a company that gives their all no matter what they do. That’s really something that I can get behind.

There are two other team members. Kentaro is one, and it’s like the phrase cool and collected was made for him. Practicing together and watching videos of him playing, you can just feel how he’s far and away more in control of himself than any other pro player.

Yuuki is reason incarnate. Compared to any other top player in Japan, he’s extremely capable of accurately evaluating the power of each card. He himself is aware of that, and it’s part of what makes for his unshakable confidence. The two of them are both strong and reliable.

What’s Next

My goal for Magic is to have the ambition to become the best in the world and take it step-by-step toward that goal. Outside of Magic, I’d like to live in a really nice apartment with some quality furniture. I really feel great when I’m in a space like that, and I’d love to spend of lot of time there in the future.

Going forward, I’d really like to do some articles where I look at whether a given play is right for the given board state. It seems like it would really be fun to get readers’ opinions and include them in some way.

Whenever I misplay, I always scrawl down what happened onto a piece of paper and then examine what happened in detail later. I’d really like to share my thought process.

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