For 24-year-old Patrick Cowe, magic is reality.
The Bosse High School graduate is now among the very best in the world at a trading card game called Magic the Gathering, one in which players, or wizards, go head-to-head, trading cards and casting spells until one perishes and the other emerges the victor.
It’s similar, Cowe explained, to Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh!, once popular trading card games that swept the nation around the same time Magic the Gathering was introduced in 1993.
“But I immediately liked the fact that Magic had a lot more strategy to it,” says Cowe of Evansville. “There were so many different lines of play, in-depth story lines, story arcs. I thought it was one of the most well-designed games out there.
“And, if you do well, you can even make a lot of money at it.”
And make money, he has.
He’s competed in 10 major events in the last six months — from Nashville, Tennessee, to Las Vegas — and many of the first-place payouts are upward of $1,000. He works full-time at Comic Quest, Evansville’s oldest comic book and gaming store at 2260 E. Morgan Ave., so he spends a lot of time practicing and even organizing local Magic competitions.
Recently, he competed in the Magic the Gathering Grand Prix event where he placed fifth out of more than 1,000 players, earning him yet another cash prize and an invitation to the big leagues, the ProTour event in Belgium.
Among thousands, Cowe made it to the second day of the three-day event, eventually finishing in the top 400 players.
“I’ve always wanted to be on the pro tour,” he says. “I’ve been working hard, traveling, and doing these events, so it’s pretty awesome. Really, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.
“I was playing with the best in the world. There are more than 10 million people who play the game, and only a few hundred thousand who compete. These were the best 400 in the world, and I was one of them.”
For more information about Comic Quest, call 812-474-1133 or visit comicquest.com.