I went to a 'Magic: The Gathering' tournament and was amazed at how much the cards cost

Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix in LondonBusiness Insider/James CookLots of people playing Magic: The Gathering.

Magic: The Gathering is an American card game started in 1993. Players square up against each other using armies of fantasy monsters. It’s like Pokémon mixed with Yu-Gi-Oh! but twice as complicated.

Magic: The Gathering is big, really big. So big, in fact, that thousands of fans crammed into part of the ExCeL Centre in London for the 2015 London Grand Prix. There was the main championship, side events, social events, even specialist shops and meet and greet sessions.

I accidentally attended the Magic: The Gathering championship when I was trying to get into the “Summer In The City” YouTube convention. Here’s what I found:

There were thousands of people here.

Business Insider/James Cook

Lots of fans were taking part in matches against each other. Everyone seemed to be having fun.

Business Insider/James Cook

People were still queueing to sign up to take part in the championship.

Business Insider/James Cook

Popular games attracted an audience of spectators. Here's what was happening at table #1

Business Insider/James Cook

There were even commentators talking about what was going on in high-profile matches.

Business Insider/James Cook

The top matches were filmed, and had a judge standing over them to check that nobody was cheating.

Business Insider/James Cook

Some fans were waiting to get posters and cards signed by Aleksi Briclot, an artist who paints the images for cards.

Business Insider/James Cook

Here are two of the judges wearing their official uniform.

Business Insider/James Cook

Lots of trading stalls around the outside of the tournament were selling Magic: The Gathering cards.

Business Insider/James Cook

Some cards are crazily expensive! One rare card was being sold for £6,400.

Business Insider/James Cook

Many cards sell for hundreds of pounds, others go for thousands. There's over £50,000 worth of cards in this photo alone.

Business Insider/James Cook

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