A look back at the Catan World Championship

Sep 18, 2012

Did you miss you chance to be in this year’s Catan World Championship? Have you thought about entering but weren’t sure if you had what it takes? Well here’s our blow by blow description of this year’s finals, that will make you feel like you had been there and maybe, just maybe, help you work up your courage to enter next time!

The Catan World Championship is held every two years and alternates between Germany and the United States. It offers The Settlers of Catan® players a chance to pit their talents against the best in the world and see where they rank.

This year’s tournament was held in the United States, at historic Normandy Farms, Pennsylvania, close to sites pivotal to the birth of America like Valley Forge and Philadelphia. When the tournament began there were 42 contestants from 27 countries participating.

The countries represented at this year’s tournament were: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Spain(Catalan), Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA. Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico were sending competitors to the tournament for the first time.

After four rounds of play the field of 42 contestants was reduced to 16. The semi-final contestants were ranked: 1. Reiner Biela (Germany) 2. Herbert Schager (Austria) 3. Erwin Pauelsen (Netherlands) 4. Mihai Dumitru (Romania) 5. Chi Wai Chan (Hong Kong) 6. William Benvenuto (Italy) 7. Vincent Gan (Singapore) 8. Manuel Catarino (Portugal) 9. S. Evan Walters (USA) 10. Ricky Zappia (Australia) 11. Bijan Mehdinejad (UK) 12. David Saltskar (Norway) 13. Mauri Sahlberg (Finland) 14. Justinas Moreika (Lithuania) 15. Luis Diego Monge Soto (Costa Rica) 16. William Barbosa (Brazil).

Following the semi-finals, the field was reduced to 4: Chi Wai Chan (Hong Kong), Herbert Schager (Austria), Reiner Biela (Germany)  and Justinas Moreika (Lithuania). The final game was played on a truly gigantic Catan board, with players literally walking their roads and settlements onto the map.

CWC Final Four

Of course, it always had to come down to just one and the final game, played on the giant Catan board, established who that person was: Herbert Schager of Austria. He was awarded the title of best The Settlers of Catan® player in the world, a title he will hold for two years, until the CWC convenes again in Germany in the year 2014.

CWC World Champion 2012

Herbert, who began playing Settlers in 1996, was no stranger to competitive The Settlers of Catan®, having competed in the World Championships in 2004, 2005 and 2012.

Besides the glory of the Gold Sun trophy, Herbert received an embroidered Catan World Championship carry-on bag, a copy of the new game Star Trek: Catan®, a Catan hat, Catan coasters and best of all, a trip on the 8 day, 7 night Gamer Adventures Caribbean cruise in 2013!

In addition, the final four contestants received an exclusive Catan Sun™ trophy. Each trophy comes in a handcrafted wood case made from wood local to the site of the Catan World Championship. First place receives the Gold Sun™ trophy, second place the Silver Sun™, third place the Bronze Sun™ and fourth place the Pewter Sun™.

Each Catan Sun™ trophy is a work of metal jewelry. The Gold Sun™ features a centerpiece made with approximate 2 ounces of gold and inlaid with Star Sapphires, set in a brass and pewter base depicting the famous island of Catan from The Settlers of Catan® game. The Silver Sun™ features a centerpiece made with pure silver and inlaid with Moonstones.  

About his strategy, Herbert said he had “no special strategy but for this tournament he carried a special stone from his girlfriend Friederike which has given him 100% wins at the 2012 World Championship.”

But if this scintillating account of the World Championship was not enough, you can watch a recording of our live stream here.

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