Ian Elliott of Level Up Trading won the European Professor Cup in Manchester on May 23 having outwitted players from France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic about winning,” Ian, 27, said. “Each year they run three Professor Cups – one in Europe, one in North America and one in South America. I won the European one.”
Ian, who lives in The Pasture, has been playing the game since he was 14. His fiancée, Lexi Knight, 24, who also plays the game, said: “I am chuffed that he managed to win. It was very difficult and last year he came fifth.”
For becoming European champion, Ian won a trophy, an iPad mini and a limited-edition backpack.
The couple’s shop opened two weeks ago at Basepoint Business Centre, off Metcalf Way, close to County Oak Retail Park. Called Level Up Trading, it sells board games, Pokémon, Nintendo and video game merchandise, and sci-fi memorabilia. Lexi said: “It was Ian’s dream to have a board game and toy shop and I turned round and said ‘Why don’t we just do it?'”
Ian hopes one day to work in his shop full time and organise Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering tournaments and clubs there. He added: “I have always been interested in those sorts of things and I have always been a collector. Crawley did not have this kind of shop available. I have travelled a lot and I thought it would be nice for people in the town to see what’s available. We hope to turn it into a family business.”
And Lexi hopes her husband-to-be could soon become a Pokémon world champion. She said: “We’re doing lots of practising to get ready and hope he’ll go to the world championships next year.”
If you would like to receive our daily newsflash email, please enter your email address in the “sign-up” box at the top of the page; you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook and request a print subscription here.