There and Back Again
Middle Earth Collectible Card Game Tournament

We’re happy to announce that the tournament we are sponsoring for the Middle Earth Collectable Card Game is being recognized by the game’s international player’s organization as THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR 2023!!!

This is the first time since 2014 that this international event has been held on this side of the globe!

The Middle Earth CCG OPEN Tournament will be here in Sacramento, California, USA, from November 10-13, 2023. The location will be There and Back Café at 1020 11th Street and Capitol Event Center at The MAY Building (next door). The theme for this year is, of course, There & Back Again and the first-place winner will receive the key to Bag End!

The event is from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon with more casual events Sunday evening and Monday morning breakfast. The opening evening is for casual gaming and getting to meet each other at There and Back Cafe. The official tournament games begin on Saturday morning in the Capitol Event Center. They are General Opponent, two-deck format of games. Rounds will be played on Saturday with the final four playing again on Sunday morning. Sunday evening will return to the cafe for celebration and merriment. Monday will involve breakfast and farewells.

The other games that will be available on each day include:

  • Multi-player game cube games
  • Challenge Deck tournaments
  • Casual games

The multi-player games require no previous experience with MECCG to play, and after one or two sessions, you will then be ready to participate in the Challenge Deck tournaments that are taking place around the main event.


Friday, Nov 10

Casual Games

5 & 9 multi-player games (new players are welcome)

Food and drinks will be available at the cafe

Open at 8:30 am to 10 pm

There and Back Cafe
1020 K Street

Saturday, Nov 11

Main Tournament Day

Rounds begin at 9 am

Two rounds then break for lunch

Three more rounds then dinner break

5 & 9 multi-player games (new players welcome)

Pre-built tournament (new players that have played in the multi-player games are welcome)

Finish at midnight

Capitol Event Center
1020 K Street, 2nd Floor

Sunday, Nov 12

The Final Four and Ending

9 am: Final 4 round robin begins

10 am: Challenge Deck Tournaments and Multi-player games begin

Afternoon: Championship awarded return to the cafe

At the same time, pre-built tournament (new players that have played in multi-player)

Capitol Event Center
1020 K Street, 2nd Floor

First 40 registrations will receive a free pair of custom-made Hobbit door dice.


The Lord of the Rings Key to Bag End™

Bag End is a home of comfort. It is a place to begin a story, and a place to return to once the journey has ended. It is warm, safe, and full of surprises.

The key can be yours if you win the tournament.


Two-deck tournament:

We’re offering a different format for the finals on Sunday. As a pilot program, we will be switching the format so that the deck you played on day one is also what you play in the finals. There has been a long, robust debate about this. It is time to stop arguing about it and have a pilot program to test it out.

Non-tournament activities are tailored towards new or returning players who either have no cards or have not dusted them off in a long time. (But if you haven’t played Wizards of ME or Nazgul of ME, you really should try these formats because they are a blast!) We believe that players in the USA need these options so that they don’t feel pressured if they are not very familiar with a game that has been out of print for 24 years.

We have at least 2 Hero ARDA sets (10 players) and one Minion ARDA (9 players). If you are coming to the event and you have an ARDA (or Dark ARDA) set we can use let Ralph know! We have at least three sets of Challenge Decks for those tournaments. This is a great chance to break into the game and (hopefully) also see some of the World’s best in action.



There are several accommodations in the immediate area (within walking distance of the event). Less expensive accommodations are available outside the city’s central core and are near a light rail or bus lines that connect to downtown. Below are a few options, but feel free to do your own research.



A light rail station stop is across the street from There and Back Cafe and the Capitol Event Center.

Light rail info and schedules



DOCO & ARCO ARENA:  Walk down to the arena of our professional basketball team (the Sacramento Kings) and have a nice meal. There are several shops and restaurants in the Downtown Commons.

OLD SACRAMENTO: From DOCO, walk a little further into Old Sacramento (as in 1850s Gold Rush Era California) and enjoy the Wild West charm of the city’s riverfront history. This section of town offers a tribute to the 1850s with cobblestone streets, raised wooden platforms sidewalks, riverboats, and old rustic storefronts. Info on the waterfront area.

SUTTER’S FORT HISTORIC PARK: This fort sits in Midtown Sacramento in an area that has been the homeland of the Nisenan people since time immemorial. From 1839 to 1849, Sutter’s Fort was the economic center of the first permanent European colonial settlement in California’s Central Valley. Its founder was a Swiss immigrant named John Sutter who named his vast Mexican land grant “New Helvetia.” During that time, the Fort catalyzed patterns of change across California. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is open daily for self-guided tours.

OUTSIDE OF SACRAMENTO: If you want to make a vacation or a holiday of it, then make a day trip to:

  • Lake Tahoe: Hike the Sierra Nevada Mountains or Lake Tahoe and Sparks, Nevada.
  • San Francisco: If you are flying in internationally, you may be landing at SFO and driving to Sacramento. San Francisco is entirely its own quest with so much to see and do.
  • Yosemite National Forest: World famous beautiful Valley is about 4 hours south of Sacramento.
  • Coastal Redwood Forests: World-famous trees are between 2 and 4 hours north of Sacramento.