Skip to main content

Catan World Championship will pit more than 80 players in a bid for board game glory

The competition will be appropriately held on a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

Photo from the 2018 Catan World Championship in Germany.
Image credit: Catan Studio

Catan is looking to crown its next bigwig of bricks and sovereign of sheeps. The popular board game will hold a three-day world championship competition in Malta, Italy in order to decide the best Catan player on the planet.

Co-hosted by Catan Studio, distributor Kosmos and Catan GmbH, the world championship hasn’t taken place since 2018. Normally held every two years, alternating hosts between Kosmos and Catan Studio, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed 2020’s scheduled bout. The group of more than 80 players pulled from qualifiers in 2019, 2021 and 2022 will all gather for the largest board game battle in the event’s history, according to a press release.

Appropriately held on the island country of Malta, which rests in the Mediterranean Sea south of Italy, the Catan World Championship will take place from November 18th through November 20th. Fans and those intrigued by the notion of competitive-level Catan can catch a livestream hosted on the board game’s official website.

Unfamiliar with the hexagonal game of haggling? We've got the perfect introductory video for you.Watch on YouTube

Defending champion Quetzal Jimenez will return from Mexico to guard their title. The ultimate winner will be awarded a “stunning trophy and bragging rights” as the best road builder, brick trader and bandit-dodger on the globe. If you’ve never played Catan, it’s a fairly approachable title focused on collecting resources to build settlements and cities. These can be collected from the environment but also traded amongst players, adding a layer of negotiation and political manoeuvring. It was rebranded from Settlers of Catan in 2015, but the game’s design retains the core mechanical focus of conquering and defending the previously unspoiled island.

“CATAN is the powerful, universal story of humanity’s quest to explore the world, and by hosting the 2022 World Championship we are bringing that quest to life. Players will have to be clever, flexible and adaptable to bring home the champion title,” said Kelli Schmitz, Catan Studio’s brand development director.

While some of us at Dicebreaker disagree, Catan currently enjoys a reputation as a good introduction to the board gaming hobby once someone is ready to set aside Mattel and Hasbro’s long flat boxes. Original designer Klaus Teuber recently announced his intentions to publish a new novelisation of the board game focused on Viking culture and one community’s search for solace against a vengeful ruler.

Photo from the 2018 Catan World Championship in Germany.
Dismay seemed prennially present at tables during the 2018 competition in Germany. | Image credit: Catan Studio

“One of the core messages of CATAN is that we can all grow and prosper peacefully,” said Benjamin Teuber, Klaus’ son and CEO of Catan GmbH. “In order to achieve prosperity, we must trade wisely with one another and help each other out."

The Dicebreaker archive is full of weird Catan merchandise (both official and otherwise) that has been released as promotion for the board game over the years. The National Toy Hall of Fame recently nominated Catan as a finalist for the 2022 class of inductees, potentially placing it alongside rubber ducks, chess, dollhouses and sand. Yes, plain ol’ sand.

Read this next