Now, the judges at the World Championships of Magic – aka The Magic World Cup – will have no doubt seen thousands of rabbits pulled from top hats, and countless glamorous assistants sawn in half.
But they could not help but be enchanted by close-up magician Eric Chien, whose mesmerising ‘Ribbon’ routine quite rightly won him the award for Best Trick.
Watch the riveting routine for yourself below and, be warned, you will want to watch this over and over:
A natural showman, the trick is compelling, elegant and done with deceptive ease. With the lightest of touches, we see this real-life wizard change the colour of his waistcoat, change blue cards to red and even transform handfuls of cards vanish into coins (would love to know this trick myself).
His lightning quick hands, comfortable smile and vast repertoire of spooky abilities make him a worthy winner, and footage of his deft trick has since been viewed over two million times.
Writing proudly on his YouTube channel, Eric said:
I am really excited to share my Fism Act with everyone, I know you guys have been waiting for a while now.
Though winning Fism is a big accomplishment, it is also just the beginning for me. I’ve been behind the scenes for most of my magic career and its finally time for me be on stage performing.
I have lots of things planned out right now and I cant wait to show you guys what I can do! Thank you everyone for the support and love, and please like and share my act, it will help me greatly!
Meanwhile in the comments section, magic fans have been tying themselves in Houdini-esque knots trying to work out how on earth Eric is doing it.
One person commented:
If you look closely you can spot him cheating by dedicating years of his life to perfecting his art.
Pretty easy to see what he does. He lifts the ribbon and summons the demon Belial to transmute the cards into coins and back.
He simply presents his offering backstage and the objects turn back to normal. He’ll only be able to do this trick a limited number of times before he runs out of conjurings.
Ok… He cheated… Magicians aren’t supposed to use actual magic on stage!
— Jack Fox (@BadgerlordTasso) November 16, 2018
This is the craziest performance I have ever seen. I have none of the clues how he pulled it off
— Tim Shrout 🐻 (@tmshrout) November 16, 2018
The World Championships of Magic is held every three years by the International Federation of Magic Societies, an organisation which I presume is comparable to the Ministry of Magic in the Harry Potter series.
Eric would have had to fight off some seriously fierce competition in his bid for first place, with accomplished magicians from all over the world putting forward their very best tricks and illusions.
Of course, a true magician never reveals his secrets so it’s likely we will never know how Eric achieved such a seamless illusion.