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The past may have been on everyone's timeshifted minds this week at Pro Tour - Kobe, but it was a glimpse into the future that demanded attention.

A masterful final game by 17-year-old Jan-Moritz Merkel earned him a championship in his first appearance on the Pro Tour. A native of Hamburg, Germany, Merkel harkened back to the days of the legendary Kai Budde in winning the first individual Pro Tour for his country since 2003.

Drafting a blue-green creature-heavy deck with strong morph undertones, Merkel faced Willy Edel's army of saprolings in the Kobe finals. Merkel captured victory by morphing his Brine Elemental after Edel's miscalculated alpha strike. That locked Edel's defenses and the pseudo- Time Walk allowed Merkel's Errant Ephemeron to strike twice to seal the win.

In discussing Magic's past and future, you can't ignore its present. For the last two seasons, the Japanese have dominated the game like so many Kais. Reigning Player of the Year Kenji Tsumura was one of three who defended their nation's home turf in the Pro Tour-Kobe Top 8, but he, Tomoharu Saito, and Takahiro Suzuki all fell in the quarterfinals.

That left Merkel to dispatch Bastien Perez and Edel to triumph over Thomas Didierjean in the semifinals. Edel was hoping to add a first-place trophy to his runner-up finish as part of Raaala Pumba at Pro Tour-Charleston earlier this season, but time wasn't on his side.

A few months ago, Jan-Moritz Merkel was heading to a Pro Tour Qualifier with dreams of walking amongst the giants. His time has arrived: he's a Pro Tour champion.

top 8 bracket

Quaterfinals

Tomoharu Saito

Jan-Moritz Merkel

Kenji Tsumura

Bastien Perez

Takahiro Suzuki

Willy Edel

Thomas Didierjean

Bram Snepvangers

Semi-finals

Jan-Moritz Merkel, 3-2

Bastien Perez, 3-1

Willy Edel, 3-2

Thomas Didierjean, 3-2

Finals

Jan-Moritz Merkel, 3-1

Willy Edel, 3-1

Champion

Jan-Moritz Merkel, 3-1


  • Day 2 Blog Archive: Sneak Peek at Standard, Tough Brackets at the PTQ, Photo Journalism, and More!
    by Ted Knutson
  • Day 1 Blog Archive: Baseball, Bubble-Bubble, Eating Crow, and More!
    by Brian David-Marshall

EVENT COVERAGE

  • Finals: Pressure and Skill
    Jan-Moritz Merkel vs. Willy Edel
    by Scott Johns
  • Semifinals: Both Green – In More Ways Than One
    Bastien Perez vs. Jan-Moritz Merkel
    by Ted Knutson
  • Semifinals: Making Fungus, Making Faces
    Thomas Didierjean vs. Willy Edel
    by Noah Weil
  • Quarterfinals: Fire and Niceties
    Thomas Didierjean vs. Bram Snepvangers
    by Noah Weil
  • Quarterfinals: That Warm Embrace
    Takahiro Suzuki vs. Willy Edel
    by Scott Johns
  • Quarterfinals: Out of Nowhere
    Bastien Perez vs. Kenji Tsumura
    by Ted Knutson
  • Quarterfinals: Cinderella Story Continues
    Tomoharu Saito vs. Jan-Moritz Merkel
    by Kelly Digges
  • Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Draft Viewer: The Top 8 Draft
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • The Top 8 Draft: Complete Pack List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Feature: The Top 8 Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 15: For the Glory
    Thomas Gundersen vs. Kenji Tsumura
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Round 14: Tricks and Traps
    Kitamaya Maseya vs. Kenji Tsumura
    by Noah Weil
  • Feature: Rules Mayhem!
    by Scott Johns
  • Feature: Quick Hits, Draft Table One
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 13: Fast and Furious
    Masami Ibamoto vs. Bastien Perez
    by Scott Johns
  • Round 12: TS on TS in TS
    Tomoharu Saito vs. Takahiro Suzuki
    by Noah Weil
  • Draft Viewer: Draft 5, Table 1
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Draft Four: Table Two – Signals in Action
    by Noah Weil and Scott Johns
  • Round 11: Living the Suite Life
    Mike Thompson vs. Kenji Tsumura
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Round 10: The Blue-Red Blues
    Nick Eisel vs. Amiel Tenenbaum
    by Scott Johns
  • Decklists: Kobe Legacy Tournament Top 8
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Feature: Quick Hits, vol. 2
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 9: Blink and You'll Miss It
    Amiel Tenenbaum vs. David Felske
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Round 8: Rage and Sage
    Tomoharu Saito vs. Mark Herberholz
    by Noah Weil
  • Draft Three: Tomoharu Saito at 6-0
    by Noah Weil
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Decklists: The 6-0 Drafters
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Photo Essay: Tour of Day One
    by Scott Johns and Craig Gibson
  • Round 7: The Frenchman and the Englishman
    Pierre Canali vs. Quentin Martin
    by Ted Knutson
  • Round 6: Is There an Echo in Here?
    Sam Gomersall vs. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
    by Scott Johns
  • Round 5: Breakfast of Champions
    Tom Van de Logt vs. Shuhei Nakamura
    by Noah Weil
  • Feature: Quick Hits, vol. 1
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 4: Teammates to the Death
    Ben Lundquist vs. Paul Cheon
    by Ted Knutson
  • Round 3: "You playing first?"
    Sam Gomersall vs. Antoine Ruel
    by Noah Weil
  • Draft Viewer: Draft 2
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 2: "Bluff Master!"
    Osyp Lebedowicz vs. Shuu Komuro
    by Scott Johns
  • Round 1: Old Hands, New Faces
    Steve Sadin vs. Tommi Hovi
    by Ted Knutson
  • Draft One: Reports From the Floor
    by Noah Weil and Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff

FINAL TOP 8 STANDINGS

     
1. Jan-Moritz Merkel $40,000
2. Willy Edel $22,000
3. Bastien Perez $15,000
4. Thomas Didierjean $14,000
5. Kenji Tsumura $11,500
6. Bram Snepvangers $11,000
7. Tomoharu Saito $10,500
8. Takahiro Suzuki $10,000

pairings, results, standings

Pairings

15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Results

15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Standings

15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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