At the end of the weekend, one player will thrust a trophy in the air, get handed a giant check, and forever have their name aligned with Budde, Finkel, and more as Pro Tour winners.
But if you take your focus off the center of the picture, chances are you'll see them surrounded by friends, well-wishers and teammates who are just as deliriously happy for one reason: their team performed the best.
While the headline after Sunday will be all about that one name, much of the tournament's energy has been focused on and filtered through the numerous teams that have come to stake their claims as the best in the world. Where ChannelFireball and CFB: The Pantheon came in as clear favorites, there were plenty of other teams who put in the work, the sweat, and the hours to give their members the best chance to succeed.
While no team truly distanced itself from the field, a number of teams did clearly perform better than others when looking at teams with at least six members.
The best performing team, by the slimmest of margins, was Team Flipsidegaming.com, headlined by Jared Boettcher's impressive ninth place performance with Ad Nauseam. The six members of their team average exactly nine wins per player, placing it just above three other teams with more than 8 wins per player: CFB: The Pantheon, Austria/German (Nico Bohny, Pierre Dagan and company), and ChannelFireball.
Not coincidentally, those were also three of the largest teams.
The actual largest team, Team Revolution, with 17 players all testing together, actually put up one of the tournament's worst team records, averaging about 6.4 wins per player. Only the Doge and Midwest Connection teams did worse out of groups with 6 or more players.
Of note, Face 2 Face games, the Alexander Hayne/John Stern crew averaged 7.69 wins per player, TCGPlayer averaged about 7.36 wins per player, Elaborate Ruse averaged 7.08 wins, and MTG Mint averaged just 7.1 wins per player despite Lee Shi Tian's second place finish.
It's also interesting to note that players who did not specify a testing team finished with an average of 5.51 wins on the weekend, placing them noticeably behind all but Doge and Midwest Connection. The average for the entire tournament was 6.29 wins.
|Team name||No. of members||Average total wins|
|Face 2 Face Games||13||7.692307692|
|MTG Mint Card||9||7.111111111|
|13 Angry Men||10||7|
|No team affiliation||184||5.510869565|
But let's drill down even deeper by format.
If you just count the Booster Draft rounds, the spread was a bit less between the best performing teams and the worst.
|Team name||No. of members||Average draft wins|
|13 Angry Men||10||3.3|
|Face 2 Face Games||13||3.153846154|
|MTG Mint Card||9||2.888888889|
|No team affiliation||184||2.163043478|
Here we see ChannelFireball putting up a strong showing with 3.6 wins per team member in the draft portion, the closest any team came to average a 2-1 record. Along with Austria/German and Flipsidegaming.com, they tracked pretty close to their overall performance.
The Pantheon, on the other hand, was noticeably further back in the pack when it came to drafting, at 3.13 wins per team member, jumped by 13 Angry Men and Face 2 Face Games, implying Pantheon did more damage in Modern than in the 40-card deck rounds. TCGPlayer also fell back noticeably.
As expected, that means those teams did better in Modern.
|Team name||No. of members||Average Modern wins|
|Face 2 Face Games||13||4.538461538|
|MTG Mint Card||9||4.222222222|
|13 Angry Men||10||3.7|
|No team affiliation||184||3.347826087|
Unsurprisingly, The Pantheon stepped up their game in Modern relative to their draft performance while 13 Angry Men clearly didn't have the format down as much as they did limited.
Still, yet again you can see that teams, by and large, finished higher than those without significantly sized teams.
So the crown for best team performance by a team with at least six players clearly goes to the crew of Jared Boettcher, Max Brown, Bryan Gottlieb, Peter Ingram, Dan Jordan and Robert Victory. The best performance by a team with at least a dozen team members, my totally arbitrary cut for "big" teams, is probably ChannelFireball, narrowly edging The Pantheon thanks to a more even record across both formats.