Latin America announced its presence with authority in 2002 when two members of the so-called “Latin Alliance” broke through into the Top 8 of Worlds that year. While that part of the world has yet to claim another Pro Tour trophy, it remains in the hunt and any of these five gentleman could be next to bag that prize.
(Profiles by Brian David-Marshall)
WINNER: Carlos Romão (36.7% of vote)
Carlos burst onto the world scene with his dark-horse victory at the Magic World Championships in 2002 with his Tog deck and the cutting edge strategy of not countering card drawing spells in the mirror match -- a strategy that carried him past Mark Ziegner and into the world spotlight. The event was something of a coming-out party for the Latin American Magic scene as it also saw Diego Ostrovich reach the semis before falling to Carlos. Romão has also made the Top 8 of four different Grand Prix tournaments, with two victories to show for his efforts. One of his wins was Team Grand Prix–Amsterdam alongside Jose Barbero.
2003-2004 Pro Points: 23 (76th) | Nagoya Pro Standings: 13 (117th)
Jose Barbero (24.7%)
After finally cracking the Sunday ceiling and making the Top 8 of Pro Tour–Yokohama in 2003, Jose has continued to finish in the money. He is the front-runner among this pack in terms of the Nagoya Pro Standings. He also picked up close to $15,000 for his 25th place finish in last year’s Player of the Year race. The popular Argentinean player recently won Grand Prix–Porto Alegre and has made the Top 8 of a GP six different times, with two trophies for his mantle.
2003-2004 Pro Points: 41 (25th) | Nagoya Pro Standings: 34 (26th)
Mauro Kina (6.0%)
Mauro is a young up-and-comer from Argentina. He won his National Championship this past season and was a member of the team the previous year as well. At GP Porto Alegre he finished third, losing to eventual champion Jose Barbero in the semifinals. Mauro’s blue-white deck from the Argentinean Championships created a significant buzz and is credited with influencing several other iterations up through Nassif’s Standard deck at Worlds. Mauro finished just out of the money at that tournament in 65th place, but bigger and better things are expected from him this coming season.
2003-2004 Pro Points: 3 (674th) | Nagoya Pro Standings: 10 (170th)
Diego Ostrovich (20.0%)
Hailing from Argentina, Diego Ostrovich was one of two players to break through into the Top 8 at Worlds 2002. It was the first time a Latin American player reached that level of competition, and Diego made his weekend even more impressive with a solid showing in the team competition -- it was the second time he had led his National team at Worlds. The money Diego won in Sydney allowed him to afford the travel necessary to play the game on a world stage. He continues to mount impressive performances on that stage as evidenced by his Grand Prix trophy from London last season.
2003-2004 Pro Points: 30 (54th) | Nagoya Pro Standings: 12 (133rd)
Scott Richards (12.6%)
Scott Richards is perhaps best known for his Invitational appearance and resulting tournament report in the year 2001. Scott, who splits his residence between New Zealand and Uruguay, rattled off a string of victories and found himself staring down the barrel of Kai Budde in the finals. The result of that match was Voidmage Prodigy and a rousing tournament report that toasted the Latin American Magic community.
2003-2004 Pro Points: N/A | Nagoya Pro Standings: 5 (328th)