Day 1 Recap

Posted in Event Coverage on September 12, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

>To be honest, this is becoming a little redundant. Phoenix Foundation has dominated competitive team Magic events, winning this Pro Tour twice in a row and a Masters. Their 6-0 performance today seems more cliché, boring, and expected than anything else, as anyone who looked at the final standings sighed and let out a sarcastic "Oh, look. Phoenix Foundation is undefeated. What a surprise." Interestingly, the German team barely squeezed into Day 2 last year with a 4-2 record, but once they got to the Draft portion of the event, they were invincible. Prior to their first loss in the Venice Masters, Kai Budde, Dirk Baberowski, and Marco Blume held perhaps the most impressive statistic in all of Magic, going 17-0 in Team Rochester. Even with that one loss, 17-1 is extremely intimidating. Many feel that Team Rochester is the most skill-intensive format in Magic, and Phoenix Foundation's dominance of it helps lend a great deal of credibility to the theory. Now that they're past the Sealed Deck portion of the event, it would seem that they're practically a lock to make Top 4.

The other 6-0 team heading into Saturday is Super Dario Bros, which is made up of Dario Minieri, Antoine Menard, and Nicolas Labarre. Minieri made Top 8 of Grand Prix London and Top 16 of Pro Tour - Houston, Antoine Menard made the Top 8 of French Nationals this year, and Nicolas Labarre is a true Pro Tour veteran with three Pro Tour Top 8's. In third at 5-0-1 is Zabutan Nemonaut, an impressive team made up of Mike Turian, Gary Wise, and Eugene Harvey. Turian and Wise won the Team Pro Tour in 2000 with Scott Johns as Potato Nation, and now have one of America's top players in Harvey helping them to make another run at a championship. All three players are members of the CMU-TOGIT group and are Limited specialists, but also have quite a bit of experience in team environments. Harvey led the U.S. national team to a 5-0 run in the Rochester Draft portion of Worlds last year to helped bring the team to a miracle finals appearance, while Wise made the Top 4 of this Pro Tour last year with Bob Maher and Neil Reeves. This year, Maher and Reeves teamed with Dave Williams, and squeaked into day two with a 4-2 record.

There's plenty of international representation in the top spots tomorrow as well. Latin America's Venga Venga Carta Roja, made up of Carlos Romao, Diego Ostrovich, and Matias Gabrenja, is in fourth and prime position to play on Sunday. Japan's top placing team is Ayumi Gundan in sixth.

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