It's tough being the last tournament in an environment, particularly one that has seemed so stable as pre-Apocalypse Standard. After watching the metagame break and resettle itself over and over, lastly at US Nationals where fear of Orb-Opposition caught like brushfire, it's tough to come up with something that can take the tournament by storm. The onus is on the players of that tournament to process all the information that has come before and somehow find their way through the sea of decks one last time.
Some were better set up for the task than others. Heading the standings after six rounds was Argentinian National Champion Diego Ostrovich. He was joined in the rarefied air by such stars as Gerardo Godinez and Brazillian National Champion Marcos Tanaka. They chose their swords, and dove in.
When the dust settled, only one of the three remained: Ostrovich. Godinez's Blue-White Control and Tanaka's Fires left them both two wins short of the Top 8. Ostrovich ran Orb-Opposition, and he ended the day in seventh place.
Most of the rest of the Top 8 were players who were in great shape after Day 1: Alejandro del Gerbo Actis, Christiano Pereira, Julio Silva Maciel, Raphael Garcia, and Scott Richards were all in the Top 10 going in to Round 7. Richards's continued success was courtesy a tech hook-up from metagame specialist, Damien Brown Santirso. His Counter-Rebels smoothed the way with a 4-1-1 performance.
Two players had a harder trail ahead of them. Victor Galimbertti of Brazil was in thirteenth and decided to run a near forgotten deck: Ponza. With plenty of maindeck control hate like Mogg Sentry and Blood Oath, he battled past two Story Circle: Red that resolved against him on his way to the Top 8.
Eduardo Sella had it even harder. He was in forty-fifth place, and needed 5-1 to secure his berth. He chose a teched-out Fires build with plenty of Battlemages and maindeck Aura Mutations. After smashing his way through five rounds undefeated, he intentionally drew his last round and took a well-earned break.
As the Top 8 were announced, there was plenty of celebrating. And the party kept up as tables were cleared and chairs were brought in for the Quiz Show later that night. Hosted by David Williams and Steve O'Mahoney-Shwartz, it was as rabidly attended as their gunslinging booth.
Competitors were stacked six-deep. They crushed forward in an attempt to be chosen to answer trivia. Packs flew freely, and the excited crowd kept the festivitites going for a full hour.
Finally, the hubbub subsided, and the Top 8 Competitors went to their rooms. Not to sleep, though. They needed to practice their quarterfinal matches and ensure the best chance of becoming 2001 Latin American Champion.