Aside from the strong French presence in the Top 8, there are also two Japanese players set for Sunday. The days of Japan being notorious for just missing Pro Tour Top 8's are long gone- now, it's become a standard occurrence. In fact, this is the fourth individual Pro Tour in a row where a Japanese player has made Top 8. This is Tomohiro Yokosuka's second Pro Tour, and he's already made it to the top stage. The recent college graduate's first Pro Tour was Yokohama, where he placed in the Top 32 to qualify for this one. Needless to say, this sort of consistency makes him a player to watch in the future. Joining him tomorrow from Japan is last season's Rookie of the Year, Masashi Oiso. It was only back in May when Oiso made the finals of Pro Tour Yokohama, and now he's returned to the Top 8 to prove that it wasn't a fluke. What's even more impressive is that he's now made a Top 8 in both Limited and Constructed events. Yokosuka will be playing Psychatog, and Oiso is running Tinker.
Rickard Osterberg has followed up September's Pro Tour Boston Finalist finish with a second Sunday finish in a row, running the red/blue Tinker Stax deck. Hans Joachim Hoh will enter his first Pro Tour Top 8 tomorrow as first seed with a mono-blue Tinker deck. Rounding out the Top 8 is the lone American, Eugene Harvey. Just like Osterberg, this will be Harvey's second Sunday appearance in a row. He also had a Top 8 last season in Chicago, but this is his first Constructed Pro Tour Top 8. This is not to say that Harvey won't be prepared, as he was successful in a best three-out-of-five Constructed scenario when he won U.S. Nationals.
A significant impact on the event was the fact that this weekend's days of swiss competition featured eight rounds instead of seven. As a result, the usual 4-2 then draw into the final round tactic wasn't viable, and competitors had to play in order to advance. Without a doubt, more playing and less drawing is a good thing. Additionally, extra rounds reduce the impact of bad draws or poor matchups by giving players a little more breathing room. An added element of having an extra round every day is that endurance becomes more important. For example, Eugene Harvey noted that he made a mistake in the final round of day one that he chalked up to fatigue. It will be interesting to see how the extra rounds affect players in the future; with another hour required to stay focused and play Magic, the night before a Pro Tour may become more about business and rest for many players.
Tomorrow will be the end to an exciting weekend of powerful decks, and plenty of interesting stories. Check Sideboard.com for all the details, as we write another chapter in Pro Tour history.