By Randy Buehler
After twelve rounds of intense preliminary competition, it all comes down to the following single elimination bracket:
1. Ittoku Tanaka (JP) (Mercenaries) 8. Satoshi Nakamura (JP) (Squirrel Prison) 4. Hiroto Watanabe (JP) (Trinity Green) 5. Chi Fai Teddy Ng (HK) (White Weenie) 3. Sam Ward (AU) (Replenish) 6. Koichiro Maki (JP) (White Weenie) 7. Doctor Wong (TW) (White Weenie) 2. Masaya Mori (JP) (Angry Hermit)
White weenie seemed to be the best deck in the Swiss, placing three competitors into the Top 8. The Top 16 decks broke down as follows:
With nine different decks making it into the Top 16, the field was nothing if not diverse.
The competitors in the Top 8 are familiar names from all around the APAC region. Before the tournament I kept asking people who would do well this weekend. I got the same answer every time: "the Japanese." The Japanese put 7 people into last year's Top 8 and an additional 7 players into 1998's Top 8. This year, however, the rest of the region has caught up a bit. There are only 5 Japanese players still competing on Sunday and if the last round of the Swiss had gone differently, that number could have been as low as 3.
Interestingly, each of the last two APAC champions advanced to Sunday. Both 1999 champion Masaya Mori and 1998 champion Satoshi Nakamura will be trying to become the first person ever to win not just two APAC titles, but two Continental Championships of any kind.
Country breakdown of the Top 16: