Event Recap

Posted in Event Coverage

By Yaro Starak

The 2001 Australian National Championships brought together the best players from around the country. Previous national champions Michael Doecke, Rod Ho and Stephen Campbell were in attendance, as well as some of the best international performers, Sam Ward (top 4 2000 APAC Championships) and Dane Coltman (22nd at Worlds 1999). Ben Seck, every Pro Tour player's best friend, also came to try and repeat making the Australian team as he did in 2000.

This year's nationals featured an Invasion - Invasion - Planeshift Rochester Draft on Day 1 and a pre-7th Edition Standard constructed format for day 2. Unlike some other country's national championships, Australian players would be able to look at the top decks from the Regional championships held all over the world to help with their deck building for the constructed portion. These nationals would also feature the new cash payout system for prizes instead of free trips to Worlds, and many players were pleased with this change.

The day one Rochester Draft had an interesting twist; all the players drafted standing up instead of seated. "The tables were just so big we thought the players would be standing up to draft anyway" said level 3 judge Mark Brown. In the end it turned out to be a great idea as both drafts were run efficiently, with no major incidents. The head judge for the event was Queensland level 3 judge, Michael Mason. Mark Brown, Chris Fogin and Jason McDonald were Michael's senior judges.

On Sunday, those players who had no chance to make top 8 in the main event dropped out to play in a team sealed PTQ. The team PTQ attracted 96 players, which at the time was a bigger attendance then the actual nationals itself. Many other side events were held over the weekend, including a Type 1 and several drafts. David Low was again in charge of the side events.

Two players went 6-0 in the draft format - Chris Kwan from Brisbane and Ben Seck from Sydney. Ben would go on to build on this great start and finish in the top 8. Filling out the rest of the places in the top 8 were: Andrew Gordon, Shun Jiang, Rob Nadebaum, Andrew Grain, Wei Ren Khoo, Michael Mercer and Cael McGann.

After battling through two rounds of double elimination finals each, Andrew Gordon sat down to play Rob Nadebaum to decide who would be the national champion. In the end Rob's Fires deck proved to strong for Andrew's Blue Skies decks, winning the title. Filling out the Australian team was Wei Ren Khoo, who piloted his White/Blue control deck to third place overall.

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