It's a busy weekend in the Magic World. There are two Grand Prix going on, not to mention the Invitational in South Africa. The Grand Prix are the first chance for many to play a serious event with the new Odyssey cards, as the format is Odyssey Sealed Deck on the first day, and then Rochester Draft on the second.
Vienna has attracted a very healthy crowd of 681 players. Due to its central location in Europe, Vienna lends itself easily to being a multinational event. For example it's only a short drive from Hungary or the Czech Republic. As expected there are lots of German and Austrian players, but almost all countries are represented. Lots of Europe's top players are here as well. From England we have Ben Ronaldson, and Craig Jones, from France there is Raphaël Lévy and Franck Canu. Naturally lots of top Germans and Austrians made the short trip, including Helmut Summersberger, Benedikt Klauser, Christoph Lippert, and Patrick Mello. The Scandinavians are also here, although not in the numbers that they have attended the previous few Grand Prix. Their main hopes must rest on the likes of Eivind Nitter, Sigurd Eskeland, Jens Thorén, and Nicolaï Herzog this time.
Awaiting the players today are eight gruelling rounds of Sealed Deck made especially difficult by the novelty of the format. A common sight after the Sealed Deck building finished, were players asking their more experienced friends and team-mates what they would have done. Expect to see lots of people sideboarding in a lot of cards!
If things don't go the way players had hoped, at least there are plenty of other things to do in Vienna. The venue itself is part of the Hofburg, a palatial complex which houses amongst other things, the beautiful National Library and the Viennese boys choir. A short distance away, are other museums and examples of wonderful Baroque architecture.