Round 2: Sigurd Eskeland vs. Federico Dato

Posted in Event Coverage on July 4, 2003

By Rui Oliveira

This round we have two Italians in the Pit. On this table two Pro Tour Veterans: Dato facing off against Pro-Tour Lin-Sivvi Champion Eskeland. On the other table crowd favorite – well, when we get a crowd in here - Sam Gomersall against Stefano Fiore.

Game 1

Careful Study
Dato stared at his starting hand for a few moments before deciding to keep it. Although it was brilliant for UG, it wasn't actually bad. He played a first turn Rootwalla and Sigurd announced the mirror with a first turn Careful Study, discarding his own Rootwalla.

Quiet Speculation gave Federico two Analysis and one Roar. Eskeland played Mongrel. A Flashbacked Analysis failed to give Dato his third land, showing his opponent the trouble he was in. The Italian Rootwalla chump-blocked the Nordic one and a second Rootwalla for Eskeland dropped Dato to eleven.

With the game quickly running out of control, Dato tried a desperate Wild Mongrel but Sigurd had the backbreaking Circular Logic.

Sigurd 1-0 Federico.

Sigurd: "These mirror matches are very stupid. It's always about how draws the best cards."

Game 2

This time it was Sigurd's turn to think long and hard about his starting hand. He eventually mulliganed. Dato started with Careful Study discarding Wonder and Roar. When he followed that with a turn two Mongrel and a turn three Stupefying Touch on Sigurd's Mongrel it seemed clear who had the initial upper hand.

The Norwegian played Aquamoeba and they started checking "cards in hand" (Mongrels squaring off have a tendency to do that). Dato sent his dog in and pumped out Arrogant Wurm. Unable to safely attack Eskeland took the time to play a second Mongrel and Merfolk Looter.

Afraid of the Looter Federico gave it a Stupefying Touch, and sent the Arrogant Wurm in before played his own Aquamoeba. Eskeland sent his "untouched" Mongrel in but decided not to pump it when Dato declared "no blocks".

The Arrogant Wurm waltzed into the virtual Red Zone , taking Wild Mongrel with it, dropping Sigurd to six. The Roar joined the party but it was too late. Sigurd Eskeland drew one more card, shrugged and scooped.

Sigurd 1-1 Dato.

Game 3

For a chance, no one had a first turn play. To compensate, they both had second turn Wild Mongrels. Sigurd discarded Wonder and Dato answered with his own Wonder. The Mongrels clashed in the skies.

Sigurd discarded Roar and Dato answered by discarding Analysis and Unsummon. Sigurd lost City of Brass and Federico Dato again upped the ante with a second Unsummon.

Quiet Speculation
Eskeland's dog bit the dust, but he was happy to replace with Merfolk Looter. Dato sent his dog in and flashed the Analysis finding more spells. The Norwegian flashed his Roar to stop the Mongrel.

Facing the huge monster and with two Unsummons already in the graveyard, Dato had to pass the turn. Eskeland played Phantom Centaur and Federico answered with end of turn Rootwalla and Arrogant Wurm. On his turn he played a second Mongrel and Aquamoeba, clearly hoping to swarm around Eskeland's colossus (not an easy task when your opponent is at eighteen with an active Looter).

The huge Norwegian used Quiet Speculation to find two Roars and Reclamation. Things were getting uglier for the Italian by the second. The Reclamation got rid of the Wonder and suddenly the skies belonged solely to the Nordic PT champion.

Dato weighted in his chances and sent the whole crew in. The Centaur ate up Arrogant Wurm, two Rootwallas traded and two Mongrels brought Eskeland down to thirteen. But it was too little, too late. Sigurd untapped and sent his team in. Just enough to deal the final ten points of damage.

Final Result: Sigurd 2-1 Federico.

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